Conversion rate optimization is the process of analyzing customer behavior on your website and then testing several different elements to get the maximum number of conversions from people visiting your website.
As you can imagine, conversion rate optimization has many objectives in common with marketing channels such as SEO, PPC, Display Advertising, etc.
Ultimately, it is one of the most important investments that an e-commerce business can make because getting people to your website is half the battle, but more importantly, getting them to take a particular action once they’re on your website is what impacts your business’s bottom line.
Whether you are working with a specialist SEO agency or an in-house team, looking at some of the fundamentals listed below will hold you in good stead when it comes to making the most of your website traffic.
Figure out what metrics matter to your business
It is said that what gets measured gets improved. However, before you start measuring, you need to do the work to understand which metrics matter to your bottom line.
You might have standard metrics such as users, sessions, bounce rate, etc. however, understand which landing pages, for example, matter the most to your bottom line so that you’re not judging all landing pages the same.
Understand which specific goals you need to set up in your analytics software to track the customer actions that you find are most correlated with actual business results.
Make sure your website loads fast.
Site speed is one of the essential factors in both SEO and user experience on your website. Studies have shown that approximately 40% of users will abandon a webpage if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
There is a lot that you can do to improve your site speed. Google even provides a Pagespeed Insights tool which is entirely free to use and shows you which issues you need to resolve to have your website load faster. This is an investment worth making in terms of internal resources because the payoff is potentially huge.
Make sure your website is secure.
If you want people to spend money on your website, which is, of course, the whole purpose of an e-commerce website, you need first to ensure that they feel safe in doing so. One of the best ways of doing this and signaling from the very start of your relationship with a potential customer that you are a trustworthy website is by utilizing what is known as an SSL or HTTPS certificate.
This form of encryption prevents hackers from accessing sensitive information from your customers and your own business. It is now a global standard and something that most customers will expect once they land on your website, so if you don’t already have it make sure this is one of the first things you look at.
Gain credibility with your potential customers
Social proof is a fundamental behavioral psychology concept for any e-commerce business to understand. As human beings, we look to others for cues as to how to behave.
Therefore, if you have endorsements from other reputable brands or websites that you can place prominently on your website, you increase the chances that your potential customers will associate the authority for those reputable brands with yours.
The result is that they will trust you more and be that much more likely to give you their business.
Utilize video and images properly
Video and images are both compelling, visual ways to increase engagement with the content on your website. However, there are many things for you to be mindful of to ensure that using these mediums doesn’t backfire.
With images, make sure that you use custom images rather than stock images, as using stock images makes it seem as if you haven’t put a lot of effort into your website and can decrease the user’s trust in your business.
Similarly, it’s a great idea to embed YouTube videos relevant and useful to your audience when it comes to video. However, be mindful that you have disabled the ‘related videos’ feature when you’ve embedded a video on your website so that there is no chance of your competitor’s videos, for example, playing while a customer is on your website.
The above are just a few examples of CRO principles that can significantly benefit an e-commerce website. The most important thing is identifying your assumptions and then testing, testing, and testing some more!