Follow Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimization to Boost Digital Revenue
Published by Spinutech on January 29, 2020
Continually testing small, strategic changes can produce significant customer insights and a bigger return on your investment.
If you’ve been measuring your success online, you have a solid understanding of conversion rate. It’s one of the most important digital marketing metrics because it’s tied closely to your business goals and bottom line. The more conversions that come from your site’s visitors, the higher the rate.
Every business strives to improve that rate, to squeeze every additional dollar out of the traffic coming to their website. That’s where conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is critical.
What is CRO?
Conversion rate optimization is a system for turning more site visitors into customers. It’s focused on persuading users to take the desired actions you want them to take on your website.
CRO might be a new acronym, but conversion rate optimization is not a new practice. Businesses have been making subtle changes to optimize the customer experience since the beginning.
Think about your local grocery store. Products aren’t placed haphazardly throughout a giant warehouse. Everything is organized in aisles and on shelves in a way that makes sense for how people shop. The entire grocery shopping experience is set up in a way to get you to move where the store wants you to move and easily see what products they want you to buy.
In digital marketing, conversion rate optimization is just a way to mathematically prove — or debunk — your assumptions and measure the results. The goal is to continually optimize and improve your website so that it works harder as a revenue driver.
How do you improve conversion rate?
Through strategic experimentation and analysis, you monitor and measure how your site visitors engage with your website. You learn more about the motivations and behaviors of your audience, then act on that new information.
But CRO is more than just A/B testing. You’re not simply testing one thing against another and sticking with the winner. Conversion rate optimization follows a strategic framework. Every test you run needs to have a purpose, a desired result, and a way to measure.
By applying the rigors of best practices, measurement, baselines, and data, you can help everyone make informed and trusted decisions. That can pay huge dividends down the road.
CRO Best Practices
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when they start testing is that they just test ideas to see what happens. You have to have the system in place to ensure your tests are both meaningful and measurable. A good conversion rate optimization strategy has four important elements:
1. Prioritization Framework
When you start a CRO program, it’s easy to come up with a long list of ideas you want to test. But your testing bandwidth is not an infinite resource. You need a ranking system to decide which tests you should actually follow through with and which ones to tackle first.
A prioritization framework uses a non-biased model to rank potential tests. Having one in place ensures transparency and reduces the opportunity cost of running tests that have low value.
2. Digital Marketing Attribution Model
The value of every test comes down to the revenue it can generate for your business. In order to truly understand the impact of testing, you need to understand the monetary value of the changes that you are making. Because you want to pursue the things that will make you the most money.
An attribution model helps you answer some of the biggest questions facing today’s marketing leaders. How much does a lead cost? What digital marketing tactics have the highest ROI? What is the lifetime value of a customer?
3. Statistical Significance
Running a test to understand your users and learn from them is not industry-specific. It can help any type of business. However, there is a mathematical qualification in order to have a successful testing program.
Your website must have enough daily visitors to show statistical significance. You also need a baseline conversion rate that you can improve upon. A conversion optimization strategy doesn’t make business sense if it’ll take you years to get any statistical significance or find value in your test.
Despite the amount of rigor, a well-tuned conversion rate optimization system moves at a high velocity. Testing quickly leads to results faster. To do so, you need documentation to track and support your CRO strategy:
- Backlog – Every test starts with a hypothesis. You can store all your ideas and the details surrounding them in a backlog. Once your CRO testing program is running, you can routinely pull from the backlog to maintain a consistent velocity — and add to it when testing results bring new ideas.
- Ranking system – After compiling ideas, you need a set of criteria to decide what to run. Documenting the rankings from your prioritization framework doesn’t just tell you what to test next; it helps you track all the ideas that didn’t make the cut.
- Testing roadmap – Once your ideas are vetted and ranked, you need a calendar that outlines what’s running, what’s coming up, and what’s complete.
- Results and analysis reports – It’s critical to have a repository of everything you’ve learned and tried. Those learnings not only help your future conversion rate optimization testing, but they also serve a cross-functional role to other teams and channels. Your analysis essentially becomes new data points by which to make future decisions.
Benefits of CRO
Conversion rate optimization is a long-term investment. You likely won’t see a return on your CRO investment for at least six months. But the benefits are worth the wait.
Over time, the changes you make as a result of successful testing can add up to large revenue increases. Depending on your business, increasing your conversion rate a fraction of a percent can mean big gains.
With the right conversion rate optimization experts, tools, strategy, and documentation in place, those revenue gains will compound over time. And the things you learn can be instantly applied to your paid media, social media, SEO, and other digital marketing tactics. So everything you spend on your website, and the marketing efforts that drive users to it, goes further.