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Conversion Rate Optimisation - Testing not guessing

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One of the things we love about digital marketing is the accountability. It gives us a genuine thrill when we can say to a client: “Okay, we agreed to make this change on your website, and this is what happened.”

Typically, we would be talking about changes to the metrics that count, i.e. sales, but if it’s not sales, it will be things that lead to sales. The actions that you want a customer to do, such as sign up for your e-newsletter, watch a video, download a piece of content, or submit an enquiry form.

All the work that we do to try and increase the frequency of these actions can be grouped under one simple set of three words: conversion rate optimisation.

In our belief, a marketer who lives and breathes CRO, will be a successful marketer. One who understands that every little notch forward in conversion, means positive gains on the bottom line. A CRO evangelist will always triumph over what we sometimes refer to as the HIPPO (highest paid person orders), because they let the data, rather than ego, make the decisions for website design.

Here’s a simple example to illustrate why CRO is so powerful: a site selling a product for £99 has 10,000 monthly visitors of which 2% convert to sales of that product. That’s 200 x £99 = £19,800 per month. If we can take that conversion rate up to 2.5%, that’s 2,500 x £99 = £24,750 per month. An additional £4,950 per month, or £59,400 per year. Nice job!

So, what are the sorts of activities we look at to try and make this happen? Well, there are lots of options, but tried and tested ones to focus on, in our experience, are as follows:

  • Shorten and simplify the purchase journey
  • Move, adapt or enhance the calls to action
  • Change photograph size and position
  • Alter headline copy, size and colour
  • Reduce clutter
  • Dial up testimonials and ratings
  • Ensure pages load quickly

Test, Test, Test

None of this is rocket science. But just like building rockets, our CRO process is based on 1. Analysis and 2. Testing.

Test, Test, Test – another of our three favourite words in marketing. Remember, the data will give you the answers, not the opinion of whoever is top dog in your company.

The analysis bit is all about lifting the lid on what is actually happening on your site. We tend to start with Google Analytics but will also use heatmap analysis on the most important pages – home page, landing pages, product pages – to get a visual picture of where users are going and what they are clicking on.

The testing bit – AB testing or multi-variant testing – is where we put an idea into action and see if that changes has the positive impact on conversion that we hypothesise it will do. The automation tools that are available today, have speeded up the process, enabling you to get your conversion gains in play smoothly and efficiently.

Want to learn more? Well, we could recommend you read our favourite book of the moment: Making Winning Websites Win, by Conversion Rate Experts founders Karl Banks and Ben Jesson. Or, if finding the time to read is tough right now, you can shortcut the gains that are waiting to be made on your site, by giving Semantic a call.