So what is CRO?
CRO – or conversion rate optimisation – is the process of making incremental changes to your website over time to increase your rate of conversions. A conversion could be making a sale, getting users to sign up to a newsletter or filling out a survey for example.
By analysing data on user behaviour at each stage of the user journey, you can make small alterations that increase the probability of conversion as your site engages better with users. This could be as simple as changing the wording or colour of a Call To Action (CTA) button, altering the position of banners on your page or having pop-ups appearing at the optimal time.
The goal is to craft a website that is engaging and easy to navigate, creating a smooth path from when users first arrive on your site to the final conversion.
Why invest in CRO?
Amazingly, for every $92 that marketers spend on driving traffic to their website, they, on average, are only spending $1 converting it. Somehow the focus has been on generating high levels of traffic at the expense of user experience (UX). So, why is CRO so important? And what are the rewards of investing in it?
Here are some of the reasons to invest in CRO:
1. Higher sales figures
The ultimate goal of CRO is to increase your sales and improve your bottom line. Your website should be designed to create a natural flow from landing page to payment page, with no glitches that could cause a user to bounce.
2. Better marketing ROI
CRO can dramatically improve your marketing ROI as you boost the ratio of visitors to conversions. This increases the value of every lead generated by your SEO strategy, so that your hard work and investment doesn’t go to waste as soon as customers land on your site.
3. Satisfied customers
Whilst the primary goal of CRO is to improve your bottom line, this is ultimately achieved by improving the UX on your website. As you create a smooth, engaging and personalised customer journey from start to finish, your customers will enjoy interacting with your website more and leave satisfied customers. Happy customers aren’t only more likely make a purchase, they’ll hopefully share their positive experience with friends or family, as well as return to your site in the future.
4. Greater Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
The emphasis on customer loyalty is ever increasing in the marketing world. Converting a first time customer is costly in marketing terms, but the ROI dramatically improves if these newly-won customers turn into repeat customers. Loyal customers are incredibly valuable to brands, so boosting your UX can increase the CLV for each new customer won.
How does CRO work?
CRO is a long-term strategy that ensures your website is evolving with ever-changing customer behaviours. Staying static in the digital world will mean you quickly become outdated. In this fast-paced industry, it’s vital to keep your UX fresh and dynamic.
Understanding the data
Customer data forms the backbone of CRO. To improve conversions, we need to first understand exactly how customers are interacting with your website, and what influences their behaviour.
We gather this data by a combination of several methods:
Website Analytics: using a tool such as Google Analytics to understand what pages are most visited, and at what stage of your conversion funnel you may be losing customers. Measuring the conversion rates of each page will give us a picture of where you can make the most impact in implementing changes.
User sessions: Another way to analyse user behaviour is to observe users browsing your site through heat-mapping. Using these tools, you can see where users spend most of their time and at what point you lose them. This gives a clearer indication of what areas of a page or site might need attention.
User surveys:Whilst hard data is important, getting direct feedback from customers can bring even more insight into certain areas. We ask customers how easy they find it to navigate your site, or why they added items to their cart but never went to checkout. It could be that they didn’t see their own currency available and were put off. Or they may have been put off by the cost of shipping. As patterns start to emerge, we will be able to see where you need to focus your development budget.
Once we have gathered initial data, we produce a list of potential improvements to be made, prioritising these in terms of impact and cost. We never make assumptions about how users interact with your site. Each new change is thoroughly tested to see which approach produces the best results.
Do personalised product recommendations lead to a higher AOV? Will a CTA button receive more clicks if placed at the top of a page or halfway down? You may well be surprised by the results.
To test each idea, the new version is implemented to half of the users entering the site, whilst the other half will continue to see the original version of the website. We then compare the two versions to see which was more effective. Once one is a clear winner, we can either move to another area of improvement or may choose to test a similar idea across more areas of the website to see if it has the same effect elsewhere.
See the results
The nature of CRO means that its results are clear to see at every stage of the process. Continual testing and use of data highlight exactly how much additional revenue or conversions can be achieved by your investment in CRO. So our clients have a high level of visibility across where their marketing spend is going. Are you still wondering “why should I invest in CRO?” The real question is – why not?