You might hate traffic on your commute, but we love it for our websites. That’s why so many digital marketing efforts aim to increase the total traffic a website gains. From keyword strategies to page speed performance, the goal is to get more targeted consumers to your website. The next step is getting those consumers to have a pleasant experience while they’re there.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of fine tuning your site with data driven changes to maximize the conversions you’ve determined to be most important for the user. Whether it’s purchasing a product or requesting a quote, conversions are how your customers work their way through your sales funnel. Conversions track how successfully your website functions the way you want it to.

Why Focus on Conversion Optimization?

Optimizing for conversions is always a good idea, but the first step is getting quality traffic to your website. There’s a limit to quality traffic however, and once you have a consistent audience, that’s when CRO comes into play.

Think about it like this. Say you’ve targeted and drawn in 10,000 visitors a day to your website resulting in 100 purchases (conversions). But say you also wanted to double your sales and reach 200 conversions a day. You can either try to double your traffic, widening you target audience and decreasing the quality of your visitors, or you could focus on optimizing how you talk to and convert your current audience. You’ve already spent the time to build out your personas and target audience, now it’s time to optimize out how you strategically speak to them.

Macro Conversions vs. Micro Conversions

On your customer’s journey through your website there might be several conversion you measure. Those conversions can generally be split into two categories, macro and micro conversions. Macro conversions are final steps like purchasing a product or requesting a quote. Micro conversions are ones that move customers along in their journey. It includes actions like creating an account or adding an item to a cart.

While every conversion you track is important, it’s best to focus on your big picture macro conversion. Marketing expert Neil Patel puts it like this, “It doesn’t matter if you increase click-through from one step to another. All that matters is if more people buy from you.” In fact too many micro steps can create roadblocks for your customers, so make sure to keep your eye on the prize.

Optimization in Action

There are several ways to optimize your site for conversions, many of which focus on the fine details of how your site is designed. But before you go and switch the whole style up, you’ll want to have a plan based on what you already know about your website and audience.

A/B Testing: Testing is crucial to conversion optimization, because you’ll need to make sure what you’re doing is paying off. Direct 50% of your traffic to the old page, and 50% to your new version. Whichever one works better, keep it, and try again. Continuing to run A/B tests overtime helps to strengthen your site and increase conversions.

Customer Journey: Having a solid grasp of your customer’s journeys helps you better optimize your site for conversions. Try and identify any bottle neck or pain points, and make changes in those steps. Try directing customers to different landing pages, and playing out different scenarios. Simply making it easier for your customers to purchase or sign up can affect your conversions.

Design and Copy: Cosmetic changes to your site are an easy, and effective places to start your conversion optimization. Test calls to action that more directly target, or speak specifically about a product. Visual aspects are also influential in where your visitors click, so try new images and tweaks to layout. Even something as simple as changing the color of a button can make an impact.

Conversion optimization isn’t about a single change. It’s making sure that every pieces of a website is working as best it can to achieve your goals, making sales and generating leads. In testing new approaches and making simple changes, you can decipher the most effective way to speak with the audience you already have, and move them through your site.

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