Friday 17 February 2017
Everyone in the digital sphere speaks about CRO also known as Conversion Rate Optimisation, but what is it, how does it work and why working on it?
What is CRO?
Conversion Rate Optimisation is a marketing technique aiming at increasing your business’ online conversions. This technique implies a constant monitoring and amendments to your website to maximise its capacity to convert online. In some cases, a change of colours used on your site can make a huge difference.
In other cases, changes will impact your conversion channelling and funnelling or the services you offer. For some others, it may be a collection of feedback that may lead to a better understanding of your audience and thus lead to a better approach in its targeting.
CRO is in its very essence, the optimisation of your audience interactions’ with your website to maximise your business’ profits.
How does CRO work?
CRO is a multi-approach technique, but, several elements are common such as the:
- A/B Testing
So, what are the timelines? There is no timeline applicable as this is an ongoing element for websites, in fact, technological evolutions do not allow you to rest.
E.g.: A few years back the e-commerce industry shifted towards the mobile navigation. Some companies understood that “On-the-move” trend and decided to align themselves, while others ignored it. It resulted in the sales collapse of many e-commerce sites that did not invest in this new technology. Why so? Because the sites had disconnected with their audience habits. CRO is a way to keep connected with your audience.
There are multiple approaches that you can take on this technique, the most known is probably heatmaps.
See below the different tracking approaches:
Interaction heatmaps include major information as they track where people click. As you can see in this heatmap, the focus of clicks is on the baby’s face and only a limited attention focuses on the text aside.
Fig. 1: Interaction Heatmap
Scroll heatmaps reveal a lot as well on your site. They reveal whether your content is worth checking and breaking points from where people drop off your content. They can also reveal major issues about the position of content key points particularly in terms of location from the fold.
Fig. 2: Scroll Heatmap
Mouse Tracking Heatmap
Mouse tracking heatmaps are slightly different from the interaction ones as they do not monitor the clicks but the movements of users’ mice. This type of heatmap can reveal a lot about the readability of your site. Do navigational elements attract more attention than other? What makes them so specific? Should you change your information funnelling? This type of heatmap can reveal many of these issues.
Fig. 3: Mouse Tracking Heatmap
The Conversion Rate Optimisation analysis is a very difficult task as it comes to convert visual elements into quantifiable losses of efficiency.
E.g.: Let us pretend that your product page has two buttons, one being “Buy on Amazon” and the other “Buy Now”. There is a much bigger probability that your user will click on the “Buy on Amazon” simply due to the widespread knowledge that Amazon is a reliable website.
The analysis process than will have to monitor the exits from your website through funnelling such as on this chart.
Fig. 4: Conversion Funnel
This conversion funnel once analysed will provide you with where the breaking point happens and will allow you to monitor the different elements individually.
Once you have defined where are the issues, you can strategise on how to solve the issue and test it.
A/B testing is without any doubt the most efficient testing method available online.
How does it work?
It works very simply, take your original page on one side and make a copy with amendments on the other side. The amendments may be graphic, textual or navigational depending on your findings.
In Fig. 5 we can see the perfect example of A/B testing in the case of graphical change. The position of the baby encourages you naturally to look what the baby is looking at. Why?
The answer is fairly simple, when we address someone we look at them in the face, if they do not look at you then you will point your eyes towards what they are observing, this is known as the Social Mirror Theory or SMT (check the Wikipedia page here).
The results of this change increased by 80% the interest of the user for the text present on the 2nd page.
Fig. 5: A/B Testing Landing Pages
Please note, that your modifications should consider the reading pattern of the script
Fig. 6: Left to Right Reading Pattern (Latin and Cyrillic Scripts)
Fig. 7: Right to Left Reading Pattern (Arabic and Hebrew Scripts)
Why should you work on your site’s CRO?
Working on your Conversion Rate Optimisation will have two major impacts, the first one will focus on customer-friendliness and the second will be about profits
Increasing your customer-friendliness
A website that simplifies its conversion process is always preferred to a website that asks you to register, then register your payment method, then validate both and so on.
Your customers do not have time to waste, they simply want to do their purchase and get back to their occupation.
Increasing your profits
The opportunity to develop up-sales, cross-sales and other forms of sales is one aspect but, if your sales funnel is properly designed. You will increase your profits drastically so what are you waiting for?