Our Abila experts have researched and crafted Key Fundraising Predictions for 2015 to help you gain a clear understanding of the challenges facing your sector in the coming year, and how you can turn them into real advantages for your organization.

Below is a deep dive into Fundraising Prediction #1 – Conversion Optimization.

And, because conversion optimization is so important to nonprofits’ success, we’ll roll out a series of four blogs on this topic. This is first in the series.

What if you could convert a higher percentage of website visitors to donors, without actually increasing your number of visitors?

You’d want in, right? Well, welcome to the party!

Conversion optimization, sometimes called conversion rate optimization (CRO), is a technique that has swept the small business sector over the last few years. Small business professionals have done the hard work of pioneering and perfecting CRO, and now is the ideal time for nonprofits to take advantage of this clearly paved way.

CRO is the scientific process of evaluating your website’s features and functionality to identify ways to improve visitors’ experiences. The end goal is getting a higher percentage of visitors to do what you want them to do – whether that’s donate dollars, watch a video, volunteer for an event, or sign up for a service.

Making strategic online decisions based on “a wing and a prayer” should be a thing of the past. Because CRO dictates you collect, analyze, and use visitor data to inform your decisions.

Why should you care about CRO? Here are three main reasons:

  1. Making very slight tweaks to your site – for example, changing the color of your “Donate Now” button or repositioning an image on your homepage – can dramatically improve your conversion rate. Let’s say you typically host 100 visitors on your site each day and two of them donate. If you could convince four to donate the same amount of money, you’ve just doubled your online fundraising.
  1. With CRO, you don’t have to increase traffic, you just need to convert more of your existing visitors. This has a huge impact on your expense column, because it eliminates the need to buy Facebook ads or pay for search engine optimization (SEO) services.
  1. Here’s the Big Why: You simply need to KNOW what works and what doesn’t. Otherwise you’re basing your entire online strategy on hunches, guesses, and wishes. CRO provides a very structured and organized way to know what works, so you can do more of it.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we continue our series on CRO. We’ll go in-depth into the rules and winning strategies of conversion optimization, and how to create and implement an effective CRO plan.