Every business wants conversions to roll like a hamster’s wheel. So, belonging to the new tech age, they set out to work on their online presence and optimise their websites and mobile apps to assist in conversions. Or so they think they did. Is there a logical sequence or process to the way it is being done or is it carried out with a smattering of half-truths picked up here and there?
If you want to do something you must learn to do it right. When you do it right, the good results keep coming for a long long time. The same goes to digital marketers and their conversion rate optimization strategies. What does CRO mean to your business and how do you adjust a general strategy to fit your company’s distinct requirements? Read on to find out in this blog.
How are you defining CRO?
For newbies setting sail in the market, or enterprises with low traffic, you obviously want to push for higher footfall assuming that converts into more revenue. So your conversion rate optimisation revolves around tasks that increase traffic. But honestly, you can still improve conversions with less traffic. First you need to define what conversion means to you – a visitor becoming a lead, or a prospect becoming a buying customer? The former means repeat traffic; the latter means repeat customers and, therefore, increased revenue. Whatever the case, you can learn to understand how your business ticks, what changes to make accordingly, and see the rise in the revenue and profits.
There are a few things that you should know. We’ll tell you what and why.
- A/B testing is not the be all and end all method to figure out what works better. It definitely works when you have a greater footfall but otherwise you mostly waste time waiting for results to draw an inference from.
- Conversion rates can’t always be trusted. Just because an A/B test turned out well doesn’t mean you made money – you could have added free shipping on something and made excellent conversions but eventually made less money from absorbing overhead costs, and, therefore, little or no profit.
- The surest way to measure your optimization efforts is by measuring it against your bank accounts. You can’t A/B test, so instead monitor your changes before and after you have made them depending on how they reflect in monetary terms. This is sequential testing.
- Conversions are useless unless a profit is being churned out at the end. Not conversions rates and not gross revenue. Imagine what you could do otherwise – sell everything for $3 and boom! a radical increase in conversion rate, but a vacuity of funds.
The process to optimise for traffic
Is your traffic too low for A/B testing?
Split testing, as mentioned earlier, works well but only if you have a substantial footfall. So you need to determine whether your traffic is low.
Low traffic could mean either of two things:
- You get fewer than 10 sales a week
- You get less than a thousand visitors a week
Truthfully, there is no scientific number to put down which says so and so amount constitutes less traffic. That also depends on the kind of product you sell and the general pricing margin of each industry. But for A/B testing to work, you need at least 250 sales per variation to test. That’s 500 sales required. If you make few sales a month, imagine how many months you need to wait before you can cover 500 to be able to make an inference!
Is your Google Analytics account set up properly?
A/B testing might be out the window for you. However you still need to know where your sales are coming from and what is giving you the best ROI.
To be able to cash in on this excellent tool, you need to make sure your Google Analytics (GA) account is set-up right so that the data you collect will be accurate. If not, with the information overload, you could be receiving subpar quality or distorted results.
- First of all, don’t use an outdated version of GA. The latest is configured to handle multi-device browsing.
- Next, ensure you have set it up as a separate individual account, not your personal one.
- Instead of just one view ‘All Website Data,’ create three – Master, Test and Raw – to filter or isolate traffic without wiping out your backups.
- Tweak settings to track campaigns separately from regular website traffic.
- Use referral spam blockers.
- Finally, goal track so you don’t end up with lots of meaningless data.
Are you collecting data from your website, leads and customers?
You need qualitative data. You need quantitative data.
The former will get you measurable numbers, while the latter will provide descriptions and observations.
You can collect quantitative data from Google Analytics, and even using tools like MailChimp’s e-mail report. It lets you know how many people come to your website, where they go and where they drop off.
For qualitative data, use surveys, customer interviews, or testers. As a start-up or low-traffic business, focus on qualitative data to boost your quantity. It focuses on understanding the customer – why did they drop off, what is your relevance, and are you solving a pain point?
- Use your buyer persona and value proposition to make your killer copywriting.
- Understand behavioural drivers, mind-sets and visitor vocabulary to convince a person who is on the fence.
- Use feedback data to understand how you can push the lever to assert your credibility, your worth, your social proof, and guarantee them what they need.
How does your business currently look and how would you like it to look later?
How do you measure your growth from optimisation efforts if you don’t understand or record what your business looks like? It can be a bit daunting to really face up to the black and white information that will surface when you really dig through details, as opposed to skimming through. But you need to get a grip over this to be able to take the steps in the right direction. Else, you’re snookered.
- Your objective is the overall goal, e.g. increase sales.
- Goals would include things to do to realise the objective, e.g. increase the number of times a product X is checked out.
- KPIs are quantifiable metrics to gauge performance, e.g. how many Xs were sold in a timeframe.
- A target would be to use the KPI data to set a practical target for the next month, e.g. 10% increase. Use a 3-month average to plan your target projection to avoid seasonal spikes and dips.
Of course, at the end of the time frame don’t forget to enter the actual data next to the projections and compare the accuracy. Without setting these objectives you won’t know whether or not you are exceeding expectations.
So you understand how, as a start-up or low-traffic retailer, you first need to define what CRO means to you, be aware of the misinformation surrounding optimisation efforts, and how optimisation is really a step-by-step process of efforts that need to be tied into one. And these efforts must be dictated, not based on your aim for profit, but based on a customer-centric, customer-pleasing knowledge. Or in other words, knowing how they tick and making changes to accommodate that. When a customer feels well looked after or paid attention to, they understand that you certainly have their interest in mind. This goes a long way in making them feel comfortable with your brand, and helping them engage with you with confidence. If you have optimised your site and your app to make a customer happy, the happy visitor will inevitably convert!