Conversion Optimization, also known as conversion rate optimization or CRO, is the optimization of your website/online sales funnel in order to increase conversion (turning visitors into clients). It has nothing to do with getting traffic to your website—instead, it is the art of using that website to increase sales.
The “sales funnel” concept is a simple one: you get visitors to your website/landing page from everywhere—SEO, social media, blog content, etc. Every one of those visitors can become a client. Your website or landing page contains content, images, videos, and information that will turn the visitor into a paying customer.
CRO is the optimization of your content so that it increases the chance of someone becoming a customer (conversion). CRO is often done by A/B testing or split testing: creating two similar versions of a landing page and testing them to determine which is more effective. You end up using the variant that has the highest conversion rate (clicks, sign-ups, downloads, sales, etc.). But you don’t stop there! You continue to create new and improved versions of your landing page to continue to optimize your conversion. Over time, you end up with a highly efficient sales funnel that will drive people to take action: join your mailing list, buy your product, contact you, and so on.
The good news is that you may only need to make minor changes to your website’s content, layout, structure, or presentation. Even small tweaks in theme, a few minimal word changes, or the addition or deletion of a video can make all the difference. The small changes can have a visible effect on the conversion of those visitors.
It’s vital for you to continually be looking for ways to do things better, especially in terms of your sales funnel. You want to increase your conversion rate as much as possible. You may not be able to drastically increase the number of visitors you get to your website, but you can ensure that MORE of those visitors are taking action once they’re on your site. In the long run, CRO can help you to do more even if you don’t have millions of unique visitors to your website every month.
Instead of investing in advertisements to encourage people to buy, you can drive them to your website. Once there, your content will do the work of converting them into customers. It’s a “soft sell” method that works far more efficiently than direct advertising!
Since 2010, the world of internet marketing has exploded. A significant number of companies and small businesses have changed their marketing approach and relied entirely upon social media for their advertising and outreach. 2017 is one of the best years for social media marketing yet, but are you using social media the right way?
In the last few years, paid advertising has been the key to expanding your reach and putting your content in front of more eyeballs. Paid advertising is still a highly effective option in 2017—you may want to invest money into highly visual Facebook ads and target customers on YouTube with smart video advertisements. However, for more effective social media marketing, you need to focus on your message.
People often overlook or skip past the “Sponsored” posts on Facebook, or click away from videos that are too ad-heavy on YouTube. The Twitter or Instagram posts with too many marketing hashtags will annoy people if there is nothing else useful included. Instead of spending your money on blasting your content over social media, focus on making that content higher quality.
Remember: social media is about ENGAGEMENT. The more people you get to join in your conversation, the more reach and influence you have. Your content should ask questions, provide answers and solutions, or present food for thought in a way that your audience will respond to. Even something as simple as a poll to get people’s opinions can be a highly effective way to get your followers to click or share your content.
The majority of your investment should go toward producing high-quality content: articles, blog posts, images, and videos people will WANT to check out. If they find it interesting, they’re much more likely to share it. That word of mouth is going to lead to a far better reach than anything you could achieve through paid advertising.
Yes, you will want to continue setting aside a portion of your advertising and marketing budget to take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube’s paid options. They are a sound investment that are very likely to return good ROI (Return on Investment). However, make sure that the content you’re promoting is of the highest quality and has a good chance of engaging those who see it. Eventually, you may find that you don’t need to spend as much money on advertising because your organic reach is sufficient to spread your message far and wide.
Creating quality content takes A LOT of hard work! Whether you hire a copywriter or do all the work yourself, it’s still an investment to create content to post to your website, blog, or social media platforms. Even harder is creating quality content that is unique, interesting, and hits the right marketing notes without being too “pushy” or “salesy”.
Here’s one tool a lot of people don’t tap into crowdsourcing. Instead of hiring out, you can use your readers to generate content to share. Instead of using your own one-way content, user-generated content encourages a two-way discussion that helps readers to feel more engaged with your brand. That engagement is what will lead to much better customer loyalty in the long run.
To encourage your users to create content:
Offer an incentive
Establish clear guidelines that are easy to follow
Be appreciative of anyone who produces content for you
Encourage regular contributions
Give your members independence
It takes time to get that user-generated content flowing in, but once you have it, you’ll find it’s highly effective for building a community.
Best of all, the user-generated content is marketing material that will appeal to other readers in a way that you never could. Think about it: why do so many companies use testimonials on their products or services? Instead of saying “Our product is this”, they use real-life people saying, “I love this product for X reasons!” Users are more likely to take the word of fellow users than that of the manufacturers trying to sell the product. (Why else do you think product reviews are prized so highly?)
The user-generated content will do the marketing for you. After all, it will show other users that you have a community that is engaged and interacting. Every piece of user-generated content—be it fan art, memes, photo collections, articles, or social media posts—showcases your product or service, but without your needing to put your spin on it. It’s a way of subtly marketing, one that doesn’t involve you.
The more you can encourage your users to generate content, the better. You should include it in your monthly marketing plans and find ways to promote the production of this content by your users. Have a “standing offer” that provides a discount or special deal every time your users produce something of value for you. Over time, you’ll find that it can be one of the best ways to generate quality content that appeals to a broader range of people—all without your needing to spend a single cent!