CRO Metrics – Marketing and sales is a numbers game, with small percentage improvements potentially leading to a sharp rise in revenue and profit. Conversion rate optimization deals with dozens of stats which indicate the effectiveness of your ecommerce website, including data which reveals the stickiness of individual pages, and conversion rates for key steps in the sales process.
The most valuable CRO metrics and KPIs help focus your attention on critical aspects of online marketing efforts. Improving these numbers will lead to improved conversion of website visitors into qualified leads and buyers.
1. Time Spent On Page
A popular misconception about time on page statistics involves how they’re calculated. Google Analytics isn’t able to measure the amount of time you’ve spent on your last page, because the timestamp used to calculate the numbers depends on when you click through to the next page. If someone leaves for five minutes to take a call before closing the window, those minutes aren’t counted. On the other hand, you won’t be able to tell if someone spent that time consuming the content.
You may not be able to measure bounce page time precisely through Google Analytics, but you can use alternative methods of obtaining a time report. For example, you can embed code into the page that sends time stamps to your database, recording the number of users who fall into pre-determined time categories.
Time is one of the most precious commodities for visitors, so when they linger on your website you know that your content has been achieving an effect. Time on page is one of the most valuable CRO metrics when attempting to measure the stickiness of your website.
2. Bounce Rate
Discovering the number of people who abandon your site without surfing to another page helps to determine how individual pages perform in terms of capturing the attention of visitors. Bounce rates within the ecommerce industry vary across sectors, typically hovering around 60%. Depending on the sector, top ecommerce websites tend to have a bounce rate of 36% or less.
Bounce rate represents another valuable CRO metric which measures the impact your site has on visitors. A low bounce rate implies that your site attracts the right demographic, and the content offered meets the expectations of people who navigate to your page.
High bounce rates don’t always point to failure: in some cases, a high bounce rate suggests that your audience is following your lead. If your call-to-action specifically leads to another site, ends with a web contact form, or leads to a call to a telephone hotline, a high bounce rate could show that your webpage has accomplished those specific marketing goals.
High-quality content, targeted offers, and personalized messages all help to reduce the average bounce rate for your website. In some cases, people may not know where to go after landing on your site. The following content and design features encourage visitors to travel to the next page within your site:
- Providing links to popular or related content on a sidebar, or near the bottom of the page.
- Embedding links within the content text, leading to relevant pages.
- Publish content other than product sales pages, such as guides, manuals and videos.
Reducing bounce rates doesn’t automatically improve sales, but they do increase the likelihood that a visitor eventually reaches out to deepen the interaction with your business. When you improve your bounce rates, you give your ecommerce site a far better chance to convert visitors into leads and sales.
3. Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
The shopping cart is one of the last webpages the customer browses before checking out their purchase, which means that you’ve lead your visitor deep into the digital sales process. Losing the sale at this point is a frustratingly common occurrence, leaving trillions of dollars of merchandise waiting in the cart every year.
Despite the refinement of ecommerce CRO methods, shopping cart abandonment has increased over the past decade, increasing from an average of approximately 60% in 2006 to a peak in the low-70s in 2015. These numbers may appear intimidating at first, but reducing the rate of lost digital sales represents a great opportunity, considering that the visitor already proceeded all the way to the cart.
Tweaking the presentation and layout of your cart while reducing the effort needed to make a purchase informs most attempts to reduce abandonment. Smart marketing campaigns obtain as much information as possible during the shopping cart process, allowing the business to send an email to target the abandoned cart. Banner ads and other types of targeted digital adverts may be used once the lead leaves your website, reminding shoppers of abandoned carts by offering a discount on those items.
4. Email Opt-In Rate
Your email opt-in rate is a simple, yet important, CRO metric which reveals how effectively your site builds email leads for your campaign. For most industries, the average opt-in rate hovers around 1-5%, which means that between one and five unique visitors out of a hundred convert into email leads. This reflects the difficulty of building enough trust and desire to acquire an email address.
Similar to bounce rate and time spent on page, a better than average opt-in rate indicates that you’re attracting the right type of visitors, and providing them with persuasive content and offers. If metrics show that less than 1% of unique visitors opt-in for email campaigns, you should consider the following improvements:
- A reward for signing up, such as a discount or a complementary report.
- Targeted pop-ups which appear once the visitor has shown signs of genuine interest.
- A “squeeze page” dedicated solely to presenting an offer in exchange for an email address.
Improving your email opt-in rate helps to populate your database with actionable leads, giving you a chance to extend your reach beyond your website. Every email captured represents another opportunity to continue your marketing campaign, allowing you to directly sell to motivated and qualified leads.