Strategic Practices For Improving CRO

What's the one thing you recommend to people working on improving their conversion rate?

TRANSCRIPT:

In this episode, we are going to talk about Strategic Practices for Improving CRO.

I am Jennifer and I have with me our guest for the day, Beth. Hey Beth!

Thanks for inviting me, Jennifer. It is a pleasure! 

Talking about Conversion Rate Optimisation Let's discuss on the Strategic Practices for Improving CRO.

So Beth, Can you explain to our listeners what is CRO?

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of users or website visitors to take the desired action, such as buying a product or leaving contact details.

Great! Some strategies include Anticipating the bigger picture.  Could you explain it to us in brief?

Yes, well Everyone is looking for a quick and easy golden nugget that can be implemented for immediate 10x growth. A little button copy tweaking here, a little colour change there. While tactics and growth hacks may be more appealing than systematic processes, you should prioritise the latter. Why? Because everything is highly context-dependent. What works for Amazon or Best Buy, for example, may not work for you. You can't bring in other people's solutions and expect them to solve your site's problems. 

Now, don't you think everyone's process is a little different, So how does it usually work?

Everyone's process is a little different, but it usually goes something like this:

To identify problem areas, conduct qualitative and quantitative research on your unique site.  

Make use of your research to generate test and experiment ideas.  

Use a prioritisation method, such as ICE or PXL, to prioritise those test and experiment ideas.  

Begin by running the most important test or experiment.  

Examine the outcomes.  

The results of the test or experiment should be recorded or archived.  

Make use of the learnings from your most recent test or experiment to develop smarter test and experiment ideas. 

So Beth what would be the best conversion practices? 

People are always asking us about the best conversion practices. You know what I'm talking about: magic buttons that convert, "killer" copywriting words, winning layouts, and so on. Unfortunately, that small bag of tricks won't get you very far. In fact, it can sometimes lead to nowhere.  The true best practice is not a specific type of webpage element at all. It is a well-defined, methodical approach to CRO. It doesn't require impromptu guesswork, and it lacks the excitement and appeal of magic buttons. It is based on a simple but effective mindset: developing an empathic understanding of your website visitors and customers.  Understanding buyer behaviour, for example, by surveying and engaging with them, will enable us to create an accurate journey map, recognise their moments of truth, and provide them with the right content at the right time. 

Thanks, Beth! People always say, Remain focused on clarity and ease. But it is easier said than done. Could you help us out with that?!

My advice could be summed up in a single word: CLARITY.   Be clear about what you're offering, the value it provides, and the action you want the visitor/potential customer to take; whether that's 'download now,' 'try for free, ‘sign up today,' etc. - your request must be clear.  When it comes to landing pages, keep it simple and keep your main call to action above the fold. While some people will require a little more nudging and reassurance, you must find a way to concentrate on getting to your main point with as few materials as possible.

So Beth, would you say there are hacks to remain focused on clarity and ease?

Yes. When it comes to CRO 'best practises' and 'hacks,' my first warning is that if a user does not have an initial motivation to take an action, whether that is buying your product, downloading your ebook, or signing up for a trial, it is extremely unlikely that you can persuade or hack your way into a conversion.  This brings me to my second warning: CRO hacks frequently place too much emphasis on succeeding in the short term while completely neglecting the implications of these techniques on your long-term connection with users. As a result, anything you do to 'trick' a user into completing an action they were not truly driven to take will destroy the user's trust in you, significantly jeopardising any chance of a long-term relationship.

Thank you, Beth!

Do you think Value and Credibility should be Addressed? If yes how so?

My first piece of advice is to try to expose value propositions that are now concealed. What exactly do I mean? Any website, whether it is an e-commerce product page or a SaaS marketing site, must decide which value propositions to convey in the limited screen space available. Compromises are unavoidable.  The biggest conversion lifts we've seen have come from adding components that show, underline, or in some manner unhide value propositions that were previously difficult for customers to find. Emphasising a free shipping offer that would otherwise be in the fine print, emphasising some product attributes that are important to the consumer but are difficult to uncover, emphasising savings per product in a shopping cart page that would otherwise disregard that all fall into this category. To achieve this properly, you must first understand your users' values.

Does testing and refining your content help in Improving CRO? Can you elaborate on that!

First: Always, always, always start with user research before running tests. Otherwise, you're just shooting in the dark.  Second: Prior to experimenting with the design, focus on improving the content. Yes, knowing good design concepts is important...but you're not trying to make a lovely brochure here. You're attempting to build a website that inspires people to take action. Your words play a massive (often under-appreciated) role in this, frequently playing a larger role than the design.  You don't want to publish a landing page unless you have a compelling value offer. I see this much too often: I go to a website, and the value proposition does not accurately reflect the product's worth. It's general, hazy, or not present at all. Nothing tells potential clients why they should be interested in the product or how it can help them solve their problems at a glance. 

But doesn't experimenting cost a lot for a startup company? Is experimenting and testing that important?

Every test you conduct would, in an ideal world, triple your conversion rate. In fact, you'll have A/B experiments that aren't conclusive. There will also be areas of the funnel or entire businesses that are unsuitable for A/B testing due to low numbers.  You must be able to recognise these scenarios and make the best decision. You may wish to forgo precision in order to obtain a faster result; you do not always need to adhere to predetermined guidelines (such as 95 percent statistical significance), but you must be aware of when and why you do so.  The most challenging aspect of optimisation, in my opinion, is determining which tests to conduct. It's a combination of art and science. Start with the science, and you'll get better at figuring out the art as time goes on. The science portion is as follows:  Learn about your customers' reasons and objections, run tests to address what you discovered, and if your tests fail, try alternate implementations.  With more experience, you'll have a better intuition for how to fix your customers' pain points, as well as a better sense of things to try that your customers don't tell you about.

Thanks, Beth! I feel we like-minded people should get together to have a discussion on it. What do you feel about this Beth?

Find a group of like-minded CRO professionals. CRO teams are frequently run very lean in order to maintain a high testing pace. Having a network of people you can consult for guidance and share learnings with can help speed up the brainstorming, implementation, and administration of your overall CRO strategy.

I agree! Thank you Beth for your time. Glad to have you on Market Masters.

Thank you, Jennifer. It was a pleasure. Hope the listeners had a good valuable time. 

Music Credits: Bensound