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In this digital age, the Internet is overwhelmingly populated by users who visit many websites routinely. This is all well and good, but businesses and other organisations are not seeing as much of what they would like – those visitors turning into customers. In this article we will explain the 7 steps that lead to a successful conversion rate optimization strategy.

Money, resources and time well spent are key to a business succeeding.  Therefore, the good use of these combined with a good optimisation software will help convert more visitors into customers! This is where CRO can make the difference.

What Is a Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy ?

Conversion rate optimization (commonly referred to as CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that are converted into customers.  This can also manifest itself in other ways, for example a customer filling out a form or subscribing to a particular service, which down the line, may lead to a conversion.

Having a Conversion rate optimization strategy is important as it contributes directly to the growth of a company. For example, a positive and targeted customer experience in conjunction with an effective optimisation software will generally increase interest and, in turn incentivises the visitor to return to the website, once again increasing the chances of her becoming a potential client.

The 5 Steps to a Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

Here is a bit about how this works:

5 steps to a successful (CRO) conversion rate optimization strategy

CRO works in various ways and implementing it requires a clear and concise strategy. It is also key to note that a conversion rate optimization strategy does not solely help to increase the number of visitors who convert into customers but also contributes to their value and retention. Growth is generated by developing data driven decisions that are based on your customers themselves and this therefore leads to improved customer satisfaction.

A well-considered CRO strategy and a clear optimisation technique will allow your organisation to increase its market share, revenue and efficiency.  This shows how CRO is an essential tool in e-commerce as it reveals and increases the percentage of your total traffic that will complete the “ultimate” goal – becoming customers. This therefore highlights the need for an efficient optimisation software.

There are several areas which companies would benefit from learning about to increase their conversion rates. Here is a breakdown and some advice:

1. Data Analysis

The best method in analysing data, is to firstly identify what is valuable information and what is not. This involves gathering information from sources such as CRM systems, website data and store purchasing history and determining what leads to the best customer journey. What follows is a mixed methods approach to each of your sources – consisting of both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The qualitative approach comes from analysing customer feedback and user research, often via user surveys, user testing and heat mapping.  It would then be a question of comparing it to the trends produced in your quantitative data, such as your web analytics and an analysis of your funnel data to see where are the drops in your funnel. This would reveal what motivates users and what causes certain behaviour. The combination of the two will allow for a more accurate picture to emerge.

2. Creating Your Hypothesis & using Web Psychology

Once you have compiled your data and analysed the trends, you will be in a position to create your hypothesis. This hypothesis will be based on what you anticipate to be the results of the changes that you will implement in your test. For example, if you hypothesise that changing action X to action Y will produce Z. This will allow you to test for potential outcomes and target possible reasons as to why visitors to your website and who are coming onto your landing page but are not taking the action that you want, maybe due to a lack of trust for example.

Web Psychology is the best way to leverage Analytics data

Understanding the mindset of your potential customers is an important aspect to consider and to bear in mind when you optimise your website. This means studying the possibilities and potential sets of methods, assumptions and thoughts which can influence a person’s actions. You should consider these when you create your ‘variant’ or ‘variants’ in your A/B test.  Cognitive biases also plays a role in determining how a person will react. When judgments and decisions are being made, we like to think of ourselves as being logical and always objective. This is not in fact the case – we are actually naturally predisposed to being biased. This bias can be seen in many forms, such as the bandwagon effect (essentially following the crowd) or having a selective perception of things (allowing expectations of something to influence how a person perceives it). A thorough understanding of consumer psychology is therefore very useful to consider when implementing your optimisation technique.

The 5 Steps to a Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

3. Testing and Development

With your hypothesis in hand, you will be able to begin your testing. These tests will determine how to reverse the trend as to why your visitors may not be converting. This will be a case of addressing your hypotheses which may be targeting issues centred around perceived confusion, lack of trust, lack of usability or uncertainty regarding the security of their data. Your solutions will come out of these tests as you see how potentially adding trust messaging or signs or nurturing credibility will better your results through your optimisation technique.

4. A/B testing

This works by testing a ‘variant’ or ‘variants’ against a ‘control’. If your ‘control’ is A – your existing or current page – then your B is the newly developed alternative or ‘variant’. This allows you to run simultaneous tests until you judge your winner. The test works by randomly assigning traffic (usually 50:50) to each page. The page that garners the highest conversion rate is the winner.  This is an exercise which will also challenge your marketing skills and expand your knowledge of your audience.

5. Post-test Analysis: Learning & Improvements

If the A/B test fails

This will mean examining the resultant data, working out which aspects failed: where and why. Parts may have been successful yet others may not have worked due to a bug or an issue caused by the execution. If a ‘control’ is proved to still be the current best method then this means you need to return to the drawing board.

If the A/B test wins

Once a winning page has been decided, it is essential to examine the resultant data from the test. This will allow you to have a better idea as to why a ‘variant’ worked better than the ‘control’. When these have been established, you will then be able to optimise the website by making the necessary changes onto your website. By setting the winning ‘variant’ to be shown to 100% of your website’s traffic within the CRO testing tool, you will be able to enjoy this new win straightaway.

Please note: Make sure that you have conducted your test thoroughly and carefully as this will greatly influence your results as well as the data which you will subsequently analyse.

Conclusion

Implementing a clear and simple conversion rate optimization strategy will allow you and your company to keep up to date with your audience’s needs and better their user experience. By means of removing unclear sections, simplifying navigation and use, you will often not only better the consumer’s journey but also increase their likelihood of converting into customers.

An engaged visitor who is interested and captivated by your website’s content and layout will likely return and may become a future customer, and may recommend your website to others.

The 5 Steps to a Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

by Philippe Aimé

Philippe is the CEO of Convertize. He is based in London. Philippe created his first website in 1998, and has worked many years as a Cost Optimisation Consultant for several important groups. He now heads a team of Conversions Optimisation consultants.