Free Conversion Rate Optimization Guide

08/09/2019 4 min read Written by Corie Stark

Want to get more leads but don’t know where to start? Try looking at the most obvious place: your website. Your team can quickly gather more leads from your existing traffic through an important concept known as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

CRO is the process of examining the current elements of your site that drive traffic and updating them to work more efficiently. Just because that one CTA isn’t performing to your standards doesn’t mean you give. With CRO, you can redesign and modify certain aspects of your webpages to increase the chances your site visitors will convert. Here’s what you need to know to conduct your CRO audit.

Friendly reminder: know your audience. Before diving into your CRO audit, revisit your buyer personas. Who you’re speaking to through your site and content should drive everything you do as a marketer. Familiarizing yourself with target audiences will help make your CRO investigation smoother overall.

How to Conduct Your CRO Audit

After you’ve taken the time to understand (or even update, if necessary), your buyer personas, starting your audit should be simpler. You can get the data you need to fuel your CRO efforts by installing various marketing tools such as:

  • Hotjar – This tool utilizes heatmaps to reveal traffic patterns on your website. For example, you can see where your visitors do or don’t click the most and where they drop off.
  • Google Analytics – This well-known resource provides insights like time on page, bounce and exit rates, and referral sources. Through these analytics, you can get a sense of how visitors reach your website and what they do once they’re there.
  • HubSpot – HubSpot allows you to see how your users interact with your website and content. Information on your most popular blogs, landing pages, CTAs, forms, and more are all available within your portal.

If you have a large website and feel overwhelmed at the possibility of reviewing every single page, try focusing on your highest-impact pages. Generally, we suggest closely examining your homepage, highest-performing webpages (including landing pages), and your blog posts.

Your homepage, in particular, is an ideal candidate for a CRO audit, because it’s the first impression of your company and generally gets the most traffic. A review here can include changing the placement of links, updating CTAs, adding next steps along the buyers’ journey, and changing the copy on content blocks. You should also look at these aspects for other well-performing webpages.

Because your blog houses educational content about your services, looking at what you can optimize here can be highly effective here as well. This can include adding CTAs throughout an article, linking back to other helpful blogs, or inviting readers to learn more about a topic by submitting their email address in exchange for an eBook or whitepaper.

What to Look For

While we’ve briefly mentioned some crucial things to look at during a CRO audit, there are numerous other significant pieces to study. To reiterate, you can examine these pieces for several different pages of your site, not just your homepage and blog. These elements include:

  • Headline position or copy
  • CTAs
  • Smart content, like CTAs and content blocks
  • Backlink and anchor link strategies
  • Navigation
  • User experience (increasing site speed, creating a responsive design)
  • Video content
  • Copy updates (including formatting changes)
  • Design recommendations
  • Form question/copy updates

Putting It Together

Once you know what to look for and where to find it (i.e., Hotjar, Google Analytics, HubSpot), you can put the pieces of the puzzle together to create recommendations for improvement. For instance, consider this possible scenario:

Heatmap data shows that the traffic of your website is not scrolling below the first set of buttons you’ve created on your homepage. Your homepage also has a high bounce rate. But, of the traffic that navigates to your footer, almost 80% of it is clicking on your social icons. Based on this, you could move these icons to the top of your homepage and include some visual indicator that you have more valuable information near the bottom of your homepage.

Still unsure of the value of a CRO audit? Here’s another example:

Your users end up on one of your landing pages that contains your best premium content offer. However, their time spent on this page is low, and the exit rate is high because the copy on this page is overly wordy. To make it more effective, use bullets with short sentences so your visitors can quickly understand what they’re getting in exchange for their contact information.

Additional CRO Opportunities

Other essential strategies and tactics from your overall inbound marketing strategy can support your CRO audit. For instance, if you have no general forms strategy, then it’s more challenging to optimize what information you hope to gather through your forms. Here’s how you could tackle an overall forms strategy to supplement your CRO audit:

Consolidate your forms into Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stage forms to your segmentation. This would enable you to track where people are in the buyer’s journey, do form-specific analysis, create appropriate lead nurture campaigns, and test tactics to further engage returning visitors.

Other additional opportunities to help your conversion rate, other than your forms strategy, include:

  • Lifecycle stage strategy
  • Lead nurture strategy
  • A/B or variation testing

Start Your Audit

At Lynton, we’ve performed several CRO audits for clients across various business verticals. Together, we can uncover the areas of your website and inbound strategy that you can optimize to help drive and convert leads for your company. Get started by contacting us today. 

By: Corie Stark

After spending many years as a sports journalist, Corie switched to marketing in 2013. Her love of writing, talking to people, and keeping up with the industry enables her to use her skills for anything from social media to long-form blogging. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking with her dogs and making her cats chase the ever elusive red dot.

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