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Conversion rate optimisation

Larger agencies should use conversion rate optimisation to boost their profits, says Nelly Berova. But what does that mean?

Nelly Berova

Link to Digital Marketing feature

It’s been a hectic time for estate agents across the UK. But as reports indicate the frantic pace of the market is starting to slow down, now is a good time to build on the momentum by giving your digital campaigns a reality check.

Nelly Berova image

Nelly Berova

There are three main types of digital marketing campaigns, which you may be running – customer acquisition campaigns, which bring potential customers to your site; retention campaigns which nurture loyalty and conversion campaigns, which encourage browsers to actively engage with your marketing goals. It’s these conversion campaigns – or conversion rate optimisation – that we’ll be looking at here.

You should be investing in conversion rate optimisation if your agency website is getting more than 1,000 visitors a day – the equivalent of 20,000 to 30,000 visitors a month. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is about converting visitors to your site by getting them to take the actions you want, whether that’s filling in an enquiry form, signing up to your newsletter, booking a valuation or requesting a brochure.

Small change, big impact

The form the action takes can vary wildly, depending on the channels that work for you and can include making a phone call, joining an online chat, sending an email, communicating via WhatsApp or something else.

CRO matters because small changes, which you make to even a single page, can have a big impact on your conversion rate – and ultimately your profitability. For example, if 1,000 people a day visit your site, a conversion rate of 1% means that these visits result in 10 enquiries. Boost your conversion rate to 2% and you’ll get 20 enquires, to 3% and it’s 30. Optimise your website enough, and you could push your conversion rate to 30%, which means 300 enquiries.

If this sounds like too much of a jump to be within the bounds of reality – it might be. But in our experience, simple changes to a webpage, can make a big difference to how it is perceived by your visitors and what they do next.

The sort of things we’re talking about include call to action buttons – where on the page you place them, their size, visibility and the colours you use. Crucially, moving a button ‘above the fold’ – to where it can be seen without having to scroll down, can have a big impact on whether a customer notices it and takes action. We’ve seen examples, where shifting the position of a banner or button boosted interaction by 250%.

Device optimisation

Other considerations include how a page displays on different devices. These days, most property searches begin on smartphones and tablets, so your call to action needs to look enticing however customers choose to view your page.

Remember too that less can sometime be more. Too many buttons or banners on a page can detract from your core ask, leaving visitors confused about where to look – and where to click.

In addition, fonts, type sizes and the general layout of a page can all have a huge impact on conversion. There aren’t too many set rules, but always go for simplicity making it as easy as possible for people to move around your page and follow your call to action, with clear headings and navigation. Use the best photos you can find and keep your copy clear and minimal too.

But how do you know if you’re getting it right? Nailing CRO isn’t just a matter of having an eye for design and a hunch about your customers’ tastes. Instead, it’s about research, understanding your ideal customer persona and what makes them tick. And then it’s about testing.

Often the best way to approach this is the A/B method – so creating two page options, testing them out and seeing which works best. We use this with our estate agency clients. For one client, for example, we A/B tested responses to a call to action on two landing pages across 8,000 visits – the original design versus a new one. For this audience, the new page generated 37% more phone calls than the other option.

To summarise, if you’re a small estate agency, looking to attract new leads, CRO probably isn’t the best way to use your marketing budget. But if your website is already attracting more than 20,000 visitors per month, aligning some of your spend to conversion, rather than customer acquisition, could be a useful strategy. Start by investing in optimising your main pages, the ones that attract the most traffic and are most closely linked to your marketing objectives – we think you’ll start to see the difference.

For more information, visit www.artdivision.co.uk or email [email protected]

August 23, 2021

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