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Conversion Rate Optimization: From a Luxury to a Necessity in 2016 CRO is the newest 'it' tool for marketers globally. Is it on your radar yet?

By Chris Lucas

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Izabela Habur | Getty Images

A universal business message spanning all industries is their desire for website visitors to take action. It doesn't matter how that action manifests: The more visitors that sign up for a trial, register for a campus tour or make a donation, the better.

Related: 7 Tips to Improve Your Site's Conversion Rate -- Fast

However, many marketers are failing to take the steps necessary to promote the desired action.

Here is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes into play. CRO is the newest "it" tool for marketers globally. It entails the practice of learning what resonates with your target audience and then tweaking your web pages to do what you've learned is best to attract and engage that audience.

Interested? You can quickly increase your chances of turning your visitors into customers using these simple tools and spending as little as one hour a day.

Conversion rate optimization is a marketing game-changer. But in 2015, only 39 percent of marketers considered CRO a priority. That's not smart: Instead, marketers this year would be wise to invest more time and money into optimization efforts. Our latest research report, "The State of Lead Capture in 2016, "revealed three undeniable reasons why:

1. Websites are the quality lead capture front-runner.

Organic website traffic topped our list as the source providing the highest-quality leads. This means that your company website is likely attracting a lot of the right people through search engine optimization and other efforts. But those efforts are going to waste if your site isn't convincing visitors to submit a form for more information.

With almost a quarter (23 percent) of the best leads coming from a business' website, optimizing its content will boost that percentage even more.

Investing in CRO helps you ramp up your lead capture and lead conversion strategies. Use A/B testing tools to pinpoint the flaws in your messaging or design that are sending your potential customers out the door. Update your landing page copy to more accurately align with your paid ads so that those drawn to your page aren't confused when they get there.

Related: Increase Your Conversion Rates With These 7 Landing Page Must-Haves

2. With poorly optimized landing pages, you can kiss your ROI goals goodbye.

When marketers fail to meet their return on investment (ROI) goals, there's a better-than-average chance that a poorly optimized landing page is to blame. Nearly 21 percent of our respondents indicated their landing pages need to be better optimized.

The question: So what's the best way to construct the perfect landing page?

The answer: Find out by first evaluating your web page copy, your calls to action and your form placement through conversion rate optimization. CRO will help you fix your low-converting landing pages, boost your lead capture, identify problems you didn't know existed and ultimately prove your ROI on the marketing campaigns that are linked to those landing pages.

The proof: Of the marketers we surveyed, 100 percent of those who use landing page conversion rates to prove ROI reported that they could confidently attribute the returns to specific touch points with their brands.

3. Marketers' top goal: Achieve a higher conversion rate.

Yes, they want better quality leads. Yes, they want a greater volume of leads. Yes, they want more sales. But one ratio all marketers treasure is their conversion rate. Forty percent of our survey respondents indicated higher conversion rates as a top goal for paid campaigns.

Make 2016 the year that your conversion rate jumps. Start by looking at the main point of conversion: your online form. There a several conversion-crucial form elements you can tweak to quickly increase submissions.

Try using different copy on your submit button, shortening your form, replacing header or section images or moving your form to a new spot on the web page (or to a new page!). You'll be surprised what a difference it makes.

This is the time to implement CRO.

If you can afford to do only new one thing this year to enhance your marketing, make it conversion rate optimization. This investment can help you reach your conversion rate goals as well as goals related to lead quality, lead volume and sales.

Related: 39 Quick Ways to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate

Optimized web pages target the right audience, attract high-quality prospects, boost leads and help convert those leads into customers. CRO amounts to "the easy tweaks that make a big difference."

Chris Lucas

Vice President of Marketing for Formstack

Chris Lucas is the vice president of marketing for Formstack. He is passionate about setting the vision for Formstack’s marketing and sales departments, as well as discovering new ways to drive web traffic and leads. 

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