What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of enabling website visitors to take a desired action when engaging with a website. These actions, or conversions, can vary depending on your business type, and range from purchasing a product, to signing up to a service to requesting a quote.
The CRO process involves understanding your customers’ journey and their behaviour, and identifying any barriers that may be stopping your audience from converting. By implementing a Conversion Optimisation Framework, identifying these roadblocks and improving upon them, your business can increase its conversion rate and therefore its leads and revenue. These sticking points can occur at any point in the customer journey – the homepage, product details page, basket – and all of these can be optimised for an increased amount of conversions.
Conversion Rate Optimisation Framework
In a digital world that is constantly evolving, you need to know what delights your audience. A well designed and well considered customer journey can increase conversions tenfold, but knowing what to improve and optimise can be the tricky part. Naturally, as a business you want your site to be performing beyond expectations in all areas, however this takes time, effort and understanding.
One of the biggest barriers to successful Conversion Rate Optimisation is a lack of strategy. However, with detailed insights and a structured Conversion Rate Optimisation Framework, you can turn traffic into paying customers more easily.
By breaking down your conversion process into steps, you can define your goals and prioritise what will produce the most effective results, whether that be sales, downloads or leads. You can download our Conversion Rate Optimisation Framework to help you to do this.
Stage 1: Defining Your Goals
Having clear company values is a vital starting point when figuring out what you want to achieve. Consider questions such as, what is your mission outside of making money? Will this be the same in five to 10 years?
Knowing who your target audience is can massively help you to define your goals also. There are multiple ways of retrieving this information, from using web analytics software such as Google Analytics, reading comments from your audience or using social listening tools.
Once your company’s values and target audience have been defined you can then set SMART targets. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. Start from the top and work down: What is the purpose of your business? Where are you now? Where do you want to be? What do you need to get to where you want to be? What’s achievable?
Once you know what you want to achieve and what your audience wants from you, you’ll need to set your business goals. Macro goals are the big ticket, end of the funnel goals which are often one of two; monetary sale or lead generation form completion. These are the goals that bring money into the business. Micro goals are smaller goals that help push the user further down the funnel. These can be anything that has an impact on their journey, such as newsletter sign ups and video watches.
Step 2: Data Analysis
The first activity to undertake after establishing your goals is to conduct a full Google Analytics audit. It’s crucial that all information is tracking correctly and accurately otherwise you may invest time and money into the wrong areas.
For more details on this, please download our Conversion Rate Optimisation Guide.
Once you have confirmed that all data is tracking accurately, you should conduct a heuristic analysis. Get a group of unbiased people into a room and get in the mindset of your audience. Traverse through the website and make notes of any possible friction areas.
Once you’re confident Google Analytics is tracking correctly and you’ve gathered enough data, you should then look for potential technical reasons for low conversion rates. Look specifically at conversion rates on different devices, operating systems and browsers. Often something that works on Chrome may not work well on Safari, and if a large chunk of your viewers are on Safari, you’ll need to resolve this. We advise creating custom reports in your analytics tool, if available, to answer your questions.
There are foundational questions that need asking about your users, which will then lead on to more specific questions based on your audience. The foundational questions should be based around Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversions.
Step 3: Visitor Insight
The more visitor insight you gather, the more likely tests will deliver increased conversions. You should begin by gathering quantitative data through research methods such as Google Analytics, heatmaps, scrollmaps, screen recordings, monitoring form engagements, successful case studies and competitor analysis.
This data should be supported by qualitative data, gathered by reading comments and reviews from your audience, using social listening tools, creating polls and surveys, gathering persona groups and analysing any customer feedback you already have.
Biometric User Testing is also an effective way to gather insights on your audience. It gives you the opportunity to understand how a website visitor interacts with your website both physically and emotionally. Find out more about Biometric User Testing by reading more on our website.
After gathering various sources of data, you should have a large list of observations. We recommend organising these into groups, based on things like device and location.
During observations, you will often find issues with your site, usually in the form of a bug or a critical usability error such as missing important information on product pages. These can be implemented straight away as quick fixes, and do not need testing.
If the page(s) you want to run tests on doesn’t have a lot of traffic, it will be a lot harder to gain statistical confidence. You can conduct testing on smaller traffic websites but you will require an even bigger uplift to be confident that the change will have a positive impact in the long term. For more details on this, please download our Conversion Rate Optimisation Guide.
Step 4: Test Hypotheses Development
At this stage, you should have spent a good amount of time analysing your website and how users interact with it, highlighting potential friction points.
Based on all of your observations you should then create three to four behavioural hypotheses. For example: “Users don’t know or trust the brand so they are hesitant to provide their details in a lead generation form.”
After this, then list out all of the tests you want to do from your observations and how they link back to the hypothesis. About five to seven tests per hypothesis is a sufficient amount to see if your hypothesis is correct.
Step 5: Test Prioritisation
When prioritising tests, you’ll want to target the tests that will impact the bottom-line quickest.
There are several different frameworks you can use to prioritise which tests to run and when. You will ultimately need to know:
- How much traffic is needed per variation
- How long the test will run
- What the MDE (minimum detectable effort) needs to be
Step 6: Design & Deployment
Before you run a test, you need to decide what kind of test you’re going to run. There are three types: A/B test, Multi-Variant Testing and Split URL testing.
There are lots of fantastic testing tools out there with different features and pricing packages. We recommend speaking to different sales representatives and researching each tool to find out which one will work best for your needs.
Some of our favourites are:
Step 7: Test Evaluation
Whichever testing tool you use, there will most likely be a dashboard with the results. This will often tell you how many sessions each variation received and how many conversions of the goal you set won. It should also tell you the statistical significance of the test, to establish a winner.
For more in depth information on the Conversion Rate Optimisation process, download our Conversion Rate Optimisation Guide. Alternatively, if you have any questions about your business’ conversion rate, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!