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Thanks for coming back to get Part 2 of this blog post on conversion rate optimization (CRO).  We left off talking about how, like all digital marketing efforts, to successfully increase your conversion rates you have to develop a plan.  There are 4 main parts to a conversion plan:

  1. Identify what your goals are for conversions
  2. Develop a baseline
  3. Setup a way to measure your results
  4. Develop a testing procedure for improvement
  5. Evaluate and improve

In this post, we’re going to look at each of these 4 components to a conversion rate optimization plan and talk about how to get started.

Goals

Before you start working on improving your conversions, you have to know where you’re going.  Goals for conversion typically focus on the final step in the buying process.  Things like more contact us forms filled out, or more product sales trough an online store.  But what about businesses that have a more complex sell cycle.  Businesses like auto dealerships or B2B companies.  These business environments have customers that take an amount of time to make their decision.  They educate themselves on the products, the companies, and even the solutions that they are committing to.  In these scenarios, there are a number of conversions that have to happen before the customer is ready to fill out the contact us form or to put a product into a shopping cart and pay for it.  And, if you’re not focusing on the conversion steps that have to take place before they commit to a purchase, they will just leave.

For complex sales, conversion goals will focus on getting the prospect to engage in the areas of the website that will answer the questions that they have before they make a decision.  As an example, let’s say that you sell a widget on your website that solves a problem for manufacturers but you know that before anyone buys one of your widgets you have to educate them on how the widget works, the savings that they will get when they install your widget, and what size widget will be right for them.

In this scenario, your conversion goals should be activities like:

All of these activities demonstrate people that are qualifying themselves as they get the answers to their purchase decision.  Your goals should then focus on these activities.

Baseline

Everything about conversion rate optimization (CRO) is focused on growing but before you can identify growth you have to know where you started from.  Now, chances are that you probably haven’t setup your website for all of the conversion points, so start your baseline with what you have.  If you have Google Analytics installed on your site, you’ll be able to get an amazing amount of information from there.

Setup Measurements

As I mentioned earlier, Google Analytics (GA) is a great start for measuring conversions.  If you don’t have it installed on your site, get it installed as soon as you can.  Their basic package is free and the installation can be handled by virtually anyone that has some web programming experience.

Within GA there are some reports that you will want to make sure that you get setup:

Test, Test, & Test

Once you commit to CRO you’ll find that it can be a bit addictive.  If you go from a 3% conversion to a 5% conversion, you’re going to want to get to a 10% conversion.  The best way to continue increasing your conversion rates is to test different scenarios.

We’ve all heard about the mythical company that changed their old gray submit button to green and saw a 3,000% increase in conversions.  Don’t be disappointed when this doesn’t happen to you.  Conversion rate optimization is more complicated that this.

Figure out a scenario for what you think would impact your customer and then make that change.  Once the change is made, measure the results, compare the results to what you were doing and compare the difference.  This is why establishing a baseline is so important.  If you don’t have a baseline set, you won’t know if you’re improving.

Here are some quick and easy things to get started testing:

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