To attract prospective students and drive traffic to your website, your digital marketing strategy needs to be student-focused and data-driven. Tactics such as driving referral traffic and search engine optimization are foundational elements of any successful strategy. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and Testing is the third essential element to complement traffic-driving tactics.
CRO is the practice of increasing the percentage of users who perform a desired outcome or action on your website or paid landing pages, such as completing a lead form. The improvements are accomplished by removing friction from the prospective student experience and inspiring them to take the next step.
In any CRO initiative, there are three foundational questions to answer:
- What action(s) do we want the user to take and how are we delivering an experience that encourages them to convert?
- How will insights into user behavior be gathered and what tools are available to deliver observations about behavior?
- Do we have the appropriate testing platforms for the types of CRO initiatives we want to undertake?
The adage ‘clicks are currency’ is very applicable to CRO. Once a user visits a conversion page on your website or paid landing page, getting them to convert, especially on a landing page, should be accomplished with the minimal number of clicks (friction). Some considerations here include:
- The lead forms are simple, capture relevant data and drive meaningful down-funnel communications like capture program specialization.
- The landing page speaks to prospective student interests and synthesizes with the keyword(s) and messaging in the ad they clicked on.
- While paid landing pages are exclusively conversion oriented, a conversion page on your site might contain additional content that clearly addresses core questions prospects are looking to answer, such as time to completion and cost.
- Calls to action are clearly visible on the page and indicate what you want prospects to do.
Once a new page is created and launched, it is best practice to establish a CRO test concurrent with the launch. Invariably, there are elements of the creation process which were not included in the launched page. A CRO test is an opportunity to put those elements in-market to assess efficacy, even if you only drive a portion of your traffic to the test. Moving beyond the initial page and any derivations, observations about user behavior and the resulting hypotheses (insights) you want to test can be gathered from a variety of sources. Chief among these is behavioral and analytics-based observations such as:
- Heat mapping and behavioral analytics are being utilized to form hypotheses around observed interactions. These hypotheses inform the testing criteria for additional CRO tests about where users are not converting and areas of friction within the form or page experience.
- Traffic analytics-based observations provide insights about many variables of your users to inform testing hypotheses. Attributes such as device type, geographic location, browser technology, etc., are valuable in creating new CRO tests.
- Form analytics (another type of behavioral analytics) are instructive for identifying fields which prevent users from converting. They can also be leveraged for business/operational decisions for what to include (or eliminate) on the conversion form.
Landing page and website conversion pages can be deployed with certain testing tools, while other tools only are applicable to one or the other. When establishing your CRO practice, it is important to identify the types of CRO initiatives you will undertake and whether you have the appropriate platforms to test.
Everspring can help you establish a sustainable plan to create great user experiences and achieve your enrollment goals through improved conversion leveraging CRO. Everspring leads the industry in conversion. Our conversion rate is 3x the industry average. Why? Because our methodology is student-first and data-driven. Our conversion rates lead the industry because we are better at attracting leads that convert.
Learn more about how Everspring can help. Send us a message to consult with one of our marketing experts.
Matt has over fifteen years of experience in digital marketing, with expertise in paid marketing, SEO and analytics. After an extensive career with Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency which he helped grow from 12 to 250 employees, Matt served in several key roles as an in-house digital expert for large lead acquisition companies. His strategic approach to marketing synthesizes the goals of Everspring’s partners with the practical elements of how to activate and measure digital marketing. Accordingly, Matt is a proponent of the adage “what gets measured, gets managed.” He joined Everspring in early 2022 to lead the digital marketing team. Trained as a quantitative expert, Matt holds a BA with distinction from Cornell University where he majored in Economics and Statistics.