When optimizing conversion rates on your website, you can expect to see increased add to carts, checkouts (or “opt-ins” for lead generation), longer time on site, and a better return on your advertising dollars.
How is it relevant to my business?
While this might be a big statement to make, EVERY business can use CRO because EVERY business can increase their profits. Businesses who go through the conversion rate optimization process usually increase sales for the same (or in some cases less) ad spend. It doesn’t matter if you sell high fashion, home decor, art, swimming pools, provide landscaping or sell a course; more sales for the same advertising dollars is a good thing.
Wait, there are different types of CRO?
Ok, so now that we know a little more about CRO, are there different methods? You bet your marketing budget on it there are! There are two high-level approaches and a few different ways of implementing one of them.
“Change & Pray”
Preferred by well-meaning business owners, this method usually involves their personal preferences over what actually attracts their ideal customer. This often leads to them changing their website based on how they feel rather than using customer data backed decisions.
When using this method, changing something like the button colors is one of the first things a business owner would try after reading a blog on ‘Easy Ways to Increase Your Online Store’s Conversion Rate’. However, without the customer backed data, choosing the right color for your customers is more challenging.
The only metrics you can really compare is the data before the change and the data after the change, not if the change actually had an impact on sales.
“The Scientific Approach”
Now, while this process may be more time consuming, 9 times out of 10 it’s more profitable. Yes, you read that right! It takes time, and you might get it wrong, BUT you will learn what is working in your business with your customers.
Our customers, going through EKOH’s CRO process, usually see improvements in not only customer service ratings, but increased profits online with the same advertising budget.
Some people think that optimizing their website is mainly about testing colors, but this is only part of the picture. Business owners often forget that product page layout, trust icons, and shipping policies also have a huge influence on conversion rates.
Using the scientific approach we:
1. Develop A Hypothesis:
Having a brightly colored ‘Add To Cart’ button may result in more users clicking it because it is easier to see.
2. Create The Experiment:
The Control with no change (Version A), Test with Green (Version B), Test with Brand Color (Version C), etc.
3. The Test/Gathering Data:
Putting all the experimental versions live on the site to test your hypothesis with software like Google Optimize (<– not an ad, I just like using their software). You can secretly pick your favorite here, I’m rooting for version B here, green is my favorite color, but we are going to let data decide what the customers like best.
4. Analyzing The Data:
After getting enough data to be statistically significant, we will usually see one clear winner emerge. In something like the experiment I mentioned above, we would probably see that Version C would do the best and beat out the other two colors because keeping consistent brand colors similar to your logo really builds a continuous experience for your customers.
We also take note of the time of year and any sales or promotions that were happening as well to keep an eye on anything that might have impacted our data from the test.
After going through the cleaned data from our tests, we implement the winners usually resulting in a sustained conversion rate increase.
6. Further Optimization
Start back from step one and begin again with a new hypothesis on how to improve your site with customer backed data! Conversion rate optimization can be an ongoing project as your customers are constantly growing and evolving your site should be as well to match their needs.
Want to grow your business with CRO?
It may take some time to develop the best process for your business, but having an optimization strategy can lead to more consistent and reliable results, fewer issues, lower costs and hopefully, higher profits.
It doesn’t matter if you run an experiment every month, or every quarter. Booking.com has over 10,000 experiments running at any given time. Even if you just run one a quarter, you better your chances to outgrow your competitors who are sitting there trying to come up with their next sale to keep business going.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As EKOH’s Director of Technology and Digital Marketing Strategy, Kaleb has been optimizing systems for over two decades. While living in New Zealand he worked for IBM and Telecom (Spark), and has gone on to help many companies from manufactures to online retailers to service based enterprises.
He now specializes in optimizing websites with conversion rates from 0.01% to 15% for e-commerce. With his wide range of experience he is one of the few Conversion Rate Experts to offer guaranteed results.