Measuring the effectiveness of the various forms of content is no ones business but yours. Regardless if you have a blog or you’re working as a content marketer for a company, you should clearly define WHAT you want to achieve with your content and HOW are you going to do that. Only after that you will be able to apply CRO hacks and to enjoy results.
Your goals are the engine that will drive all of the efforts, so take the time to make sure that the WHAT component has a clear definition in your mind. As far as the HOW part is concerned, expect a vigorous measurement of your actions if you’re going for the big fish.
The buzz around the KPIs that don’t matter as much as everybody thinks they do – such as the number of downloads or FB likes – isn’t just an opinion, but a fact. If your goal is to increase ROI, focus on metrics that matter. Measuring the right metrics is as vital as starting your blog from the scratch.
The vital KPIs in content marketing concern aspects like reach, engagement and social interaction. These 3 pillars should form a sacred basis for anything that you build further on your website. If the foundation is weak, your castle will fall.
While the reach goal deals with unique visitors and their characteristics (e.g.: geolocation and the device type of one’s visit on the website), the other two components are oriented more on sales. Engagement with one’s site can be measured by looking at these two KPIs values: Bounce Rate and Time on Site. These 2 KPIs are in a strong relationship with the conversion rate – the percentage of people who complete a task on a website from the total number of visits. For example, if your aim is to grow your list at 10,000 e-mail subscribers, and you approach this task with conversion rate optimization, the conversion will be defined as a subscription.
Here are 5 CRO hacks to apply on your website starting from today:
1. Increase newsletter subscription rate by using exit-intent technology
The value of one’s content should be enough to convince people to put their e-mail address in the box and subscribe for updates. The only problem here is that the internet readers have sooo many decisions to take every second that they eventually forget to subscribe….if you don’t encourage them to do so. Persuasion is probably the marketer’s obsession of the century, and it has all the rights to be. Thus, generating valuable content is just not enough.
In order to become more persuasive, several adjustments have to be implemented on one’s website. That doesn’t mean that you should customize the entire website for different types of visitors, but to test and optimize your content and design and to interact with the website’s visitors in a way that doesn’t disturb them. With CRO, you can easily achieve both objectives, given the fact that this marketing tactic involves A/B testing and content personalization. One of my favorite CRO techniques is prompting pop-ups when an exit intent is detected.
Use technology for your own good, because fear hasn’t helped anyone to succed by now. When you prompt an exit pop-up to your website’s visitors, you are applying the principle of “under promise, over deliver”: people love surprises, and the exit is the perfect moment to invite someone to download a white-paper for free. What you get is their e-mail address and, in terms of metrics, one more conversion.
Here are a few examples of exit pop-ups:
2. Identify the most efficient layout, colors and copy with A/B testing
A/B testing is probably the most popular tactic used by the CRO experts. In order to find out exactly what changes have a positive impact on the conversion rate, proceed to create a variation of the original page by changing a single element on it. In most cases, the headline is the most useful element to test when it comes to sites that generate content on a daily basis. You probably already know that Upworthy is testing the hell out of its headlines. Why should you A/B test your hypotheses? Firstly, as a marketer you may already know that your instinct will disappoint you at some point and secondly, the human’s brain cannot measure real time results like an A/B testing software does. 🙂
3. Get valuable insights about the visitors using logic branching surveys
The information that you get through data analysis is valuable, but not as precious as the information that comes directly from your audience. Use surveys to find out various things about your website’s visitors:
- satisfaction with the content they have already “consumed”
- preference for the content forms – they may prefer a complete guide instead of several blog posts
- how would they like to receive updates (frequency)
- if they are willing to pay for your content
- what topics do they prefer to read more about
Here is what kind of information you can obtain with surveys:
Needs/ Interests discovery:
- Have you found what you were looking for on this website?
- How did you find out about us?
Understanding behavior + Segmentation + Lead generation:
- How often do you read about x topic?
- Age, Sex
- E-mail address
Identify converting barriers+ discover solutions:
- What can we do to improve your experience on our website?
Net promoter score
- From a scale from 1 to 10, how likely it it that you to recommend my blog to your friends or colleagues?
4. Increase the average time on a page and reduce the bounce rate with A/B testing
A/B testing helps you not only to discover which design changes appeal the most to different segments of traffic, but to reduce bounce rate and to increase time on site. This CRO technique will show you which page elements have the power to make the reader stay on the site, instead of leaving it after viewing one single page.
For example, you can set up an A/B test to see if inserting a message in a frame box in the blog post’s body will encourage visitors to check some other web pages and interact with the site more. At Omniconvert, we use two great options to track engagement:
- a preset goal called “engagement” that reveals if a website’s visitor has viewed at least 3 pages in a session and if the time on site is greater 180 seconds.
- the option to track clicks on particular keywords, images and other page elements in order to observe which ones are the most appealing to the visitors
5. Measure Visitor Satisfaction Index and find out what are the visitor’s interests in order to create a reading habit
The heartbeat is a habit that keeps us alive. As the heart manages to do a great job while ticking every day, in the same way, the reader should return to your website to check what’s new. By creating a habit, you save the time that you would have spent on driving new visitors to your website. Traffic is good, but why bothering to drive lots of traffic to your website without converting it, transforming it into what your goals state: subscribers, fans, followers. Satisfied visitors will continue to visit your website and recommend it to their friends opening the gates for more relevant traffic for your website. Word of Mouth is the Saint Graal of traffic generation: it is cheaper than other forms of promotion, and it creates an amazing leverage effect.
CRO is probably the most affordable and easiest way to transform your website in an interactive platform by adapting your content to different segments of traffic and becoming more relevant. Personalizing your content gives you the ability to grow you database and to raise your personal brand awareness, while remaining relevant to the whole website’s visitors.