The A-Z Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization


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Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is one of the most important aspects of building a successful e-commerce site. If your website exists but users do not convert, you are losing business to the competition. This A to Z guide will help improve the user experience, your conversion rate and online sales.

A/B TESTING will help identify improvement areas to your website and increase conversion. Don't make tests based on gut instinct - Use your web analytics data. Blivakker saw an 11% increase in sign ups when they ran an A/B test earlier this month.

Use BADGING on your best selling products to capture the reader’s attention and influence. Badge copy includes “Top rated product” or “Best seller!”

CAPTURE EMAIL address early and remarket to your subscribers. Make sure your email signup field is on the home page and above the fold.

DON'T ASK for what you don't need! This includes contact forms, white paper download and your checkout process. Softmedia conversion rate increased by 170% by keeping the contact form simple.

EMPHASIZE the benefits of why customers should shop with you. Take 10 minutes and bullet point 5 reasons and paste these benefits all over your website. Hurtigruten increased online sales by $100,000 by making the benefits of booking online clear.

Shipping costs are still a major factor as to why users abandon the shopping cart. Think about FREE SHIPPING in order to increase online sales and reduce exit rates.

GO GLOBAL and localize your websites into high volume traffic countries using your web analytics data. Localize content, currency and online marketing efforts.

Prioritize your HOME PAGE CONTENT to increase cross-sell opportunities. Take your top 3 most popular products and place them prominently on your home page.

Take action and start IMPLEMENTING LIKE HELL. You don't need to wait until everything is perfect - 80% is good enough to launch.

Remove your JUMP PAGE (or splash page). More often than not, these pages are not optimized and have a high bounce rate. You can use alternative methods such as IP detect if you want show the visitor that the website is available in another language.

Make sure KEY FUNCTIONALITY can be found on your home page. Key functionality includes newsletter sign up, step 1 of the order process or a contact form. Hurtigruten saw online sales increase by more than $20 million when launching key functionality.

Think LONG TERM and customer LIFE TIME VALUE. Don't short change customers for the sake of a quick sale - Be generous to existing customers.

MAKE IT EASY to browse your offline material online. If you have a catalog, allow your users to browse your site by catalog ID. Use short URLs to promote your website offline.

Prevent "NO RESULTS FOUND" in your internal site search. Internal site search data is valuable. Make your search page list relevant results to boost conversion.

OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE for tablets and smartphones. As much as 25% of total traffic is from mobile according to recent reports and this number will continue to increase. Make your site and shopping cart mobile-friendly.

Offer multiple PAYMENT OPTIONS in your shopping cart. Not all customers will use a credit card and approx. 30% of customers will abandon your cart if their preferred payment method is not offered. Multiple payment options can increase conversion by as much as 14%.

Ask for feedback from web visitors and use QUESTIONNAIRES and surveys. Web visitors are happy to provide feedback and this data will help improve the user experience.

90% of purchases are based on recommendations - Include product REVIEWS by real customers on as many products as you can. Localize the recommendations for positive SEO advantages.

SHARE SUCCESS STORIES - When something good happens, share it and make sure you celebrate your victory!

Be TRUSTWORTHY and make sure sensitive information requested is secure (SSL). Be true to your word and if you do happen to fall short, keep your customers informed at all times.

Run monthly USER TESTS using www.UserTesting.com. Identify usability issues and fix them quickly.

Implement inline VALIDATION on your web forms using both positive and negative validation. It will increase conversion rates by as  much as 22%.

"Add to WISH List" is one of the best buttons you can have on your website. Implement it now, and remarket to those add products to wish lists.

Monitor your EXIT RATE and identify why users leave your shopping cart. Use the conversion funnel in your web analytics to fix pages with the highest dropout.

YOU or YOUR; write in second person to allow the reader to connect with the content. Try to avoid using “we” or “us”.  Make the reader believe you are talking directly to them.

ZERO in on your target audience and understand their intent. Create landing pages that answer your visitor’s questions and needs.

Conversion rate optimization is an ever evolving process and you should always be testing, optimizing and improving your website.

What important techniques have I missed in this A to Z guide? Comments are welcome below.

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