Conversion Rate Audit 101: A Simple Guide for Entrepreneurs
Whether you're getting traffic from paid ads, inbound marketing, or cold outreach, your website's main objective is to convert that traffic into sales.
However, some aspects of your website can cause unnecessary friction, which drives away your hard-earned traffic.
That raises the question: how do you root out sticking-points and fix them to convert as many visitors as possible?
Enter the conversion rate audit.
A conversion rate audit is a multi-part website analysis that breaks down various aspects and shows you how to improve.
In this guide, we'll cover:
Ready to go? let's dive in!
Types of Conversion Rate Audit
There's three primary factors that drive high conversion rates:
Fine-tuned website performance
Excellent website navigation & Intuitive design
Let's delve a bit deeper into each are and learn how you can optimize each one:
1. Technical Audit
Your audience wants a quick website experience. Google recommends that your page load time should generally be under 2 seconds.
You can use online tools like PageSpeed Insights to check your page load time and see Google's suggestions on improving your page speed.
Apart from speed, look for any broken links, incorrect form addresses, poor linking, and broken cart processes that might turn your customers away.
Once you've assessed the technical basics, look into the SEO of your website. A few questions you should be able to answer after auditing the SEO aspects of your website are:
Are your web pages optimized with high-quality keywords?
Have you written an appropriate meta-title and tag for each page?
Does every page have an appropriate H1 tag?
Are there any pages that link to missing resources?
Did Google crawl my webpages?
Finally, you should check if your website is compatible with all devices and browsers.
Note: To conduct an advanced technical audit, you may need to consult a web optimization or SEO expert.
2. Design/UX Audit
An attractive website interface automatically stands out from your competitors and captures your visitors' attention.
But remember this - a good design is not just about visual aesthetics; it's more about how you guide your visitors to take the desired actions on your website.
Here are a few pointers to guide your design/UX audit:
Use whitespace to prevent visual overload
Visible CTA for driving quick sales
Neatly divided sections
For example, here's how an eCommerce store called Tanner Goods ticks all the required checkboxes.
First of all, the landing page is simple. It uses a good amount of whitespace and smartly utilizes a CTA in every image of the slideshow.
Next, it divides all of its products into neat categories. A good banner image gives visitors a gist of what they can expect.
A key point to note here is - the number of mobile visitors is skyrocketing. If you don't optimize your website for mobile audiences, you're going to miss a huge chunk of profits.
You don't have to create a separate website for your mobile audiences. Many popular website builders have options for mobile optimization.
3. Copy Audit
Descriptions, headings, and texts "talk" to your visitors. The highly profitable online websites have tapped into the formula of engaging their customers and building trust through their words.
The first thing you should do is check for the grammar. Nobody likes grammatical errors.
During your conversion rate audit, you should have a general idea of your audience's demographics.
Notice their colloquial language and social media interaction styles to know more. Here are my top 3 tips for a compelling copy audit:
a) Relatable Headings And Product Names
If you run a clothing brand and your buyer persona is a trendy late 20s male, your headings should be relatable.
Here's an excellent example from Chubbies:
b) Product Descriptions
Product descriptions that show how you solve your audience's problems equal more conversions.
For example, let's suppose you run a kidswear eCommerce store. In that case, your audience is generally going to be new parents. Your website copy should show how you understand the struggles of kids quickly outgrowing the clothing sizes.
Here's an example of a neat and detailed product description from Mothercare:
c) Accurate CTAs
Steer away from misleading CTAs and choose ones that directly explain what visitors can expect. Keep the CTA area neat and uncluttered. Here's how Avast does it right:
Now that we have a basic idea about the types of conversion rate audits let's dive into the details of how your website can benefit from it.
The Benefits of Doing A Conversion Rate Audit
So, you know the different types of conversion rate audits, now let's examine why doing one is crucial for your business.
1. A Better User Experience
Nothing turns your customers off other than incomplete product descriptions, broken links, and tedious checkout processes.
When you know what aspects of your site are detracting from your customers' experience, it's easy to create a more streamlined shopping experience that they'll love.
2. Better Knowledge of Customer Behaviour
Here's where the conversion rate audit provides you with a realistic image of buyer behavior. For example, you might have speculated that the ideal high-value buyer for your toystore comes from YouTube Kids.
But when you do a conversion rate audit, you might see how the traffic is directed from parent forums and preschool blogs. Sometimes, you might assume that your upselling techniques work well, but it may be the bundling tactics that attract your customers.
3. Data-Driven Decision Making
Once you complete your conversion rate audit, making data-driven decisions is a no-brainer. You can set clear goals for all the pages on your website and set targets for each page's role in the sales funnel.
Once you decide the clear objective and utility of the pages and subpages on your website, you will be in a better position to optimize the page for conversions, and making meaningful headlines, CTAs, and other elements will seem more manageable.
The Most Common Issues Identified by a Conversion Rate Audit
You've spent time and labor in bringing traffic to your website. However, it's about those minor mistakes that prevent this traffic from converting into customers.
Here are some of the issues you may find cropping up:
Poorly Targeted Ads: Perhaps you wanted a woman to click on your luxury nightwear ad, but your ad targeting was incorrect, so the ad gets displayed on a videogame exchange site.
Security Concerns: Sometimes it's the security concerns or suspicious checkout processes that turn visitors away. Always ensure that your site has a valid SSL certificate. As you know, a 'not secure' tab on top is a huge turn-off.
Not Optimized for Mobile Audience: Your website might look the coolest thing ever for your desktop audience, but if it seems like a mess for your mobile audience, you're missing out on the profits. People are increasingly using their mobile phones for online purchases.
Broken Links: Google (and your visitors) hate broken links and will punish your site for having them. Keep your website updated, and always use a redirect link or button on your 404 pages.
Streamlined Checkout: The primary purpose of your eCommerce websites is to make money. The most crucial process in driving profits is your Checkout flow.
It's simple to audit your checkout by taking note of the following points:
Avoid last-minute surprises like a spike in delivery charges or taxes in the checkout process
Customization or personalization options
Having a progress bar to keep the customer engaged during the checkout process
Show security and trust seals during the payment process
Put correctly linked contact forms and actively maintained email addresses
A live chatbot would be great (if possible)
When Do You Need A Conversion Rate Audit?
When you're starting an online business from scratch, you don't have an audience. You mightn't even have a finished product.
So, the two things you will need before starting a conversion rate audit are:
Minimum Viable Product (MVP): MVP allows you to test your idea with prospective buyers in the real market. It will enable you to leverage the necessary early feedback and puts your product idea at the forefront of your business.
A Solid Buyer Persona To successfully assess your audience, you need an ideal buyer persona. You can start your initial research by finding your ideal buyer's demographics, general likes and dislikes, and social media platforms they're active on.
Go Forth & Audit Your Site's Conversion Rate!
Conversion rate audit should be a no-brainer for the vast majority of websites. It's a robust and straightforward process that proves to be extremely valuable for your business in the long run.
The insights from your conversion rate audit will allow you to optimize your website in your business's best interest.
And now over to you! Have you conducted a conversion rate audit? What tips do you have for other entrepreneurs? Let's hear them in the comments!
Azfar is an eCommerce ninja who's been writing about eCommerce for over 4 years. Feel free to check out more of his work over on Conversionskitchen.com