4 Core Principles of Web Conversion Optimization (A Deep Dive)
There’s a huge disparity in the web conversion rate of top-performing sites versus average ones. The average conversion rate of websites across all industries is 2.35%. However, the top 25% of websites are at 5.31%, while the top 10% hit 11.45% or higher. This means top-performing sites have a conversion rate nearly five times higher than average performers.
So what’s the reason for this gap?
It largely boils down to effectively using web conversion optimization — something elite websites are adept at. In this post, we’ll take a deep dive in the four core principles of web conversion optimization so you’ll know exactly what to focus on and offer actionable tips you can put to practice.
Core Laws Never Change
Before we dive in, there’s a quick point we need to make. Although specific techniques will inevitably evolve, certain core laws will always remain. Regardless of evolutions in technology or marketing platforms, there are unique underlying principles that will never change. Basing your approach around those laws is essential for long-term success, maximizing conversions, and generating more revenue.
And that’s what we’re focusing on here. With that out of the way, here are the four core principles of web conversion you should always follow.
1. Approach Your Strategy with Time and Data
The most important principle of web conversion optimization is acknowledging that it takes time and data to develop an effective strategy. An SEO campaign, for example, can take 6 – 12 months to really get going and show substantial results. PPC advertising such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads can work a little quicker, but the baseline time frame typically ranges from 1 month to 90 days, at the bare minimum.
Regardless of marketing channel, the more data you’ve collected, the more robust your approach and analysis to that data will be. This is a universal principle you see across the board and enables better decisions and reduces wasted ad spend. It’s also what enables you to take the correct steps needed to ensure a campaign is moving in the right direction and producing results within the expected time frame. With the proper approach, this paves the way for your company to maximize lead generation volume while maintaining the highest possible quality leads.
The bottom line is it takes time and data to truly fine-tune your strategy — something that should always be accounted for. This is a time-tested principle that has worked for countless successful businesses and shows the importance of having patience.
2. Conduct Analytical Research
To maximize engagement and ultimately increase the odds of a conversion, you first have to get a prospect to identify with, trust, and like you. Without that, visitors won’t stick around and you’ll never have the chance to transform them from prospects to customers. This begs the question. How do you win prospects over and build affinity and rapport?
It all starts with audience research where you:
- Learn about and understand your audience
- Anticipate their needs
- Figure out how they search for and engage with your value proposition
From there, you can strategically create an enjoyable experience for your audience and ensure your website aligns with what they want. One of the best ways to go about this is to create a user model which is a more comprehensive version of a traditional buyer “persona.”
Here’s what that looks like.
To learn the nuts and bolts of developing user models, check out this previous post we wrote on the topic. Once you have a grasp on who your audience is and their needs, goals, and so on, you can use this to shape your approach and deliver an experience that leads to higher conversions.
3. Perform a Competitive Study and Comparison
Another critical part of web conversion optimization is studying your competition and making a comparison, both at a strategic and tactical level, as this can help you hone and enhance your own website, advertising, and inbound marketing development. Beyond that, it’s an excellent way to pinpoint market gaps where you can potentially outperform key competitors and win over a larger portion of your target audience.
There are several ways to perform competitive research, but a great way to start is by analyzing their website and looking at the following elements:
- Value proposition
- Overall web design and aesthetics
- User experience
- How their products or services are presented (are they easy to understand or is there friction in the process?)
- Content such as blog posts, lead magnets, and case studies
Pay close attention to each of these elements and identify what they’re doing well, what they could be done better, and how you can potentially outperform them. This will provide insight into potential opportunities so you’ll know where to place your focus.
4. Perform Extensive Testing
It really can’t be stressed enough how powerful testing can be for your business. Testing different keywords, driving traffic to different landing pages, and running different iterations of ad messaging and value propositions can all reveal comparative results that lead to clear winners in your testing model. In turn, you can use your findings to put the full force of your advertising budget behind campaign initiatives that are certain to drive results. And by amplifying the performance of the “winner” elements of your campaigns and cutting out elements that didn’t work so well, you put your strategy in a position to thrive.
And here’s the thing. Everything performance-related can be tested — landing pages, calls to action, content offers, email marketing strategy, ad messaging, keyword targeting, ad copy, and more.
A good example of putting testing to practice would be maintaining a primary website but directing smaller ad traffic to sub-landing pages. This would allow you to test the performance of different colors, layouts, branding, messaging, and value propositions to see which produce the best results. From there, you could make the appropriate adjustments to your primary website with confidence knowing it will have a positive impact.
One caveat: you never want to “fix” something that isn’t broken. The hardest part about knowing what to test is — you guessed it — knowing what to test. Although it may seem straightforward, this can stump even veteran marketers. It requires the diligent application of data to prove and make forecasting projections so you’re aware of the potential gains, as well as the ramifications, of campaign optimizations or changes before you make them.
This brings us to our final point.
How a Professional Partner Can Help
Following these four core principles of web conversion optimization can go a long way. That said, there’s no substitute for experience. Many companies can benefit greatly from working with a partner that’s been through a number of campaigns related to your industry. And these partners are aware of the successful strategies and pitfalls associated with launching or maintaining a long-term digital advertising or inbound marketing campaign.
If you’re looking to run a well-oiled marketing machine that produces leads, then consider partnering with a top-tier agency like 3.7 Designs with an extensive background working with clients in the commercial, industrial, manufacturing, and B2B space. Check out this case study to learn how we helped one company increase their leads by 1,000% and achieve a 50% higher than average industry conversion rate.
Understanding the Essentials of Web Conversion Optimization
Tactics and techniques will come and go. But certain web conversion optimization principles will always remain. To recap, those are approaching your strategy with time and data, performing audience research, conducting competitive research, and doing extensive testing. Do these four things effectively, and you can turn more prospects into customers.