In sports, a “conversion” is a goal, and in website management, it’s much the same thing. Optimizing conversions simply means getting as many of your visitors as possible to do what you’d like. Conversions can look like many things: Viewing a video, submitting a form, downloading a PDF, adding an app, or spending a certain amount of time on the site. Conversion optimization connects your creative efforts and key performance indicators (KPIs), keeping you focused on the end goal: ROI.
Imagine you are a newly diagnosed patient. Anxious, you go online. Your search results include an ad for a medication, which brings you to the branded site. You click around, hoping to learn more, but it’s hard to navigate. You see a coupon, but that isn’t helpful because you haven’t been prescribed the drug. You eventually find a doctor discussion guide, but to download it, you’re required to enter personal information. You leave, uncomfortable, annoyed—and still bewildered.
The paid ad didn’t take you to the right landing page. The site’s navigation didn’t help you find what you needed. The site’s organization and the form didn’t make you feel comfortable. And you might not have been ready for branded information yet anyway. These are some of the errors conversion optimization fixes.
To optimize conversion, follow the five Cs (Figure 1):
1. Channel: Where are visitors coming from? What’s being said there?
2. Content: Does what’s on the website match the expectation set by the channels? Is the content right for the visitors’ current mindset?
3. Call-Out: Are the call-outs in the right places, with the right information, for what visitors will want?
4. Conversion: Are we asking for the right action? Will it make sense to different visitors? Does everything work smoothly?
5. Check-In: How is the effectiveness of the site tracked and tested? Can the measurement be improved?
There are two parts to conversion optimization:
- First, we analyze how visitors get to the site, where they enter and what they do there. We learn their paths to the conversion—or to leaving without conversion. We analyze how well call-outs move the visitor toward the right conversion. This lets us improve visitor paths.
- Next, we test and analyze how the landing pages guide users and how forms are completed or where they are abandoned. We then improve both pages and forms and determine what to monitor and test.
When improving your site, conversion optimization isn’t as automatic as a new design or fresh content, but it’s what makes those activities effective. Conversion optimization makes the difference between getting a visitor and getting a customer—and isn’t that the whole point of your website?