There are no best practices in conversion rate optimization
Are you responsible of improving results at your company? Then you should read this. Browsing on Quora, we found an interesting question. Before asking what are the best practics for conversion rate optimization, we should return to the definition of CRO. What does conversion rate optimization mean for your online marketing strategy?
CRO is the intersection of persuasion marketing (communicating the right message on the right time to the right people), user experience design (the UX should be flawless in order to complete the action), and the scientific method (testing hypotheses that you create) and it should be a continuous process.
Usability testing (surveys, click tracking etc) is not conversion optimization, it’s just an important method to generate hypotheses.
Clients, agencies, strategists and designers should all have to take the responsibility for questioning “best practices” opinions.
Unless they are tested, the methods may seem interesting, but that is not enough to achieve conversion.
In the book “You should test that” by Chris Goward we read an interesting idea that all persons interested in conversion rate optimization should pay attention to: “What is often missed in the best practice recommendations is a consideration for your unique business environment, goals and target audience. Your website should be a vehicle to uniquely communicate the value proposition of your product or service and then make it easy for visitors to take the desired action.”
The scientific method (methodology is more valuable than tips) of conversion rate optimization is a process with specific steps:
1. LIFT Analysis (prioritize testing opportunities)
2. Hypothesis creation (should be tested in a way that can be confirmed or contradicted; it flow out of an identified conversion problem rather than just arbitrary ideas for design or content variations; should be a “question” that could impact the overall website design, marketing tactics or business strategy )
3. Funnel – optimize for the source relevance: messages, for the searched keywords, for emails, for landing pages; for the target audience: customer segmentation, call-to-action relevance, tone; navigation (as well as for the infomation arhitecture of the entire website and pages), for design: eyeflow, image, color & competitive relevance.
4. Design / copy (the design for results rather than aesthetics)
5. Technical setup (choose the type of test to run by considering traffic volume and controlled split testing by selecting the visitors to each page from the sample group to get meaningful test results. If you’ll choose the visitors for each variation from different traffic sources, your results won’t be useful).
6. Data collection: qualitative data, target audiences: markets and personas
7. Result analysis: monitor your tests, evaluate the results on multiple goals, revenue golas, compare isolations, re-proritize your priorities for next tests
We spotted some time ago a multivariate test running on vwo.com and wanted to share that with you. Looking forward to the result of the test, which of the two variants of Home Pages will be considered “the winner”? (maybe the second?)
Here are some of the things that should be taken into account whenever you want to optimize the conversion rate:
- The top exit pages – the pages that show the percentage of visitors that exited the website from a certain page. Do not confuse the exit pages with the pages the visitors bounced that indicate a percentage of visitors who enter the site, view only one page and leave without seeing other pages on your site
- The funnel
- Setting goals (you should also take into consideration if you want to optimize for micro-conversions)
- Prioritize important pages (high traffic pages and those with “expensive visits”)
- The technical implementation
Conclusion: Conversion optimization goals should derive from the marketing goals which should reflect the business goals.
How about you? What methodology do you use in order to increase your conversion rates?