Conversion Rate Optimization: How to Get It Right

November 10, 2016 by Nilanjana Dey

On Day 2 of INBOUND16, Gabriel Wahhab led an interesting session on demystifying conversion rate optimization (CRO), in the context of inbound marketing. And I find the title apt, because when you do not have concrete steps to implement, CRO might very well feel like the mystical arts. You know it happens, you’ve seen it happen, but it just doesn’t happen for you.

So Gabe Wahhab started off by clarifying what CRO ‘is not’. It is not A/B tests and guests posts implemented as standalone strategies. And it is definitely not going by the opinion of the highest paid person.

So what exactly is CRO?

What is CRO? CRO is a structured approach to improving website performance. @gabewahhab #INBOUND16

— Colin Haas (@colinmhaas) November 9, 2016

Gabe proposes a heuristic framework that focuses on elements that determine the users’ psychological engagement with a website. Testing and getting these elements right is what boosts conversion rates.

CRO for low traffic sites with @gabewahhab – nice slide on heuristics #INBOUND16

— Phil Vallender (@PhilVallender) November 9, 2016

Speaking further about these elements, he emphasized the need for clarity in websites. It could be clarity about the message of your site, or the exact value proposition you offer. It could also be clarity about the user experience, how easy or difficult it is for users to interact with and navigate your site.

Lack of clarity around user experience pushes searcher away from your site @gabewahhab #B2B #INBOUND16 #CRO

— Sarah (Murphy) Valvanis (@SarahLucyMurphy) November 9, 2016

You also need clarity on your CTAs. It’s not enough to just have a call to action. It has to clearly tell your users what action you want them to perform. And then there is clarity about the tests you choose to run. Random tests with no clear strategy will hardly give you any actionable data.

Great #CRO breakout with @gabewahhab at #INBOUND16 — nice actionable tips for low-traffic sites.

— Magneti (@MagnetiAgency) November 9, 2016

Now, there’s always a long list of conversion rate optimization strategies. But there is not always time to do all of that. You, or your client, might be looking for strategies that need less time to roll out, but have significant ROI.

Gabe shared a list of CRO strategies ranked according to how critical they are for your site, ease of implementation, and how much of a boost they would give your conversion rates.

When a business owner is breathing down your neck for results, this one could come in handy.

So after all the tips and tricks on conversion rate optimization, what sort of improved performance should you expect?

Gabe does share some data on what you can expect your conversion rates to be. But as Emily points out, and rightly so, these would vary across industries and business types.

Be that as it may, this session is still a good starting point for improving conversion rates for low traffic websites. It tells you what CRO is and what to do to get some good numbers.

Now all you need to do is go ahead and implement them, like Aaron here.

So, here’s wishing you some great conversion rates!
And yes, be sure to check out recaps of the keynotes, spotlights and other cool sessions at INBOUND16 on our INBOUND16 coverage page.