For the majority of entrepreneurs and website owners, there is one big goal: maximum number of visitors every month. This wish is understandable, but not yet thought through to the end. After all, what’s the point of having so many website visitors if no one converts? Increasing the conversion rate and optimizing it is the topic of this article. The focus here is on the user experience: What can we do to ensure that as many people as possible take the steps on our website that we expect them to take?
What is a conversion rate?
In online marketing, we use the term “conversion” to describe a measurable conversion, i.e. the conversion of a visitor into a potential customer. The visitor has therefore taken the action that the website operator intended. This can be many different things, such as filling out a form, signing up for the newsletter, or making a purchase in the online store. The conversion rate describes the relationship between visitors to a website and the number of interactions that have been set as a conversion. If about 10 out of a total of 1,000 visitors to the website sign up for the newsletter, the conversion rate is 1 percent.
Is a high conversion rate good?
The short answer: yes, it is. A high conversion rate is a very good starting point for achieving the set corporate goals by means of online marketing measures. But: A high conversion rate is not everything. It is the beginning of a comprehensive customer journey that needs to be designed in the best possible way.
However, what is a good conversion rate is not so easy to define. This depends on many, sometimes very individual factors. The central lever for high conversion rates is the right target group. People who are not interested in the offer will not convert. The quality of the offer also plays a central role on the way to a qualified lead. In addition, the usability of your website also plays a crucial factor, as well as the industry, your brand awareness, competition, and search engine ranking.
You want concrete figures? We understand that. There are countless statistics on conversion rates on Google, here is a first impression: The conversion rate of banners is among the lowest with less than one percent, Google Ads are on average about 3.5 percent and in partner search you can be happy about a conversion rate of just under ten percent. In your first attempts at optimization, try to set an initial approximate value as a guide. You will quickly notice if this is a good fit for you and your business.
Why is conversion rate optimization so important?
Getting the best out of painstakingly generated traffic is the goal of conversion rate optimization (CRO). In this way, we achieve more orders, prospects and sales. However, conversion rate optimization is not always easy. Increasing online competition and sensory overload on traffic channels makes it increasingly difficult to increase conversion of visitors to prospects and buyers. That’s why online marketing must no longer be just about increasing traffic, but improving conversion. But how can you set up a successful strategy for CRO? What levers can we operate?
What influences the conversion rate?
There are many factors that influence the conversion rate. Due to this large number, it is not possible to list and describe all of them, but two basic types can be distinguished:
- short-term, controllable
- long-term, uncontrollable
While the short-term influencing factors can be controlled through repeated testing and adjustment, the long-term factors are difficult or impossible to control.
These short-term factors include, among many others:
- Traffic channels
- Products & Offers
- Content (variety and adaptation to the customer journey)
- Website security
- Usability process
The list of potential influencing factors is long. Therefore, it should not be tried, exchanged and tested haphazardly. It is important to take a close look at a few points at the beginning, formulate concrete theses and then verify or falsify them. Meaningful and clearly defined hypotheses are the basis for a successful CRO. What about the long-term factors? Most of these are socio-political developments over which we as a company have virtually no influence: Changes in the legal situation, armed conflicts or even social trends can influence the performance of our conversion rate – positively or negatively. Seasonal fluctuations, such as bookings for skiing vacations or sunscreen products, play a special role. This is nothing unusual, but should be considered in a CRO strategy.
Conversion rate optimization methods
Many factors condition many methods and approaches to CRO. Before we get to those in the user experience space, here’s a quick reminder of what methods always work to optimize CR:
- Generate more and better traffic
- Combine call-to-actions with matching lead magnets
- Optimize mobile view and loading speed
- Publish better, i.e. target group optimized content
- Refinement of the Customer Journey
- Keywords customization
- Simplification and “decluttering” of the website
- Text as a UX factor in conversion optimization
When it comes to user experience, text plays an important role. Unlike usability (user-friendliness), which is primarily about a clear structure and smooth flow on the website, UX design aims to evoke the best possible feeling in the visitor. The appropriate words, paraphrases and terms put the visitor in the right mood, create mental cinema and emotions. So it’s very important to know your target audience and which keywords are actually being used and whether you’re hitting the tone of the buyer persona.
It can be as banal things as the difference between potatoes and potatoes, which encourages visitors to click. Do you know where your visitors are coming from? Then they adapt to their language.
Colors at the CRO
Colors are among the most important tools when it comes to putting people in the right mood. Different colors evoke different emotions and can attract users’ attention. The color palettes we choose are more than just visual decoration, they can have game-changing effects on conversion rates. A CTA button, for example, is made up of four important factors: Placement, shape, text and color. When these four aspects are aligned, you have a great effect. The color of the button is one of the longest-running debates at CRO. There are numerous A/B test results that show that changing the color of a CTA button has a massive impact on the number of conversions.
You want to try something color-wise? Then take a look at Adobe Color Reel or coolors.typography, image and video for better conversions. As I said, it’s all about creating a suitable mood image that picks up the user where they are. This applies not only to language, but also to visual impressions on the website. The choice of typography (font, font size), the imagery used and the presentation of the videos can contribute a lot to the acceptance of the offer. The aim is to put our target group in a “buying mood”, i.e. to create a feel-good atmosphere.
What exactly our target group wants to see, we can only find out step by step. The better we know our buyer persona, their preferences and habits – e.g. whether this person prefers reading or watching videos – the easier it will be for us to do CRO.
Customize CTA buttons for conversion rate
If we have accompanied our website visitors to the call-to-action with the right texts and images, this very button should also catch the eye. The size, placement and color of the CTA button should stand out strongly at all times. To increase the conversion rate, you can also place the button sticky, i.e. it scrolls along at all times and remains in the field of view. If Google is to be believed, the ideal place for CTAs is just above the “above the fold” boundary and the ideal shape is a vertical one.
The position of the CTA button is also important. There are places where our call to click simply performs better than others. Here Grow & Convert have put together an exciting table – with reference to personal experiences with newsletter signups.
- CR in the sidebar: 0.5 – 1.5%
- CR at the end of the contribution: 0.5 – 1.5%.
- CR with pop-ups: 1 – 8%
- CR with sliders and bars: 1 – 5%
- CR with a full-screen welcome opt-in: 10 – 25%.
- CR of highlight boxes: 3 – 9%
- Navigation bar: variable
Trying out CTA buttons is one of the first and easiest steps to change your conversion rate. It is important that you do not change too much at once, as this will make it unclear what actually caused the CR to change.
Forms in the CRO process
Forms are an important part of the customer journey, a point where it becomes very clear whether we have done our job well up to there. If the user has followed us to the form and is willing to fill it out, then we have been able to build enough trust. If users bounce off the form, we know that this is where we need to start optimizing. Basically, the fewer input fields, the higher the conversion rate. It is therefore worthwhile in the first step to query only the fields that are really necessary – everything else can wait.
Conversion Rate: Conclusion
Conversion rate optimization is an iterative process, there is always something to try and improve. In addition, the preferences of our target group also change with the trends of the time – a real “end” of optimization is therefore rather unlikely. Even though the topic is huge and the optimization possibilities almost infinite, it is worthwhile to approach the process strategically and thoughtfully. Supported by tangible user data (see also our article on the Golden Record ), the appropriate levers for the CRO can be found quickly.