A website doesn't merely serve as a virtual "shop window" for a small business, it is one of the most important communication channels you have with customers.
You can make sure that every single part of the site design is working hard for your business through Conversion Rate Optimisation. This means optimising the performance of a customer journey on the site, therefore maximising the likelihood of customers performing actions, or "conversions", which could boost your sales, sign-ups or leads.
Here is what you need to know about Conversion Rate Optimisation and how it can be applied to your small business website.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) helps businesses with an online presence to understand their customers' behaviour better, which can be effective in lowering customer acquisition costs, boosting profits, and expanding customer base. CRO evaluates existing traffic and offers methods to optimise this traffic, allowing you to make the most of visitors you already have.
Different types of businesses can benefit from CRO, whether the website is an e-commerce shopfront or a portfolio for prospective clients.
To introduce CRO tactics to your website, you'll need to come up with a hypothesis to test. For example, a new version of a product page with a more prominent "buy now" button – that can be tested against the old version. By comparing the conversions of these call-to-actions through A/B testing, you can determine which drives better results for your site.
Where can CRO be used?
Conversion Rate Optimisation can range from simplistic changes, such as ensuring homepages have clear signs, to adding product or service pages, or running a blog to add customer engagement. Read on for some CRO techniques you can introduce to supercharge your business' website.
Service and product pages
If you’re an e-commerce website, having product descriptions on your pages are key. The same rule applies for services-based websites, too – your visitors should always be clear about what value that they will get from your offering. Any discounts or special offers should also be clear.
Making small tweaks to the visual journey can go a long way: just by making changes to headlines and navigation on their landing pages, weather.com increased its subscription conversion by 225%.
Chatbots are considered crucial to online customer service, becoming one of the top three customer service communication channels in the world. The AI can help customers navigate a website and reach their end goal, whether that be purchasing a product, requesting a quote or receiving support.
Chatbots can even be programmed to take actions depending on customer behaviour, whether that be offering help to a customer once they become inactive on your site, or highlighting pages if a customer is getting lost.
This is the same as a basket reminder on e-commerce websites. The principle is the same for lead generation purposes: if a visitor has dwelled on a page for a while or clicked away without submitting, have a pop-up message appear that offers help or to asks for feedback.
It sounds simple, but if you’re looking for leads, prospective customers and clients need to know how to easily reach you. Look into testing different variations of phone number placements, font colours, and sizes across your website to make sure they can quickly and easily spot the best way to get in touch. Tools such as Optimizely and the free Google Optimise can get you started with A/B testing for this.
With the average consumer in the UK spending roughly 3.5 hours a day looking at smartphones, mobile devices is an important layer for CRO. You can make your site "stickier" (more enticing) to your mobile visitors by optimising page loading times. Google offers free services to check page loading times and the mobile suitability of your website pages.
Heat mapping, which highlights the parts of your website that receives the most attention, can also help you understand how customers navigate your site and the best changes to make. Full-service companies such as Hotjar and Crazy Egg offer free trials before you decide to upgrade to a premium package, which includes data collection and analysis, along with A/B testing tools.
When you're ready to further invest into your website using a paid CRO service, you should consider an American Express® Business Gold Card. You get 54 days before payment is due¹, allowing you to hold onto your cash for longer and spend it on other parts of the business. You can also earn Membership Rewards® points on your spending, and can use those points to pay off bills or purchase vouchers from our retail partners. Find out more here.
- The maximum amount of time for a payment period on purchases is up to 54 days and is obtained only if you spend on the first day of the new statement period and repay the balance in full on the due date. The American Express Business Gold Card has an annual fee of £175 (£0 in first year).
- Membership Rewards points are earned on every £1 spent and charged, per transaction. Terms and conditions apply. Enrolment is required.