Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) has emerged as a vital strategy in the digital marketing landscape. It is a systematic process aimed at increasing the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, leading to higher conversion rates. This guide will delve into the essence of CRO, its importance, and effective strategies to boost conversions.
Understanding Conversion Rate Optimisation
CRO is a strategic practice of enhancing a website's performance to escalate the conversion of site visitors into customers. Whether your goal is to increase purchases, newsletter sign-ups, or lead generation, CRO is the key to achieving it.
However, it's essential to adopt a user-centric view of CRO. It's not just about conversion percentages or benchmarks; it's about understanding the drivers that bring people to your site, the barriers that prevent them from converting, and the hooks that persuade them to stay.
Why Does CRO Matter?
CRO holds a significant place in the digital marketing sphere. A high conversion rate implies that a sizable proportion of your site visitors are completing the desired action, benefiting your business in several ways.
Primarily, a high conversion rate leads to increased revenue. The more visitors you convert into customers, the more profitable your business becomes. Moreover, CRO is about refining the overall user experience on your website. By constantly tweaking and enhancing different aspects of your site, you create a more user-friendly experience, leading to higher conversions.
Calculating Conversion Rate
To measure the effectiveness of your CRO efforts, it's important to know how to calculate your conversion rate. The formula is simple - divide the number of conversions by the total number of visitors, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage. For instance, if your site garnered 500 visitors last month and 50 of them made a purchase, your conversion rate would be 10%.
Key Areas for CRO Implementation
When executing a CRO strategy, it's crucial to concentrate your efforts on areas that can significantly impact your conversion rate. Some key areas include:
- Optimized Navigation and Call-to-Action (CTA): Ensure that your homepage has clear navigation and compelling CTAs. For instance, if your goal is to drive sales, feature prominent buttons leading to product categories or special offers. Dropbox is an excellent example, with a concise and effective CTA for sign-ups, guiding users effortlessly.
- Personalized Recommendations: Implement algorithms that showcase personalized product recommendations based on user behavior and preferences. Amazon excels in this aspect, using algorithms to suggest products based on previous searches and purchases, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
- Responsive Design: With the increasing use of mobile devices, ensure that your homepage is responsive. Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites, and a seamless mobile experience can significantly impact conversion rates.
2. Pricing Page
- Transparent Pricing Structure: Clearly communicate your pricing structure to eliminate any confusion. Buffer, a social media scheduling tool, provides a straightforward pricing page with clear details on features and costs, instilling trust and aiding conversions.
- Limited-Time Offers: Create a sense of urgency by incorporating limited-time offers or discounts on the pricing page. This can incentivize visitors to make a decision promptly, reducing the likelihood of abandonment.
- Interactive Pricing Calculators: For services with variable costs, integrate interactive pricing calculators. HubSpot uses this strategy effectively, allowing users to estimate costs based on their specific needs, providing transparency and assisting in decision-making.
- Strategic CTAs in Content: Strategically place CTAs within blog content to guide readers to the next step. For example, if you're a software company writing a blog on problem-solving, include a CTA at the end prompting readers to download a relevant whitepaper or sign up for a free trial.
- Content Upgrades: Enhance user engagement by offering content upgrades. If your blog discusses a specific topic, provide a downloadable resource, checklist, or guide related to that subject. Neil Patel often incorporates this strategy, offering downloadable guides to supplement his blog content.
- Engaging Visuals: Utilize engaging visuals within your blogs. Infographics, images, and charts can break up text and maintain reader interest. This can indirectly contribute to CRO by keeping visitors on your page longer, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
4. Landing Pages
- Clear Value Proposition: Clearly articulate the value of your offering on landing pages. Dropbox Business exemplifies this by succinctly presenting the benefits of their service, helping visitors understand the value they stand to gain.
- Streamlined Forms: Optimize and simplify any forms on landing pages. Lengthy forms can be a barrier to conversion. Unbounce, a landing page builder, practices what it preaches by maintaining short and straightforward forms on its own landing pages.
- Compelling Visuals and Testimonials: Enhance credibility with compelling visuals and customer testimonials. Airbnb's experience-driven landing pages often feature stunning visuals of properties along with positive testimonials, creating a persuasive narrative that encourages conversions.
By paying close and consistent attention to these key areas with well-researched tactics, you can optimize your CRO strategy for maximum effectiveness.
CRO Strategies to Boost Conversions
Here are ten effective strategies you can utilise to enhance your CRO efforts:
1. Utilise Text-Based CTAs in Blogs:
- Text-based CTAs seamlessly blend into blog content, directing users to take a specific action without interrupting the reading experience.
- Example: HubSpot often incorporates text-based CTAs within its blogs, guiding readers to relevant resources or encouraging them to sign up for webinars directly related to the content they are consuming.
2. Implement Lead Capture Forms:
- Lead capture forms help gather valuable information about your visitors, enabling personalized communication and segmentation.
- Example: Mailchimp effectively uses lead capture forms on its website, offering a free trial in exchange for user information. This allows Mailchimp to tailor its messaging and nurture leads based on their specific needs.
3. Optimise High-Performing Blogs:
- High-performing blogs present an opportunity for increased engagement and conversions when optimized for user experience and relevance.
- Example: Neil Patel, a renowned digital marketer, regularly optimizes his high-performing blogs by updating content, adding relevant CTAs, and ensuring a seamless reading experience. This continual optimization contributes to sustained high conversion rates.
4. Use Videos for Product Promotion:
- Videos offer a more engaging medium for showcasing products, providing a visual and interactive experience that can significantly impact conversions.
- Example: Blendtec, a blender manufacturer, created the famous "Will It Blend?" video series, demonstrating the power of their blenders by blending unusual items. This entertaining and informative approach resulted in increased product awareness and, subsequently, higher conversion rates.
5. Leverage Social Proof:
- Social proof, such as customer reviews and testimonials, builds credibility and trust, influencing potential customers' decision-making.
- Example: Amazon prominently displays customer reviews and ratings on product pages, influencing purchasing decisions. Additionally, showcasing user-generated content on social media further reinforces the positive impact of social proof on conversions.
6. Retarget Visitors:
- Retargeting allows you to re-engage visitors who have shown interest, reminding them of your products or services and encouraging them to convert.
- Example: eCommerce giant, ASOS, effectively implements retargeting ads. If a visitor views a specific product but doesn't make a purchase, ASOS retargets them with ads featuring the viewed product, enticing them to return and complete the purchase.
7. Implement Live Chat:
- Real-time communication through live chat provides instant support, addressing visitor queries and concerns, ultimately improving the chances of conversion.
- Example: Shopify integrates live chat on its website, allowing users to get instant assistance during their e-commerce journey. This real-time interaction contributes to a smoother user experience and helps in overcoming potential barriers to conversion.
8. Offer Discounts and Special Offers:
- Discounts and special promotions create a sense of urgency, motivating visitors to make a purchase or take a desired action.
- Example: Groupon excels in offering limited-time deals and discounts, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging users to make immediate decisions to avail of the discounted offers.
9. Minimise On-Page Distractions:
- Streamlining on-page elements reduces distractions, allowing visitors to focus on the main message and increasing the likelihood of conversion.
- Example: Slack maintains a clean and minimalist design on its landing pages, minimizing on-page distractions. This simplicity directs visitors' attention to the core messaging and CTAs, facilitating a more straightforward conversion process.
10. Run A/B Tests on Landing Pages:
- A/B testing allows you to experiment with different elements on landing pages, identifying the most effective design or content for improving conversions.
- Example: Google often conducts A/B tests on its search engine landing page to assess the impact of various design changes. This data-driven approach ensures continuous improvement in user experience and conversion rates.
In conclusion, conversion rate optimisation is a continuous process that requires constant testing and refining. By implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you can skyrocket your conversions and boost your online business's success. Remember, the key to achieving high conversion rates is understanding your users and delivering an experience that meets their needs.
Navigating PPC advertising can seem daunting, with the fear of not getting the desired results. Yet, investing money is crucial for revenue, and digital platforms give us valuable data to guide our investments wisely. In the world of Google Ads, understanding the benchmarks for cost per lead is key.
Setting standards with advertising benchmarks is essential, providing clear goals to strive for. When it comes to Google Ads, numerous metrics demand attention, with cost per lead standing out as a crucial metric. This article dives into what cost per lead entails and outlines effective strategies to optimise this vital metric, ensuring your financial investment pays off.
Understanding the CPL Formula
CPL it's a vital PPC metric that gauges the investment required to turn an advertisement viewer into a conversion. It will become a critical marketing KPI to monitor your marketing strategy and set your campaigns up for success. Also referred to as cost per action or cost per conversion, this metric assesses the effectiveness of an ad based on the desired actions it prompts.
Calculating the cost per lead involves a straightforward formula: divide the campaign expenditure by the number of conversions. For example, if you spend $500 and garner 50 leads, your CPL would be $10. Lowering CPA involves identifying areas where conversions can rise or costs can be trimmed. However, it's not a simplistic, two-dimensional challenge.
Within your Google Ads accounts, you're dealing with numerous campaigns and keywords, each driving distinct value for the business. The maturity of campaigns, conversion rate optimization, budget, and available resources all come into among many other variables when deciding your CPL. Therefore, reducing your CPL likely requires a multifaceted approach, addressing a range of activities across various campaigns within your account. Let's delve into this complexity.
What is a ‘good’ cost per lead?
Determining an acceptable cost per lead will largely depend on the industry you operate in. What's considered a "good" cost per lead can vary significantly in other industries as opposed to yours. Take, for instance, the Business Services sector as shown below which averages around $130 per lead while IT, Computer and technical Services and Health care and Medical sectors cost upwards of $165 per lead. On the flip side, in Education, Retail, Telecom and Non-profits it tends to stay below $55.
Additionally, as you explore your campaign results, you'll notice variations in Cost Per Leads (CPL) across keywords and campaigns. This discrepancy arises because some offers prove more lucrative than others, highlighting the dynamic nature and volatility of lead generation costs.
Strategies to Reduce Your Google Ads CPL
As stated above, there's no single approach that will work to cut down the cost per lead for all accounts. It requires boosting conversions and/or reducing costs, and there are multiple ways to achieve this. Let’s look at one of those below.
1. Closely monitor our ‘limited by budget’ campaigns
One technique to decrease your expenditures is to reduce your bids, which is related to campaigns that are "limited by budget". This is a campaign status in Google Ads that means your bids are sufficiently high for you to take part in a certain amount of auctions, however your budget does not permit you to participate in that many auctions.
For campaigns ‘limited by budget’, you might consider:
- Increase Budget: If the campaign is of high value and you have the surplus budgets, spending a little more could result in more conversions than losses. Just be mindful that if the spend increases more than the conversions, then the cost per lead will not change.
- Reduce Bids: This will allow you to enter into less expensive auctions, thereby earning you clicks at a lower price with lower ad positions. Keep an eye on the conversion volume. However, If the lower bids reduce the cost per acquisition by 30%, but the average position and conversions drop by 50%, it will not be worthwhile.
- Utilize the "Search lost IS (budget)" and "Estimated first page bid" columns to determine how much of the campaign is limited by the budget and what the bid needs to be to stay competitive.
For high value campaigns that are unconstrained by a budget, it is possible to reduce bids and expenditures in lower-value campaigns to bring down the entire CPL within the account.
2. Improve your Quality Score
The cost per click can be reduced by submitting a lower bid in the Google Ads auction. Achieving this requires a high Quality Score. The Google Ads system is structured to reward quality ads with reduced CPLs. The Google Ads auction will show a lower cost per click when the quality score is higher therefore, it is important to be aware of the three elements of Quality Score in order to improve it.
- Increasing click-through rate: Utilize ad extensions and customizers, and by refine your ad copy to boost your expected CTR.
- Landing page quality: Ensure that your landing pages are reliable and helpful to those who click on your ad. There are several landing page optimisation strategies to reduce your cost-per-click.
- Ad relevance: This implies that there is a strong connection between your keywords, ads, and landing pages. Therefore, revisit ads which have weak performance and explore the possibility of improving any of these factors.
3. Structure your account for greater efficiency
The way you arrange your keywords and ads into ad groups and campaigns is referred to as your account structure. Having an appropriately designed account structure can be beneficial for reducing CPL in multiple ways:
- By making sure all your keywords, ads, and landing pages are closely related, your Quality Score will be improved with the use of single-themed ad groups.
- Your bids can be kept in check and optimized by Google with the help of automated bidding strategies that are set on the campaign level.
- Budget allocation is simpler when campaigns are organized as suggested in tip #1, since budgets are set at the campaign level.
- Grouping keywords into themed ad groups can help in recognizing CPL trends, which can then be utilized to distribute the budget depending on how the keywords in the ad groups are performing.
4. Tweak your bids
Examining your campaigns is important to ensure that there is no money wasted on campaign configurations or targeting. If you have Manual or Enhanced CPC bidding, you can alter the bids based on:
- Devices Used: Desktops, mobiles, tablets, etc.
- Demographics: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Target Audience: Detailed demographics, in-market, affinity, custom segments, etc.
- Ad Network: Search, Display, or Partner network.
- Time: Depending on your ad schedule.
If you find that conversion rates are low for certain time periods, networks, locations, or devices, it is wise to either omit those segments or change the bids for them.
5. Change your targeting
When utilizing an automated bidding approach, the capacity to modify bids is quite restricted, although it is possible to adjust the objectives. For example, when utilizing the Max Conversions bidding strategy, one can set a target CPA (tCPA).
By utilizing TCPA bidding on Google Ads, you can be a great way to minimize costs provided that you are aware of the costs which you could afford to incur in order to be profitable.
However, you should ensure that your target is reasonable and realistic. If you set a target that is too low, Google may struggle to identify auctions that correspond with that criteria – which could result in fewer impressions, leading to a reduction in clicks and, ultimately, conversions, which would raise your CPL.
6. Optimize results by trimming, pausing, or changing keywords
- Nurturing your high-performing keywords is crucial for optimizing your lead generation. Identify keywords with low costs per click and high conversion rates, then allocate more budget to those successful campaigns.
- Maintaining a negative keyword list is equally essential. Utilise the search terms report to identify keywords that exhibit certain patterns like:
- Lots of clicks but low or no conversions.
- At least 3 conversions but a CPA significantly exceeding your target (3-4 times higher).
- Decent impression count but a low click-through rate.
- Pause keywords exhibiting these traits. Consider pausing keywords with CPAs double your account average, preserving historical data rather than removing them entirely.
- Ensure that keyword volume is sufficient. While improving the Quality Score is beneficial, it won't impact CPL if your high-QS keywords have minimal volume. Strike a balance between quality and quantity for effective lead generation.
7. Refresh the look of your landing pages
Though you may have the necessary landing page best practices for success, such as being relevant, useful, and loading quickly, you may need to do some landing page optimization if you're targeting the right audience but not seeing conversions. To improve, you have several optimisation options. The below landing page mock-up illustrates the key elements you could test out, which include:
- Forms: Amount of fields, what the placeholder reads, and the call to action for the submit button.
- Buttons: What colors are used, the words on them, and how many buttons.
- Copy: What emotions are being induced, how big and what colors the text is, customer reviews, and other dynamic content.
- Images: People with their reviews, pictures of the platform, and visuals with positive or negative connotations.
Moreover, adding dynamic content and video elements to your landing page can enhance its appeal. These features not only capture attention but also contribute to a more engaging and compelling user experience, ultimately boosting the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts.
8. Streamline your conversion tracking to enhance precision
The final step in driving down your cost per lead in Google Ads is to organize your conversion tracking. Ensure that your tracking is up-to-date by following these steps:
1. Start on the right foot: Use our step-by-step guide to ensure that your basic conversion tracking set up is in order from the get go.
2. Install Offline Conversion Tracking: Linking your CRM to Google Ads can provide deeper insights into which keywords and targeting choices yield the most cost-effective conversions. It also allows for more precise targeting. Read Google’s instructions for Offline Conversion Tracking to understand your options.
4. Set conversion values consistently: Establish conversion values, even if you're not using a value-based bidding approach. This not only supports data gathering for future decisions but also offers a comprehensive view of your account performance.
Let's Recap: Strategies to Reduce Cost Per Lead (CPL) on Google Ads
As you've discovered, reducing your cost per lead in Google Ads is not a one-size-fits-all approach but involves a combination of adjustments across your account. These tweaks should be tailored to campaigns with the most value, those with growth potential, or those needing improvement. Take a closer look at your campaigns to determine which strategies align best with your account.
To sum up, here are the we identified above for lowering your cost per lead (or cost per action) in Google Ads
- Closely monitor our ‘limited by budget’ campaigns
- Improve your Quality Score
- Structure your account for greater efficiency
- Tweak your bids
- Change your targeting
- Optimise results by trimming, pausing, or changing keywords
- Refresh the look of your landing pages
- Streamline your conversion tracking to enhance precision
Ready to maximise your Google Ads performance? Connect with our paid media experts and level up your digital strategy with us!