What is Conversion Optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization Defined

There are many different ways to describe and understand conversion rate optimization or CRO.  The easiest way to understand it is as follows.  You have a site that people visit.  If people are interested in what you are selling they will make a purchase.  If not they will most likely leave and not return again.  The unspoken question is “How do I get these people to make a purchase?”  What you are trying to do is convert them into paying customers.

This is where conversion rate optimization is different than SEO or content marketing.  The latter two build awareness.  They are an essential part of any successful web presence.  Before people make a purchase they have to know how to find you.  CRO takes those people and turns them into customers that generate revenue for you.  As a result there are a few things to keep in mind concerning conversion rate optimization.

Revenue Above All Else

Many CRO guides will tend to push you towards creating links or products that drive people to your site.  Since CRO is usually measured by how many people purchase your product, the important number always tends to be the traffic count.  That can be a bit misleading though.  The reasoning lies in the desired outcome.

Think about it.  If people are coming to your site and not purchasing, yet you are gauging the success of your site by the amount of increased traffic, you have not hit your mark.  You are essentially spending a lot of time trying to get new traffic which may or may not convert into sales.  Your time for conversion rate optimization would be better spent trying to turn existing site visitors into sales.  With this in mind you should always tune your CRO in favor of revenue generation.

Think Big Picture

Many times we get caught up in the details of our page when it comes to CRO.  We change the color, layout, play around with graphics and the like because we think it will make a difference.  Those things matter, but in order to make conversion rate optimization really work for you, you need to think in big picture terms.  You are turning a ship around, not merely rearranging the furniture on deck.

Thinking CRO at a big picture level means taking a look at your processes.  You might need to stricture them differently to make it easier for people to engage your site.  People who are more engaged on your site tend to make purchases.  Think about your purchase process.  Everything from shopping carts, to product placement and description play a huge role in winning someone over from visitor to customer.  Think about your links.  Think about how many steps a visitor to your site must go through before they are able to make a purchase.

Those types of things represent big picture thinking for CRO. Color schemes and graphics are important too, but in the long run people will not make a purchase from a site if there are too many steps to go through.  Conversion rate optimization smooths out that process.  Ultimately, it will help fill shopping carts and add revenue to your bottom line.

 Conversion Optimization and PPC

Something to Consider

Numerous articles have been written on conversion optimization.  Articles on how to do it, what it is, how to do it effectively, and so on and so forth.  Usually the focus is on converting site visitors into customers.  The goal of any business is always to generate cold leads into warm leads.  Oftentimes, CRO is focused on things like processes which are considered to be big picture items, to he focus is on forms, surveys, pop ups and the like (smaller stuff).

However, there is another way to think about conversion optimization.  A way that actually brings to already powerful components together.  I am talking about combining search engine optimization with pay per click advertising.  These two things together, if done right will yield some pretty amazing results.  Let’s look at how to do this effectively.

Its All About the Key Words

You probably already know that most successful SEO uses involve good, strong key words.  That is the same foundation you need to use when writing a PPC campaign for conversion optimization.  Using solid key words encourages clicks.  It will also boost your ranking since that data is analyzed by search engine metrics.  Consider that a side bonus.

In order to make sure you are using the right key words you might need to search through your analytics again.  Doing so will make your site much more efficient.  Think about it.  Good key words make writing campaigns so much easier.  They also lend themselves to creating a site that has a solid structure and  and will allow your landing pages to be as specific as you need them to be.

Things to Consider

Now that you have the structure in place, it is time to build the campaign.  Which campaign entirely depends on you. You might ant to develop a Google Adwords campaign that would turn visitors into customers.  This would be a fantastic way to use PPC with conversion optimization.  Another thing to consider is how many landing pages you have and who manages them.  You might experiment with different PPC campaigns that take customers to different landing pages.  Over time, you could analyze data to see which page is generating the most results for you. Then make adjustments accordingly.

The main thing to keep in mind when using conversion optimization with PPC is focus.  While many aspects of web design and traffic generation trend to be broad brushed in their approach, this particular method is as precise as a laser beam.  Therefore, the work you do on the front end is important.  Take your time and develop a effective campaigns.  Then wait for the results and measure the success.  The good news is if the campaign is not as effective as you would like it to be, only minor changes are required.  No big web page over hauls, just a few simple word changes will turn it into a completely different animal.

The trick is developing a campaign that is effective.  Once you do, you will notice your customer base warming up.  Your numbers will prove it. it.

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