For anyone doubting the power of conversion rate optimisation to increase sales or leads in a relatively short time, I thought I’d share this client case study.
I’ve been a digital marketing consultant for over 12 years but in recent years Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) has become a standard part of my digital marketing arsenal. For fairly obvious reasons. Once visitors with the right buying intent have been driven to a website and engage with what they find there, the next step is to make sure they take whatever action the business wants them to take. For e-commerce sites that is usually fairly simple – buy a product – but for other types of B2C businesses that are more service orientated, and for B2B businesses, potential customers often require some information first – or must provide some information – in order to help them make their buying decision.
Take, for example, a self-storage company providing a range of storage units, in different sizes and different locations. Even if basic prices are shown online there may be other factors to take into account:
- Does the customer want collection of their items (and, if so, their location is important to determine if there is a cost)?
- Does the customer want 24/7 access to their storage unit (and, if so, only certain types of storage unit or certain locations would be appropriate)?
- Does the customer need help calculating the amount of storage space required?
To answer these queries the storage company needs more details.
So, for the company in question, their “Get a Quote” form asked for those details upfront so they could give an accurate quote. That makes good business sense on the face of it but the reality was something different.
What the data revealed
Analysing data from Google Analytics clearly showed that many people were interested in getting a quote for the company’s self-storage service. In fact, during one period nearly 1,500 people visited the web page containing the quote form of which around 1,100 visits were from different people (i.e. unique). This page had the 3rd highest number of visitors over the period in question apart from the home page and the page enabling people to compare storage prices and features with other companies.
This website has “Get A Quote” buttons clearly displayed in multiple places on the website as calls-to-action. The buttons are in a colour that contrasts well with the surrounding content and which was determined by earlier conversion rate optimisation tests using HotJar.
So there was only one reason people were visiting that page – and that was to actually get a quote! The average time spent on the page (as can be seen in the Google Analytics data excerpt below) was 1 minute and 25 seconds – a respectable dwell time for a web form. So the company could reasonably expect to get a similar number of quote requests to the unique number of visitors.
Unfortunately, the actual number of quote requests was far less.
How Conversion Rate Optimisation helped
Conversion rate optimisation in it’s very simplest sense is analysing and understanding what actions potential customers take on a website and then making improvements based on that analysis to increase sales and leads.
Of course, there are additional levels of complexity to CRO but for this self-storage company a simple solution presented itself after our initial analysis. This analysis clearly showed that many people were interested in getting a quote for their service and began filling in the online form but far fewer people submitted the completed form.
Digging a bit deeper we realised that the form had mandatory fields for information that a potential client may not necessarily know the answers to yet. It also had a mandatory field for Phone Number unlike many competitors who only required an email address.
Whilst there were sound business reasons for gathering as much information from a potential customer as possible i.e. to provide an accurate quote, it was clear that people were being deterred from completing and submitting the form because of the requirement to provide a phone number and other details like size of storage unit that they may not have known yet. Or they may simply have been losing interest, or not have time to complete the form, because of the large number of mandatory fields.
The solution was simple – reduce the form to the bare minimum number of fields to supply an initial quote:
- Email address
Then supply prices for a range of storage unit sizes. This was a quick and easy change technically and resulted in the 50% increase in the number of quote forms submitted to the business. A great result for one simple change.
Pro Tip: When checking conversion rates before and after a change try, if possible, to compare the same period with the previous year to eliminate any possibility of seasonal variations impacting the results.