Simple Steps to improving your CRO.

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Before you can improve your Conversion Rate, you need to take stock of where you are. Understanding your sectors digital maturity is key to helping you benchmark where you should be, and how much effort it will take to really stand out from the crowd and shine away from your competition. Ultimately it’s all about tweaking and optimising efforts to become more relevant and personal!

Sitecore provide an online tool to help you work out your digital maturity, this assessment can be taken at ‘www.connecttheexperience.com’. This gives you an idea of how to build the people, processes, and technology you need for digital marketing success.

What does good CRO look like?

This has to be the hardest question to answer…as it is relative to you and your business. In essence you need to tap into all areas of UX, Digital Marketing, design and technology and the interplay between them...there is not one simple ‘fix’.

…but there is one simple ingredient

In my opinion the key to successful CRO is regular testing - and acting on the results of your testing. This can be achieved through the following:

  • A/B and multivariate testing can be viewed as the most valuable method of improving CRO.
  • Understanding your customers by looking at abandonment Analysis and customer journey analysis - what works and what doesn’t.
  • Segmentation - to try and align email, website and digital marketing personalisation.
  • Take advantage of opportunities that present themselves -try and be reactive to things. One way to achieve this is through Social Listening.
  • Test your theory, listen to the results, tweak then test again! It is not a linear process!

So where to start?

Let’s start at the beginning. To establish and implement your CRO, you firstly need to establish your goals. By defining your goals, you work out what is important to your business, and what actions are likely to lead to a conversion. Once this has been defined, you have something to measure against! You can then consider the following steps to help improve your CRO.

Path to Purchase

Google Trends referred to ‘the path to purchase, from start to finish, is rarely linear—it's more akin to a scavenger hunt’. With this in mind, we can all identify that the ‘modern’ consumer journey is complex and Google Agrees. They have analysed millions of consumer interactions through GA to identify how different marketing channels affect the online purchase decision and have created a tool to try and help benchmark the typical Conversion Rate of your industry. Check out the tool here.

Consider Location and Convenience

It’s important to consider targeting by location to reach people not only while they're on the go but also based on where they are.

We are all attracted to decluttered, stylish responsive designs, but there's no doubt that Amazon's altogether busier approach is optimised for conversion. In my opinion Argos is a brand that is sitting somewhere in the middle, it has some great CRO examples. For example, by entering my postcode on Argos’s site it tells me my nearest store for collection (if the product is required today) or my next available delivery date.

You can also use geo-targeting to show ads with promo codes to help you, this can save you money and work well for local business or store locations. You can also find other targeting opportunities, for example weather targeting. Through Google AdWords you can control adverts displayed dependant on the weather. Mapping the effect of temperature difference (against the seasonal norm). Bravissimo’s swimwear programmed Google ads to only appear in areas experiencing sunny weather. The campaign achieved sales revenues for their swimwear range increasing by 600% during a 3-month campaign.

Nurture your Consumer

It is important to understand your funnel and be helpful throughout the research process and establish your brand as a trusted resource early on. Every visit to your website will not result in a purchase…you need to have content to support your funnel.

According to a Yahoo Return on Inspiration study, showed that content is a vehicle for inspiration, with 76% of people saying it inspired them to try new things and 73% saying it opened their eyes to new perspectives. So how do you make content inspiring to improve your CRO?

  • Make it aesthetically pleasing. Great visuals attract attention, inspire more effectively, and set your brand apart.
  • Knowledge empowers. Recommendations, advice, learning something, interesting facts, news/ updates.
  • Tell, real compelling stories. In bite-size content. Show positive intent. Ensure that the reader comes first.
  • No trust, no inspiration. Consumers who say that they trust the content are at least 3x more likely to share it or feel positively towards the brand.
  • Keep it simple.Keeping content simple is key to engagement and sharing.

Tell Real Stories

By having real life images and social engagement can improve your CRO two-fold. It is human nature to see reality, rather than what the brand wants you to see. Plug ins like Stackla allow you to have a live feed of social data on your site to inspire!

Expect that search will lead to discover

As you refine your understanding of the customer journey, consider the moments you want to capture at every step of the way.

Remarketing helps bring back consumers to the website. This can be done through many channels such as Facebook and Google ads to display content that can be more relevant, for example someone could look at the toys in Argos online and be targeted with a Toy sale offer or a specific product. Conversion Rate is always better with remarketing as they have already visited and engaged with your site.

In addition, you can consider Complementary Categories that one seemingly unrelated search could trigger interest in your brand. Consider partnering with related brands in different (but connected) verticals to reach similar audiences. For example, someone might like travelling and also photography. You need to keep an eye on the customer journey and maximise your presence in those places where people may change course and consider related products.

The Power of Reviews

Helping the visitor navigate and make decisions proves once again to be helpful at increasing conversions and making the visitor more likely to buy with 92% of consumers now reading online reviews vs. 88% in 2014

A great example is the FigLeaves case study, who added product reviews to the site and this change made customers 35% more likely to purchase.

However, in my opinion its not just displaying the reviews on your site that can assist Conversions, as having an API integration with Feefo or TrustPilot for example can assist from a Digital Marketing perspective:

  • Organic Stars - Good reviews, can lead directly into Google. With Rich Snippets, your service rating can appear as a score alongside a star rating.
  • Seller Ratings - Optimise PPC ads by adding Seller Ratings (stars) alongside paid listings, boosting click-through rate (CTR) by an impressive 17%.
  • Product Listing Ads - Use reviews to generate stars and help the products you want to showcase stand out from the crowd.

Optimise the Experience

It is important to recognise the role that mobile plays a part in the research process, therefore you need to amend your messaging around a multi-platform customer.

According to the Telegraph Research, it showed that the age of smartphones has left humans with an even shorter attention span. Researchers surveyed 2,000 people in Canada and the results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds. Goldfish, meanwhile, are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds.

The big P in Personalisation.

Whilst it is still seen as the most difficult method to implement, it has improved to being considered one of the most valuable CRO methods, so for those that are getting web personalisation going it has been worth the effort. Two thirds of companies are undertaking some form of personalisation, which is an increase of 6% over the last two years according to a survey carried out by Econsultancy.

So why go to the effort? With personalisation, we often see an average uplift of 19%, however with Sitecore we often see more than this. Personalisation allows you to define any target profile using behavioural data, purchase history, browsing interests or offline / offsite data so that you can always reach the right people at the right time. However, Personalisation doesn’t just have to be on-site, you can personalise your emails and online ads!

How we can help you!

So in essence, there isn’t one simple answer, however Sagittarius can help You can take advantage of our Digital Marketing knowledge and User Experience knowledge, by getting your business involved in one of our workshops.

Sagittarius often run workshops to help companies align the internal vision and help structure improvements both onsite and off. Speak to your Account Manager today to setup a workshop to help improve your CRO for the New Year.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
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Sagittarius
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Sagittarius

05 Dec 2016 - 7 minute read
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