Conversion rate optimization, in its simplest terms, is the ability to get those people who are already at a website to convert to a sale. In the past, the mentality has been that a website only needs to get people to visit it. The act of getting those people to make a sale was sure to follow, or so conventional wisdom lead everyone to believe. The reality of this approach, however, is not matching up to the initial premise, often resulting in a website seeing only 2% of their visitors converting.
Bringing Traffic to a Website
In the past, Internet marketers typically used one of two methods to drive traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) were the most viable and popular strategies utilized for doing so. Many websites used a combination of both techniques in order to cast a wide net for visitors. What many people eventually realized, though, is just because the website was built and available, people did not necessarily come to visit and stay to make a purchase. In fact, in almost all cases, visitors simply came for a few moments before setting off for the next website, never even making a purchase in the process.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
In order to effectively increase conversion optimization, costs cannot increase. That is, websites need to figure out how to make themselves more attractive so that the visitors that come to their pages make a purchase more often. This negates the necessity of having to jump through hoops to pull in more visitors. Determining how best to appeal to those people so that they convert to a sale is a matter of debate.
Two Innovative Ideas
Some people want to move directly to the testing phase and determine how changing the various components and elements of a website affect conversion rates. Other people focus on understanding the thought processes of their visitors first before moving on to the testing phase. Each approach has valid points, and regardless of which one is used, the testing phase needs to be explored.
Testing Options to Think About
The first testing option is often called A/B, or split, testing. There are two different versions of the same webpage with one designated as the control. One variable of the control page is changed, making the second page. The visitors are split into two groups with one group viewing each page. The ratio can be manipulated and conversion rates tracked to determine which version gives greater results.
Multivariant testing is the second way websites can test to determine which version is more likely to result in conversions. A set combination of variables is changed and tested against the control page. The ratio of visitors is split among the different versions and their conversion rates are then compared with each other to determine which version of the website resulted in greater sales.