Conversion rate optimization is a set of practices that increase the percentage of users that complete the desired action from a website, page, or paid ad. Desired actions are linked to purchase or the increased probability of purchase. Examples of these actions include adding to one’s cart, signing up, filling out a form, or clicking on a link.
Adopting a user-centric perspective can help businesses boost their conversion rates and see concrete results from their marketing efforts and digital assets.
However, during a time of inflation, marketing budgets get closer scrutiny. Ad spending needs to be justified. This is why conversion rate optimization across different touch points deserves closer attention.
Before you can convert a user into a customer on your website, you first have to get them there. How? Through paid advertising.
Your paid ads on social media and Google can be a significant source of website traffic, but only if it’s done right. It’s simple: bad ads don’t get clicks. Before you even focus on the CRO of your site and its landing pages, you need to consider click-through rate (CTR) optimization.
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your ads:
Regardless of what design trends are ongoing, having good contrast and readability for paid ads is advisable. These make the display ads more accessible, which is an essential component of user experience (UX) optimization.
Accessibility, in this respect, does not only benefit people who have a visual impairment. In cases wherein users are exposed to bright lighting, display ads with good contrast and readability are easier to see.
Additionally, readability and contrast need to be confirmed for mobile devices as well, considering that there are around 6.6 billion smartphone users in the world.
Ads are meant to be disruptive in a positive way. Good ads, no matter the delivery, should be thumb-stopping and compelling. But marketers need to be aware that if they ignore relevance and fluidity, their ads will be more disruptive as a nuisance. This harms conversion rates.
Relevance and fluidity are closely connected. Relevance is the link between the content that the user is consuming and the type of ad they will get. Relevant ads are well-targeted and are not likely to be seen as frustrating.
Fluidity pertains to how the ad fits into the user’s flow. The more naturally an ad can fit into the experience, the better the ad will be perceived. As platforms evolve and new paid ad formats are released, marketers must select ad formats with fluidity in mind. Platforms are not infallible with the ad formats they release. As an example, YouTube had to remove its 30-second non-skippable ads in 2018 upon realizing it was not good for the user experience.
Conversion rate optimization is a two-pronged approach. After ensuring that the ads are optimized, the landing page needs to be set up for success. The benchmark for a good landing page conversion rate is 10%, although this varies depending on the verticle. To boost a landing page’s conversion rate, businesses need to keep the following in mind:
After a user goes out of their way to engage in an ad, they expect a landing page that loads fast. Delays harm the user experience, not to mention its conversion rates. Even just a one-second delay in the landing page’s load time translates to 7% less conversions.
Landing pages with less copy perform better in terms of conversion (14%) than longer landing pages (11%). In addition, shorter landing pages in the business services sector (with fewer than 100 words) convert 50% more than longer landing pages (more than 500 words). This is however, a delicate dance, as platforms such as Google Ads use metrics like Quality Score to ensure your landing page contains relevant copy to what you’re advertising. The key is to find a balance between featuring your primary keywords without stuffing and making your content too dense.
Accessibility is a pillar in user experience that applies to all digital assets. Landing pages need to be accessible. Considering that around one billion people in the world live with a form of disability, businesses that pay attention to accessibility conformance/compliance will be able to reach a vastly wider audience.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a more direct way to see what a target audience prefers when it comes to marketing content. What this means is that an audience is split in half: one half (audience A) is shown one variant of the ad, and the other half (audience B) is shown the other. It’s a valuable strategy because not all consumers behave the same.
Though there are best practices that marketers can follow, A/B testing landing pages is the best way to gauge what a specific target audience prefers. Similar to A/B testing ads, there are various elements that can be tested on a landing page.
Over time, A/B testing helps marketers collect unique insights regarding the type of landing pages that work best for their target audience.
In a recession when dollars are getting tighter it’s integral that businesses look inwards as a cost-effective way to increase their ROI. Improve advertising performance without throwing budget directly at the problem.
A good ad strategy is only as good as the website that supports it. It’s your digital storefront, and consumers need to have a seamless experience in order to convert. Don’t give budget back to Meta or Google, instead, improve your site, benchmark your CvRs, and make changes that will generate quality leads.