What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
We’d better start with what a conversion rate is. In simple terms, your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that achieve a certain goal.
Usually, with affiliate websites, the goal is for the visitor to click and scroll through all of your content – the ultimate goal is buying the product you’re promoting.
CR is a key metric that reveals the percentage of your site’s traffic that completes your specific goal.
The goal is personal to you and your company and can be pretty much anything, from clicking on the page to purchasing the product.
The conversion rate, in mathematical terms, is the number of goal achievements divided by the number of visitors.
With affiliate marketing, the conversion goals may be any of the following:
- For visitors to actually click the links provided
- For visitors to buy the product promoted
- Any other action that will get you paid
Some visitors will go to your site and just visit the homepage or the page they were directed to. Some visitors will go to your site and have a click around to other pages on the site.
Other visitors may click the link provided and purchase what you’re promoting. Congratulations! You have yourself a conversion.
How Can Conversion Rate Optimization Help my Website?
It’s all well and good having high traffic to your site, but what’s the point if they’re not actioning any of your goals? Something is wrong if for every 300 people, only 1 makes a conversion.
With affiliate marketing, you want your customers to click the link and/ or buy the product you’re promoting.
CRO will help this happen.
You understand your visitors better
Understanding your audience is the key to any successful website. You want to promote products that your visitors will want to buy. Analytics will tell you everything you need to know about your audience, and you can use this to increase the chances of your visitors turning into customers.
You get more customers
The better the experience is for your visitors, the more likely they are to return to your website and purchase what you’re promoting.
If you’re continually optimizing your site and content, you’re going to get more conversions.
Your PROFITS increase
Even the smallest of improvement in conversions will improve your profits. CRO means you don’t have to pay for/ pay less for advertising, so any money earned from CRO goes to you – not to any advertisers.
You can beat your competition
If you’re regularly optimizing your site, you’re going to be trumping your competition – and competition is everything when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Identifying Areas to Optimize
There are plenty of analytic programs available that will help you identify areas you need to improve.
Some will be able to tell you:
- What page people enter your site on what features your viewer’s click
- What devices are used
- What browsers are used
- Who your customers actually are (age, interest, etc)
You should be using analytic software on a regular basis to see how your site is doing. Use the software to help you identify the pages on your site with the highest conversion rates – those pages are doing something right.
Analytics and numbers are great, but it’s also helpful to know the reasons behind the numbers. You can find this out by including surveys, so your visitors can tell you why they have avoided a certain page, or what they aren’t happy with.
You ideally want to know:
- Why did they click your link?
- What would they improve?
- How would they describe your website?
- Would they get rid of anything on your website?
How to Improve Your Conversion Rates
Every affiliate marker wants better conversion rates – it’s just learning how you can do it effectively that’s the difficult part. Once you know how you can boost your conversions, you can constantly improve your site and therefore improve your profits.
If the design of your site isn’t compatible with certain devices or doesn’t look too appealing, then it needs improving. A poorly designed website is sure to have very low conversion rates – visitors will take one look, and probably leave the page.
If you’re not experienced in web design, then hire somebody to help you. It’s definitely worth the money in the long term – CRO is the key to earning money in affiliate marketing.
Design For Mobile
In 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic was generated from mobile devices, and it’s only going to increase. You should make a note of where your traffic comes from. CRO is all about focusing on the traffic you already have, and if most of your traffic is using mobile devices to view your content, then you need to ensure that your site is compatible with mobile phones.
People get bored easily – studies have shown that the average attention span of a millennial is 12 seconds, and for Gen Z’ers, it’s a mere 8 seconds – that’s even less than a goldfish! People want information and facts quickly and instantly – they don’t want to have to search for it.
Comparison tables are a great way of converting visitors into buyers. They allow your visitor to see the most important information you’re trying to put across in one area.
A section on the site dedicated to information about yourself will boost conversion rates. It’s proven that having a face to the websites makes visitors trust it more.
The about section should include:
- A picture of yourself
- Your background and previous experience
- Your hobbies/ passions
- Your name
- What you can do for your visitors
People feel more comfortable when they know who’s behind the site, and are far more likely to complete the actions you want them. Visitors are also far more likely to remember a page with a face behind it than just another corporate page.
Create a Sense of Urgency
There are many different ways that you can create a sense of urgency in your visitors, but an effective method is by letting your customers know that some options will disappear soon.
This will make them want to hurry up and purchase the item.
You can do this by still displaying products that are sold out or use a banner “low stock” or something to that effect.
Another way you can do this is by showing how many people have viewed the product, but this is only really effective if your site has high traffic.
You should also limit your visitor’s options. If you’re promoting dog leashes, only use between 5-10 products.
Any more and your visitor is likely to spend too much time deciding and end up not purchasing anything. If we face too many options, it’s likely that we’ll end up choosing none.
Call to Action (CTA)
Having clear CTA’s in your content is hugely beneficial to CRO. Visitors to your site need guidance on what to click and what to do next, and most will follow instructions given to them.
With affiliate marketing, there main CTA’s you should include in your content are:
- Bookmark the site
- Click on your page
- Share the article on social media
- Comment with opinions
- Click a certain link
You can use a CTA on your visitors before they even become a visitor to your site. If your site appears on a search engine, your customer will also see a chunk of text below the link to your site (the meta description).
Use that meta description to get people to click on your site. Anything that begins with “click here for…” or “learn how to…” is a CTA, and should guide visitors to click the link to your page.
You can place your CTA’s anywhere on your site, but it’s obviously more effective on pages with higher traffic. You may decide to have a popup when the visitor first enters your site – the popup could be to subscribe, to enter their email, to bookmark the page – anything you want them to do that will improve your site’s growth.
It’s also recommended to put CTA’s in the actual text you post. Visitors can become blind to popups and banners, whereas they’re likely to actually likely to read the text and take in the calls to action.
Pictures and Video
A successful website is usually very visual. People get deferred away from huge chunks of text, and images and videos are great for breaking text up.
Images should always be relevant to the surrounding text – people will notice if you just randomly insert an image.
Logos are also great, as they add a sense of professionalism to your website. Repeated use of a logo throughout a website will ensure the logo stays in the visitor’s mind, making your site memorable and recognizable.
Most affiliate marketers get paid when a visitor clicks your link to purchase a product. The product in question needs to be clearly described, and pictures should ALWAYS be included.
If the visitor doesn’t know what they’re buying, they won’t even bother clicking the link.
The images used of the products you’re promoting should be of high quality – HD is always best. Blurry images will discourage potential customers from wanting to buy the product.
It’s also better to include several pictures of the product – from different angles. This allows the viewer to see exactly what they’re buying, increasing the visitors trust in you and your site.
Testing If it Works
It’s always best to do tests before you make definitive changes to your page. There are several methods you can use to test whether your CRO is working or not.
The A/B Method
A common method used it the A/B method (AKA split testing). It tests two versions of a web page to see which achieves its goals the most.
Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to do this test:
- Select a part of your site that you want to test
- Make a change to improve conversions
- Test the new version against the original version by splitting the traffic
- Use analytics to measure which works the best
- Use the winning layout/ changes on your whole website
- Watch the conversion rates soar!
Whereas the A/B method tests one variable, as you can guess, multivariate modifies several different variables to test your hypothesis. The results will tell you which combination of variables performs the best out of all possibilities.
No matter how high your conversion rates are or how successful your website is, there’s always room for improvement. These methods can be used repeatedly to keep optimizing your site.
Now you know what conversion rates are, how CRO can benefit your company, and how you can optimize conversion rates.
CRO is something you should be constantly thinking about, as there’s always room for improvement. The best companies all practice CRO and have perfected the methods used.
Make your customers experience more enjoyable, find out what they respond best to, and keep encouraging them to action your goals!
Remember, change is good. As said by Winston Churchill: “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
We recommend you bookmark this page and refer to it when you’re modifying your site!
Do you have any tips you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this with your marketing friends!
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