This article won’t provide you with a list of the top 100 CRO tactics to help increase conversions. Not even a top 10 list. The reason is this. Before testing CRO randomly, before swapping out images, call to action buttons or landing page copy, you first need to have a process in place.
What a CRO Process Isn’t
Competitor copycatting: Some marketers think that “process” means copying a competitor’s website design (without having any proof that their site is actually bringing them return on investment).
Relying on outside opinions: Then of course there are those that rely on colleagues arbitrary “opinions”. “Oh I never download whitepapers. I don’t think anyone will use that”. “I hate the color orange, I think the button should be green”. “Arbitrary Guy’s” opinion, your opinion and my opinion don’t really matter. What matters is user behavior data that has been collected, reviewed and assessed (but more on that later).
Amazon copycatting: Website owners who assume that they can piggyback on Amazon’s wildly successful business model by redesigning their website to look and function just like Amazon’s. Simply copying a successful site like Amazon is not going to make your website successful. As CRO expert (and Principal at Coversion XL) Peep Laja states so eloquently –
“If you copy Amazon design and expect to get Amazon results you’re an idiot.”
What a CRO System Is
Peep Laja suggests creating a “systematic approach” to CRO that is research driven. Laja coins this assessment, a “heuristic analysis” and breaks his system down into a number of steps. We’ve consolidated them into 6 steps:
1. Technical Testing: Ensure your site works well on all devices and browser versions. Your website’s incompatibility with certain browsers or one of its versions can be a serious blow to conversions. Use Google Analytics to check if your website works well not only on every browser but on every popular browser version. Slow site speed can also hinder conversions.
2. Analyzing Digital Analytics Data: It’s your job to learn how users are interacting on your site. It’s not simply about collecting data but understanding what information you really need in order to achieve your site goals. At the end of the day, you want to see what people are doing on the website, how they interact with different features, and what works well and what are the stumbling blocks that are holding them back. It’s best to keep your research narrow and collect only the data that is necessary to help you make conclusions.
3. Polling Website Visitors: While you may hate engaging in website polls, the good news for CRO testing is that millions of users participate in polls daily. Polls can provide necessary qualitative data to help you answer your burning questions. Whether you want to set up exit or on-page surveys think carefully about which pages to have the survey on, when to show it and, most importantly, come up with clear questions to get the data that you need most.
4. Surveying Existing Customers: Surveying current customers may be even more effective than new visitors. To do it and get relevant data you have to reach your recent customers, who remember you. Try to get enough responses (100-200) to make your data representative and be able to make decisions based on it. Think about open questions to have more qualitative information.
5. Mouse Tracking, Heatmaps and Session Recording: Although mouse tracking, heatmaps and session recording are sometimes considered as a less important part of CRO process, certain tools can help us extract useful data, including where users took actions, clicked, how fast and deep they scrolled, which areas of the page caught their attention, and where users decided to leave the website.
6. User Testing: One of the simplest but most effective techniques to collect hard website data is user testing. User testing allows you to view how people experience your website in real-time. You can ask them to perform certain tasks and find out how they see and feel about the process.
Need step by step resources to walk you through this process? Check out these resources: