According to a survey by Venture Beat, conversion rate optimization is one of the most important aspects of modern day content marketing. And the ever increasing competition of businesses on the web just backs it.

Marketers today are striving to become more creative in content marketing to drive conversions.

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The report speaks of how only 2 out 36 companies and 5% of the surveyed marketers, failed to generate considerable ROIs on their marketing efforts due to lack of conversion optimization. While the other respondents achieved a ROI as high as 1,000%.

These numbers have become the reason why most businesses are now preparing to spend considerable amounts and efforts on their conversion optimization.

But conversion rate optimization isn’t as easy as it sounds. Most websites with considerable traffic have a conversion problem, and their typical conversion rate ranges from a mere 1% to 3%. And only 22% of them are satisfied with them.

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But with just about everyone out there trying to optimize their conversions, how do you stand out? By embracing the top conversion rate optimization trends for 2016 before anyone else does:

1. Mobile Optimization

There are over 3.65 billion unique global mobile users, and over 1.2 billion people use their mobile devices to access the web.

Most businesses today are now focusing on their website’s mobile experience as 61% of people judge them by how their website looks on their devices and 4 out of 5 of them use their smartphones to shop.

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With an increasing number of consumers making use of mobile devices to interact with businesses and demanding better experiences on their devices, it is becoming important to focus on mobile optimization.

Here are the 3 keys to optimize your website for greater mobile conversions:

  • Less load time: Cellular data networks tend to be slower in many countries. But about 50% of users expect a site to load within 2 seconds or less, and abandon it if it goes beyond 3 seconds. Preload the information most of your audience is seeking, and use elements that will mask network delays.
  • Easy visibility: The screen sizes of mobile devices are much smaller than the conventional desktops, and may vary from user to user. To ensure that your website delivers the same visual experience to all, use mobile friendly elements, images and fonts that are easy to read. Make use of responsive web designs to make the experience seamless.
  • Ditch carousels: Carousels often discourage visitors because they either slide too fast, are too slow or are too small for them to navigate through. Stick to one marketing message (even if it is an offer) to avoid confusion.

But before you optimize your website for mobile, remember to focus on the right keywords for mobile search, optimize the existing content accordingly and do away with anything that is excessive or repetitive.

2. Marketing Automation

The market is forever changing and, marketers have a tough time trying to keep up with the changing trends and needs of their business’s target audience.

That’s exactly why almost all of them swear by marketing automation for driving traffic to their website, converting the traffic into leads and then turning those leads into customers.

In fact, 79% of top performing companies have been using marketing automation for two or more years (Pardot ).

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While 63% of marketers plan to increase their marketing automation budgets, about 76% consider lead generation as the biggest automation challenge. So how do you adopt marketing automation without any glitches?

  • Identify your end goal: Before you start working on a marketing automation tool, define the goals your business wants to achieve – micro and macro. And set a budget for accomplishing them.
  • Choose an automation solution: Once you know your goals and have set a budget, choose an automation solution that suits your needs. If you’re looking at automating repetitive tasks, reducing human error, managing complexity, measuring and optimizing each of your efforts, here are 2 platforms you can consider – HubSpot and Marketo.
  • Create micro campaigns: Instead of trying to reach out to the entire target audience, segment them based on their interests and needs. Then, start with a small campaign for one section – offer valuable content and information initially to make them want to know more about your products, and services.

3. Personalization

Personalized marketing, also popularly known as one-to-one marketing is a form of executing data based marketing campaigns.

This technique offers a different, unique experience for each customer – making him feel more important and the marketing message seeming more relevant, and relatable.

As a matter of fact, almost 52% of marketers consider content personalization important for their digital marketing strategy’s success.

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With every business having at least a handful of competition in the market, having only an online presence can no longer do the trick.

You need to grab their attention, and the only way to do so is to ‘talk’ to them directly!

Speak to your target audience and target them with marketing messages that address their common concerns for an instant connect.

Here are a few ways to offer a personalized experience to your existing and prospect customers:

  • Personalized emails – Be it a simple thank you or a small message notifying them of a new product that is relevant to their previous purchase, reach out to them with an email that speaks to them as a friend. But remember to segment your audience based on their interests, social and purchase triggers before starting a campaign.
  • Dynamic plans and pricing – Sometimes a customer is not willing to interact with a business because he isn’t able to find something that ‘exactly’ matches their needs. Offer dynamic plans and pricing – let them choose what they want and present a pricing that they feel is justified.
  • Location specific content – Every time a prospect visits your website, they provide you with their location and general demographics. Then why not make the most of it? Use this information to create personalized content and marketing messages that are more relatable.

4. Video Marketing

Online videos account for more than 50% of all mobile traffic and about 64% consumers today are more likely to purchase a product after watching a video on it.

Visual content is already known to be faster to grasp – by all age groups. In fact video marketing has a become a necessity for many businesses that are looking at getting their message out on a mass scale – faster.

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Here are a few ways you can incorporate videos in your CRO and marketing strategy:

  • Interactive videos – Times have changed. Consumers don’t want businesses listing or showing off the features their products have to offer’ they want them to ‘talk’ to them instead. Create interactive videos to address them, entertain as well as engage your visitors for increasing conversion rates.
  • How-to guides – More often than not, businesses lose out on a prospect simply because their prospect wasn’t able to figure the product’s optimum usage. Create how-to guides to onboard them well and ensure they feel at home when interacting with your business.
  • User stories/experiences – Share how your existing customers are using your products/services, and benefitting from it. People tend to trust other people more than they trust brands.

According to a study by Emarketer, over 20% video views happen on mobile devices, and the numbers are set to grow by manifolds. So remember to ensure that your videos are mobile centric as well.

5. Exit Intent Technology

It is time for business to move beyond just running paid campaigns to get click throughs to their website. 2016 is going to be all about making the most out of your SEO efforts (organic traffic) and paid marketing (paid traffic) with on-site retargeting.

Using exit intent technology on your website can give you a second chance to target your visitors with your message on their way out.

Since the technology only targets exiting or abandoning visitors, it doesn’t spoil the browsing experience for the others.

Here are a few ways you can make use of exit intent in your CRO strategy:

  • Increase email lists – newsletter and email subscriptions
  • Decrease cart abandonment – target cart abandoning visitors
  • Promote offers – reinforce a special offer
  • Increase survey submissions – nudge exiting visitors to complete surveys
  • Find more at: Case studies | Exit Bee

The only thing you need to keep in mind while creating an exit intent campaign is the fact that it should compliment your marketing message but not seem too pushy.

Creating a sense of urgency or relevance is the only way to convert your abandoning visitors.

6. Custom Call-To-Action

Call-to-action buttons are important elements that guide the visitor towards the final steps of conversion.

In fact, they play a crucial role in a business’s conversion rate optimization. But as self explanatory as this element sounds, most marketers are not able to use them effectively.

About 70% of small businesses lack a call-to-action.
– Small Business Trends

And only about 47% websites across the world have a clear call-to-action button – one that will take the visitor barely 30 seconds or less to notice. Lack of a CTA or using one that isn’t visible is the reason why most businesses lose conversions.

Remember, an effective CTA is the one that makes the visitor willingly provide their contact details or convert towards your end goal.

While they shouldn’t be too pushy, they must compliment your marketing message and not create any kind of confusion.

So, here are a few things to ensure for making the most out of your call-to-action:

  • Use contrasting colors – Test your CTA in different colors that are in contrast with the rest of your website’s theme. The idea is to identify the color that makes the button stand out and yet, not look out of place.
  • Test button placement- There is no hard and fast rule about where your CTA should be placed. Test different placements depending on which section of the web page gets the most attention. But remember not to place them on the sidebars, central content areas and ensure they are above the fold.
  • Get creative – A CTA is meant to grab the visitor’s attention and compel him to make an interaction. Depending on your marketing message, test how your audience responds to different CTAs – go beyond the usual ‘contact us’ and ‘sign up now’ to engage them better.

7. Cross Platform Testing

Cross platform testing is the technique of testing the sustainability of your design, content and other elements across different platforms.

This conversion rate tactic has become popular with the rise of mobile, smartphones and laptop usage by all age groups.

By doing this, you can deliver a tested UX/UI experience for your target audience – both web and mobile. You can ensure every element on your website is fit for viewing and working via any platform.

After all, only having an online presence doesn’t work anymore – it is the experience you offer that counts.

Here are 3 things that will help you explore the full potential of cross-platform testing to improve your conversion rate in the new year:

  • Understand what your audience wants – Understand your audience’s online behavior and patterns before deciding which platforms/devices you will need to cater to for making yourself 100% available.
  • Stick to UI/UX guidelines – After identifying the platforms you need to be present on, understand the UI/UX guidelines for each before conducting cross-platform testing. An understanding of your audience helps you decide what core functionalities you need to offer, and the elements you need for it.
  • Conduct testing frequently – Conduct A/B testing regularly. It helps you build each aspect of your online presence resolutely. Testing helps identify what works and what doesn’t, improves your conversion rate and reduces the chances of errors in the final conversion steps.

Also read: 6 A/B Testing Ideas For Your Website

Over to you

While there are many more trends for 2016 that might walk in without a knock, these are definitely some you should get started with right away!

Do you know of a conversion rate optimization trend that is all set to rock the digital industry? Feel free to drop a comment in the box below and let us know of it too!

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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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