Everyone wants higher conversion rates on their websites. However, determining what you need to do to convert better isn't always a walk in the park.
In some cases, an easy fix like adding customer reviews to your site or tweaking some copy can do the trick. In others, however, conversion rate optimization requires more time and effort.
If you can’t seem to convert, or if quick fixes don’t have the effects you hoped for, then these five steps may help take your conversion rate to the next level. Although this method requires more patience than the quick and easy tricks, it'll eventually lead to more significant results by pushing you to dig deep and do the work.
Step 1: Research Your Site
Having an understanding of your site, your goals, and your customers is the first step in optimizing your conversion rates. Knowing this information will simplify every other step in conversion rate optimization.
Even if you've been working on your site for years, taking a step back to look at it from a higher level can provide a lot of valuable insight—most of which you may have missed from your day-to-day work.
Take this for example: Let's say you want to work on organic click-through rate optimization. In this stage, you should observe your organic traffic and try to understand what kinds of keywords and queries drive users to your site. If you have tons of organic traffic but users aren't completing any actions on your site, you won't see many conversions.
Step 2: Analyze What Works
Before you get into testing or making changes, you will want to carefully analyze your site to determine which components are converting well and which need to be optimized. Observe both quantitative and qualitative data to figure out which areas of your site might need some extra attention.
For instance, you might see an influx of new users on your site's homepage; however, you also discover that it has a relatively high bounce rate:
You'll want to take note of that data so you can come up with a strategy to address this performance issue.
During this process, you might discover multiple areas of your site that didn't perform as well as you’d expected. Instead of trying to work on all of them at once, set them aside and focus on testing one area at a time. After all, if you start testing everything simultaneously, it'll be harder to tell which tests worked and which ones did not.
Step 3: Planning a Test
Once you've decided on one area to focus on, begin planning what tests you can conduct and see what effects they may have on your conversion rate. Some of these tests might include experimenting with some new call-to-actions, changing the design, or completely redesigning a page.
In the planning stage, set the parameters for your test and determine what exact results you'd like to see. For example, let’s say you’re testing CTA’s that increase conversions. Record your current conversion rate and determine the scores you consider successful before you begin testing.
If you're collaborating with someone in the course of testing, involve them in this planning round as well. That way, both of you go into the test with clear expectations.
Step 4: Testing for Conversion Rate Optimization
It’s finally time to start testing. Depending on the kind of test you run, this step may look different.
For design tests, make sure you are viewing your site in a variety of different browsers. That way, you can see if the new design works and looks right in all of them.
For tests involving organic SEO, you may have to budget more time before you're able to notice results. Depending on your site’s ranking and domain authority, it could take weeks, or even months, before you see a significant boost from a new SEO test.
Most importantly, be patient! Don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately see an increase in conversion rates.
Step 5: Learning from the Results
When your test ends, make sure you allot some time to examine the results and learn from them.
If your hypothesis was correct and your test worked, congratulations on your successful conversion rate optimization! Apply what you’ve learned to other areas of your site and see if you can get even more conversions.
If your test doesn’t successfully result in higher conversion rates, you can still discover new insights about your site—even in a failure. With these insights, you can formulate a new strategy to test.
Moz recommends continually testing new conversion strategies to get the best rates. By maintaining and updating your strategies, you gain a deeper understanding of what really makes your site work.