man looking down at something
Conversion Rate Optimization involves using analytics and user feedback to improve the performance of your website. PHOTO: LoboStudio Hamburg

Marketers dream of converting people who browse to paying customers, but it's no easy goal to accomplish.

Research shows only about 22 percent of businesses have achieved their desired conversion rates, which is a serious problem.

It all comes down to effective marketing strategies. Two of the most important considerations are design and content, with success ultimately measured by the return on investment (ROI).

Understanding CRO

Let's take a look at the fundamentals of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) the method of using analytics and user feedback to improve the performance of your website. CRO usually involves analyzing everything from your landing pages to user experience to see what you are doing right and identify areas of possible improvement.

We'll break this down into three categories: people, personalization and platform.

1. People

Successful marketing starts with a clear understanding of people: Businesses need to use all the historical data at their disposal to get insights to serve their customers and potential customers in the best possible way. As the saying goes, “Don’t think like a fisherman, think like a fish”.

In today’s competitive business environment, where buyers have high expectations, it is essential to meet their needs and expectations. It will help you keep customers and convert others.

Start by categorizing or segmenting your customers by creating buyer personas based on choices, buying habits and other factors.

You should also address mobility: most people have moved to the mobile web and the future of the internet depends on mobile devices. Research shows that businesses have achieved 33 percent more click-through rate (CTR) results with mobile devices.

2. Personalization

Businesses are adopting a wealth of technologies to enhance their abilities to offer personalized marketing messages.

Customers don't want to be addressed generically; today, they expect your messaging to be specific and customized to their wants and needs.

Study after study confirms website personalization influences buying decisions, often significantly. Options like Personyse, a web personalization and monetization tool, can help businesses improve personalization and ultimately the customer experience.

There are also technologies like Crazy Egg and Hotjar, which enable businesses to analyze users on a website or landing page. They provide insights about a user’s behavior with the help of heat maps.

The visualization makes it easy to understand user behavior and help you plan content and product placements.

How do you know if your strategies are working? Test and test again with the help of options such as Google Analytics Solutions, WMO or Unbounce, which all offer A/B testing tools.

3. Platform

Choose a platform that allows you sell globally. Last year 2.5 billion people were on the internet, so make sure you optimize your reach worldwide. To do so you need to make it easier for more people, in more places, to buy from you.

For example, in China, most people do not have credit cards, but many people —more than 400 million — use Alipay.

Your platform selection is also guided by the technologies you use. Check for platform compatibility with your other marketing software.

An ideal platform allows you to deploy variations of your webpages to different user segments. It also provides robust analytics to track the effectiveness of your website.