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8 Ways To Get Started

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8 Ways To Get Started

Today, most marketing teams are focused on driving traffic toward websites in hopes that this traffic then converts into qualified leads for sales reps to close. But that’s only half the battle.

Getting more out of existing traffic and leads (versus entirely new traffic) can propel companies toward long-term, sustainable growth. That’s where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes in. In this guide, you’ll learn about the power of CRO, why your business should focus on improving your conversion rate, and how to get started.

What is a conversion rate?

A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, like completing a web form, signing up for a service, or purchasing a product.

A high conversion rate means your website is well-designed, formatted effectively, and appealing to your target audience. A low conversion rate could be the result of a variety of factors related to either website performance or design. Slow load times, a broken form, or copy that doesn’t convey the value of the offer are common reasons for a poor conversion rate.

What is a good conversion rate?

A “good” conversion rate depends on your industry, niche, goals, traffic channel, and audience demographics, among other factors. For example, the average conversion rate of ecommerce sites globally was 2.17% in the third quarter of 2020, which was down from 2.37% the previous year. The ecommerce conversion rate in the US was higher, however, at 2.57%.

The average not only differs by year and by country — it also differs by niche. For example, the average conversion rate of ecommerce sites in the food and beverage sector is 5.5% whereas the average in the hair care sector is 3.5%.

If your conversion rate is lower than you’d like — maybe it’s below average in your industry, or lower than your top competitors, or simply underperforming against your own goals — then it’s time to optimize.

Conversions can happen all over your website: on your homepage, pricing page, blog, landing pages, and more. To maximize the potential of converting website visitors into paying customers, you should optimize each location.

Before we take a look at the benefits of CRO, let’s walk through how to calculate your site’s conversion rate. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of how much time and resources to invest in a CRO strategy.

How to Calculate Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors and multiplying that number by 100 to get a percentage.

how to calculate conversion rate: conversion rate formula

As long as you know how you’re defining a conversion, then calculating your conversion rate is easy. You just plug in two values and multiply by 100.

Let’s say you’re defining a conversion as a newsletter opt-in, and you have an opt-in form on every single page of your website. In that case, you’d divide the total number of newsletter form submissions by the total number of website visitors and multiply it by 100. So if you had 500 submissions and 20,000 visitors last quarter, then your conversion rate would be 2.5%.

You can repeat this process for every conversion opportunity on your site. Just make sure to only count the number of visitors on the webpages where the offer is listed. For example, if you want to calculate the conversion rate of your ebook offer, then you’d divide the total number of downloads by the number of people who visited webpages where the ebook offer is listed.

Alternatively, you can calculate your website’s overall conversion rate by dividing the total number of conversions for every conversion opportunity on your site by the total number of visitors on your site.

Where to Implement a CRO Strategy

Here are four areas of your website that have the potential to largely benefit from conversion rate optimization.

1. Homepage

Homepages are prime candidates for CRO. In addition to making a first impression on visitors, the homepage is also an opportunity to retain those visitors and guide them further into your website.

You can do this by emphasizing links to product information, offering a free signup button, or even incorporating a chatbot that solicits questions from visitors at any point during their browsing experience.

2. Pricing Page

A website’s pricing page can be the make-or-break point for many website visitors. CRO can help a pricing page convert visitors into customers by modifying the pricing intervals (e.g. price-per-year vs. price-per-month), describing the product features associated with each price, including a phone number for visitors to call for a price quote, or adding a simple pop-up form.

Hotjar, for example, added a simple email opt-in popup form on its pricing page and got over 400 new leads in just three weeks.

how websites benefit from CRO: Hotjar Pricing Page Popup Overlay

3. Blog

A blog is a massive conversion opportunity for a website. In addition to publishing thoughtful and helpful content about your industry, a blog can use CRO to convert readers into leads.

This process often includes adding calls-to-action (CTA) throughout an article or inviting readers to learn more about a topic by submitting their email address in exchange for an ebook or industry report.

4. Landing Pages

Since landing pages are inherently designed for people to take an action, it makes sense that they have the highest average conversion rate of all signup forms at 24%. An event landing page, for example, can be optimized with a video of last year’s event to encourage visitors to register this year. A landing page that’s offering a free resource can be optimized with preview content from that resource to encourage visitors to download it.

Now that you know where you can optimize for conversions, you may be wondering how you know when your business is ready to start the process.

CRO Formulas

The short answer: CRO is important for any business online. That’s because, no matter how established or large your company is, you want to convert your website visitors into qualified leads, customers, and brand advocates — and you want to do so in the most effective, impactful, and reliable way.

With conversion rate optimization, you’ll get more out of your existing website traffic while ensuring you’re targeting qualified leads.

Although this is a straightforward concept, setting a conversion goal isn’t as easy as saying, “This page converted 50 people this month, so we want to convert 100 people next month.”

Featured resource: 8-Week Conversion Rate Optimization Planner

Website Conversion Funnel

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You don’t just want 50 more conversions from a webpage. Instead, you want 50 more conversions for every X amount of people who visit it. (This is your conversion rate — the percentage of people who convert on your website based on how many people have touched it).

To provide a better understanding of where you stand at any point in time in regards to conversion rate, here are three commonly-used formulas your business can use to understand, analyze, and improve.

CRO Calculation 1: Conversion Rate

As we mentioned earlier, to calculate conversion rate, you must divide your number of conversions (or leads generated) by your number of visitors (or web traffic), and then multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage.

Leads Generated ÷ Website Traffic x 100 = Conversion Rate %

CRO Calculation 2: Number of Net New Customers

To calculate your number of net new customers, you’ll want to divide your net revenue goal by your average sales price.

New Revenue Goal ÷ Average Sales Price = Number of New Customers

CRO Calculation 3: Lead Goal

And lastly, to calculate your lead goal, take your number of new customers and divide it by your lead-to-customer close rate (which is your total number of leads divided by total number of customers) percentage.

Number of New Customers ÷ Lead-to-Customer Close Rate % = Lead Goal

Here’s an example of these formulas in action:

If your website has 10,000 visitors per month that generate 100 leads — and subsequently, 10 customers each month — the website visitor-to-lead conversion rate would be 1%.

What if you wanted to generate 20 customers each month?

You could try to get 20,000 visitors to your website and hope that the quality of your traffic doesn’t decrease — although, that’s a risk you’ll likely want to avoid. Rather, you could obtain more leads from your existing traffic by optimizing your conversion rate. This is less risky and is more likely to produce better results for your bottom line.

For instance, if you increase your conversion rate from 1% to 2%, you’d double your leads and your customers. The following table is proof of this — you can see the positive impact that results from increasing your website’s conversion rate:

COMPANY

A

B

C

Monthly Site Traffic

10,000

10,000

10,000

Conversion Rate

1%

2%

3%

Leads Generated

100

200

300

New Customers

10

20

30

Notice the drastic increases in the number of leads generated and net new customers when you boost your conversion rate.

Not only that, but it’s clear that generating more website traffic isn’t necessarily the right approach when trying to improve your conversion rate — in fact, this chart shows you that you can grow your business substantially without increasing traffic at all.

Hard to believe? Think about this way: Pretend you were trying to fill up a leaky bucket. If you pour more water into the bucket, you won’t fix the root cause of the issue — instead, you’ll end up with a lot of water that’s wasted (not to mention, a bucket that will never fill up all the way).

Are you ready to take the first steps toward CRO at your company? Review the strategies below and start experimenting.

Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

Here are some applicable conversion rate optimization marketing strategies to test and implement at your company.

1. Create text-based CTAs within blog posts.

While it’s considered a best practice to include CTAs in a blog post, they sometimes fail to entice visitors to take your desired course of action. Why?

Banner blindness is a real phenomenon related to people becoming accustomed to ignoring banner-like information on websites. This lack of attention coupled with the fact site visitors don’t always read all the way to the bottom of a blog post (rather, they “snack” on content), means a different approach is required.

That’s where the text-based CTA comes in handy. Here at HubSpot, we ran a test with text-based CTAs — a standalone line of text linked to a landing page and styled as an H3 or an H4 — to see if they would convert more traffic into leads than regular CTAs located at the bottom of a web page.

In HubSpot’s limited test of 10 blog posts, regular end-of-post banner CTAs contributed an average of just 6% of leads that the blog posts generated, whereas up to 93% of a post’s leads came from the anchor-text CTA alone.

2. Add lead flows on your blog.

A lead flow is another conversion rate optimization element you can include on your site. Lead flows are high-converting pop-ups designed to attract attention and offer value.

You can select from a slide-in box, drop-down banner, or pop-up box, depending on your offer. We experimented with the slide-in box on the HubSpot Blog back in 2016 and it achieved a 192% higher clickthrough rate and 27% more submissions than a regular CTA at the bottom of a blog post.

3. Run tests on your landing pages.

Landing pages are an important part of the modern marketer’s toolkit and, as mentioned earlier, integral to conversion rate optimization.

That’s because a landing page is where a website visitor becomes a lead or an existing lead engages more deeply with your brand. To optimize a landing page, run A/B tests to identify your best design and content features for audience members.

For instance, with A/B testing you can quickly and easily test different versions of your website copy, content offers, images, form questions, and web pages to determine what your target audience and leads respond to best.

Thanks to A/B testing, China Expat Health was able to increase their lead conversion rate by 79%. One of the most impactful changes was swapping out the headline “Health Insurance in China” for “Save Up to 32% on Your Health Insurance in China,” which immediately conveyed a value proposition to visitors. This proposition was then supported by customer testimonials.

Get everything you need to start effectively A/B Testing your website today.

4. Help leads to immediately become a marketing-qualified lead.

Sometimes visitors want to get right down to business, skip parts of the typical buyer’s journey, and immediately speak with a sales rep (rather than be nurtured).

There are specific actions you should encourage these high-intent visitors to complete so they can easily become marketing qualified leads (MQLs) — and they can take action through a combination of thoughtfully designed web pages, compelling and clear copy, and smart CTAs.

For instance, at HubSpot, we discovered that visitors who sign up for product demos convert at higher rates than visitors who sign up for free product trials. So, we optimized our website and conversion paths for people booking demos or meetings with a sales rep.

Admittedly, this depends on your product and sales process, but our best advice is to run a series of tests to find out what generates the most customers. Then, optimize for that process. The key here is to look for ways to remove friction from your sales process.

5. Build workflows to enable your team.

There are a number of automated workflows you can create to enable your team with the help of marketing automation software.

For example, with marketing automation, it’s possible to send automatic emails with workflows. Then, leads can book meetings with reps in one click. Meanwhile, reps receive notifications when leads take high-intent actions such as view the pricing page on your website.

Or, if you work in ecommerce, you can send an email to people who abandon their shopping cart as a reminder. According to research from Moosend, abandoned cart emails can be very effective. They have a high open rate of 45%. Of the emails that are opened, 21% are clicked. Half of the people who clicked make a purchase.

Here’s an example of an abandoned cart email by the Dollar Shave Club.

cro marketing strategy: abandoned cart email by Dollar Shave Club

Image Source

6. Add messages to high-converting web pages.

Use live chat software to chat with your website visitors in real-time and offer support and guidance as needed. To increase conversions, add these messaging features to your high-performing web pages — such as your pricing and product pages — so leads get the information they want in real-time.

You can also make your messaging and chat bots action-based. For example, if someone has spent more than a minute on the page, you may want to automatically offer to help and answer any questions they may have (again, a live chat tool, like HubSpot, makes this easy).

7. Optimize high-performing blog posts.

Again, publishing blog articles opens the door to a big opportunity for conversions. Even more so if you already have existing blog content on your site — in fact, at HubSpot, the majority of our monthly blog views and leads come from posts published over a month ago.

To get started optimizing your blog content, identify your posts with the highest levels of web traffic but low conversion rates. (Possible causes of this issue may be related to SEO, the content offer you are promoting, or your CTA.)

In one instance, we at HubSpot added an inbound press release template offer to a blog post about press releases — as a result, we saw conversions for that post increase by 240%.

Additionally, look at your blog posts with high conversion rates. You want to drive more qualified website traffic to those posts and you can do so by optimizing the content for the search engine results page (SERP) or updating it as needed to ensure it’s fresh and relevant.

8. Leverage retargeting to re-engage website visitors.

It doesn’t matter what your key conversion metric is: The cold, hard truth is that most people on your website don’t take the action you want them to. By leveraging retargeting on Facebook and other platforms, you can re-engage people who left your website.

Retargeting works by tracking visitors to your website and serving them online ads as they visit other sites around the web. This is particularly impactful when you retarget people who visited your highest-converting web pages.

The normal inbound rules still apply here — you need well-crafted copy, engaging visuals, and a compelling offer for retargeting to work.

Take United’s retargeting campaign for example. Using insights from previous ad campaigns, United focused on reaching people who had viewed their ads and were already considering booking a vacation. To this select audience, they promoted a 15-second video ending in a call-to-action.

If viewers felt inspired enough to book their vacation, all they had to do was click on the CTA to be taken straight to the United website. This proved to be a huge success. In just one month, 52% of conversions attributed to YouTube were click-through conversions directly from the ad.

(If you’re a HubSpot customer, take a look at how the AdRoll integration can improve your conversion efforts.)

Now, let’s talk about how you can get started with CRO at your company.

How to Get Started with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Maybe you’re wondering, “Where do I start with CRO?”

Enter: PIE framework. Before starting a CRO project, prioritize your efforts by ranking each element on Potential, Importance, and Ease.

Use the PIE framework to answer the following questions for every strategy outlined in the previous section. Then, assign a score between one and 10 (one being the lowest and 10 being the highest) to each strategy.

  • How much total improvement can this project offer?
  • How valuable will this improvement be?
  • How complicated or difficult will it be to implement this improvement?

Once you’ve assigned a score for each strategy, add up the numbers and divide the total by three — this gives a score that shows what project will have the greatest impact. Then, work on the projects with the highest scores first.

The PIE framework isn’t perfect, but it’s easy to understand, systematic, and offers a starting point for CRO collaboration and communication among colleagues.

We’ve covered a lot about conversion rate optimization, but not everything. If you still have questions, then check out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

What is the purpose of a conversion rate optimization?

The purpose of conversion rate optimization (CRO) is to improve the likelihood of visitors taking a desired action on a webpage.

What is a CRO strategy?

A CRO strategy is designed to convert more of your visitors into paying customers. While each CRO strategy will vary company by company, the general steps will not. You have to identify key metrics and your target audience. Then you have to collect user feedback and other data to decide what you’re going to test. Finally, you’ll run A/B tests to improve different pages and parts of your site for conversion.

What are CRO tools?

CRO tools are designed to simplify or automate the process of optimizing your conversion rate. They might help with lead capture, research, analytics, mouse tracking and heat maps, feedback, or running experiments.

What is a CRO test?

A CRO test involves adding, re-arranging, and redesigning elements on your website in order to maximize your conversions. Different CRO tests might focus on optimizing the copy, design, or placement of your CTAs, or the length of your headlines, among other elements.

Begin Using CRO

There are many best practices out there when it comes to CRO but, ultimately, you need to find out what your customers respond to, and what drives results for your business.

Keep these three follow-up actions in mind when getting started with CRO today:

  1. Use the three formulas to start the CRO conversation.
  2. Experiment with CRO strategies to discover what works for your business.
  3. Leverage the PIE framework to help prioritize your strategy.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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11 Free Email Hacks to Step Up Your Productivity

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11 Free Email Hacks to Step Up Your Productivity

If you’re anything like me, a solid portion of your day is sifting through your inbox, sending emails to junk, and responding to time-sensitive emails.

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How CTV can deliver market research for B2B marketers

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How CTV can deliver market research for B2B marketers

Connected TV (CTV) is the fastest-growing digital ad channel, as more TV watchers cancel cable subscriptions and turn to lower-priced or free a la carte streaming options they can watch on TVs, laptops and mobile devices. Many streamers are also potential B2B prospects, but not many B2B marketers are leveraging CTV for advertising.

“We believe connected TV advertising is undervalued, and there’s so much that digital, data-driven marketers can do with connected TV advertising that goes beyond the scope of any other ad channel,” said Hooman Javidan-Nejad, director of performance marketing for CTV advertising platform MNTN, at The MarTech Conference.

Why we care. Hit shows on streaming services get the credit for the CTV surge. But within these mass audiences there is data for targeting and segmentation. B2B marketers ahead of the curve have also experimented with streaming for delivering on-demand video content to prospects. 

Serving prospects ads on ad-supported Netflix, or managing your own video programming like a kind of B2B Netflix, is a much different experience than traditional whitepapers that recognize professionals’ changing media consumption and self-serve research habits.

CTV data. “Data-driven marketing has picked up in the last decade because the nature of all those digital channels are enabling you, and empowering you, to have access to the data and to act on it,” said Javidan-Nejad. “This is something that we never had for a TV — [traditional linear] TV advertising has always had limited or no reporting.”

Because of CTV’s digital infrastructure, ad campaigns on that channel have performance and measurement data that can be used as a market research tool.

“The beauty of approaching connected TV just like another digital channel is that you can apply the same targeting criteria you are applying today on LinkedIn, or on Facebook,” he added. “The insights that you’re getting from connected TV advertising can be applied to all the other channels, or the insights that you’re getting from the creative can be applied into the other channels.”

Dig deeper: Bringing your ABM strategy to CTV

Finding audiences on CTV. When advertising on CTV, B2B marketers should execute multiple campaigns, or target different audiences with a single campaign.

For example, a B2B marketer could run one campaign based on job titles, and another one based on firmographic criteria. You could also launch a retargeting campaign, based on first-party data acquired from those who have visited your website and shared their info.

“For each of these audiences, you will get audience segment reporting,” Javidan-Nejad explained. “So you will be able to see which of these audiences have performed better, which of these audiences had a better verified visit rate, and all the other metrics [to discover] which audiences are performing better. And then you can take those audience insights and apply them to the other channels.”

Matched audiences. B2B marketers can also use existing customers and prospects from their CRM and match them with a CTV adtech partner, in order to deliver CTV ads to those prospects when they’re watching streaming TV.

“This is the same audience that you’re using across all the other paid social channels,” said Javidan-Nejad. “The insights and learnings that you get from CTV can be extended and implemented across the other channels.”

Testing creative. Before committing a large budget on a robust TV campaign, B2B marketers can test different kinds of creative on CTV to determine what messages and visual cues stick with customers and prospects.

While every digital ad channel has its own sweet spot for what works in video ads, some of these insights about what works best on CTV can be applied to other channels.

“We are all familiar with A/B testing,” Javidan-Nejad said. “As digital marketers, we always try to leverage this feature or functionality across all the other digital channels. Now you’re able to do that for your TV advertising.”

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How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO

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How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO

Creating a video is a creative process which involves a lot of brainstorming, editing and producing. But the success of your video does not 100% rely on the quality or originality of that video.

Whether your video is going to be a success is determined by how many people will be able to find it and watch it.

Don’t underestimate the discoverability of your video. It may make or break your whole video marketing strategy performance.

One of the biggest channels that can drive findability of your video is search engine optimization, i.e. optimizing your video page for it to rank in search engines (mainly Google and Youtube search) for relevant keywords.

And one of the most important SEO elements of any page is its title.

What is a Youtube title?

“Title” is what you see on the browser tab when you open any Youtube page:

It is controlled by the “Title” field which is required when you upload your video to Youtube:

In the code of the page the title can be found within <title></title> tags.

On a Youtube video page, the title is also repeated underneath the video as the main heading making it also an on-page SEO element.

Youtube allows you to enter up to 100 characters to the title field and I recommend making the most of those 100 characters.

How can titles impact the findability of your video?

Page titles are key on-page SEO elements because they do both:

  • Page titles are direct ranking factors (Google uses them to understand what the page is about)
  • Page titles impact click-through by being the most visible parts of standard search snippets.

In that respect, Youtube SEO is not much different from any other types of SEO. The only slight difference is Youtube videos also get an additional section in organic results which you can target: Page titles are also included next to video thumbnails in video carousels:

Since titles are so important for your video findability and clickability, spend some extra time brainstorming effective video titles. Here are a few ideas:

How to create an effective Youtube title

1. Include your keyword

This is important in the context of this article. Keywords are still very important for SEO because they still help search engines understand the main topic of your page.

Keyword research is also a great way to estimate a demand for any topic (by looking at the search volume).

Identifying your main keyword and including it into the page title will help that video page rank for that keyword driving views for your video and generating additional brand visibility to your business. There are lots of tools and plugins allowing you to identify your target keywords.

It is a good idea to grab URLs of your competing videos and run them through this SEO Content Checker to identify their keyword usage and learn from that:

2. Make it sound interesting

I know it sounds obvious but there are too many boring video titles for me not to mention it.

Your video title needs to invite a click, so make sure it is interesting enough to invite one.

I realize it sounds easier than it really is and in many cases it is also highly subjective. But there’s a tool to help.

Using ChatGPT will help you find some ideas, in case you are stuck. Here’s what the tool was able to generate when I requested the following “Generate video title ideas that will include “Youtube marketing” keyword. Make those titles sound intriguing:”

There are quite a few pretty nice ones. If you don’t like what the tool suggested, keep asking it for more, changing your request just a bit to make it think harder.

This tool is great but make sure to pick a title that won’t over-promise. There’s a fine line between “intriguing” and “click-baiting.” Try and avoid the latter as it may reflect badly on your branding strategies.

3. Include numbers

Including a number in your page title has proven to be an effective way to get more people to click it. Click-through is likely to be an (indirect) ranking factor, so if more people click your title, there’s a good chance it will rank higher.

You cannot make each of your videos a listicle though, so you won’t be able to use this trick in each of your Youtube titles. But it is a good format to keep in mind and use from time to time.

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4. Mention a brand (if there’s one to mention)

Finally, if your video is about a well-known brand (for example, if that video is of you speaking at an event) or, more importantly, if you create it in collaboration with a well-known expert and/or influencer, include that name in your title.

Not only will it help your video rank for that searchable name, it will also increase its click-though thanks to people recognizing that name. 

Youtube also allows you to tag that name in the title (much like tagging works on Twitter or Facebook). If you add @ and then start typing that name, Youtube will allow you to select that name from the drop-down (if that brand or person has a Youtube channel). This will notify them on the mention and urge them to engage with the video helping its visibility:

No need to include your brand name though (unless that video is all about you or your company). If you pick your Youtube name well, it will help you build your brand’s recognizability with every high-ranking video because the channel name is always included in search snippets.

Keep a close eye on your results

Finally, creating an effective title is something that you can never do perfectly. There’s always room for improvement and experimentation. Learn from other well-performing videos in your or outside your niche and never stop experimenting.

Monitor video carousels for your important keywords to get notified when a new video succeeds in getting there and not what may have brought them that success. There are SEO monitoring tools that can help you with that task:

Additionally, keep a close eye on your Youtube analytics to monitor keywords that generate views from Youtube search and learn from those results:

Conclusion

You spend hours creating your video. It deserves a good title which will help your video get found. Spend some time brainstorming an effective title, experiment with different formats and measure your success. Good luck!



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