What is conversion rate optimization?
What is conversion rate optimization? Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing your website or landing page experience based on website visitor behavior to increase the likelihood that the visitor will take the desired actions (conversions) on this page.
In today’s world, online traffic is very inconsistent. If you can’t drive visitors directly into your conversion funnel, the chances of them coming back and taking the desired action are pretty slim. This is nothing but a missed opportunity for your business. The best way to improve your chances of getting more conversions is to run effective conversion rate optimization campaigns.
A good conversion rate optimization campaign means not only saving a lot of time, money, and effort but also exploring new growth strategies that were not known in the past. In other words, conversion rate optimization helps you better understand the usability of your website, giving you insights into customer behavior and tips on how to improve your UX to achieve your goals.
At a strategic level, conversion rate optimization or CRO is a continuous process of learning and optimization. Unfortunately, the “continuous” aspect is often overlooked when discussing conversion rate optimization and its elements.
What are the 6 key elements of conversion rate optimization?
CRO is a comprehensive process that encompasses a variety of phases. A successful CRO campaign is one that uses detailed data to analyze the results, runs various tests, changes the content to make it more relevant to visitors, and draws the necessary conclusions. During the journey of a CRO process, a marketer will find six main elements that can be optimized.
landing page design
is the first and most important element that defines the usability and success of a website. The more aesthetically designed a website is, the more traction it will get!
Let’s understand this with an example that most of us might be familiar with. Since most customers who land on one of Amazon’s product pages come with the pure intention of buying your products, it’s important to understand the importance of design in driving conversions (how a deal is made to make or break the e-commerce giant). The giant has strategically designed each of its product pages so that even the smallest detail is clearly visible to its customers. For example, on a product page, customers can immediately add the product to their cart by clicking the “Add to Cart” button (in a highly visible color: orange) located right next to the product information column.
How does this help? Orange is a rich color that complements the website’s white background, making it easy for visitors to recognize and take action on immediately.
In addition, the effective use of white space to emphasize product features and the clever use of large images on the left side of the page inspire confidence and grab the attention of visitors quickly.
While a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing website attracts more traffic to your website, words can verbally entice your visitors and convert them into leads. Writing relevant and engaging content that emphasizes the persuasiveness of the product can be the difference between visitors who stay on your site and take action, and visitors who leave your site without taking any action. Website copy can be divided into two subsections:
Headlines are the first and most important thing a visitor sees on your landing page. It usually defines their first impression of your business. If they don’t like it, they won’t scroll down and see the rest of your page. To make sure you’re on the right track, focus on the following:
1. Formatting – In general, focus on font, font size, and color to make sure it grabs your visitors’ attention and is easy to read.
2. Writing Style – Please note the following:
- Ask a question – eg. Did you know that email marketing can generate 30% more sales for your business? How do you find the products you want? etc.
- Divide your content into two parts, e.g. Web marketing: what awaits us?
- Address directly: For example, can you trust content marketing?
- Focus on the numbers – eg. 10 Ways To Make Sure Email Marketing Helps Your Conversions!
In any case, the title should be short and to the point to ensure that it clearly and concisely describes exactly what the product or service is about.
2. Body content
Well-written content is essential for a website. It must answer the basic question: “What am I doing?” It should also be clear, concise and to the point, representing your brand personality in the most effective way.
To write good body content, consider the following:
- Divide content into relevant paragraphs for easy reading
- Use subheadings as needed to break the content down into manageable chunks
- Numbered or bulleted lists if necessary
- Font, size, and color consistent with general brand design guidelines
B. Writing style:
- Correct tone according to the target group (fun, professional, informal, etc.)
- Stylistic elements such as metaphors, adjectives, etc. emphasize a few points
- Contact the end-user directly and tell them why you are thereby answering their questions.
- Add key phrases to improve overall usability and easy conclusions
For example, Slack, a modern collaboration hub that keeps teams connected and collaborating, has a strong landing page title followed by post content that focuses on your USPs.
A catchy title, along with concise content that answers all the necessary questions, makes each page attractive and does the job you want it to do: attract customers.
call to action
A call to action (CTA) is exactly what it sounds like: a request or request for customers to take the desired action. This action can range from subscribing to a newsletter to reserving a place in a webinar, going through a purchase, the consumption of a service, etc. The stronger and more specific the CTA, the more leads you can generate.
But is it that simple? Take a look at some of the best CTA strategies in the industry and you’ll see that they all use basic psychology to define their CTAs.
To cite an example, ADT, a Tyco International company, was able to increase their conversion rate by 60% simply by changing the main text of their CTA button: from “Book, a free survey” to “Request a free quote.”
Site navigation and structure
Your website structure should focus on creating an easy-to-navigate experience. In its most basic form, the site structure is usually a diagram that shows how the different pages of your site interact with each other.
Although every site is different and has different navigations, this style of hierarchy is a standard example.
You usually start browsing from the home page and then explore the series of categories and sub-categories until you find what you are really looking for. When this whole process goes smoothly, as explained in the graphic above, your users will have no trouble navigating your website. But if it’s not structured, they get lost in the process; Leave your website permanently.
Achieving this means ensuring that users can easily and quickly switch between key sections of the website and find everything they need to achieve their goals with as few clicks as possible.
In other words, creating a smooth and easy-to-navigate website is key to increasing conversions and your brand reputation.
Forms are essential for most businesses, especially when they are part of your sales funnel. Optimizing these key customer touchpoints can go a long way toward improving conversion rates. Although there are many theories on how to create a good and effective form for your website, they may not work in the same way for everyone. In some cases, a comprehensive form can work wonders, while in many other cases, concise forms are enough to drive conversions in the table. The secret ingredient here is to always maintain a balance between the quality of the lead and the volume of the lead that yields the best ROI.
Still, here are four basic optimization tips to take your forms from good to great:
- The fewer fields, the better. True in most cases, but not always, especially when you want your sales team to focus only on the most serious leads or in cases where getting additional information about leads is paramount, such as industry or the city, if you have lead workflows that depend on fields
- Beautiful forms often correspond to a pleasant user experience. Good forms consist of flicker-free text, a clean and consistent layout, and tooltips and validations in the right places. Good forms also often have the most important fields at the top, followed by less important fields. You can also experiment with progressive forms to improve your conversion rates without compromising the depth of user information.
- Easy password creation makes it easy to fill out forms. According to internal data from VWO, the password is one of the fields that takes the longest to complete. It goes without saying that helping users create strong yet easy-to-remember passwords is key to making this process more satisfying for both the user and the organization.
- One-click form submission via Facebook or Google SSO can also do wonders for your conversion process. Most of the time, users are already registered with one of these websites, which helps them to convert much more easily. It also makes it easy to create and remember new passwords. However, this may not work in all cases, especially in B2B contexts where companies work with their prospects’ work email IDs.
Page load speed or time has a huge impact on the overall performance of your website. In fact, it directly affects user experience, website conversion rate, and search engine ranking. According to a blog published by Semrush, a website that loads in 1.7 seconds is comparatively faster than 75% of the web. On the other hand, if it loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than almost 94% of the web.
A loading delay of just one second can reduce your conversions by 7%. For example, if your website generates $100,000 in sales per day, even a one-second delay in loading could cost you around $7,000 per day or more.
That same one-second delay also means you tend to lose about 11% of your leads because they just close your page or leave without even giving it a second thought.
Benefits of conversion rate optimization: Why is it important?
CRO allows you to optimize the functionality of your website and helps you understand the motives and reasons for visitor behavior. The fact is that your website will never reach its full potential until it has been rigorously tested. The benefits of a CRO program fall into two categories:
Improve marketing ROI
A well-structured and thoughtful CRO program, backed by solid analytics, can go a long way toward improving the ROI of just about anything you do with marketing by
A. Improve the quality/speed of tests running on your website: CRO allows you to analyze the performance of your website by running tests and looking for the best possible variations that promise conversions. By experimenting with different elements on your landing pages, you can not only check which areas produce the best results but also use the collected data as a reference for your next round of testing/experimentation.
B. Increased Revenue for the Same Traffic/Additional Business Revenue – One of the main benefits of a CRO campaign is that every change you make to your website that ultimately increases your conversions is additional profit for your business.
For example, an online e-commerce business that plans to improve the customer experience in a way that makes it easy and convenient for its customers to purchase products can greatly benefit from CRO. I like it?
If by running an A/B test they can increase their conversion rate by even 3%, that means they are getting 3% more sales day after day. Meanwhile, if you have a high volume of sales, a 3% improvement can effectively turn your sales into hundreds and thousands of dollars more for your business.
Australian e-commerce company Showpo saw a 6.09% increase in sales by running a battery of A/B tests and introducing new and improved variations to their product pages.
Improve user experience
The benefits of a CRO program are well spread across marketing ROI to deliver an enhanced user experience at all stages of a visitor’s lifecycle, whether it’s a first-time visitor or a customer, thanks to
A. Personalize your website visitor’s experience – Visitors these days are too impatient. If you don’t offer them a website that is easy to navigate with fewer clicks and makes the whole process easy, they won’t stick around and will end up looking for alternative options. By helping to customize sections of your website based on visitors’ geography, device, local time, or browsing history, you can make your website that much more relevant to them.
B. Better insights into your visitor behavior – The CRO process starts with understanding customer behavior through tools like heat maps and clicks maps. These tools tell you which parts of the page visitors spend the most time on. Other CRO tools such as B. User session recordings and session replays help understand their overall experience. They provide insight into the exact path visitors took to reach a defined goal on your site and even highlight the pain points that caused them to give up and leave your site. Meanwhile, form analytics and website surveys also help understand a visitor’s overall website experience. Such qualitative data is enough to create a good UX and further pave the way for conversions.
Who is conversion rate optimization useful for?
Conversion rate optimization is beneficial for all types and sizes of businesses, regardless of their industry. Here are some interesting business use cases that define the ubiquitous nature of conversion rate optimization.
CRO for B2B/SaaS companies
Lead generation is the beginning of engaging your customers by locating them on your website, collecting their information through various means (forms, registrations, surveys, etc.), and contacting them to convert them into loyal and loyal customers. As a B2B/SaaS company, it’s your job to help your customers find what they’re looking for, capture their interest, and support their purchase decision.
Case Study: Ongoing testing helped POSist improve their demo requests by 52%!
POSist is a leading SaaS-based restaurant management platform that offers a full range of online point-of-sale (POS) solutions for all types of restaurants. The company wanted to increase demo requests and reduce abandonment on its home page and contact page. Obviously, these were two of the most important pages that helped the company achieve maximum conversions.
POSist decided to launch a CRO campaign to achieve their goal, which ultimately helped them identify gray areas. The company changed its home page by adding more relevant and conversion-focused content. This not only improved the user experience but also boosted conversions. POSist generated approximately 52% more leads in a single month, further increasing their site’s conversion rate to 3.4%, an overall increase of 25%.
CRO for e-commerce companies
Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges eCommerce businesses face, costing billions in sales every year. According to an analysis by the Baymard Institute, almost 69% of all e-commerce visitors abandon their shopping cart for a wide variety of reasons. So, creating a user-friendly eCommerce website with great design, exclusive products and low shipping costs not only solves the cart abandonment problem but also solves other escrow problems like a checkout. complex, lack of basic information, etc. appears in the center.
Common reasons why users leave a website are:
- Distraction – Too many pop-ups or forms to fill out can distract your customers.
- Difficulty Checkout: The site may not provide a user-friendly checkout option, which can complicate the purchasing efforts of new users.
- Hidden Costs – Most visitors are intimidated by hidden costs like additional shipping charges, other taxes, etc.
Running a CRO campaign helps to identify and address these bottlenecks and goes a long way in improving the conversion rate of the website.
Case Study: PearsOnly increased sales by 12% by making their checkout page more CTA-focused!
PearlsOnly is a Houston-based online jewelry store that specializes in the sale of pearls. Since its inception, the organization has constantly tested its website and made changes as necessary to keep up with industry trends and provide the best service to its customers. However, he was unable to get as many conversions as he wanted. They launched a CRO campaign and discovered that their checkout page was cluttered and distracting site visitors, causing them to leave the page before taking the desired action.
PearlsOnly optimized their checkout page with the help of VWO services and made sure all their USPs were properly highlighted. They ran the campaign for about a month and the results were great. The trial helped PearlsOnly increase sales by 10%.
For businesses like media agencies and publishers, reaching a broader audience base and keeping them on your platform is critical to growth. Here CRO can help them and test different website elements like email signups, social sharing icons, recommended content, and other advertising options to get more attention.
Case Study: BluTV increased their mobile conversion rate by 42% simply by making their home page more user-friendly!
As a provider of over-the-top (OTT) video-on-demand subscription services, BluTV’s success depends entirely on the number of active subscribers. The main goal was to get as many visitors as possible to sign up for paid trial subscriptions. To start a trial, a visitor had to provide their credit card information and this was only charged after the 7-day free trial ended.
Examining visitor behavior on the BluTV website, Hype, a VWO certified partner performance marketing agency, found that the conversion rate of mobile visitors was quite low compared to the BluTV website average. The service provider’s mobile home page emphasized serving its active customers rather than new visitors. Based on this, the two companies decided to completely overhaul BluTV’s mobile homepage. They removed all the distractions in the header area, promoted some of the most popular content, and added an FAQ section at the bottom. They ran a split URL test over a 19-day period and found that the fallback variation increased their conversion rate by over 42%.
CRO for OTAs or travel agencies
Compared to other industries, travel agencies generally have a harder time driving conversions. Consumers in this category often take longer than usual to decide whether or not to make a purchase. They browse different websites, compare offers, interact with colleagues, and only then do they answer a call. In addition, the complex behavior of the reserves also contributes to the challenge of the industry. Running a CRO campaign can effectively help travel agencies analyze their potentials and drawbacks and increase conversions.
Case Study: Bizztravel Wintersports increased conversions by 21% just by decluttering their home page!
Bizztravel Wintersport is a Dutch travel agency that increased conversions by 21% by making it easy to find vacation destinations on its website. The company has cluttered the home page of its site, leaving only the most relevant information untouched.
CRO for agencies
When we talk about different industries that have benefited from CRO, agencies like digital marketing, web development, and dedicated CRO agencies are no exception. Running conversion rate optimization campaigns for your own websites or clients can dramatically increase your conversions and increase your sales, which can lead to a better ROI on your work and help retain customers and deliver good value. overall experience to your business offer.
Digital Marketing Agencies that offer multiple services to their clients such as B. Social Media Promotion, Web Content Development, Branding, etc., can offer CRO services to their clients to make the most of their existing traffic. Not only can this help them attract more customers by offering an additional service on top of their regular services, but it can also improve their overall business impact.
Case Study: Traffic4u helped their client Djoser increase their travel bookings by 33.1%!
Traffic4u is an online marketing agency that uses VWO to optimize its clients’ websites and get more conversions. In one such attempt, Traffic4u helped Djoser, a leading Dutch travel agency, optimize their website and increase their online bookings.
Traffic4u carefully reviewed the data from the Djoser website and concluded that a real reservation was an important step for users. Offering them an alternative option with more flexibility to confirm their reservation would encourage more users to book. Here they decided to create a variant with an additional link called “Take an option”. By clicking the link, users had the option to reserve their seats and opt for a 72-hour cancellation. If no action is taken within the specified time, the seat will be considered reserved. While the trial lasted around 7 weeks, the variation resulted in a 33.1% increase in bookings for Djoser.
Conversion Rate Optimization Steps: Understanding the Process
There are several conversion rate optimization frameworks that can effectively help conversion rate optimizers to plan and execute optimization campaigns. In the simplest case, the CRO process can be broken down into 5 steps.
Step 1: The research phase – identification of areas for improvement
Only one of the seven A/B tests gives a positive result. Why? Look for!
Typically, most marketers tend to copy CRO strategies that have produced results for other companies because they think the same thing would work for them. But they fail because not all orange buttons can be converted and not all long pages can be blocked.
Understand what users do (quantitative data)
First of all, you need to familiarize yourself with the basics.
1. Do you analyze what your visitors are doing?
Analytics allows you to make decisions based on facts and figures rather than purely on instinct. In the CRO process, there are several ways to derive data to understand your results. For example, you can retrieve relevant information from your web analytics tools, such as real-time data tracking, bounce rate, sources of incoming website traffic, audience, demographics, website behavior, etc. Google Analytics is one of the best tools for getting detailed quantitative data about what people are doing on your website.
2. How do site features affect user behavior?
By using visitor behavior analysis tools such as heatmaps, session recordings, interview feedback, customer surveys, analytics, Net Promoter Score, etc., you can see how different features of a page affect user behavior. For example, you may find that the search tool placed on your landing page leads to more conversions than the product categories displayed. Gaining such insights can go a long way to weeding out unwanted features and focusing more on those that convert users better.
Understand user behavior (qualitative data)
Customer psychology generally defines the ground rules that CRO elements must follow.
Two essential elements that help understand customer psychology are:
1. Principles of persuasion: human beings are very susceptible to suggestions and cognitive biases. To cite an example, knowing that an item is popular with the masses makes it even more popular, regardless of its actual value. The following rule applies: the rarer and more exclusive an item is, the more valuable it becomes. Understanding this human psychology is key to effectively setting your goals and designing a CRO plan that contributes to your business profits.
Additionally, adding social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials on your landing page or elsewhere can help your efforts. As most of the case studies posted on the internet report, social proof helps drive more conversions!
2. Customer Behavior: Research by the NN Group indicates that most people who surf the Internet don’t read; they just flip through the posts. Another study shows that young people are more interested in looking for flat designs because they are more “trustworthy” than their older peers.
Studying your audience’s behavior provides insight into “why they do what they do” on the internet and how you can use this information to create a better-converting website.
There are two main ways to study the behavior of your audience:
- Face-to-face tests and interviews: Face-to-face tests and interviews: Observing your customers closely in real-time as they interact with your website can provide you with meaningful data and insights on a variety of things. This includes the pages they visit most often, the time they spend on your site, the areas where they have the biggest problems, e.g. B. Difficulty filling out a form, inability to generate passwords, payment failures, and much more.
- Read case studies and follow user behavior guidelines – Lots of existing research and case studies can be a great help in understanding the collective psyche of your customers, which in turn can be a great source for improving the look and feel of the site website increasing conversions.
Combining the two can give you a better basic understanding of your customers’ behavior on your website.
Understand the data collected
Customer psychology and data studies can help you identify the real reasons why users do what they do on your site.
Use the information collected as a baseline study and decide on improvements that could benefit your business in the long run. It’s also important to come up with a quantified expected conversion rate, as this will guide your testing efforts. Otherwise, you could end up improving a page’s conversion rate by 1% and getting comfortable not realizing the true potential.
Qualitative data vs. quantitative
While quantitative data provides a good overview of your organization’s performance, it doesn’t show the whole picture. For this reason, collecting qualitative data is of paramount importance. Qualitative responses provide better insights into how your customers perceive your brand, why they do or do not buy your products and/or services, and other innovative insights.
|quantitative data||qualitative data|
|Objective approach that provides numerical data to map actionable events.||Subjective approach that provides detailed narrative information such as comments, etc.|
|Insights: most and least visited pages by visitors. Time a visitor spends on a specific page. Entrance path that visitors take to land on the site. pages they leave. The number of incoming visitors that convert. Website bounce rate. Links and pages are less and more ignored by visitors.||Insights: a customer’s buying journey. Exact cause of the desertion(s). Customers’ thoughts about your products and/or services. Your fears, doubts or hesitations before and during the purchase. Your comments after receiving/using the products and/or services.|
|Accurate information||draw generalizations|
|measurable data||descriptive data|
|conclusive approach||exploratory approach|
data collection methods
Some of the best data collection methods are:
integrated tool that provides numerical data on the overall performance of your website, reports on visitor activity, engagement, traffic flow sources, content performance, and online sales.
Customer surveys shed light on the actual psychological thinking of customers: what convinced them to buy a product, what drove them away from the website, etc. This is one of the best ways to learn strategies for effective website optimization.
Usability testing is a smart way to assess the usability of a website from the customer’s perspective, their engagement rate on a particular page, similar roadblocks and setbacks. It’s a powerful weapon that not only helps create a better user experience, but also increases conversions.
The interviews offer detailed information about your website, the respective pages, and the target group. It is more about collecting qualitative data than quantitative. In fact, the interviews can lead to the writing of test hypotheses that change the campaign.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures satisfaction in relation to customer loyalty. It classifies customers into three categories called promoters, passives, and detractors. While promoters are more likely to become loyal customers, detractors do the opposite. The passive ones are in the middle: they are still in the evaluation phase (in terms of site appreciation).
In a nutshell, heatmaps are graphical representations of data that provide insight into where visitor values are most often found as colors in a matrix. The areas that receive the most attention are marked in red, while others are shaded in green. This is a classic way of understanding what users do on a single page.
Click on Maps
Like heatmaps, click maps provide data about user interaction on a page based on where they click most often.
scroll the cards
One type of heat map, the scroll map, analyzes how a visitor moves through the website. This helps to examine your behavior on different websites and analyze problems.
The next step is to carefully formulate your hypothesis!
Step 2: The Hypothesis Phase – Create an Educated Hypothesis
Based on the information collected during the investigation phase, you can now formulate your hypothesis. In its most basic form, a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for your research, usually made up of 3 parts.
- A special change: based on quantitative and qualitative data insights
- A specific effect: a goal, conversion metric, or similar that needs improvement.
- A particular reason: the consideration of why a certain change can produce the desired effect.
The best way to advance is to pass a real test!
formulate a hypothesis
Here is an example of a good hypothesis.
“I think adding social proof to product pages will result in 5% more cart additions because it instills confidence in my purchase decision.”
Based on this assumption, you make the necessary changes to your product pages. These new pages are called variations. The main goal of the test is to see if the new variant would get better conversions or not.
A well-structured hypothesis also paves the way for future optimization efforts. Even if your path fails, you can use the case to find out exactly what went wrong and take corrective action. Without a structured process, optimization efforts can be futile or even useless.
This is what an unstructured hypothesis looks like:
“Let’s just combine the sorting and filtering tool, because it worked for companies A, B, and C.”
This is exactly the kind of assumption that should be avoided.
formulate your hypothesis
As a general rule, always back up your evidence with sound purpose and authentic evidence. Make sure you have enough quantitative and qualitative data to support the rationale for your test. Formulate your hypothesis as completely as possible and even write down all the necessary information. CRO is an ongoing process. The more useful data you have, the easier it will be to formulate a hypothesis and launch optimization campaigns in the future.
Decide how you want to edit your pages
In general, there are two ways to run a CRO test: try a completely different page, or change one or a few elements on the page. Choose the one that suits you best and get going.
- Try a completely to a different site – Once you’ve identified several areas that could be improved, you need to start from scratch. Identify the pages that you create (according to statistical data) to convert better and show positive results. Please note that you may see similar or radically different results. Use the information as ground rules and start adjusting.
- Edit one or more page elements – This is where A/B testing and multivariate split testing come in handy. Identify one or more issues on your site that (based on statistical data) may represent the top issues. Find the best possible variants and experiment. Note that a multivariate split test tests more than one item at a time. This means that it takes longer to present the actual results.
Once you’ve discovered your optimization opportunities, plan and prioritize the things you want to test. In a nutshell, plan your testing strategy.
Step 3: The Prioritization Phase – Choose an Order
A number of frameworks can help you through the process here. Among these, the P.I.E. The framework formulated by Chris Goward at WiderFunnel is what we recommend the most:
Each of them has its own importance, which can effectively help you prioritize your test items and guide you in the right direction.
Step 4: The testing phase: A/B, split or multivariate?
Before you run a test, understand the basics:
- What is statistical significance and why is it essential?
- How long does it take to take a test?
- What should I use: A/B, split or multivariate tests?
What is statistical significance and why is it essential?
One of the main reasons for testing is to understand if a particular change to our site can help drive better conversions. For example, you have decided to test the first 100 visitors to your site. You can see that 40 out of 100 visitors converted on the variation you ran, compared to 20 on the original page. That’s a 20% conversion rate compared to a measly 10% on the original site.
But does that mean you still get a guaranteed 20% conversion rate? Probably not, because those 100 visitors may not be a good representation of the 10,000 visitors that visit your site every day. This is where statistical significance comes in!
Let’s take another example: you performed a test whose results show that your implemented variant outperformed the control (original version) with a statistical significance of 93%. This means that there is a 7% chance that your variant will perform better than chance.
Completing the example, the statistical significance of 93% indicates that now is a good time to stop testing, provided you have been running the experiment long enough to draw any conclusions.
How long does it take you to run an A/B test to get reliable results?
Before launching a test, define its execution time!
When you run a test on your site, visitors are constantly included in the test, and the numbers are constantly changing. This further means that your conversion rate would constantly increase, decrease, and even plateau at various times during the trial period. Because statistical significance is displayed throughout the test, it can show increased significance even before the test has completed its scheduled duration. Depending on when you decide to look at your test results, their statistical significance may be high or low. This opens the way to the “peeking” problem.
As the name suggests, looking at the error means looking at the test results even before the correct course of action is completed. You will most likely find a statistical significance higher or lower than expected, and you may decide to stop the test depending on whether the test performed well or poorly. This, in turn, can lead to a version being served that has a negative impact on your conversions.
Therefore, it is extremely important to define the duration of the test and only declare a winner/loser after the duration has expired.
Note: The duration of a test depends mainly on the number of visitors visiting your website and the expected conversion rate you are looking for. With VWO’s free trial duration calculator, you can determine the ideal period in which you should take a trial.
Bayesian vs Frequent A/B Testing
Most traditional A/B testing engines use the frequentist method to perform statistical calculations and declare a winner. The method indicates that it is important to define the duration of an A/B test according to the sample size in order to draw the correct conclusions from the test.
But the thing is, companies looking to grow quickly don’t have time to dig into those details. Therefore, an A/B testing engine that avoids the hassle of waiting for a test to complete and enables rational business decisions has become a necessity.
This resulted in the Bayesian method, which forms the cornerstone of the VWO A/B testing platform. In addition to emphasizing statistical significance, the Bayesian method produces practical results almost 50% faster than the old frequentist method.
The Bayesian method tells you “at any given time, provided you have enough data, what is the probability that variant B will have a lower conversion rate than either variant A or the control.” It is not tied to a fixed time frame nor does it require in-depth statistical knowledge.
Which should you use: A/B, split, or multivariate?
There are three main ways to perform a test.
- A/B testing
- split test
- Multivariate tests
Organizations are often confused between the three: which type of testing methodology best suits their needs and requirements. To avoid such confusion, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- A/B, Split, and Multivariate are three different testing methods, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
- The decision of one of these three methods should depend solely on the task at hand.
- For the sake of simplicity, A/B testing seems to be the best. It is mainly used in cases where design changes are not complex.
- Split Testing or also known as Split URL Testing is used when:
- The design requires significant changes from the original version, making it easy to create a new, stand-alone page with a completely different URL.
- Changes are required in the backend, e.g. B. Test a pricing page linked to multiple tables on the back end.
- To test pages that already exist under different URLs.
- Multivariate testing is used when multiple changes are offered on a page and you want to test each combination separately.
Step 5: The Learning Phase: How to Analyze A/B Test Results
Although this is the stage where you draw the final conclusions about your tests, close the conversion rate optimization loop, and make a note of any new information gathered for future testing. Unfortunately, most optimizers only look at the test results to see if a variant passed or failed, again they would make an educated guess. However, as an optimizer, it is important to dig deeper.
Consider a test scenario. There are two possible results of a recent test.
If your variant won the test
Your efforts paid off. But what next? It’s time to find answers to the following questions.
- What is the cost of delivering the changes in terms of engineering hours, design hours, etc.?
- Does the expected increase in sales reflect actual costs?
If your variant failed the test
In such a case, make sure that you:
- Analyze your research, test your hypothesis, and look for flaws.
- Study your test data. Take it further apart to consider ideas.
- Validate your research data with all data collection tools used.
- Browse all relevant case studies. They could help you discover new knowledge that you had missed before.
- Reconstruct your hypothesis by incorporating new information that you missed in your initial investigation.
- Come back and try again.
Understand that CRO is not a one-time process. Rather, it is an ongoing process that requires constant analysis. There is always room for improvement, no matter how many tests you have done. A well-planned and designed CRO process effectively identifies areas for improvement and implements optimization efforts to drive better conversions and sustain sales growth.
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Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization
9 mistakes to avoid when running a CRO campaign
In fact, CRO is one of the best ways to optimize your website and increase conversions. Most people/companies that jump into the pool are unaware of the duration and scope of CRO and waste a lot of time, money, and effort in the process. Designing a foolproof strategy and following it effectively is the key to CRO.
Here are the top four mistakes every novice CRO should avoid:
Mistake #1: Making Opinion-Based Changes to Statistical Data
Just because your website design looks cleaner, more modern, and offers better content than the previous version doesn’t mean it will perform better. At the same time, being inspired by other businesses that ran a similar A/B test on their websites and saw an increase in their conversions doesn’t mean you’ll see the same results on your website. In fact, there is no single conversion optimization strategy. What may work for one company will not necessarily work for another.
Resist the urge. Be patient. If you intend to make changes or take inspiration from other companies’ A/B tests, make sure they’re backed by a reasonable hypothesis that your experiment works better.
A successful marketer is not one who predicts which test will win opinion or inspiration, but one who does not allow bias to trump statistical data.
Mistake #2: Writing text that doesn’t align with your business goals
Carefully crafted and SEO optimized content can work wonders. But if it’s distorted and doesn’t align with your business goals, it becomes useless. Create unique content that adds value to your website.
- Focus on the USP of your brand.
- Use plain language. Make it sharp, precise, and direct.
- Write for scanners, not readers.
- Bullets and ordered lists work best.
- Write catchy titles.
- Add higher ranking keywords.
Mistake #3: Do small tests before big ones.
When it comes to CRO, most people think that small tests are better than big ones. The fact is that small tests have little impact on the conversion rate. Larger tests with significant odds, where more than two items are changed, will leave a noticeable and lasting impact off the table. These changes may include
- Redesign of the “above the waterline” page.
- Redesign of the entire home page
- Navigation menu redesigns
- Move important elements to improve visibility
- Change titles that are more memorable and impactful than before.
Psychographic segmentation is a crucial element here. This can be of great help in understanding the needs and requirements of your prospects and making the necessary changes to attract them to your conversion funnel.
Mistake #4: Running too many tests and popups at the same time on the same page
Running multiple tests at the same time can significantly affect the analysis accuracy of each test. Any new items experienced may affect the test results of others. Also, running multiple popups and website themes in the same user session disrupts the overall experience. In fact, it is quite possible that such pop-ups annoy and confuse users, causing them to leave the website and never come back.
Running multiple tests with modified variables, called multivariate tests, usually works for high-traffic websites. However, they do not necessarily promise great results. Proceed step by step. Analyze your results; Make any changes that are necessary; observe; Then run another test.
Mistake #5: Not paying close attention to basic design elements
A. Give more importance to automatic image sliders
For most marketers, adding automatic image sliders to their homepage may be one of the best ways to display what’s new and/or upcoming on their site, but almost all conversions suggest that these sliders can significantly reduce your conversion rate.
Image carousels do not allow users to explore the site at their own pace. Instead, they hamper the visitor experience and create banner blindness. Well-known conversion experts like Peep Laja urge businesses to think carefully about adding automatic image sliders. Here are some reasons that support this theory:
- The human eye reacts strongly to movement. When images scroll faster than the human eye can see or read, important things are definitely missed.
- Too many messages mean there are no messages. Instead, it’s always more effective to focus on adding the main message to your banner images and the required action.
So it is always recommended to replace auto sliders with touch or static carousels to get more engagement and conversions. However, A/B testing is still recommended here to see what works best for your business. For whatever reason, what didn’t work for one business can work wonders for your business.
B. With corny stock photos,
There is practically nothing good about using them on your site other than their quality. They can make your website look great, but significantly reduce your brand credibility. Remember that the purpose of a website is not to look good, but to achieve specific goals. And of course, people like to deal with people, not websites. A case study from Market Experiments shows the same thing. A financial investment advisory firm increased subscriptions by 35% simply by replacing a cheesy photo on its home page with a photo of its founder.
C. Videos don’t carry much weight
Show your product in action. Make how-to videos if you come up with something tricky. Believe it or not, adding videos pays dividends. And there are a variety of companies that have really benefited greatly from this supplement.
Dr. Muscle is an example to cite here. The site embedded a video on their sales page, dramatically increasing the number of visitors who clicked through to their pricing/warranty page by 46.15%.
Embedding videos on your website and other connected platforms can help you better engage your users and thus increase conversions. Also, video marketing helps you educate your visitors about your products or services without forcing them to read tons of text.
However, as a marketer, you need to make sure your videos have a clear call to action (CTA). Without a CTA, your visitors won’t know what step to take. In fact, if your visitors already enjoy your video, they’ll be more than happy to follow your CTA and potentially become a customer.
Mistake #6: Downplaying the importance of call-to-action buttons
As mentioned above, call-to-action buttons are one of the most important page elements that allow your website visitors to take the desired action and start the conversion process. But oftentimes marketers overlook calls to action and miss out on a lot of potential conversions. Here are some mistakes that you as a marketer or website designer should avoid.
A. Using wrong color combinations
The internet is full of case studies suggesting that a certain color, say red, converts better than another, say green, etc. But this does not apply in all cases. Rather, it is about which color best suits the background of your banner or website. RIPT Apparel, a Chicago-based online retailer, increased its conversion rate by 6.3% simply by changing its CTA color from black to green. Additionally, many optimizers suggest that using a CTA color that hasn’t been used anywhere on your site can also help you get the attention you need.
B. No use of Power words in the call to action button test
Instead of saying something like “send” or “connect,” use powerful words to get your users’ attention. Some popular CTA copy texts are:
- Secure your spot. Reserve now!
- Are you in? Let us begin!
- Yes! Let’s start my free trial.
- Get your free copy!
- News is delivered to your inbox every day!
- Who should we send your free copy to?
- Add this summer dress to your wardrobe!
ADT, a Tyco International company that provides business and property security solutions, revised their CTA copy from “Book a Free Survey” to “Get a Free Quote” and saw a 60% increase in their conversion rate of calls.
C. CTA Button Locations
Apart from color and text, the placement of your CTA button also plays a big role in getting more conversions. While some marketers make a point of placing CTA buttons on the front page of their webpage so they are highly visible, many others claim that placing them below the page can deliver just as good results.. reason is that it all depends on the motivation of your prospect to click on your CTA button. How desirable they find your offer that they are compelled to click on your CTA wherever it is. The more unique your offers, the more likely your prospect will click your CTA button, regardless of their location on the website.
D. A CTA text link or a CTA button? What is the best?
Text links are often lost in the middle of the rest of the text, making it difficult to locate them on the web page. Meanwhile, the CTA buttons are more visible to the eyes and increase the chances of more clicks. Here is an example to illustrate the difference.
Mistake #7: Not creating a sense of urgency
Few marketers realize that creating a sense of urgency can increase conversions many times over. If you offer your visitors a time-limited incentive and give them a solid reason to believe why they should bother to take the desired action now and not later, they will convert. And a multitude of companies have benefited from this, by adopting the “Principles of Persuasion”.
Here are some examples to back up our claim:
Zappos creates a sense of urgency on its product pages by showing how many items in a particular size and color combination are still available to visitors before they run out.
Amazon also uses the phenomenon. Shows the exact number of hours/minutes a visitor needs to complete their checkout process for the order to be delivered to their door the next day.
The e-commerce giant also uses a countdown timer on its home page to indicate how long a particular sale will last.
Mistake #8: Not determining the trustworthiness of the company from the start
No matter how compelling your call to action is or how simple your website is, if it doesn’t give your visitors the impression of reliability or trust in your website, it probably won’t improve your website’s conversion rate. Your visitors should know that you are not a night owl and you want to stay here. There are a plethora of ways to increase visitor confidence in your website and products. These are:
- Reassure your visitors that you value their privacy and that you have a secure website. Add HackerSafe (or similar) badges that show your company is serious about website security.
- Add customer testimonials. Because it’s not just content that promotes your business offerings, it’s an ideal vehicle for building brand credibility with your website visitors. They can also sell a lot for you.
Mistake #9: Complicated funnels
The funnel is a series of pages (such as checkout or signup form) that lead to your conversion goal (such as product purchase or subscription). Most web analytics tools (including some free ones) can be configured to help you visualize where your visitors are falling out of your funnel. You may be surprised that most visitors stop at step 2 of your funnel because the whole process is too complicated for them. A complicated conversion funnel needs to be simplified to drive traffic to the final conversion page. Here are some tips and tricks to simplify your funnel and increase conversions:
- Remove all irrelevant links from funnel pages
- Remove all unnecessary steps from the funnel
- Do not focus too much on selling other offers
- It only requests the information strictly necessary to complete the conversion process. Visitors are reluctant to reveal their information if it is not justified.
- For shopping carts, clearly inform the visitor about postage and packaging, taxes, and your return policy as soon as possible.
- And be sure to remind your visitors of what they put in their cart by placing a link to the product/service
While most marketers believe that using traditional conversion rate optimization strategies can still do wonders for your business, the need is to embrace new and improved techniques such as website personalization. And according to statistics released by Zoominfo, 98% of marketers agree that personalization has the potential to build broader customer relationships.
Whether you have an eCommerce store, a SaaS site, or just a blog, offering personalized content to your visitors will improve the user experience and therefore conversions. Companies that offer website customization report a 14% increase in sales.
To deliver effective website personalization, you need to understand all the types of users who visit your website. For example, Hubspot’s blog offers content designed specifically for three main segments of its visitors: marketers, sales professionals, and agencies.
The Sales Benchmark Index blog takes website personalization even further. It invites your visitors to choose a persona that suits them best, and then shows them relevant content.
Similarly, you can offer your visitors personalized content based on the industry they belong to or their position in your conversion funnel.
Website customization is particularly effective for eCommerce websites, and Amazon is one of the best examples here. The company has instilled the essence of personalization in such a way that its visitors are captivated by its offer every time they visit its website.
7 Conversion Rate Optimization Challenges
CRO is one of the best ways to optimize your website and increase conversions. But it comes with its own set of challenges and misconceptions that need to be addressed to ensure smooth adoption and deployment.
Challenge 1: politics and people
People and politics are two main elements that define the culture of an organization. While the former emphasizes ability and mindset, the latter speaks of influential power. The real challenge arises when there is no democracy among the people. Also, when organization influencers try to impose their thoughts on factual data.
- Educate people on the true benefits of CRO.
- Present a competitive analysis.
- Highlight the shortcomings of your current approach
- Show data.
Challenge 2: Structuring to support the CRO
Establishing a structure to support the CRO is a major challenge for most organizations. Here a number of questions arise. Is it worth hiring a dedicated conversion optimization team? Would you contribute to the general expenses of the organization? who takes responsibility for failures; and so right away!
Before diving into the depths of CRO, it is important to design a suitable CRO process. Create a dashboard or platform to plan, update and record all your conversion activities. Share statistics with your employees. Encourage them to contribute to conversion optimization and make smart decisions based on facts.
Challenge 3: insufficient budget allocation
The budget plays an important role in planning and executing a CRO campaign. While companies only spent 5% on CRO activities in 2013, the trend has improved as companies increase their optimization spending. However, the problem lies in the correct budget allocation.
Before companies zero in on one quantity, they need to look at their return on CRO investment. You should invest in conversion optimization tools after thoroughly researching their real purposes and benefits.
Challenge 4: Lack of the right tools to achieve business goals
Marketers have a variety of tools to choose from to achieve their business goals. For example, when choosing an A/B testing tool, they must choose between
- Frequency based statistics engine
- Bayesian statistics engine
In addition, there are several tools that marketers can use to achieve specific goals. But using a combination of tools can make reporting tedious. So how should marketers do it? How to choose the right conversion rate optimization tools?
To choose the right tool, marketers need to weigh the pros and cons of their actions. They should evaluate the tool based on how effectively it solves their specific business problems and achieves their goals. For companies looking to invest in a business growth tool, here is an article on what decision makers should know before investing in CRO or A/B testing software.
Challenge 5: Ending an A/B test too soon
Stopping an experiment in the middle just because your variation doesn’t produce the expected results doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance of winning in the end. There are a large number of tests that take time to present the required results due to a series of factors.
Solution: The first rule of thumb for running an A/B test is to let the experiment run until it reaches statistical significance. Give your test some time to breathe. If you still think your experiment is about to fail, perform a thorough analysis of the experiment. Look for errors or flaws in the process and recheck your hypothesis. Correct these problems if they exist, and then re-run the test for a longer period of time to reach a concrete conclusion.
Challenge 6. Give up optimization after failed tests
If you’re optimizing an important side of your funnel, you can generate a conversion rate improvement hypothesis and run an A/B test. What happens if the test fails? It would be absurd to leave the page in its original state because the page is vital and needs to be optimized.
The alternative is to learn what the losing variant was missing and why users didn’t find it more attractive. Use tools like heat maps and click maps to observe user behavior. Use this information to develop a new, better hypothesis and run more A/B tests to gradually improve the chances of a high-performing test.
The key here is to always expect unexpected results. Even the most logical assumptions often fail. Keep testing!
Challenge 7. Not tracking macro conversions
So your A/B test result has been received. Your variant has overridden control. The result is statistically significant and positively improves your conversion rate. Now, while you gloat, did your variation only increase your micro conversions (eg form submissions, blog signups, next page views, etc), or did it also increase your macro conversions (eg revenue)?
If the answer is yes! It just increased micro-conversions”, it’s time to rethink your testing strategy. While these small gains will certainly contribute to your conversion goals, they generally won’t matter.
The trick is to carefully define your A/B test lenses and pair your macro conversion lenses with your micro-conversion lenses. If you don’t, you won’t see the forest for the trees.
Note that any optimization is better than no optimization. Recognize all the website optimization benefits you can get, no matter how small. Learn from your struggles and run a better, more data-backed test.
Whether it’s emphasizing the importance of website optimization, strategizing to improve website performance, running A/B tests, and using the results to drive marketing efforts, conversion rate optimization is about to become in an overall effort. Not only does this enable businesses to understand how customers think, use and perceive their brand and offerings, it also exposes them to an incredible array of data to shape their future business strategies. CRO is not just another tool to improve the online performance of your brand, it is “the tool” to differentiate yourself from the competition!
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