At its core, conversion rate optimization (CRO) in digital marketing is a process that uncovers friction in your ad journeys. It’s crucial when you consider how a good or bad digital experience can make the difference between a sale and a bounce.
Incorporating a CRO strategy is no longer optional—it’s mission-critical. By focusing on measurable outcomes, you can create a cycle of booming conversions and big dividends.
So what is the right CRO framework to follow? A solid CRO strategy rests on the following five pillars.
1. Personalize your outreach
Leverage your audience’s specific needs to influence their decisions. When you are asking yourself how to improve conversion rates, this is the most natural place to start. Think of this as your North Star to guide each visitor from your ads through your landing pages.
Doing so will establish relevant journeys that lead to conversions. Make sure to review your personalization strategy, ad-to-page relevance, and use of data.
2. Build trust
Credibility is the bridge that provides a smooth transition from interest to conversion. Provide content that invites your audience to learn who you are and connect beyond the ad journey.
As you develop these messages, it’s important to keep several steps in mind:
- Make sure to introduce yourself. That is, explain who your brand is and why it makes their lives easier
- Connect with each individual. Incorporate opportunities for visitors to provide contact info if they would like to engage
- Prove authority. Speak confidently and back up any claims with data and facts
- Ease concerns. Use reviews and testimonials to highlight how customers overcame issues with the product
By educating and engaging with the customer, you will earn their trust show that your solution keeps their needs in mind.
3. Tell a great story
Think of the journey you create as an epic tale, with the customer playing the role of the protagonist. How do you guide them along the way? Build on classic storytelling elements:
- Illustrate the problem clearly, and point to how it relates to their struggles
- Build tension to encourage customers toward a resolution
- Show them how your brand creates a solution, providing meaningful value (and a conversion)
4. Design to convert
Your imagery and design elements work with your copy to show why buying, downloading, or signing up for your product solves customers’ problems.That’s why you should base your design decisions on clear metrics about what resonates with your audience.
Use a rigorous A/B test cycle to test hypotheses. Once you have validated assumptions, design your content hierarchy based on what you know will work. It really is that simple.
5. Optimize for mobile
Mobile usage accounts for more than half of all global web traffic. Structure your content to fit into mobile layouts without clutter or loading lag.
How do you trim your content to make this work? Instead of cutting after you’ve created your page, try a mobile-first design. Select designs that optimize load speed automatically. Ask yourself if each piece of copy is necessary for a customer at that specific stage of the buying process. And when in doubt, it’s better to keep it simple.
Get in a flow of continuous experimentation
So now that we’ve shown you the pillars, what are the steps of conversion optimization? Glad you asked. Once you’ve thought through your strategy and solidified your foundation, use the following CRO framework to refine your landing pages—and radically impact your results.
Step 1: Audit landing pages
Make sure your landing page has these elements.
- Product description: Explain the product clearly to users who are earlier in the funnel. Recap later on in the funnel.
- Product benefits: Focus on how the product solves their problem in the beginning. You can include technical specifics once they’re familiar with the product.
- Brand identity: Build brand awareness and solidify trust at every step. Show your brand’s identity and values early, and reinforce them with visual cues and reminders.
- Keywords: Review landing pages for relevance against the ads the audience saw.
- Social proof: Use a mix of ratings, testimonials, and/or user-generated content (UGC).
- Usability: Educate at the beginning of the funnel, and increase details they engage with the sales process.
- CTA placement: Make it easy to find your call to action at both the top and the bottom of the page.
- CTA clarity: Articulate what you want the customer to do based on the information given. Increase the commitment level as you engage with the audience.
Step 2: Experiment with solutions
- Based on your takeaways from step 1, what’s working with the landing page?
- What aspects need to be tested for their impacts on performance?
Review your notes from the previous section of optimization framework to hypothesize what your page is doing right and what to adjust to improve. Then, put your hypotheses to the test.
Use the following resources to test your hypothesis for page updates and conversion rate improvements.
- A/B tests: For the most accurate results, set up two landing pages. One should have the current content as a control, and one with the proposed solution. See which one wins out—then keep testing additional changes to optimize.
- Use third-party tools: Gain additional insight to prove customer behavior. You can see where they’re actually clicking, where they’re getting stuck, or if there are any additional issues with the way the page is loading. Here are some of our favorites:
- Perform user testing: The qualitative feedback you get from user testing may help you see your page through a different lens. This is especially helpful if you’ve tried all of the above, but nothing seems to make a difference. It can uncover issues you might not have thought of.
Step 3: Optimize, and repeat the CRO process
It’s time to put your edits in practice. And remember—auditing your landing pages doesn’t end with a single task. Keep iterating and continuously pressure test your content.
- Determine which hypotheses held up under scrutiny
- Deploy updated landing pages, based on your findings
- Monitor the landing pages for metric improvements
- Periodically review the landing pages for additional opportunities
Looking for a complete solution?
As conversion experts, Instapage constantly looks at data to find the most effective ways to optimize campaigns and improve ROAS. Let us do the heavy lifting to uncover friction, help you improve customer engagement, and increase conversion rates.
Book a demo today and see how we can boost your results.