Friday, 25 October 2019

In a nutshell, conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of growing the percentage of website visitors who take action. This could be making a purchase, subscribing – anything a business needs to prove a good return on investment (ROI). But how simple is it to get right?
The current state of CRO

While Econsultancy reported that 50% of businesses say CRO is crucial to their digital marketing strategy, only 37% of in-house companies feel that they have a properly-structured approach to optimisation, and only 23% of agencies think the same for their clients. The report shows there’s a high spend on acquisition but a low spend on CRO (giving users the experience they need to convert). Even after attempts to increase conversion rates, an unforgiving 78% of businesses are left unhappy with their results.

Common CRO pain points include…
  • A struggle to prove ROI
  • An inability to secure the necessary resource and budget to grow
  • A struggle to integrate a CRO team into the current business structure

The solution? A structured CRO strategy that works. 

Why is it important to have a good CRO structure?

Locking in the right CRO structure allows for more effective research and higher-quality hypotheses; more likely to lead to winning results so you can prove that ROI.
A solid CRO structure will also improve and streamline the way your team works internally. Communication will be less intensive, more informative and nicely to-the-point.

How to improve your CRO structure

Creating an effective CRO structure comes down to three important pillars…

  1. The right process. In other words, the activities you do, why you do them and how.
  2. The right skills. Are the right people focussing on the right activities?
  3. The right culture. Being a business that understands the value and processes of CRO. And most importantly, a business that understands the importance of experimentation.
The right process
1. Track correct data
Data is the foundation of your CRO strategy, so it has to be accurate. It’ll help you better analyse your users’ behaviour, define your audience and pen better hypotheses and optimisation ideas. Could your data stand up to scrutiny?
2. Research and discover
Focus research on your audience and their needs. Ultimately, it’s the user who chooses whether to buy your product. Use primary methods like user testing, engagement maps, customer surveys and eye tracking (for the very advanced!).
Then, create a hypothesis based on your research and data. State why you’re going to test, what you think the outcome will be and never be afraid to disprove your own hypothesis. All it means is you can be sure not to implement the wrong thing.
3. Plan
This is the first step in a continuous optimisation loop through planning, design, testing and refining, and back to planning.
Prioritise a test plan. Look at which test will drive the most value, which has the most supporting evidence, and which one is easiest to run. And draw on insight from your team as well as fully briefing them during the planning stage.
4. Design and implement
Collaborate with your wider company and consider all user touchpoints when designing tests:
  • Remove blockers that frustrate or prevent users from completing their goal
  • Add persuasion and try to help users complete goals they may not have completed otherwise
  • Create personalised solutions for different audience groups
​5. Test
Here’s where you test your solution to prove your hypothesis right or wrong. Make sure you QA thoroughly, as you don’t want test results to be influenced by a bug that leads you to miss out on a big win.
Analyse without bias, and in a similar way to your hypothesis, don’t worry if you lose – you will always learn something.
6. Refine and iterate
Whether you won or not, spend some time analysing what could’ve been done differently to improve on results.
Failed experiments can highlight a range of insights about your approach. For example, you might be trying to tackle an issue that isn’t big enough, or you might be doing it in the wrong way. More research may be needed.
Always share your results with your company, whether they’re good or bad.
7. Back to planning
Now you’re back at the planning stage, which allows you to add any new hypotheses into the prioritised test plan and move another test through the loop.

A skilful team
An effective CRO team typically comprises of:
  • A CRO manager
  • Data and analytics expert
  • Research specialist
  • UX designer
  • Copywriter
  • Front-end developers

Culture of experimentation
One of the most important parts to a good CRO strategy? The mindset of your team. A culture of experimentation is crucial if you’re to succeed and grow.
Be open-minded and curious, celebrate failures as insights, explore every idea that meets a brief and collaborate across departments. And to get that all-important buy-in, make sure you involve senior stakeholders, take time to understand their pain points and share great results regularly.
Most importantly; don’t be afraid to fail. Failure and innovation are inseparable twins – you can’t have one without the other. Amazon, Google, Netflix, Microsoft and Facebook are a few examples of companies who embrace this culture, and it’s fundamental to what they’ve achieved. You need to test, test, and test again.
Want to turn brand interest into business growth? Speak to our CRO experts - contact