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The importance of CRO in digital marketing

So, you’ve created a product everybody will crave.  Better yet, you’ve developed an idea that will change the world and everyone in it.  Whatever your arena might be, you’ve developed a plan for online action, and your website has gone live.  Terrific!  Celebrate!

But keep it brief.  For now the hard part begins — getting people to take action.

The digital space is like the world around us — there are those who browse and those who buy.  The trick to succeeding is the reduction of window-shopping.  In digital terms, this means having a higher percentage of site visitors actually perform a desired action.  This could mean buying a product, subscribing to a service, completing a form — you name it.  The process of improving such percentages is called conversion rate optimization (CRO), and it’s critical to digital marketing for several reasons.

Meat and Potatoes

Simply put, CRO: 

  • Increases efficiency, meaning you needn’t worry about incurring costs in search of increased traffic.  You want quality, not quantity.
  • Leads to an increased percentage of word-of-mouth advertising by those visitors  in the know. 
  • Reduces resources wasted on visitors who have no interest in using your service or, worse yet, no realistic ability to do so (underage voters, visitors lacking disposable income, et al.).
  • Creates a higher percentage of returning action-takers.  Such visitors require no further advertising costs and provide long-term reliability.

Conversion rate optimization is especially important now.  Why?  Internet users have developed a discerning eye in order to wade through a watered-down Web, and they tend to spend less time browsing  any particular site than they have in the past.  Make your site the place they want to be.

Tools of the Trade

So, how do you convert site visits into quantifiable desired action?  Well, the possibilities are many.  You could, for instance, market your website toward a certain type of user, thus weeding out a high percentage of nonperformers in the initial stages.  

Alternatively, you could improve the design of your site to make it more user-friendly.  The good news is, you don’t necessarily need to do a complete overhaul.  Indeed, such action might lead to your throwing out the baby with the bathwater.   Keep the beneficial aspects of your site!  Simply tweaking those areas with the lowest CRO scores can make a healthy difference interms of your success.  If you do feel the need for a fresh start, consider A/B testing.  This might sound intimidating, but it simply means comparing new website designs either with the original or with each other and then choosing the best option. 

Brick-and-mortar solutions could also work for you here.  After all, people are people whether they’re using a mouse or a pen.  As an example, simple focus groups can garner terrific results.  

The Long and the Short of It

Conversion rate optimization reduces costs and increases desired results.  And remember, your site visitors themselves are an important CRO asset.  Gaining feedback from satisfied users will help ensure many more smiling faces in the future — including yours!

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