6 Ways to Cure Your CRO Woes Conversion Rate Optimization is a matter of doing the basics consistently and very well.

By Ehsan Jahandarpour

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Hiroki Watanabe | Getty Images

This year, the majority of reports have highlighted the fact that conversion rate optimization (CRO) can significantly increase revenue. However, despite implementing different optimization strategies, many entrepreneurs still struggle to achieve the optimum results.

The most common misinterpretation about conversion rate optimization is that you have to drive every lead to your landing page, and then offer visitors something intriguing that encourages them to opt-in. Well, it seems promising on paper, but it falls short in reality.

The majority of marketers tend to apply a variety of landing page optimization strategies day in and day out, hoping to acquire more customers. While most CRO strategies are proven to produce great results for different businesses with certain business models, copying those strategies thoughtlessly doesn't necessarily churn out positive outcomes.

Related: Conversion Rate Optimization: From a Luxury to a Necessity in 2016

The truth is, your CRO initiative will fail if you overlook the importance of the customer journey optimization (CJO) strategy. If you are wondering what CJO actually is, I think it's best explained in a six-step framework -- Research, Engineer, Reach, Educate, Convert, Engage. You can adopt the techniques right away, and enhance your CRO strategies to boost your conversion rate.

1. Research.

The most undermined element of failed CRO strategies is the visitor's personality. Rather shockingly, many marketers focus on optimizing call to action buttons, changing the layouts and modifying title tags without paying close attention to the user's persona. And they do it too early.

Best practice shows that you must first perform a thorough research and outline your user's desires, attitude and pain, and then work to understand what they value in their lives. At this point, there is a high probability that you may discover new customer segments that you have never thought of before.

One of the greatest tools you can use to anticipate your customer's persona is empathy map. You can assemble a small team and use empathy map to brainstorm and discover more about your customer's personality. As soon as you have your results, you should create different sections and categorize your customers into different groups -- which contain people with similar demographic data and need.

2. Engineer.

As soon as you've defined your customer segment, engineering your website for higher conversion should be your first priority. Regardless of the look and feel of your landing pages, you must concentrate on optimizing the essential elements that attract customers to take action to benefit your business.

You can spend time and money designing a glamorous website, but take note -- visitors make their decision in less than six seconds to whether explore your website for more information or bounce back. Leaving your website is the last action you want your visitors to take.

Using split testing software can help you design unique landing pages for each customer group. Always keep in mind that your research results might have some inaccuracies, so you must constantly optimize your pages based on visitor interactions. The minimum time you should run your split test is one month. Analyzing visitor's behavior helps you make informed decisions about the changes you have to make. In fact, enhancing your conversion rate optimization strategy based on proven facts empowers you to provide a meaningful customer experience that can result in higher growth rates.

Related: 9 Little-Known Tricks About Conversion Rate Optimization

3. Reach.

There are plenty of efficient methods such as white hat link building, forum marketing and paid advertisement campaigns to reach out to your prospective customers. Whatever strategy you choose to implement; you must make sure that your message is clearly understood.

If you are running an advertisement campaign on social media or search engines like Google, your titles should be crafted to serve the right customer groups. General rule of thumb -- don't copy your competitor's ads. If you are not sure whether your ads are performing well, you can use Google Analytics to conduct a free A/B testing experiment. With this information, you may decide to pause a few ads or modify them to achieve a better conversion rate.

On the other note, if you are attracting visitors to your website through backlinks on a partner's website, you can improve your SEO ranking as well by using related anchor texts for your back links. Remember, different customers have different requirements, so you should not lead every single visitor to the same landing page.

4. Educate.

Educating your customers should be part and parcels of your CRO strategy because it helps you kill two birds with one stone. Using content marketing strategies, you can engage your customers with your free educational content that results in reduction of your bounce rate, and an increase in your brand awareness.

Your conversion rate will rise when you lead users to informative, step-by-step guides that explain how they can benefit from your product. Keep in mind that it is essential not to make a sales pitch in any of these educational materials. Let your prospects enjoy the free ride.

If you are not sure what educational materials you should craft, you can either follow the market trends or simply ask your users. Prompting your existing customers to fill a short survey through email is very cost-efficient and can give you great ideas to start with.

5. Convert.

When it comes to conversion, following the above steps gives you piece of mind about your customer's next course of action. In fact, you have already guided them through your conversion funnel the moment you reached out to them, and you made it very easy for them to make a purchase or opt-in for your offer.

The most efficient way to sell your product is not to push, but to present your value proposition. In fact, the best sales pitch is not to sell; just provide your visitors with great options and leave it to them to choose. If you have done a good job promoting your value proposition, you will see a hike in your conversion rate.

Related: The Science Behind High-Converting Websites

6. Engage.

The story has not reached its end yet. In fact, a new cycle starts the moment your customer paid for your offer. A research by Ipsos highlights that retaining customers costs five time less that acquiring a new one.

Depending on your customer segment, you may use social media or email marketing strategies to connect with customers on a regular basis. Strategies like blogging does not cost you a penny, but it can improve your engagement strategy and help you connect with your customer's better.

A conversion rate optimization strategy that does not take this step into account is bound to fail. That's why engaging with your existing customers plays a great deal in your business continuity and improving customer loyalty.
Ehsan Jahandarpour

Growth hacking Influencer and Start-up Coach

Ehsan Jahandarpour is a startup coach and growth hacker. He helps companies like Microsoft, PETRONAS, and BBDO grow their business. 

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