CRO is the abbreviated term for ‘Conversion Rate Optimisation’ which is, in simple terms, the process of ensuring a higher percentage of your website traffic converts into a sale or enquiry.
The product is completely separate from SEO, as we explain below, and the two can work most effectively when used together to elevate your business in every aspect.
SEO: This requires an understanding of the search engines algorithms and the way in which a website should function to make the most out of the resources available. This is then aided by content marketing to increase traffic levels (a higher volume of website users who are potential customers or clients).
CRO: This requires an understanding of your business, market sector, customer demographic and over all patience.
So here, we explain the eight steps behind CRO:
The first step in any CRO project has to be ‘Insight Gathering’. This process is essential as you need not only to understand your business and the key areas in which you excel but you also need to understand all of the finer details such as where you are failing to meet your customers’ needs or requirements. Further elements such as understanding your user demographic is also important and will play a big part in the process – if you are targeting the wrong people you will never increase your conversion rate.
Benchmarking: every business has defined key metrics upon which they gauge the business’ success – these tend to be items such as revenue, volume of enquiries etc. However, there are a few which will be website-specific which will need to be benchmarked to monitor the success of the project. These will be such metrics as Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, Average Time on Site and Pages per Session.
Hypothesis: the idea behind the hypothesis is to outline the ideas and the overall goals of the project and any individual test. So within the CRO project you might have one overall hypothesis with a further hypothesis for each individual test to make sure it is clear what you are testing, what you hope to achieve from it, and outline prior to the test any potential flaws or faults which could provide an obstacle or have a negative aspect on the conversion rate or website as a whole.
Design the test: based directly on the hypothesis, the next step is to design the test to cover all of the points of your theoretical improvement plan, and try to ensure that all of the elements which could be potential risks are considered and, where possible, counter-acted to reduce risk.
With every test being different it is always difficult to decide upon which website metrics are going to be best to gauge the success of a particular test, this is therefore the next step: Success Metrics. The tip here is to make sure it is a metric which a direct result of your test can be seen and monitored.
This might be an exit rate from a page, a click through rate, time on the page or it might be as simple as an increase in sales.
Implement Tests: the next stage is putting the test live. This process has a few key points to take into consideration, such as length of test, time of test, potential conflicts and total visitor coverage of test. Any AB test should be a 50/50 split between test and original version to gain the comparison data to gauge success until you are running more than one variation from the original, in which case the percentage should be evenly split to get solid data. The question of test duration always depends on the speed in which you gather relevant data, therefore visitor count and amount of variants.
Tip: Always be wary of running AB tests during peak seasonal times, this is in case the test has a negative impact and therefore could harm the sales and revenue stream of the website.
The next step is the analysis of the data in which has been gathered. This is crucial as it will not only tell you if the test was a success but also highlight other potential improvements. It is very common for one AB test to bring to your attention another possible alternative to the current test or a test which could also improve this particular aspect of the buying process.
The final step in the process is the improvement step: improving the website based upon the results of the AB test you have just run. This step is not always possible as the analysis might have flagged further improvements or variants which could be made better than what has just been tested. In this case you could take these insights back to the gathering stage and rerun the process.
The process of CRO never stops as there are always more tests and improvements that can be made to a website. Once the process is in full flow it will be more and more apparent how many ways any website can be improved upon and this may be by a very large or sometimes only a small margin but this all depends on the quality of the website and the amount of visitors it currently receives.
The benefits of CRO:
CRO can benefit every website on the internet, and a lot of websites will be operating CRO processes without you even noticing. Here are some of the main benefits:
- Error finding – quite often a CRO test identifies other website functionality issues.
- Understanding of your client base – demographics.
- Understanding of your client base – buying habits.
- Improves CPA (Cost per Acquisition) within your PPC campaign.
- Improves your Conversion Rate – The ultimate goal.
If you are interested in finding out more about CRO or you have a website with a healthy traffic stream and would like to convert a greater proportion of these visitors in to clients or sales, then why not give us a call on 0345 459 0558 or email us at [email protected].
We have a very technically-minded sales team and an abundance of expert staff who are all on hand to answer any questions or queries you might have.