Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a the practice of learning about your website users and making data-based, progressive changes to your website in order to provide more value to the users as well as produce more value for your business.
However, you can’t just run a test or two and call it good.
For CRO to really work, you have to be constantly testing. But, when website testing is done correctly and aggressively, CRO can tremendously increase your business results.
Depending on the goal of a website, CRO tests have different goals. For websites focused on lead generation, the goal of CRO may be to increase the amount of people who submit their form. For ecommerce sites, there is more of a focus on driving people down the funnel towards checkout.
The results of website testing are measured by comparing the conversion rate of your altered site with the original versions (control variant).
So, if a website has a current conversion rate of 10% and a change made to the site produces a 20% lift to conversion rates, that would mean that—with the change implemented— the new conversion rate would be 12%.
For most businesses, increasing their conversion rate even by 2% would vastly increase their margins and make scaling their online efforts much easier.
The Number One Rule That Businesses Break Every Day
The goal of any website redesign is to increase some sort of business result. It goes without saying that a business has never intentionally done something that would decrease the amount of money that they were making (at least not usually).
Yet, every day we work with businesses who design a new website based off of what they think looks good or what they think their users want.
These “gut feelings” sometimes increase conversion rates. But, a lot of the time, they decrease them.
It is a sad day when a business spends thousands of dollars on a website redesign and launches it…only to find that they are producing less online sales than they were previously.
A CRO Case Study
For companies who are getting the majority of their sales online, it is reasonable to expect that even a 5% increase in website conversion rates could mean around a 5% increase in total revenue.
One company that I work with gets millions of dollars a month in online revenue. We tested their homepage with the intent of learning more about how different elements on the homepage were engaging with the various elements that existed there.
The first round of tests that we performed on this page were called existence tests. We removed various elements of the page in order to have a very clear image of exactly how much that element was contributing to conversion rates. We ran 5 variations, each one with a different element removed.
This test took about 5 minutes to set up. We hit the go button, and waited. Over the course of 6 days the winning variation increased sales by 14% from the control. This resulted in an additional $70,000 in sales per week.
Why? Well, many websites are built based off of assumptions of what the customer wants.
These assumptions are sometime correct and often incorrect. When brainstorming website ideas, it is best practice to frame your idea, a varied version or your idea and the complete opposite of your idea in order to keep the experiment open-minded.
What are you implementing on your website and how is it impacting conversion rates? How do you know what is contributing to your conversion rates?
Once you have definitive, data-supported answers to these questions, you will be able to confidently move forward in the optimization or your website.
Make testing a large part of your website strategy! In today’s world of data there is no need to gamble launching a new site based on assumptions about the user. In fact, there is much more value in having a progressive website change based on data.
By the way, if you’d like my help doing your own CRO testing, let me know here or in the comments. I’d love to help!
Have you tried CRO testing? How do you feel about CRO testing? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Latest posts by Kolby Dayley (see all)
- CRO Testing in Action: How I Made $70,000 in 5 Minutes - April 20, 2018