Understanding CRO

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Making your website convert

M3SM started way back in 2005 as Tracy and Michael as a part of the largest digital marketing franchise in the world. Over the years we developed a reputation for customer service and excellence in both digital marketing and website design.  With a few awards and a book under our belt, we were invited to become suppliers to the franchise marketplace, offering our services to other digital marketing agencies.

Today we are no longer a part of the franchise, but still continue to work with agencies up and down the UK, delivering digital and traditional marketing solutions. We work with many clients honing in their Paid Advertising services on Google, and Google approached us to become a Google Partner, sent us to a boot camp in Manchester and we passed all the exams required to make the working arrangement with official. We are very proud to be a Google Partner and this puts us in the best place to tell you how Google works, and how understanding this can help your business. 

In addition to being a Google partner, we like to do things a little differently when it comes to online marketing, and ensuring that the website visitor gets the very best user experience is key to getting results for our clients.

It’s not all about clicks

It’s fairly easy to get clicks or traffic to your website, but it’s the quality of those web visitors that can make the difference to your website converting or just becoming a place people visit and leave quickly.

We believe strongly that getting the right kind of people to your website in the first instance is key to the success of your website.

However, once they are there, we need to work at getting them to do what you want them to do, which for most businesses and organisations is to buy from you. Of course some organisations (such as the NHS) want to give you the knowledge to help yourself, rather than making contact or paying a visit! Whatever your goals for your website, it needs to work.

A conversion is an action that your business would like your website visitor to take. This can be placing an order, downloading a pdf document, completing a form or even calling your telephone. 

Tracy Spence

Conversion helps your business by reducing your baseline costs, yet increasing leads or sales or phone calls etc. 

By using conversion techniques to give your website visitor a better user experience and drive them through to where you want them to go next, you don’t always need more visitors to increase your revenues.

The table shown above indicates how you can reduce your cost per conversion by focusing not on increasing web visitor numbers, but on increasing that conversion rate. Of course, if you want to do both, then you will continue to reap the rewards.

The best way to show you what we do is to take you through a few real life examples.

Global automation company:

Working in partnership with an independent  Internet Consultant, we were commissioned to review the group EU website with conversion in mind. 

After identifying their persona’s and their goals with a team of directors and managers driving the project, we set to work on some intensive usability research which included: 

 – On-site visits and group interviews  in the UK and Europe

 – On-site interviews with their clients, distributors and internal staff both in the UK and rest of Europe, group based

 – Web based Market Research Surveys for the UK and Europe and analysis

 – One to One Video Usability Testing and Analysis

 – Google Analytics Analysis

 – Heat Map and click intention testing and  Analysis

 – Web Resolution Analysis and testing

 – CMS Analysis to base recommendations on what is achievable within their current CMS system

 – Collation of results and reporting 

We provided them with an in-depth report with recommendations based on their CRM system. Identifying quick fixes and a list of medium term and long term changes as identified by their users. 

The whole process not only enabled their marketing department to fully understand the needs of their website visitors, but it also made their clients, distributors and other stakeholders feel valued. 

It’s strange how after years of doing this, some of the things that come up with the testing become very obvious.

Here are just a few of the recommendations we made: 

Their secondary navigation was embedded within an image, and depending on the imagery, this made navigation difficult at times. 

We made a simple recommendation that they could implement immediately and we could instantly see the effect on Google Analytics. Their secondary level menu was on top of the banner image and this meant that depending on the banner image itself, the secondary menu could not be seen. We suggested they simply added a one colour strip to the top of their banner images meaning that the menu could be seen. 

Other recommendations included creating calls to action on the home page, moving the social media icons and making the banners clickable. 

The recommendations were easily addressed in their CRM system, and the banner changes for Conversion and SEO recommendations we made have already been actioned.  We have compared against the previous year using Google Analytics.

The Results:

As compared with the previous year, we have increased the number of new visitors coming to their website, we have also decreased the bounce rate (number of people leaving immediately) increased the number of pages being visited and the length of time being spent on these pages too. 

Next we will show you what we did for a Global Charity:

We have been working with this particular client for many years and are continually evolving their multiple websites for conversion.

The main aim of these sites is to gather monetary donations, either a one off hit, or a monthly recurring donation. 

Again we have used many different techniques to increase their conversion rate, but the most important ones we use are click intention tracking and Google Analytics. 

Recommendations are ongoing

… but we discovered fairly quickly that the footer of these websites were in fact very active. With that in mind, we made sure that the web visitor did not need to scroll back to the top of the website to donate their money.

We also, through trial and error, worked out that the best colour for this particular website was in fact not the usual burnt orange that is our most common recommendation, but in fact red. 

Red is often considered to be a colour that indicates a warning, or it could also indicates that (when you see a bank statement anyway) financially you are not doing so well. Perhaps the latter is the mind set generated in this instance, but it works none the less. 

Another thing we identified was that mobile use was very high indeed, and after deliberating over a responsive website or a unique Mobile site, we determined that a mobile site could be made very visually different and would convert more. 

On both the mobile websites and the main websites, we made sure that when you landed on that all important “Donate Now” page, there should be no distractions at all. Nothing to take you away from that page. You Donate, and that’s all you should see. 


Although visitor numbers were down on the same period in the previous year, because we are focusing on relevant traffic and conversions the main aim was achieved. 

 – The mobile site bounce rate alone was improved by 60.33%

 – The overall average session duration time increased by 30.81%

 – The number of Monetary Transactions increased by 33.31% with an improvement of 61.99% on a mobile device because we did NOT use a responsive design in this instance. 

 – The Conversion rate was up by a whopping 38.36%

CRO is not just for global businesses:

Conversion Techniques can be used in any business, of any size.

As an example. We have worked with an independent consultant for many years, and at this particular review session he stated that he was not getting many phone calls. He wanted calls because he knew as soon as he started to speak with people, he was more likely to close the deal, rather than receiving an email or form completion.

We looked at his website, and in the header was his telephone number, as big and bold as was possible, and with click to call as you would expect.

Also in his header was his logo and his strap line … and because it was filled, you had to scroll down to see the content.

On the “Contact Us” page… within the content itself, there was no telephone number, just the form… and because you had to scroll down to see the content, and because when you get used to a layout of a website (which you do very quickly if it is simple enough) people scrolled without thinking and missed the number completely.

Click intention tracking showed a heavy use of the scroll bar and a lot of visitors exiting on the contact us page. 

The simple fix?  Well, rather than changing the header, we simply added the telephone number to the content. 

His phone started to ring again. 

Next Steps:

If you believe your website could improve with a few simple tweaks and enhancements, then give us a call, or email us, to understand how we can help you get where you want to be, no matter what size your business.

01604 328899 – info@m3sm.co.uk

Tracy Spence is Sales and Marketing Director at M3 Strategic Marketing Ltd, based in Northampton UK. Tracy takes the lead when it comes to Social Media, Search Engine Optimisation and all things Conversion, including online User Behaviour.

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