Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and How it Relates to SEO and Retargeting

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) consists of a series of actions and strategies designed to enable Internet merchants and marketers to easily and consistently gain remarkable increases in website conversions, and hence an increase in new customers, ongoing clients, and/or site trials. Often used in conjunction with split-testing software, a CRO system helps you as a domain and business owner to determine what to test (and more importantly, what to change) as it shows you how best to design webpages that successfully convert your site visitors in to leads or sales.

The primary purpose of CRO is to assist you in expanding your online business and reaching your goals in relation to revenue and profits, market share or site membership levels. If you own and promote a special interest website, your main objective is most likely that of increasing your user base and membership. For these reasons, conversion rate optimization data is based on real business metrics, not simply on abstractions such as click-through data and bounce rates. Currently, most Internet marketers using CRO as a tool to generate better returns from their online investments, agree that strongly increasing website conversion rates proves to be the fastest and most dependable method of making the most of the visitors you already do have.

What Are Some the Simple Mathematics Related to CRO?

The conversion rate of a domain or webpage is equal to the percentage of visitors who achieve a particular goal during a given time sequence. Usual goals include making purchases, requesting services and joining newsletter distribution lists. In order to improve your site’s homepage conversion rate by 25%, you must accomplish a 2.5% improvement involving ten of these elements: company tagline, main headline, introduction text, photographs and graphics, product and service descriptions, offers, usability, guarantees, site navigation, call to action, site layout, pricing, testimonials, and product return/refund policies; just to name a few.

When performing a basic A/B split test on a webpage, the Google Website Optimizer software does the math for you. Half of your site visitors will view Headline A while the other half view Headline B. Each visitor will be shown a different combination of site elements, such as text, images, banners, prices, and special offers. Afterward, the software will compute an average of the top performing site components. These results can be a great help in creating the ultimate dynamic presentation and Web presence for your site and business interests. This comprehensive method of site testing is known as multivariate testing.

What Other Kinds of Testing Are Common in CRO?

A number of different kinds of testing and analysis are commonly used in conversion rate optimization, including the following:

- Web analytics. The basic site overlay feature of Web analytics reveals where on your website visitors click, where they don’t click, and at what point they exit the site. In other words, this useful feature reports what your site traffic is doing.

- Usability testing. This highly effective test lets you know why site visitors are doing certain things.

- Eyetracking. This CRO component alerts you to which site elements visitors see without clicking, and what items people fail to click because they simply don’t see them. For this, you will need specially designed hardware. Currently, a startup group, GazeHawk, offers discounted eyetracking by using normal webcams.

- Clickmapping. There are two main areas of this CRO activity, Crazy Egg and Click Tale. Crazy Egg helps you monitor which areas of your website visitors choose to click and just how far down the page or into your site their degree of interest takes them. Click Tale enables you to see flash movies revealing the individual activities of each visitor to your domain.

- Both customer surveys and cooperative competition (offering the products and services of competitors for sale on your own domain, often as an affiliate) are additional good aids to learning more about the conversion rates achieved by your market competition. Live chat sessions can also be eye-openers in this area.

What is the Role of CRO in the Course of SEO Campaigns?

While the major focus of SEO campaigns is directing as much targeted Web traffic from the search engines to your website and business domain as possible, the purpose of CRO is to increase your conversion rates appreciably. Simply put, SEO drives visitors to your site and CRO turns them into valuable customers or website members. Most online business owners are familiar with the primary aspects of effective SEO—professional level site construction by experienced Web content writers and designers, and then authority building from the greater web pointing in. Additional resources such as top placement in search engine directories, use of Google Adwords and other online advertising and keyword aids, pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns, and building a presence via social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and search engine social media sites like YouTube are highly efficient and proactive elements of expert SEO. However, in order to transform all the new traffic this finely-tuned SEO has driven to your site into conversions, what is then needed is the uniquely combined creative and scientific effects of CRO.

What CRO Methods Are Most Often Recommended by Web Marketing Experts?

The majority of CRO system experts highly recommend various testing methods to find the most accurate and productive way to achieve higher website conversion rates. There is, however, a second school of thought which is more focused on studying and interacting with a target market by means of remarketing, remessaging and retargeting (attaching cookies to site visitors to later serve them with site-and-product-related banner ads and messages long after they have left a website without conversion). At this point in time, the general consensus is that while different varieties of behavioral targeting can lend a valuable boost to SEO-CRO campaigns, results of comprehensive CRO system testing will undoubtedly lead to the highest conversion rates possible.

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