Any web page is created to achieve some goal. And whatever the purpose may be – to inform, sell or entertain, there are different ways of how to reach it. The majority website administrators know what is search engine optimization (SEO); they also know how to attract people to the websites. However, they often do not pay attention to a time frame between a person visiting a website and buying something or just registering in the system.
Conversion rate optimization is called to make the interaction between the visitors and website more pleasant and comfortable. It is the process which increases the possibility that they will convert. There are a variety of factors affecting the rates of conversion, from color choice to layout. Let us have a look at the set of those factors which take part in optimizing a WordPress website for conversions.
Firstly, let us give clear definition to know what we are talking about. Conversion rates it is a number of website visitors who take part in a particular planned action. It is usually shown in percent. For example, if 100 of people visits a website during month, and 8 of them sign up to for a newsletter, the conversion rate of a site would be 8%.
Obviously, there are two options to raise the absolute amount of conversions: to increase the proportion of converted visitors and to increase the amount of visitors. The latter is a way to a static conversion rate and, hence, wasted chances. The first, that is to raise the proportion of converted visitors who participate in the desired actions and, therefore, increasing the conversion rate.
WordPress is a powerful and flexible tool which allows to manage the content and make it just perfect for conducting a process of optimization of ongoing conversion. Therefore, those websites which do not have WordPress content management system would face many difficulties that we’ll list below and will need some professional help. But if well enough in handling the everyday running of a WordPress installation, then you do not need to worry while reading this article and following its advice.
You should realize the goals which each webpage is supposed to achieve in relation to your global business goals. It is necessary for measuring success as well as for making further steps and moving forward.
Each website is a mirror of the business which created it. All businesses have various objectives like sales, branding, customer support, advertising, social media promotion, news, global objectives related to lead generation, etc. Those sites which follow all listed objectives will end up looking messy. They contain a bunch of unnecessary elements which dispel attention and cause the primary message to be erased.
It is better not to lay great number of goals on each page. It should have a single, clear goal like finding new clients as an example. One page – one goal. It is the best way.
Data is a key element of conversion rate optimization (CRO). Website administrators should realize how any changes can decrease or increase the effectiveness of a web page and how effective it is at obtaining conversions. Particular strategies can raise the conversion rate; however, its effectiveness will depend on the audience of a particular website. It is necessary to provide constant split testing of any changes.
Split testing or multivariate testing and A/B, is the process of management different page versions, often the original and amount of altered versions to various visitors and to find out which of them provides more percentage of conversions. The aim is to find the page which shows the best results. That page continues to be tested as well as its altered versions. This process is gradual and complicated since it requires a detailed analysis of each small step to know its exact effect.
The link Think Traffic will show you some examples of the results of successful split testing that we are talking about in this article. The internet marketing company was concerned about low bounce rates on its site. Nearly 70% of people visiting the home page were leaving without clicking a link or converting. Relying on data from the newest analytics and using some of basic CRO tenets, Think Traffic offered a set of possible solutions to solve the problem. Split testing show the solution that would be the most effective. The implementation of it resulted a 37% increase in rate of conversion.
On Think Traffic webpage the aim to cover maximum types of leads resulted in the appearance of a bunch of calls to action. Some of them, as it was previously proven, had low converting effectiveness; however, they were left since they promoted company`s services.
One of the Think Traffic’s CRO process` objectives is to remove ineffective calls to action which reduces the bounce rate and increases overall conversion rate.
Google Analytics provides a great way to split test WordPress pages with the help of Google Content Experiments. You can create a list of goals and register some page variations for tracking to find out what page is the “best”.
In addition, see Optimizely service which is specially devoted to split testing. It fee paying, but it includes WordPress integration plugin and rich with features.
One of the main part of any website is the call to action. It can be in a form of landing page, link or button. It should not be annoying or distract visitors from the main message of the website. On the contrary, it has to be understandable and attract attention of users.
Size, color or placement are playing an important role in attracting users to click as well as the microcopy plays role in the call to action. So, even small changes may affect the rate of conversion.
Steps aimed to improve calls to action include the following:
– Use only short and concrete verbs, like “Register” and “Buy”.
– Always offer a value information as a feedback for clicking (e.g. useful details of a free trial period).
– Make them visually different from the rest of the page. Use color and space to achieve it.
– Make them not obnoxious, but prominent. Avoid scrolling or flashing effects.
Akismet’s website is a perfect example of a proper call to action strategy. It is unambiguous, simple and does not put the line between the visitors and the information they need.
When calling to action, avoid modal popups. Especially for call which the visitors see first on the page. They increase bounce rates because of the annoyance and blocking visitors from the information they seek on the site.
A Landing page is the last step of the way which well-optimized webpage prepare for its users. Any calls to action on other parts of the web pages should also lead to landing pages whether it is the product information page, home page or blog. They are usually measurable, clutter-free and contain a register form or provide an opportunity to make an order.
The most CRO is focused on the landing pages. They should perform all things listed above.
WordPress provides an opportunity to create your own landing pages.
However, there are a variety of services which make the process simple and easy for integration.
Unbounce offers you both split testing and creation of landing pages. It provides a variety of templates that are easy in customizing and precise metrics for measuring conversion.
Although, Unbounce provides a great number of features, Premice offers more close integration with WordPress and can be controlled with the help of admins` control panel of WordPress. However, it is not so simple to use Unbounce since its features are more suitable for creation of membership websites. You should try them both to decide what you need.
Website speed is significantly important for conversion. Visitors do not like to wait for a page to load. If a website is slow, the people will not get feedback that will cause low conversion and losing positions in search engines.
Often it is difficult to find out which part of a WordPress webpage slow down the system. It could be anything on a way between the browser and the server as well as the incorrect settings.
For improving performance, one should get some details of how a website is loading and where the resources are being spent.
Pingdom offers you smart testing of your website that will show you the load speed of each element of a page.
Caching and using a content delivery network are two easiest ways to reduce the delay on a WordPress webpage.
Caching saves the results of this process on the hard drive or in memory. Thus, there is a possibility to use ready-made version than to go through the whole process. It is much faster.
W3 Total Cache is the most popular caching plugin for WordPress. It is rich with features and caches pages, minified versions of scripts and database objects. With the help of it, the use of bandwidth can be reduced up to 80%.
W3 Total Cache plugin can connect a WordPress website to different CDNs, including Akamai and Amazon CloudFront.
SEO can also impact conversion rates, although it is beyond the scope of this article. As been said, to increase traffic means to increase conversions. But not all traffic is valuable. It is tempting to increase traffic by optimizing maximum range of keywords as possible. However, they may not be suitable within the goals of the website.
Another solution is optimizing for search engine results. Of course, it might bring less traffic than in the first way; however, it will bring more qualified clients e.g. the right people who would increase conversion rates, both as a proportion of traffic and in absolute numbers. Thus, it brings results.
On the contrary, misleading optimization attracts wrong people who need quite different information than the site offers. As a result, high bounce rate and low conversion.
Some WordPress themes have built-in sliders and carousels. They look pretty, but they are not the best solution within conversion. These elements hide parts of useful information at any time, so only few visitors will wait to see it. Since carousels and sliders match the pattern of banner ads, a few Web users would click through or use it.
The worst idea is to put a call to action in a carousel. It would be hidden three quarters of the time in a four-slide automatic slider. Much more better is to create a static page where a call to action information would be visible all the time.
The same applies for HTML5 and Flash pages. Regardless of how well they look, they are horrible, old school and out of style for both CRO and SEO.
CRO is usually a common sense and fairly straightforward process. To have clear goals and understanding of how those goals relate to the needs of your business is a key factor in planning a conversion rate. Also, you should formulate a distinct idea of what you are trying to achieve.
Not less important is to is split testing and analytics to determine whether the goals are reasonable and the way you choose to fulfill them is effective. CRO is an iterative process of measurement and change.
The proper conversion rate optimization should include the following elements:
- User`s way through the website from arrival to conversion should be coherent and clear.
- Optimized copy of the search engine should be focused not just on the most traffic, but on getting the right traffic.
- Each element that appears on the site should be justified in light of whether it contributes to the website’s goals.
- Should use simple landing pages with clear calls-to-action, compelling videos and images and well-written copy.
- Pay attention to small technical details that affect visitors. Especially, the load time.
It is easy to get lost in little aspects and start changing every detail of a page from the pixel-precise placement of text to the exact shade of color in a call to action. However, the suggestions below will help to improve the conversion rates of any WordPress website.