Conversion optimization isn’t as simple as investing in a tool and running a bunch of tests. Here’s what it really takes to create a conversion optimization process that really works.
Conversion Optimization, also called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), is the process of testing key site and asset conversion points to increase customer actions.
This requires an ongoing process of generating and analyzing data, creating test plans, measuring results, and applying learnings. Here’s how to build a conversion optimization process that drives measurable results.
Conversion Optimization Begins with Research
A successful conversion optimization program should begin under the umbrella of research. You should analyze your company’s position, the competitive landscape and your current site visitors.
Analyze Your Company’s Position and the Competitive Landscape
Understand your brand position. How does your company position itself? How does your position align with visitor’s intent? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
To answer these questions with real “data", I recommend the following efforts:
- Conduct brand interviews
- Review your company’s sales literature
- Analyze competitors’ websites & strategies
- Outline the core decision points for your customers
Analyze Your Site Visitors & Customers
Competitive benchmarks are only one component. Another important step is to fully understand your site users. How are web visitors currently using your site? What are the points of confusion and areas for improvement? What do customers like and/or dislike about your site? What do customers like and/or dislike about your brand or product?
To help you gather the data you’ll need to identify these answers, you can use the following tools and strategies:
Map the Customer Funnel to Create a Testing Roadmap
With your research complete, now it’s time to map the conversion funnel for your site visitors. How does the current online conversion funnel work? What can be improved?
The goal here is to not only define the funnel, but identify current weaknesses that exist on your site.
Align Research Insights to Develop a Test Plan
What has the research you conducted around brand positioning, competitive landscape and site visitors revealed? What hypotheses do we have to improve user experience and conversion rate on the site?
To develop a testing plan, you’ll want to summarize the key learnings of your research. From those key learnings, spend time defining your testing hypotheses (If we do A, the result will be B because C). Document these into an overall testing plan.
Prioritize based on level of impact & effort
With your hypotheses all laid out, and backed by research, it’s time to create a testing roadmap. Roadmaps should be created with the PIE formula (P*I*E) in mind.
- Potential: On a scale of 1-10, determine the testing potential based on the expected impact and number of impacted users.
- Impact: On a scale of 1-10, determine the impact this particular test will have on conversion optimization based on hypothesis, impacted visitors and expected outcome
- Ease / Effort: On a scale of 1-10, calculate how easily you will be able to launch the test.
Using this strategy, conversion optimization should be researched, planned, and executed - testing until statistically significant using your testing tool.
Always, Learn & Repeat
Just because a test has won or lost, you’re not done. You should always document test results and use learnings to improve your future hypotheses. Investing in this approach will enable you to create an optimized site experience that empowers your visitors to convert.