So we here at Converted have given you a bit of an idea about Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO for short) in our first article ‘What is CRO?’
In this our next article we will dive straight into some common CRO issues and then our tips for improving the conversion rates of your website in 2017. Why wouldn’t you want to get more from the traffic you’re already getting?
With that in mind we have chosen 8 things that will help businesses of all sizes kick start their website performance improvement.
We hope this gives you something a little bit different to your standard ‘test call to actions’ (although these can make a difference!), in this guide to conversion rate optimisation tips in 2017.
So let’s start at the beginning. No not your website. Your traffic.
Before you start any CRO test….stop! Stop and evaluate your incoming website traffic. So many opportunities for improvement have been hindered by not paying the proper attention to exactly what traffic you are sending to any test.
Slight variations in user intent can have a dramatic impact on the results of a conversion rate optimisation test.
Here is an example of where traffic can have a huge impact on the decision making or the results of a website CRO change:
Jimmy has an ecommerce store that sells a product called ‘The oasis water cooler.’ Performance has not been great so he makes a change to the layout of the page, imagery and even includes a special offer. He then tests the performance of this new page for all traffic sources. After the test has been run the page continues to underperform and the uplift has been negligible. Jimmy judges the test a failure.
What Jimmy did not factor in is that 85% of the traffic to this page is organic and this page gets a lot of that organic traffic for people looking for the music band Oasis.
Therefore the statistics of the page are skewed. Potentially the improvement of the page for the people looking for water coolers could be statistically significant.
Changes in seasonality traffic, lead time, industry specific events and more can all affect the traffic and therefore the results of any CRO test.
So before you evaluate the performance of a page, a website or a make a change, take a step back and look at what traffic has gone to that collateral.
Then make an educated decision as to whether you want to include all, or just some of that traffic into your future CRO tests.
Paid search traffic is a great way to benchmark a conversion rate optimisation tests effectiveness, as you can control exactly what kind of traffic goes to the website and when.
So you have a responsive website. Well done. You’ve taken your first steps to mobile conversion rate optimisation. But it’s a baby step.
Users search habits have been changing for years and as such conversion rate focus needs to move alongside it. Too many times we have been approached by new clients as their responsive/mobile website is not performing as they expected and it generally it is because there has been little thought to the experience on mobiles. Key information is lost, pages are too busy for a mobile browser among some of the more common problems.
Make sure you do thorough testing of the main pages and if you are ecommerce, the full checkout process on a mobile device.
Our tip. Get someone other than yourself to do these tests as well. Being familiar with a website can cause you to make assumptions.
Your website works well on all browsers right. Are you sure?
We analysed a six figure website as part of a CRO improvement project and found that key tools and areas of the website did not perform on certain versions of certain browsers.
Our tip. Use your Google Analytics browser performance breakdown to find troublesome browser issues. Look for any statistically significant drops in conversion rate or engagement metrics such as a poor time on site and high bounce rates. Then do user testing on those browsers to understand if there are developmental issues.
One often criminally overlooked area of CRO is the written word. Sure you can test new images, new colours, new layouts, but ultimately what you have to say can be just as important.
We have seen multiple conversion optimisation tests that have involved re-writing of content on a page. However very few CRO tests involve presenting the same content, but in a different way.
We have run multiple CRO projects that have involved testing the typography of content first before changing the actual written word and we have seen time and again that the same information presented in a more engaging way can improve performance. Font choice, font colours, size placement and more can all play a part in getting home your message effectively.
Before you re-write your whole proposition sanity check if it is formatted as well as it could be.
For anyone who has done landing page best practice 101, you will have heard these words: ‘Call to action above the fold. Contact form to the right of the screen.’
However we have seen recent tests done by ourselves and fellow testers on sites such as behave.org that have proven that contact forms always perform better on the right is a fallacy. Contact form placement can impact on performance of your website, however each website is individual and therefore each call to action should be tested for its optimal on page position. This includes your trusty contact forms.
Let’s get straight to the point. Faster website speed. Better the conversion rate. Slower the site. Worse the conversion rate. Nothing puts off a customer like a slow mobile website. Sort it.
What is your value proposition? Is it clear? Is it concise? Does it generate the right feelings or hit the mark for your customers. A good value proposition can make a difference to performance. On the flip side a confused value proposition can lead to a confused customer. Run A/B or multivariate testing across three or four core value propositions to see which resonates most with your customers (and not which you like the sounds of most!)
You have an ecommerce website and you have a checkout process. I’m sure if you’re not new to conversion optimisation that you have already tracked the drop off of customers at each stage of the checkout process.
Let’s assume you know where customers are leaving most often in that process. Now what? What changes do you make to your checkout process to improve conversion rate?
Well here’s a few:
There is no magic wand for conversion optimisation. Even CRO experts know this. In fact a lot of the old ideas around best practice for conversion optimisation are being challenged in light of the new search habits and ever evolving technology.
As your customers change so should your digital collateral, to constantly move forward and improve the results from the website traffic you already receive. There is no such thing as a bad test. Only badly executed tests. Every result you uncover through conversion optimisation testing – be it positive or negative – gives you more insight into what you do right and what you can do better.
If we could leave you with one last tip for conversion rate optimisation this year it would be this.
Never stop testing. If you do the same you’ll only ever get the same. If you’re not moving forward we can guarantee there is someone else out there who is. So don’t be left behind. Keep improving and good luck for this year.
If you’re still unsure and want a conversion optimisation agency to help guide you on that journey of improvement then Converted are more than happy to help.