CRO 101: Everything You Need to Know About Conversion Rate Optimization
You have invested a lot of money into this website. Now why the heck isn’t it producing any leads? This is the battle cry of the frustrated business owner, and what they say when they approach a conversion rate optimization expert.
They spent months developing their website, and invested in all the new technology, bells, and whistles. They’re going to turn it on, go to bed for the night, and wake up in the morning with a lead funnel overflowing because it’s so full.
Why didn’t this happen?
Most of the time, this doesn’t happen because companies are just simply not investing money in conversion marketing. But without it, you’re drilling a massive hole in your sales funnel.
So here is what conversion marketing is and how to get started.
The Difference Between Conversion Rate Optimization and SEO
In the world of digital marketing, it has only been the last couple of years that conversion rate optimization (CRO) has been given the proper amount of attention.
Prior to that, its marketing cousin search engine optimization (SEO) dominated all of the conversations and all of the headlines. When in fact, these two need to work together in perfect harmony.
SEO is absolutely crucial, and it’s an incredibly vast art and science all by itself. SEO is optimizing your web presence so that when somebody in your area Googles your industry, your website shows up before the “other guys.”
Such a simple concept, such a complex process
Now, conversion marketing takes over once the person has landed on your website. This is also incredibly simple as a concept. When somebody arrives, how do we give them exactly what they’re looking for, as quickly as possible.
Again, this is incredibly complex to do.
If you don’t pay attention to conversion rate optimization, your website could have the kiss of death: lots of traffic but no leads. What’s going on here? Why are people coming to see us, but leaving without buying anything?
For years, this led frustrated business owners to frankly give up and assume that they’re good or service is not something that you can really sell online.
When in fact, a bit of conversion marketing and testing could unplug that sales funnel and show them exactly what this website should do.
Conversion Rate Optimization and PPC
We could fill 1000 ebooks with the various tactics and strategies for any number of conversion marketing scenarios. But let’s take a look at one of the most common and most misunderstood areas: Pay-per-click ads.
Cold hard fact: most PPC ads are terrible. They are often poorly planned and executed, which leads to disappointing numbers. Again, business owners may right off pay-per-click advertising as something that doesn’t actually really work.
When in fact, they probably just committed any combination of the three mortal sins in the world of PPC and conversion marketing.
A Bad Headline
It all very literally starts with the headline. This is where you have to earn your audience’s attention before you earn there click, or their business. Most businesses will simply describe their offering in the allotted 60 characters.
That’s not how to do it. You need to tap into your audience’s pain point. You need to understand a thing that is bothering them that brought them to their laptop or phone today to try to fix. Easy, right?
Actually, it’s incredibly difficult and the most seasoned copywriters in digital marketing still struggle with it.
It’s not unusual to take an hour two to come up with a headline that will actually earn revenue. And even then, it takes testing, finessing, and possibly tweaking it if it isn’t performing well.
If an ad is not performing well, the first place you should look is the headline and wonder how you can better tap into your audiences pain points. And this is true of any ad, whether it’s a Facebook ad or magazine.
In the world of PPC, you don’t need the number one position to sell the most. If you were the number three ad, you can outsell the number one add if you have a better headline.
The Ad and the Landing Page Don’t Agree
Where are you sending people once you earn there click?
First of all, too many businesses will send their PPC traffic to an existing service page. This is the wrong move for two reasons.
The first reason is you won’t be able to differentiate your normal traffic from your PPC traffic when you are measuring your results. You can only assume that any increase in traffic is a result of your PPC ads. And that’s a huge assumption.
The second reason you shouldn’t send them to a generic page is generic messaging is not going to get it done. You need the text and offering in your ad to show up immediately on the landing page.
So, if you’re a bank that’s offering free iPads to people who switch their checking account to your bank, don’t just send them to a generic page that talks about your checking accounts.
That iPad offer needs to be front and center, or people will think they’ve possibly been swindled or given a bait and switch offer.
Another common mistake people make in PPC is giving the visitor too many options.
The desired user path is someone clicks on the ad, reads some of the landing page, and then takes action. That action could be any number of things, depending on your campaign. It could be “Buy,” it could be “Subscribe,” it could be “Start My Free Trial”.
Whatever the desired action is, you need a strong call to action like a button and a lead form to make this happen.
But here’s the kicker, literally everything else you add on your landing page will reduce the effectiveness of this button. Every single thing they can click on besides the button is an invitation and excuse to not click the button.
It’s a simple matter of a tension ratio. If you have a button on the landing page that says “Subscribe,” it gets 100% of the attention.
If you add a second button that says “Join Our Mailing List,” the first button is now sharing 50% of the attention with the second one.
If you add a third possible link for Testimonials, you’re already down to 33%. So keep the ratio 1:1. One goal: One button.