Conversion Rate Optimisation – No.1 Priority for Marketers in 2013


According to an Econsultancy and Adobe report, “Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2013“, a study conducted in January 2013 revealed that Conversion rate optimisation is now joint first with Content marketing as leading Digital Marketing priorities for 2013.

The study surveyed client-side marketers for their digital marketing priorities, asking them to choose up to 3 areas they will be focusing on in 2013.

The resulting report compared digital marketing priorities in 2013 versus those in 2012.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and Content marketing came top as joint favourites (39%) in 2013, closely followed by Social media engagement (38%), and Targeting & personalisation (37%).

Big losers from the study were:

  • Marketing automation  – down from 15% in 2012 to 11% in 2013
  • Video marketing – down from 21% in 2012 to 9% in 2013
  • Social media analytics – down 52% year-on-year (from 19% to 9%)

What else are marketers optimising in 2013?

Other areas marketers want to optimise in 2013 include:

  • Content (31%)
  • Mobile (30%)

No surprises there about marketers looking to also optimise content and mobile.

Why optimise content?

According to Fishkin and Hogenhaven:

“Google constantly rewards companies who provide good … user experience (UI),… content, and conversion rate optimization (CRO)”. (Fishkin and Hogenhaven, 2013).

One of the major advocates for Inbound marketing,  Hubspot, say that in order to create marketing people love, you need to publish the right content in the right places at the right time. The outcome is marketing which is relevant, helpful, informative and above all not interruptive to your prospects.

Why optimise for Mobile?

User Experience

Good user experience amongst other things, includes making your site(s) accessible to users who visit via mobile devices.

Mobile users do not expect a poor experience when they visit your website from their mobile phones, nor are they willing to compromise on features like load times.

Your competitors are just a “slide” away. If visitors have a bad experience visiting your site via mobiles, they are off to your competitors.

You may want to consider some of the things UK mobile users say stop them from making purchases on their mobile devices:

  • Cannot trust credit card security on mobile device (46%)
  • Screen size is too small (36%)
  • Cannot see detailed product/service information (29%)


Mobile trends

Besides user experience, there are statistics and trends which show that the number of mobile users are on the rise. Mobile usage has now reached a threshold, which brands can no longer ignore. In this first quarter of 2013, smartphone penetration in the UK reached 62%.

Last year, Google announced that:

  • 2013 is the year more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online
  • Mobile searches have grown by 400% since 2010
  • By 2015, there will be one mobile for every person on earth.

In fact from what we are seeing with our own clients, in some cases up to 49% of their site visitors now come via mobile devices (Tablets & Mobile with full browsers).

You cannot ignore up to about a third (or more) of your prospective customers, who already know you and want to learn more about your products & services while on the move.

At the moment I consider mobile optimisation not just a tactic but a competitive advantage. Most of your competitors have not caught up with mobile optimisation, this is the perfect time to get ahead of the game. I’ll let you into a secret: 45% of marketers do not yet have a mobile-optimised site.

There is only one conclusion – that your customers and prospects are using mobiles – meet them there.

Why should you bother optimising for conversions?

Conversion Rate Optimisation Trends

The Econsultancy and Adobe findings corroborate current trends in search interest for the phrase “conversion rate optimisation”:


Conversion Rate Optimisation did not appear on the search scene until early 2010. But ever since, it has been on an upward trend.

This surging interest in optimisation is a welcomed relief, as results from another Adobe study – Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey Results – revealed that more than half of the respondents (53% to be exact), allocated under 5% of their marketing budgets to optimising for conversions.

These figures are shocking considering that according to the Fireclick Index, global keyword conversions this week are only 1.40% and shopping cart abandonment are at 64.20%.

As more and more brands become aware of conversion rate optimisation, chances are if you are not doing it, your competitors are improving their marketing results through continuous optimisation and leaving you behind.

Conversions are crucial to your online marketing success

There are only 3 parts to the online marketing equation – Traffic, Conversions & Economics.

  • In short, drive traffic to your web properties (website, landing page, app, Facebook page, etc), using various online channels (SEO, PPC, Email, Social media marketing, Video, PR, Affiliate Marketing, Display Advertising, etc).
  • Persuade the visitors to take a specific desired action before or on leaving your website (conversion), at a cost that is affordable to you (conversion).

Conversion rates affect your bottom line

The number one reason why you should care about conversion rate optimisation is that current CRO rates on the Internet are abysmal and are affecting the bottom line in an adverse way.

Consider the following statistic and hypothetical scenario.

According to the online monitoring site, last week’s average conversion rates for the Fashion & Apparel vertical was 1.10%.

What this means in real terms is that for every 100 visitors that visited fashion and apparel websites, only 1 took a desired action (for example bought a pair of shoes) i.e. the other 99 visitors left without taking action.

Say you sell Women’s shoes online and you are targeting the key phrase “extra wide women’s shoes” and the price of an average pair of extra wide women’s shoes is £35.

From Google’s keyword planner tool, the estimated cost per click for extra wide women’s shoes is £0.62.


From last week’s conversation rate – 1.10% – you need about 91 visitors (at the cost of about £56.42) to sell a single pair of extra wide women’s shoes.

That is a loss of £21.42 (without taking into consideration other costs).

Now if you increased your conversions by a meagre 1% to 2.10%, you will now need only about 48 visitors (at the cost of £29.76) to make a sale.

At 2.10% you are now in the black, netting £5.24 per sale (without taking into consideration other costs).

Suddenly you are in a better position, than having a conversion rate of 1.10%.

This adds up, if you make just 30 sales a day, then you add £4,716 to your bottom line each month just by increasing your conversion rate by a meagre 1%.The following table summarises what happens in the scenario described above.


What is a good conversion rate?

A good conversion rate is any conversion rate which is better than your current conversion rate.

You can do a lot better.

How Coast Digital can help you

  • Content marketing – Create the right content, repurpose or optimise your old content and get it published in the right places.
  • Mobile optimisation – Design mobile & responsive websites which give your website visitors exceptional experiences, whatever the device.
  • Conversion rate optimisation services – A wide range of conversion optimisation services to help you turn more of your website visitors into paying customers or hot sales leads.

Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat about your optimisation challenges.

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