April 3, 2020 - Brittany Garlin
Now is the time for your business to take advantage of conversion rate optimization and reviews to enhance improve branding as more buyers shift to digital.
According to Michael Nathanson, an analyst at MoffettNathanson, with companies widely expected to slash marketing budgets, the ad industry could see nearly $26 billion in lost revenue, or a 10.6% decline.
i4 Solutions was founded in 2001 at a time when most website designers in the area were using static HTML sites that were difficult to update and maintain. i4 Solutions broke the mold, offering database-driven websites that were easy to update and manage, all while offering personalized designs at a fraction of the cost of their competitors. This differentiating factor helped i4 Solutions quickly gain popularity and drove them to become one of the largest web design firms in Salt Lake City.
As other firms began to offer services similar to what i4 Solutions provided, owners Brandon Anderson and Mike Rivera decided to continue pressing forward with innovative ideas, which gave rise to i4 Solutions’ flagship product, Titanium CMS. Titanium CMS is the content management system that powers i4’s uniquely designed websites. This CMS has received rave reviews from both new and existing clients.
i4 Solutions provides high-quality products backed by friendly and responsive attention to client needs. Whether you’re looking for a new website or marketing solutions to promote your existing site, i4 Solutions is ready to help you take your business to the next level.
Let’s dive into some of the insights they provided us on conversion rate optimization and reviews.
Simply put, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process by which marketers enable users to take a specific action when visiting a website. While there are many ways of going about this, ultimately, all conversion rate optimization should help the consumer to make well-informed decisions both quickly and with the assurance that they will be taken care of. In a nutshell, CRO is making the user’s experience easier and more enjoyable so that they are more likely to convert from a browser into a customer.
Since conversion rates are just the percentage of users who have been converted on a webpage, the math for determining the conversion rate of a page is fairly simple. We take the number of converted web visitors and divide it by the total number of page visitors. Most tracking systems, such as Google Analytics, will calculate the conversion rate of specific actions automatically once they have been configured in the software.
People trust reviews, plain and simple. Whether it is a B2C or B2B product or service, you can expect that people will rely on the experience of their peers to guide their choices. According to a BrightLocal Survey from 2018, over 78% of individuals value online reviews as personal recommendations. By comparison, only 3% of consumers indicated they trusted marketers or salespeople.
What this means is that reviews need to play a role in every B2B (and B2C) marketer’s funnel. Time and time again, research has shown that the presence of reviews increases conversion rates and increases consumer trust. If you’re not utilizing testimonials from your customers, you are simply missing out on additional revenue. In fact, reviews and testimonials are one of the four key elements we use to help enhance conversion rates for our clients here at i4 Solutions.
Incorporating reviews into your optimization strategy is as easy as presenting the best ones somewhere on your webpage. We highly recommend including a button, badge, or widget above the fold that gives a quick summary of the company’s star rating and the number of reviews. This creates an instant sense of trust for the user that they are not the first person to take this action and that others have had a good experience. By linking to an anchor on the page with full review details, the customer is enabled to quickly do their own research.
Another great strategy for utilizing reviews is to create testimonial videos that can be included in the web content. If a picture says a thousand words, then a video says a million, and a well-placed testimonial video can answer questions, encourage sales, and empower customers. Testimonial videos are an extremely powerful tool that should be utilized in every campaign.
Improving CRO is all about getting the best possible results for the lowest possible effort, so naturally, it makes sense to start on the pages that are already being marketed. For our clients, this tends to be pages that have an ongoing SEO or PPC campaign. For eCommerce websites, this is often times the product pages or the final checkout page.
Conversion rate optimization can also be applied to just about any common start pages on the website. As the first page a potential customer will see, the start pages play a big role in their first impression. If the start pages have a high bounce rate, then they are not being effective and should be re-evaluated. Implementing CRO on start pages will help users to find what they were looking for more quickly and to bounce less often.
Conversion rate optimization is one of the most valuable things a marketer can do to improve their campaigns. It’s essential to get real ROI out of your campaigns and to understand how effective your marketing is. The same exact ads can have a vastly different outcome if CRO tactics are applied to one but not another. It’s really the difference between success and failure. The effects of CRO are truly invaluable.
I don’t think there is ever a time where conversion rate optimization is a bad idea. At i4 Solutions, we believe in constantly improving, and to me, this means that if I see an action I can take to improve my client’s performance and results, then I should take this action as soon as possible. For us, conversion rate optimization is not a task or step; it is a constant process.
That being said, there are times when conversion rate optimization will be more effective, and there are times where it will not. For example, if a campaign has recently begun and there is not very much data, it may be wise to collect data for a longer period of time. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to spend time on conversion rate optimization for pages that do not get very much traffic on a regular basis. The best pages for CRO are advertising landing pages, the website’s home page, and any other page that drives traffic with a specific goal in mind.
I suggest asking for a review immediately after doing business with a client, especially if we did any in-person work. You are more likely to get a positive review at this time than any other, and by asking in-person, you can also explain how important reviews are to your success. Giving them some sort of reminder, such as a text or an email with the link to the reviews page, can help to ensure they don’t forget if they get busy. We also encourage our clients to follow up afterward and thank their customers for their time and thoughtful comments.
In our experience, one of the easiest ways to get more reviews is simply to ask for them. If you already provided a good product or service, there is a good chance your clients would be happy to leave a review; you just need to ask. Obviously, this will not be the case every time, but businesses who make a habit of requesting feedback will be the ones who get it most often.
At i4 Solutions, we encourage feedback in a number of ways. First, we are actively asking for reviews all of the time, but in some cases, we are more strategic about how and when we ask for the client’s feedback. Good timing can be the difference between a basic 5-star rating and a lengthy glowing testimonial.
A giant thank you to Zac and the rest of the i4 Solutions team that shared their insights for our #FeatureFriday post.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about #FeatureFriday and the topics discussed above. If you work at an agency and are interested in being a guest on our #FeatureFriday please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to talk social media, you can always find me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with social media marketers and creatives so don’t hesitate to reach out!
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