What is CRO?

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What is CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)?

With all the efforts made with SEO and PPC in digital advertising, we know that online traffic is highly irregular. If you don’t get someone to enter your sales funnel on the first try, then the chances of them coming back and performing the desired action plummet quite a bit. So assuming you have traffic to your site, the best way to improve your chances of getting people to sign up for your mailing list or buy your product is developing CRO campaigns.

If you optimize correctly, you will reduce the amount of money and time lost from your other marketing efforts. If traffic is the water, and your site is the leaky bucket, think of CRO as the sealant or bandages that fix that bucket so fewer leads are lost. Plus, CRO helps you to understand how usable your website is while giving you insight into customer behavior. With these insights, you can figure out how to improve your user experience to meet your goals. 

Before we dive into how to do this, we must first understand what CRO is. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing your site or landing page experience based on website visitor behavior to help improve desired actions (conversions) on the said page.

What is a conversion?

A conversion is transforming X into Y. So this could mean turning a visitor to your website into a buyer or a lead or getting a visitor to download a whitepaper. There are many things that can be counted as a conversion. For eCommerce, a purchase is a conversion, and for SaaS companies, perhaps getting someone to sign up for a free trial counts as a conversion. For some companies, such as ad agencies or construction companies, lead generation is the most important conversion, which is the act of turning a lead into a prospect.

So now that we know what a conversion is, how do we determine the conversion rate? This is the number of visitors on your website or on a landing page divided by the number of people who complete your call to action. So this could be a download, a sign-up, a purchase – whatever you set your conversion to be. However, this metric isn’t the end all be all. It’s a useful metric to help you determine whether or not you’re going in the right direction. It will show you how many people are connecting with your vision, but it does not solely determine the success of your business. Other important metrics are revenue per visitor, lead quality, profit margins, average order values, all of those things. 

So when determining your next steps with conversion optimization we need to look at a number of important metrics, not just conversions – especially when so many things count as a conversion, and not all conversions equate directly into sales. You will need to determine the main conversion you want to measure.  

How to determine Conversion Rate

To understand the effectiveness of your website, you’ll need to measure this in conversion rate. The conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors (in a given time period) x 100.

So if you had 4000 visitors, and 30 of them took action (filled out your demo request form or bought an item), your conversion rate would be:

30 / 4000 x 100 = 0.75%

Regardless of how stellar your conversion rate is, this does not directly equate to revenue. 

Your business doesn’t run on conversions, it runs on revenue. Your conversion rate can go down while revenue goes up at the same time. It’s not uncommon to see a/b tests on ecommerce sites where variant A has lower conversion rate than variant B, but brings in more revenue. And at the end of the day, the increase in money is what we want. 

So what determines your conversion rate?

Your traffic and offer line up

There’s a number of factors that come into play, but one important factor is your traffic mixed with the relevance of your offer. Males 18-24 probably aren’t interested in buying knitting needles the way females 60-85 are. If you’re offering a CRM platform to people who are searching for a CRM platform, you’ll be more likely to convert those people vs people who are just searching “what is a crm”.  

Strong customer base

If your customers are familiar with your brand and they trust you, it’s going to be a much easier sell than if they didn’t know you from Adam. This is why customer service and support are so important since repeat business is always a larger source of revenue than first time buyers. By increasing customer retention just five percent, a company’s profitability will increase by an average of 75 percent.

Value vs Cost

The cost of your product will have a lot to do with how many sales you make. A $5 product will get a much higher conversion rate than software that costs $30,000 a year. So if what you’re giving away is free, like a white paper, you can potentially get much higher conversion rates.

Your visitors’ perceptions of the value of your offer vs the cost (either in money or in the cost of information) comes into play quite a bit. Too often have I seen companies ask for 6 pieces of personal information from a visitor and all they’re giving away is a 5-minute demo video. The conversion rate was terrible because the value of the asset did not equate to the amount of info the visitor is being asked to give. Giving you their email still counts as a transactions to your prospects, so you must make it worth their while.

Clear Messaging

What you say and how you say it are extremely important. Are you setting up your offer so that your visitors will fear of missing out if they don’t download that white paper or buy that product you’re selling? Are you clearly explaining the value of your services and what makes you different? Are you framing your content to focus on the benefits you provide to your customers? If not, expect to see a drop in conversions because you’re not truly selling the value of what you’re offering. On top of messaging, layout, and design, user experience and usability are big factors that also come into play with your conversion rates. If your site is difficult to navigate, visitors will get frustrated and leave. 

You need to measure conversions with your analytics tools. This allows you to determine performance across segments (e.g. new vs returning visitors), traffic sources, devices, countries and so on. You can make observations and smart conclusions for optimizing your site.

What’s a good conversion rate? 

The only correct answer is “better than what you had last month”. Instead of focusing on a specific conversion rate, focus on figuring out how to improve your current rate by 5-10%. It’s like losing weight: if you set a lofty goal of losing 50 lbs in three months, you will become discouraged and probably not hit your goal. If you set a goal of 5 lbs per month and take it slowly, you’ll find that your goal is much more attainable. Start at a goal to increase your conversions by 5% and go from there. 

You’ll be surprised how obtainable that goal really is and will probably see return on your investment by increasing your conversion rate by 5% consistently for every month (relative increase, not absolute).

 

Why CRO matters

PPC is Getting Tough

With paid search becoming more expensive and competitive, CRO is needed now more than ever in your digital marketing efforts. 

In order to be among the winners who get strong ROI for their SEM investment, CRO is not an option, it is a must, as it’s the most effective way to keep a competitive edge. Consider how much even 1% lift can give in revenue, and once that lift is locked in, it is a gift that keeps on giving. If you invest in CRO program once, you can benefit from higher conversions indefinitely.

Improved Marketing ROI

In all honesty, your website will never reach its full potential if you’re not regularly experimenting and A/B testing. A well-structured CRO strategy based in data will improve return on almost all your marketing activities. If you experiment with different elements on your pages, you can find the areas that will yield the best results, but you can also use this data as a benchmark to determine your next round of testing. Plus, a great CRO strategy could increase your revenue without having to increase your traffic. Every change you make will eventually increase conversions which eventually leads to more sales.

If you improve the sales conversion rate even by 2%, it means that you’re getting 2% extra revenue day in and day out. If you have a high volume of sales, a 2% improvement can effectively translate into hundreds and thousands of extra dollars.

Our client that creates construction account software saw a 72% increase in sales by running a series of A/B tests and introducing new improved variants on its product pages! We were able to improve their demo sign-ups by 20% during the slowest season of the year through various tests and pop-ups.

 

Understand Your Visitors Better (More Visitors Turning into Sales)

How can you sell to someone you don’t understand? CRO allows you to use tools like heatmaps, clickmaps, and form analysis to see where your visitors are going, how far they’re scrolling, and where they’re clicking. Based upon this, you will be able to determine if you’re bringing the correct information to the visitor quickly enough. 

For example, let’s say you have a page that’s showing a huge drop off at the hero section – no one is scrolling past the fold. This could mean a couple things: either the entire page is missing the mark about what the prospect needs (and at that point, you can create a user poll to ask people what’s keeping them from getting their offer so that you can adjust your offering) or the page is targeting the correct people but the information they need is not clearly visible. You may need to move social proof into the hero, or update your headline to better related to a data-driven UVP. By looking at enough sessions of users who didn’t complete the goal on the site, you’ll get a much better idea of what needs to improve on your site to coax people into completing that goal.

Improve User Experience (Increase Potential Sales)

With a solid CRO strategy, you’ll be able to improve user experience by personalizing that experience for your visitors. If your site isn’t easily navigable, good luck keeping any visitors around. However, if you personalize areas of your website based on the device people are viewing from, their location, the time, search history, etc, you will be creating a website that is much more relevant to your prospects which could lead to more sales.

The main purpose of CRO is to improve your prospective customers experience and improve their understanding of your business’ value. With an improved user experience and representation of your unique selling points, CRO basically equates to increased sales without having to put any efforts toward increasing organic or paid traffic.

CRO Process

Like most marketing efforts, there is a process to CRO. If you do this without structure, you won’t be able to properly track the results of your efforts and your A/B testing will be inconclusive. CRO is broken down into the phases below:

The five phases of CRO
CRO can be broken down into five phases

Step 1: Research

For your research, you’re going to want to look at the company’s goals and unique value propositions (UVPs), their website, and their customers. These are the questions you need to answer:

The Company: What are the goals of the company?

This is one of the most important questions. Your conversion optimization needs to be tied to goals. Is the goal set for demo sign ups, is it white paper downloads? What is the goal that the company is focusing on to increase revenue? Your testing and data should be based around this goal before you even begin testing.

The Company: What are the unique value propositions (UVPs) of the company?

If you’re going to stand out in your industry, you need to have something about your company that sets you apart. These are your unique value propositions or unique selling propositions (USPs). Is your company the best at reducing phishing attacks? Do you have data to support this? Are you the only company that has an e-bike with complete throttle assist? Whatever it is you do, make sure it’s different than your competitors and focus on that.

The Company: What are the common objections?

This is your opportunity to speak with the sales staff to see how they’re selling the products, what they’re seeing as the most effective UVPs, and what most prospects don’t like about the product or service. You can also talk to customer support and ask what complaints they are getting from customers. They will know what customers like and have access to positive feedback and product improvement suggestions.

Whoever manages the live chat of the site should have some insight as well. Live chat transcripts can be used to find trends and common problems. 

The Website: What does the sales process look like?

You must be aware of every touch point between the customer and the website. When you know each step, you can get much more granular and find which steps are causing roadblocks.

The Website: What is the current traffic breakdown?

You’ll need to go deeper into existing analytics data on the website. You’ll want to find out how much traffic the website gets as this can affect your ability to test quickly. Also take a look at the demographics that come to your site and the technology users typically use. If you’re seeing a large number of mobile users, look into how your website shows up on a mobile device. Is it slow to load? Is important information well below the fold? If your mobile experience isn’t optimized, it could be hurting your conversions.

The Customer: What are their biggest objections? 

There are many tools you can use to answer these questions. As we said above, you can use the sales team, the support team, and the live chat team to get some answers to this question; but you can also use qualitative data tools such as Qualaroo and SurveyMonkey which are survey tools, or usertesting.com which is used to literally have users test your site. It allows you to recruit users based on certain characteristics (interests, age, gender) and then these users complete tasks focused around your website or a competitor’s. The user will record their screen and talk through their progress as they are working. 

Watching customers interact in real-time on your site can give you the data you need to improve your user experience. You can look at the pages visited most and the amount of time spent on site, or you can see where people are getting confused or lost. If you can find where there are roadblocks, you can then work to remove those roadblocks. 

Step 2: Hypothesis

Using the information gathered in the research phase, you can now draft your hypothesis – which is a proposed explanation of your research. Your hypothesis can be broken into three elements.

  1. A particular change – based on insights derived from quantitative and qualitative data
  2. A particular effect – a goal, a conversion metric or a similar element, which needs improvement.
  3. A particular reason – the thinking behind why a specific change can bring about the desired effect.

Here’s an example of a good hypothesis:

“Because we’re not seeing many people buying, we believe adding social proof on product pages will result in 5-10% more add to carts because it instills confidence about their purchasing.”

Here’s a vague, ineffective hypothesis:

“This worked for three of our other clients so let’s try it here.”

The reason you want to avoid this is because not one size fits all. Although there are best practices in CRO that could be applied across multiple clients or campaigns, you want to make sure your hypotheses are backed in data not hunches and assumptions. Make sure you have enough quantitative and qualitative data to support your testing reasoning.

Using the good hypothesis, you can make the required changes on your pages. These changed pages are called variants, and the test will tell us whether this new variant will get better conversions or not. 

Even if your test fails, this isn’t a loss! This is a learning opportunity that you can use to understand what went wrong and take corrective steps. 

Step 3: The Prioritization Phase 

Use the P.I.E. framework formulated by Chris Goward at WiderFunnel:

Potential

Find out the pages that are performing the worst and can improve greatly.

Importance

Next, narrow down by selecting the ones that have the most valuable traffic. 

Ease

With your final list of pages, not all of those pages will be easy to optimize. A homepage may need too many people’s approval to get optimized or a new form process will take development awhile to implement. Start with what you can change the quickest and then move up the list. Unlike PPC or SEO, CRO is something that can have quick returns so keep your focus on the low-hanging fruit.

By following this framework, you can effectively prioritize areas to test first which will help you reach your goals sooner with fewer roadblocks. 

Step 4: The Testing Phase

When it comes to testing, there are some rules and some minimums that need to be followed. Keep to these rules to ensure that your results present solid data and cannot be skewed. 

Depending on the amount of traffic you get, you can run a test for about a week. We like to run our test for two weeks to ensure our variant testing can reach statistical significance of at least 90%. If you have less traffic, it will take longer for you to reach significance. Most testing platforms will determine significance for you, but you can use this calculator as well from Kissmetrics

Determine the significance of your A/B test with Kissmetrics

Statistical Significance

One of the main reasons for testing is to see if a particular change can increase conversions. Let’s pretend you run a test for 100 visitors on your site and 40 of them converted on variant B while 20 converted on the champion. That’s a 20% conversion rate vs 10% on the champion.

However, if you get 10,000 visitors a day, that first 100 only made up a small portion of your 24 hours of traffic. The conversion rate could fluctuate quite a bit by the time you reach your quota for the day. This is what statistical significance is all about: did enough people see the A/B test and was enough time allotted to ensure that there is a consistent pattern?

If you have a test that wins out against the original with 95% statistical significance, this means that there is a 5% chance that your new variant outperformed on accident. Traffic constantly fluctuates so the significance is determined by an average. This is why we recommend letting a test run around two weeks to give enough time for statistical significance to even out. 

I’ve had tests come to 90% significance very quickly but when I checked the test a few days later, the significance had dropped to 60%. Assuming you get a decent amount of traffic to your site, you won’t need more than two weeks to run your test, but if significance is still not close to 90%, let it run for another week to avoid a “peeking” error. 

Peeking

As we discussed above, this is when we look at a test before it has truly gained proper statistical significance. You may see that the percentage is higher or lower than expected and you may want to stop the test. However, because your data is not properly tested overtime, it is incorrect and could result in you running a “winning” variant that is actually a loser and will hurt your conversions. So always, always, always wait to declare a winner/loser only after the test has completed its run-time.

Ways to Test

There’s three different ways to test: A/B Testing, Split Testing, and Multivariate Testing. Each comes with its own pros and cons so let’s go through the differences.

For the sake of simplicity most people go with A/B testing (normally used when the changes needed for the variant are very minor. 

Split testing, or split URL testing is used when design requires heavy modifications or backend changes against its original version. So creating a new, separate page with a new url is easier than trying to split test a bunch of changes at once in an A/B test. 

If you have two pages that already exist on different urls that you want to test, this is where multivariate testing comes into play. Several changes are applied to each page and each combination is tested separately. 

 

Hierarchy of Conversions

When it comes to optimization, you should be very mindful on where you focus first. Wouldn’t it be silly to clog a leak on a boat that’s half an inch wide when there’s a 2-foot hole somewhere else on the boat? CRO must work the same way. Before you get to conversion tactics, you need to make sure the website works and is easy to use. Remember, no one wants to navigate a broken and difficult site.

Here are the layers of the pyramid with the most important being at the bottom:

The testing pyramid

1. Functional

Above all else, your site must work and do what it’s supposed to do. This means no technical errors. It also needs to be mobile optimized and work in every browser – even Internet Explorer. If you have visitors coming from IE and they can’t use your site, you will lose money. Make sure to do quality assurance and cross-browser testing too.

2. Accessible

Can any device reach your site? Can a regular person get through your website or can only developers and IT professionals understand how to navigate your site and resources? 

Make sure your front-end developers check this web accessibility checklist.

3. Usable

Your site must be fast and easily usable. It shouldn’t be a puzzle just for people to get around the website. Can visitors understand the language and buy the way they want? Is it obvious or do they have to “figure it out”? Show your site to colleagues and friends so they can do user testing for you. Someone in your company will know the ins and outs so you will want someone who has never landed on your website to do an honest usability test.

4. Intuitive 

Your sales process needs to line up with the intent of the user. When we say intuitive, we mean that your site needs to reduce any friction in the buying process. Prepare for customer questions and provide the answers to those questions at the point of the ask and not in a generic FAQ section. 

This is often where businesses start to fall short: their site works and is navigable, but they haven’t taken into account all of the questions their customers have: how long is the trial? What do I get out of it? What happens next after I fill out this form? Will someone call me or will they email me and when? If we answer these questions on the page that they’re being asked on, we will see fewer visitors leaving and more visitors converting.

5. Persuasive

Site works, questions are answered, but do users understand that they need what you’re selling? In order to improve the persuasiveness on your site, you’ll mostly be writing better copy that is specific to each of your personas. Better imagery and clean design is also important to showcase your value. 

Everything related to product descriptions, feature tours, demos, and product comparisons (even with competitors) are considered persuasive issues. This also includes your service descriptions, case studies, testimonials, and white papers.

It’s a great mental model to determine how you should be optimizing, and in what order. Make sure the first 4 steps are taken care of before moving on to the final one. While the higher you go on the pyramid, the bigger the potential impact on optimization, if the bottom layers are broken, then your conversion potential suffers deeply. Also bear in mind that the level of effort needed to optimize for each level varies from site to site.

How we use this hierarchy in our work

When we analyze sites to identify leaks and think about treatments, we start from the bottom level of the hierarchy. Meaning we don’t think about applying some psychological triggers until all bugs have been fixed.

  1. If we discover that the website doesn’t work with a particular browser – we can jump for joy. Fixing functional issues is a low-hanging fruit that brings instant, and possibly very high gains. Bug fixes are the biggest sources of uplifts ever.

  1. Check accessibility: this is is about making the website usable for everyone – no matter their physical condition or the device they’re on. Alt tags for images, readable font sizes, contrast between buttons/text and background, and so on. Optimize for people with disabilities.

  1. Perform a usability analysis, and fix issues. Usability is about how easy it is to learn to use your website (and how easy to remember how something is done). Websites with usability issues suffer from conversion problems too. Fixing usability problems fixes a bunch of problems right away.

  1. Optimize design and sales process / funnel: intuitive is about web design, prototypicality, cognitive fluency and meeting user expectations. Does the website feel intuitive and natural based on visitors buying preferences? Does the copy make everything clear and obvious?

  1. And finally, we address persuasion, sales psychology, and so on.

 

Key Elements

CRO is a much larger process that has many stages. A successful CRO project uses data to determine hypothesis, runs multiple tests, adjust based on results, and draw conclusions to testing results. There are six main elements that can be optimized. 

Site Navigation

This is key considering the first step to optimization is making sure your site is functional. The site structure must be easy to navigate. Every site may have a different layout and navigation, 

Normally, you’ll start on the homepage and then start exploring categories and subcategories. If this is unstructured, your visitors will become lost and probably start leaving your site.

Because of this, it’s important to make sure that your visitors can navigate between pages quickly and easily. You will want them to complete their goals with as few clicks as possible.

 

Copy

A beautiful site is wonderful to look at, but as I was told over and over again in design school, “form follows function.” Beauty will get people through the door, but the words you use is what will keep them on the site and then turn them into an opportunity. Write relevant and engaging content that focuses on your product’s or service’s unique value proposition. If you can make your visitors feel that they’re missing out or not doing their job by reading/downloading/buying whatever it is you’re offering, then you’ve written persuasive copy. 

Let’s break this copy down into types: 

1. Headline

The headline is the first element your visitor will see and therefore is one of the most important. If people can’t understand your value in your headline, good luck getting them to scroll through the rest of your page to learn more. 

You will need a headline that focuses on the customer’s pain point. They need to know that you will be able to solve their problem, so you will need to think about your unique value propositions, which are the qualities you possess that your competitors do not.

When creating your headlines, keep in mind the font type, font size and color to make sure you capture the visitors’ attention with impactful and legible copy.

In order to make your headline impactful, here are some tips on how to write your headline.

Ask a question: Did you know digital marketing can add 50% more revenue to your business?

Split your content into two parts: Digital marketing: are you ahead of your competitors?

Focus on the numbers: 10 ways to ensure digital marketing adds to your conversions!

Keep the headline concise to ensure that the product or service is completely clear. 

2. Body Content

Your visitors will need to know “What do I get out of this?” So the content you create that follows your headlines needs to break down the benefits further. Your body copy must also be clear, concise, and convey your brand’s persona efficiently.

To draft good body content, consider the following:

  • For better readability, divide your content into relevant paragraphs
  • Pair your headlines with subheads that can describe the topic in more detail
  • Bullet points or numbered lists wherever necessary
  • Font type, size and color which matches the overall design guidelines of the brand
  • Address directly to the end user and what they are here for, answering their questions
  • Add key phrases to improve the overall usability and easy takeaways

Forms

For most businesses, forms are how they get most of their leads. Each company’s needs are different so the optimization that works for one business’s form may not work for another. Sometimes a long form works well and sometimes a short form works better. Sometimes more fields work better than less fields. You will need to balance lead quality and lead volume to get the best return on your investment.  

We’re normally told that less is more but when it comes to forms, that may not always be the case. 9 times out of 10 I’ve seen a multi-step form outperform a single step form. The reason for this was the type of questions asked and when we asked those questions. Let’s pretend you’re offering a demo of your product. You have variant  A of your form that asks for company name, business email, phone number, and full name. You have variant B which is two steps. The first step asked for industry, company size, areas of interest. The second step asked for all of the same fields as variant A. Now you would think that of course Variant A would win since it’s one step. Thanks to a little something called compliance psychology, this is not the case. 

Dr. Robert Cialdini said it best:

“Once we’ve made a choice, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.” Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion

In other words, once you commit to small things, you’re more likely to continue onto bigger commitments aligned with your initial decision. The reason the two-step form worked is because the first step questions were 1. Non-threatening and 2. they made the visitors feel that they would get a custom response to their problems based on the information they entered. Making your visitors feel that they will be getting something of great value for their information is one of the most important elements of a lead gen form.

Having one-click form submits using Facebook or Google SSO can also work wonders for your conversion process. Most times users are already logged into one of these sites and this helps them convert much more easily. 

 

Call To Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is exactly what it sounds like. It is a request for customers to take a desired action. This action could be a myriad of things such as signing up for a demo or free trial, downloading a whitepaper, or joining a mailing list. The more clear you are with your CTAs, the more likely you will convert users. 

With one of our own clients, we were able to increase conversions from 6% to 20% just by changing the CTA on a form from “next” to “get started”. 

Although your website will have additional links to resources and other information, you’ll want to focus on one CTA for a landing page. A landing page should be dedicated to one offering to keep your visitors focused on one action. If you provide too many options, you’ll find the bounce rate on your landing page increasing due to either overwhelming or confusing the users and therefore your conversions will start dropping. We call this the attention ratio and we want to keep that ratio at 1:1 for all landing pages.

Because landing pages have a dedicated action tied to them, they tend to have much higher conversion rates than the standard website pages. This is the value of the 1:1 ratio because when a user lands on your landing page, they either have to convert or leave. There’s only two options. 

Take a look at this page below. There’s no navigation links, no buttons leading to other pages. All of the buttons lead back to the form at the bottom of the page.

Example of landing page with strong calls-to-action to enhance B2B lead generation. 

On this page, people can only get a consultation or they can leave. It may seem like a good idea to offer multiple giveaways to capture many different audiences, but landing pages with too many promotions can be distracting.

Landing Page Design

The way you lay out the information of your page is just as important as the info itself. For the pages below, which company do you trust more?  Aesthetic matters and making a site or landing page that is visually appealing will help you get more conversions over an ugly or jumbled page.

Would you buy from option 1 above?

Or would you buy from option 2 below?

In option 2, all information is clear and readily available. With option 1, I have no idea where I should be looking first or where the CTA is. Designer matters!

Page Speed

A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, according to Kissmetrics. When Firefox reduced average load time by 2.2 seconds, they increased conversions by 15.4%.

Here’s how you can fix this: resize images with Tinypng.com, compress your site with Gzip, and install Google PageSpeed. Lastly, if all else fails, consider changing your web hosting as that may be the problem.

PageSpeed Insights checks both mobile and desktop

 

Best Practices

Although we always want to base our hypotheses and tests in data, there are some common standards that must be upheld to ensure a successful CRO campaign. Holding fast to these ideals will keep you from wasting a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run.

Testing little things that won’t move the needle

Changing your CTA button color from blue to green probably isn’t going to make or break your conversions. Many people think that running small tests is better than running larger ones, but the reality is that larger changes will have a bigger impact on conversions. 

Some of these changes could be changing headlines to match UVPs, redesigning the hero section of a page, moving sections and elements around on a page for better visibility, redesigning an entire homepage or navigation menu. You will need to understand your customer’s pain points so that you can properly optimize your testing hierarchy. 

Too many tests running at once

If you run too many things on one page, you may not be able to determine which of these efforts increased the conversions. That will put you in a difficult spot when it comes time to roll these changes out to other pages. The accuracy of the tests will be affected, so try to take things one step at a time. Analyze your results, make the necessary changes, observe the test results, then run the next test.

Avoid creating tests based on opinion instead of data

Even with the proof of data, tests we think will win can still lose. There are no guarantees with CRO so it would be foolish to launch tests without any data to back your claims. The chances of success will diminish if you are making changes on a whim. People like to upgrade their branding and try out a new fresh look, but often times a rebrand can greatly hurt conversions. As much as we all want to upgrade everything to our liking, we must be patient and test one or two things at a time and let the tests run their full course. Make sure all tests are backed by a thesis that assures the new variation will perform better.

Avoid copy that sounds eloquent but doesn’t tell customers what you do

Let’s pretend you’re looking to buy a bike. Which headline would entice you to buy a bike? 

Option 1: We create beautiful creations to take you from point A to point B

Option 2: Get the only bike on the market with full throttle assistance

Notice how option 1 is completely vague and pretentious? Too often I see businesses creating copy that sounds very technical or flowery, but it in no way conveys their UVPs nor the value of their product/service. Carefully drafted and optimized content can do amazing things for your conversions. If your content is vague and doesn’t match your business’s goals, it becomes useless. 

Conclusion

With other digital marketing efforts becoming more competitive and more difficult, conversion rate optimization has become a prominent and important way to increase conversions and sales for businesses. It allows companies to properly understand the pain points of their customers and provides them with the necessary data needed to create new and better strategies. So if you’re tired of dumping thousands of dollars of spend into PPC or SEO, or if your efforts in those avenues have become stagnant, give CRO try. You will probably find a lot of valuable user data from your CRO campaign and you will start seeing more return on your investment from PPC and SEO efforts simply because you chose to use CRO to improve the user experience of your website and landing pages! 

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