Is Conversion Rate Optimization for You in 2019?
Your online site needs to be designed with your customers in mind.
While boosting your traffic can generate more sales, it’s just as important to focus on turning your current traffic into paying customers.
At every step of your customers’ purchasing journeys, there are new opportunities for you to make their paths shorter, easier, and more enjoyable. Through rigorous experimentation and analysis, you can fine-tune your website to push people closer to making a purchase. This process is called Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO.
Conversion Rate Optimization is a technique for increasing the percentage of your website traffic that makes a purchase, also known as a conversion.
Conversions are a big deal. They are that great moment when a casual visitor to your store finally buys one of your products. And, on a much smaller scale, conversions are happening all the time leading up to that moment, too.
For instance, a conversion on your homepage might mean having a visitor click through to a product. A conversion on a product page might mean a customer clicking ‘Add to Cart’. Conversions can be entirely dependent on the purpose that a specific part of your website serves. To optimize your online store for conversions, both big and small, you need to be constantly testing each and every aspect of your website.
CRO is a crucial tool for business owners, but it isn’t right for everyone. In order for you to successfully optimize your online store, you first need to have enough traffic to properly conduct a test.
Without the right amount of traffic, your results won’t actually provide any real insight into how your customers are using your online site. To help you determine whether CRO is right for you, let’s take a deeper look at its fundamentals from Google.
If you don’t have enough traffic to run an A/B test, focus on getting more visitors to your store instead.
A/B Testing. One of the foundational elements of CRO is a form of experimentation called A/B testing, also known as split testing. A/B testing is a way of comparing two versions of the same webpage to see which produces better results. With A/B testing, two different versions of a page are shown to two similar sets of visitors at the same time. Eventually, the version that performs more efficiently and produces a larger amount of conversions is declared the winner.
How to Create Conversion Rate Optimization Experiments
If your site has enough traffic to perform a successful A/B test, you can start experimenting on your online store.
To run an A/B test, you’ll need to use a tool like Google Content Experiments and set up your goals already on Google Analytics. Create a separate goal for every action that you’re trying to test on your website. In Google Analytics, goals are a way of measuring how your website guides visitors to complete a specific task or objective. Goals can be anything:
From a product purchase to a newsletter subscription to simple navigation. By setting up goals for your test, you’ll be able to track and analyze the data behind the decisions that customers are making as they move through your site. There are five different types of goals in Google Analytics:
Destination, duration, pages per session, event, and smart goals. For the purpose of CRO, destination goals and event goals are the ones I focus on.
These types of goals are used for tracking when a specific web page loads and track pageviews as conversion. You can use destination goals for tracking things like purchases or navigation.
If you want to track a purchase, simply set the ‘Thank You’ or order confirmation page as the destination and conversion will be tracked every time a customer completes an order and is redirected to the ‘Thank You’ page.
To track navigation goals—like someone heading to a collection (product) from your homepage—set the destination as your collection (product) page.
Event goals can be used to track actions on your website that do not necessarily lead someone to a landing page.
For instance, if you want to track someone subscribing to your newsletter or adding an item to their cart, you can set the action of a customer clicking a specific button on your website as an event.
Before you conduct an A/B test, you’ll need to figure out if your website gets enough traffic to generate statistically significant results. If your sample size is too small, you won’t be able to learn anything from your results since they won’t accurately reflect how a larger population is using your site.
If you want to calculate how large of a sample size you’ll need to conduct an A/B test, you just need to drop your current conversion rate for the web page that you’d like to test into this calculator. If the traffic that the web page receives is less than the sample size required for the test, focus on driving more traffic to your website first rather than optimizing for conversions.
Finding the Current Conversion Rate of a Single Page
To find your current conversion rate, you’ll first need to make sure that you have Google Analytics set up. With Google Analytics, you’ll be able to figure out the conversion rate for specific parts of your website, including the web pages that you’ll be testing.
Note: This method will just give you a glimpse of your current conversion rate and should not be used for measuring the outcome of your tests. Only use this piece of data for measuring whether or not you have enough traffic to perform a successful A/B test.
The quickest way for me to find the current conversion rate for specific pages of your website is by using the Landing Pages report in Google Analytics.
To get to Landing Pages, first, go to the ‘Behavior’ section and then click ‘Site Content’.
In the dropdown, click on Landing Pages.
Make sure that the timeframe you’re looking at is the same amount of time that your test will be running.
For the purpose of this part of the process, just use the past 30 days.
Now, select the web page that you’d like to test from the list of landing pages. For instance, if you’d like to test your home page, click on www.youronlinestorename.com.
In order to find the conversion rate for a specific goal that occurs on this page, you’ll need to add a secondary dimension to your report. Click ‘Add Secondary Dimension’ and type ‘Second Page’. The ‘Second Page’ dimension will tell us which pages visitors navigated to next and which percentage of visitors to your first page went to those pages.
Here is an example, let’s say that you’re interested in testing how many people navigate to the products page of your website from your homepage.
To find your current conversion rate for this action, simply choose your homepage as your initial page and then look for your products page under the ‘Second Page’ section of your report. The small grey percentage that’s listed in the ‘Sessions’ section will be your conversion rate for the action.