You might feel like you’re dealing with an alphabet soup: SEO, CTA, B2B, and more. Each plays an important role in drawing in prospective customers and encouraging them to buy your products or services. But one aspect of digital marketing – conversion rate optimization – is currently set to gain a new level of attention in the coming years. As such, you need to listen up and take note of some of the upcoming CRO trends. Some of these trends are continuations of digital marketing initiatives in previous years. This upcoming year will bring some new CRO trends. These will catch your company’s marketing team by surprise if you are not properly prepared.
Some of these fresh CRO trends may even blaze a path for future CRO innovations. These can make them all more important to account for. Especially, if you want to remain on the cutting edge of digital marketing.
If you’ve begun your marketing strategy planning for the coming year, take some time and read through this guide. It will cover the coming year’s top 5 CRO trends.
By accounting for each of these trends now, your company’s marketing team will be better positioned. It will be easier to convert prospective customers into committed users online for years to come. And if you are prudent about your CRO implementation, it may not even cost you a dollar!
What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
If you’re drawing a blank on the meaning of “conversion rate optimization,” we can’t blame you. After all, there sure are a lot of acronyms to remember when working to optimize your digital presence today. Even if you consider yourself a pro when it comes to optimizing your company website’s new user potential, a quick refresher on CRO won’t hurt.
Let’s start with a basic definition. Conversion rate optimization is a process of enhancing your website’s pages to encourage the visitors to turn into customers. CRO can take on a variety of large and small forms. Each of them can play a crucial role in establishing best practices for your digital marketing or get actionable data for future marketing campaigns.
Even more important – Though CRO is often spoken of in the context of a landing page, a pricing page, or web hosting, CRO can actually occur on any of your company’s webpages, in theory. Different users take different paths towards finding their desired information online. It is important to diversify your CRO efforts without spreading your resources too thin.
Also, it’s important to understand that not every CRO method is appropriate for every website. CRO is so heavily based on user experiences (UX). Digital marketing directors who intend on redoubling their CRO efforts must understand their audience and their regular actions. This should be done before implementing any of the following trends.
Even if one of the following CRO tips ends up falling flat for you, get back up and try another. You should stop until you see a more positive conversion rate on your digital commerce hub.
CRO Trends to Keep an Eye On
As we move into the future, CRO trends will become more and more important. Especially those digital marketing managers who want to stay on top of their game to keep their fingers on the pulse of the CRO trends.
This, among other worthwhile benefits, will ensure that these managers are able to adapt their day-to-day operations and long-term strategizing. The final goal: to meet the needs of an ever-fluctuating user base.
Drawn directly from CRO crystal ball, these following 5 CRO trends are currently on course to become standardized features of the digital marketing ecosystem over the next several years. Of course, each and every one of these trends may not play a role in your company’s upcoming digital marketing strategy. However, you should still take them into consideration. This way you can fully account for the forces shaping this thoroughly modern industry
Trend #1 – Personalization
First up is an overarching trend that will certainly come to influence the way digital marketers plan their webpages and data collection going forward. The operative word here is…personalization. Regardless of the setting, prospective customers always appreciate the feeling that they are receiving special treatment.
Through mindful planning, your company’s website can reflect a spirit of personalization. It may well affect your conversion rate going forward
Social media platforms led the charge on the personalization front several years ago. Now it’s time for other websites to catch up. You certainly don’t need the scale and resources of Facebook or Twitter to accomplish your personalization goals. You can take a page from their book and tailor parts of your interface based upon a user’s browsing history or geographic location.
This can even extend beyond the bounds of your website, through advertisement retargeting (detailed below in trend #4)
Overall, your personalization efforts should be geared towards creating “value” for each and every new visitor. While “value” can be defined broadly in this context, any “value” that you are concerned with creating should result in a conversion, ideally.
As a result, you may need to test out several different personalization modules. For example, a customizable interface or adaptive content recommendation. Once it’s done, you can settle on a method that best suits your audience.
Trend #2 – Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
Here’s a call-to-action for you – make your calls-to-action clearer this coming year! You’re likely already using devoted calls-to-action in your website’s content. However, you may not be utilizing them to their full strength.
That’s not entirely your fault, though. Many savvy internet users today are able to gloss over calls-to-action without feeling their impact (a phenomenon sometimes known as “banner blindness”). This, in turn, causes a fair number of missed conversions.
There are a few remedies for this problem that most (if not all) digital marketers can take note of while creating future website content. First off, always include a call-to-action as soon as possible. In other words, don’t bury your lead deep within your copy or hide it among a sea of images; make sure that your call-to-action is plain to see and as enticing as possible without overselling your product or service.
Also, if possible, make your call-to-action visually appealing without becoming overly distracting. Many companies that offer consultations or service quotes often accomplish this by placing a brightly colored button. It contrasts the background color near the top of their webpages.
Also, if you are able to perform A/B style testing (detailed below in Trend #3), you are much more likely to find a CTA method that reliably returns conversions.
Trend #3 – Quantitative Testing
Looking towards the future, digital marketers need to work the scientific method into their strategic planning. Specifically, digital marketers need to implement a cycle of forming hypotheses, testing with a live user base, and gathering actionable data.
When implemented correctly, these live tests can provide a digital marketing team with a treasure trove of data. Managers can use them to modify a website’s user experience to meet a core audience’s needs.
For example, many digital marketing teams have begun to utilize the power of their modern website platforms to perform A/B tests on their live website. In essence, an A/B test allows a team member to add in two or more different options for a particular article title or CTA repetition and then gather data on which option received the most attention from users.
When compounded, data gathered from these tests can allow a website to become more personalized to its primary audience’s interest (which meets the criteria of trend #1 above). Diggity Marketing has an informative blog post that explains this process in a little more detail.
Trend #4 – Retargeting
One of the CRO trends is retargeting. Have you ever noticed that you only ever seem to get ads online for companies whose websites you’ve visited recently? Well, that isn’t just a coincidence. In fact, many major online retailers today participate in a process of retargeting in order to support the conversion process after a prospective customer has left their website. Retargeting has particularly become a favorite of digital retailers who are working to segment their current and future customer base.
Though retargeting (sometimes known also as “remarketing”) comes in several forms, they have all been found to be effective at returning a percentage of the so-called “digital window shoppers.” Digital window shoppers make up nearly 98% of some prospective customer bases. They are making it essential to use methods such as retargeting to convert at least a portion back into active customer base.
Depending on the mechanics of your website hosting platform, you may be able to initiate retargeting right from your standard dashboard. However, outside services also exist to give your business a second, third, or even fourth opportunity to secure that all-important CRO.
Trend #5 – Cross-Platform Experiences
Finally, savvy digital marketers who are looking towards the future need to fully understand the importance of cross-platform experiences. That’s because it is becoming increasingly common for repeat users of a website to access the domain from several different platforms, including desktop browsers and mobile apps.
An ideal cross-platform experience allows for a seamless transition between the two without the need to sacrifice any core functionality or accessibility.
In many cases, the actual work of creating an optimized cross-platform experience will fall to a UI/UX team who has experience with cross-platform strategization. That being said, the data gathered through your quantitative testing (described above in trend #3) can greatly support key choices. For example, formatting, font choices, and content placement.
Recently, some website building platforms allow for instant cross-platform experience analysis through live previews. If these are available to you, utilize them each and every time something is added to your website. This way you ensure that both desktop and mobile users are receiving equal opportunities to complete a conversion.
Pages that Can Benefit from CRO
You may be experiencing some difficulty finding places to implement each of the upcoming CRO trends. If so, consider checking out the following pages on your own website. As a matter of CRO best practice, these are often hotbeds for conversion activity. As such, they are ready for optimization from year to year.
Homepage or Landing Page
Whether you call it a homepage or a landing page, this particular web page needs to have your biggest and best CRO elements on full display. Many internet users today make a decision about whether they want to stay on a website in a couple seconds. It is essential that all CRO elements be prominent and enticing.
However, on the reverse side, you may need to tone down your homepage’s CRO emphasis. Especially, if your website’s tone is becoming overbearing or confusing. Be sure that any CRO materials implemented on your homepage is streamlined and accessible. They still remain direct enough to make audience conversions probable.
Sometimes, implementing a new CRO on your main website can upset the delicate digital balance that you’ve created up to this point. To avoid that hassle, many digital marketing managers have started implementing blogs into their website. There, they can host in-house and freelance content that is relevant to their users while also trying out some of the trendy new CRO methods described above.
Any and all pricing pages must be formatted and designed with conversion in mind. After all, these pages are often where prospective buyers do their comparison shopping and make the final decision to purchase your product or service.
Sometimes you’ll find that a bunch of prospective buyers are jumping ship on your pricing page. In this case, consider implementing a CRO or two to refocus their attention.
CRO and Your Website’s Future
All in all, there’s a lot that you need to know. You’re going to make the most of your digital marketing team’s CRO efforts.
It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in this domain. However, it is equally important that you put those trends into practice as soon as possible. The results will be achieved by digital marketing teams who are hard-working. Especially by those who are fully committed to putting these CRO best practices into action.
Angelo has been involved in the creative IT world for over 20 years. He built his first website back in 1998 using Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop. He expanded his knowledge and expertise by learning a wider range of programming skills, such as HTML/CSS, Flash ActionScript and XML.
Angelo completed formal training with the CIW (Certified Internet Webmasters) program in Sydney Australia, learning the core fundamentals of computer networking and how it relates to the infrastructure of the world wide web.
Apart from running Sunlight Media, Angelo enjoys writing informative content related to web & app development, digital marketing and other tech related topics.