What is CRO?
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is all about building knowledge and using that information to refine your website content, navigation and design in line with what your target consumer is looking for.
I’m sure that you want to know which of your visitors are converting into buyers and to make sure they keep coming back. The best way to do this is to use analytics and user feedback to dramatically improve your website’s performance. CRO in basic terms allows you to find your most valuable customers and to create an online experience that is perfectly tailored to them.
Why is it Important?
Why is it important? The main reason and the most obvious point is that you will be paying for a substantial amount of your website traffic either via paid search, display advertising or even social media.
If your website converts this traffic with a high conversion rate then you are maximising your return on your marketing spend investment. This means that it makes your online presence a cost effective solution and minimises the potential to attract a large volume of traffic that may never convert. Not only does CRO help to improve your ROI (return on investment), it also helps with your content and navigational optimization and ensures that the visitor gets the right information at the right time. This minimises the likelihood of your visitor getting frustrated and leaving your website too quickly.
The 4 different stages of any CRO project
(1) Research & Analysis
It’s important to start your CRO project with an extensive research and analysis phase. You must become the customer and take the time to understand the product or service you are selling, how your target consumer shops for your offering both online and offline, and how can you ensure you are providing the most relevant information to the consumer at the right time to maximise conversions.
Research can be carried out with online surveys with your current and prospective consumers as well as talking to staff and getting their feedback. (There are various tools that can help you with this, such as https://www.surveymonkey.com/
Conduct some user testing – normally 5 tests should be carried out as an absolute minimum. Become the customer, create purchase scenarios and start working through your website considering the consumer personas as you navigate to purchase. Take screenshots, take notes and get a variety of people to carry out this exercise. There’s various software that you can use that help track visitor sessions, mouse activity and generate heat maps (www.clicktale.com).
The second stage of CRO is to develop some solutions based on the research and analysis findings from stage one. Create a list of all the objections and their associated issues and consider options that generate solutions to these.
Never forget that although you may feel like you have a large list of negatives these may also present opportunities – capitalise on these. From this exercise set up your list of priorities.
(3) Development & Testing
In the development and testing phase you need to design and build a test strategy and CRO plan based on a series of priorities. For example, which points came up time and time again in the research? What are the website’s biggest issues and how should they be prioritised?
Now you can build your suite of A/B testing which need to all be conducted in a controlled and methodical manner. You can use the free Google Tool for carrying out the A/B testing (Google Content Experiments) or you can use a paid for tool such as Conversion Rate Experts. All data from these tests are measured and used to form the next part of the CRO project.
(4) Review & Expand
After every test the winning version of the A/B testing is the one with the consistently better metrics. These could include the best conversion rates (sales, sign ups, downloads etc.) but it could also include other metrics such as an increase of time on site, number of pages viewed, a reduction in bounce rates and lastly a larger number of visitors flowing onto the conversion area of your website.
This is not the end goal but the start of an ongoing system of a series of controlled tests, reviewing of results, evaluating against the list of objectives and priorities and using these to form the next set of A/B testing…and so it goes on.
Good luck in converting more of your customers!
Do you have more questions about Conversion Rate Optimisation? Drop us a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.