The top 8 benefits of conversion rate optimisation
I have gone into detail around what conversion rate optimisation is and how to develop a strategic approach towards CRO, but once you have implemented a CRO strategy, the benefits go beyond just getting more people to complete a specific action on your website.
Increase profits (not just revenue)
As conversion rate optimisation is strictly focused on maximising the performance of your current website or app, there are no additional fixed costs to your business or increase in marketing budget required.
So while your variable costs, such as the cost of producing and shipping products go up in total (because you are selling more), your fixed costs like staff salaries, office rent and marketing budget stay the same.
This means your profit increases disproportionately. The graph to the right shows an example of how doubling your conversion rate on-page actually increases profits by 4x because of the stagnant fixed costs.
Maximise marketing spend
When measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, whether they are traditional offline media like television, print or direct mail, or online like Google Adwords, social media or email, the ultimate objective is generally conversions of some sort. There are other measures of how well a campaign is performing like engagement rate, click-through-rate (CTR) and so on, but at the end of the day, the goal of most campaigns is to get the customer to buy.
If your marketing is doing well in the engagement and CTR metrics but not producing as many conversions as expected, this can reflect poorly in your marketing performance. Performing CRO makes the most of the traffic your marketing is sending to your website or application and turns a higher percentage from visitors into paying customers.
This allows you to effectively review the marketing campaign to see which channels, creative and messaging are performing the best and driving the right type of traffic because you know the site is converting as it should.
Additionally, the learnings gathered in the CRO process can feed back into the optimisation of the marketing campaigns. Which leads us to…
Understand customers better
A huge part of conversion rate optimisation is gathering information on customers. This information ranges from demographic data, their behaviours on your site, channels of choice and attitudes and behavioural patterns in general.
While this is of huge benefit for the CRO process, the broader impact is that you will develop a clearer picture of who your customers really are and what they are trying to achieve.
The benefits of clearly understanding your customer and what they are trying to achieve spread far beyond CRO into marketing, customer service, product development and just about every aspect of your business.
If you are aiming to be a customer-centric business, which we all should be, then knowing your customers is the biggest asset you can have.
Improve brand equity
Conversion rate optimisation means that customers have a more enjoyable and more seamless experience with your brand. When they go to your website they are able to achieve what they wanted to quickly and easily.
From a practical perspective, brand equity is built from businesses solving a customers problem and providing an amazing experience while doing it. There are other elements like developing brand awareness and creating a brand identity, but for the most part, it comes back to the customer’s experience with the brand.
Conversion rate optimisation is focused, more than anything, on improving the customer experience and helping them achieve their goals and solve their problems. This directly translates into how you are perceived more broadly with positive customer reviews, testimonials and improved Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
Decisions are based on data
While the ideas and test hypotheses are developed using a combination of insights and subjective opinions, the outcomes of the tests themselves are completely independent and objective. By testing all ideas with real customers it ensures that the results truly reflect their behaviours and actions, whether the hypothesis is proven correct or not.
Data is also the great equaliser in terms of a decision-making hierarchy. If you are faced with a particularly opinionated manager or executive who thinks that they know whats best for the customer or company and make changes accordingly, you can reply with “let’s test it”. By running the idea through a testing process it will either be proven correct and in that case a win for the customer and business, or incorrect, which will provide you with hard data which is irrefutable for the opinionated manager.
Additionally, whether you are in the marketing or digital team at your organisation, the process of conversion rate optimisation, and in turn data-driven decision making takes the pressure off you as an individual. Changes are rationalised and tested so there will never be any huge mistake that is one individual’s fault as everything is backed by data.
Minimise development time and cost
The process of testing website changes before implementation not only gives you a clearer understanding of what the impact will be but also how much work will need to be done from a development perspective. This allows you to prioritise the most impactful changes relative to their ease of implementation.
CRO and also serves to weed out the changes that have a negative impact on the website or app. This eliminates unnecessary development time and makes sure that every change implemented is a positive one.
Make changes fast
By making specific, incremental changes to your website, changes can be implemented quickly and easily without a drawn-out development cycle.
There should be no need for huge briefing documents and scoping missions – the changes have already been done functionally in the testing application (like Google Optimize or Optimizely) and now it is just a matter of making them permanent. This eliminates superfluous changes and focuses on quick, iterative improvements.
Improved search performance
By optimising your website towards conversions and improving your customer’s on-site experience you will be rewarded by Google with improved search results.
Better content, functionality and site performance all contribute to your search rankings which will, in turn, drive more traffic to your highly converting site.
So while all of these benefits in isolation are brilliant and a great reason to invest in conversion rate optimisation, the real power comes when looking at them in their entirety:
- the improved brand reputation and search performance will have the effect of driving more free, organic traffic to your website
- the more traffic you have the quicker you can learn about customers and complete CRO tests
- the more tests you complete the quicker you can implement and improve your site
- the perpetual improvements improve your conversion rates, which increase profits and improve marketing performance
- these profits can be put towards increasing your optimised marketing budget, driving more traffic
Conversion rate optimisation isn’t a standalone effect, it is more like a snowball that perpetually gets bigger and gains momentum providing greater results as you go along.