Does conversion rate optimisation (CRO) intimidate you at all? Well, then it might be comforting to know that you’re not alone. Plenty of digital marketers are either not sure where to start, don’t know what to measure, or even how to set up CRO goals for their organisation. And that is precisely why it is good to get some perspective on the matter. Getting advice from other CRO experts – who were previously in your shoes – is a great way of getting this perspective and changing your way of thinking when it comes to planning and carrying out a conversion program of your own. Curious what they had to say?
Mopinion has rounded up useful bits of advice from 7 different CRO experts across the web regarding the best conversion practices, and we’re excited to share them with you!
But before we begin, it can be good to get some background information on conversion optimisation. Have you listened to our latest episode on the 360 Digital podcast?
Learn more about how soft data can humanize your CRO efforts
We sat down with Tim Thijsse, CRO Specialist at Beerwulf to shed some light on the challenges of being a CRO specialist as well as how he and his team leverage soft data to fuel their CRO efforts.
1. Stephen Pavlovich, Founder of Conversion.com
“Prioritisation. Nothing is more important than prioritisation.
“Anyone can have good ideas. But you’re never going to be able to test everything, so it’s essential that you test in the right order.”
That means refining your concepts to the “minimum viable experiment” (MVE) – small enough to be easy to test, and impactful enough to be easy to measure. Then, prioritise these MVEs based on data, not opinion.
So forget subjective “impact” scores, and instead look at the evidence and research that supports each concept. Learn more here”.
We’ve also previously interviewed Stephen on episode #2 of the 360 Digital podcast. In this episode, Stephen reveals how digital enterprises can set up a successful, data-driven experimentation process. He outlines how to set up your goals as well as how your framework should look for the best results, from which KPIs you should be measuring and how to target your personas.
Be sure to check it out here!
Now we move on to hear from another conversion expert…
2. Patrik Matell, Conversion Expert at Conversionista
“Understand your users, and you will understand how to improve your site. But, don’t trust your understanding. You must test your understanding…”
It’s all well and good to have an understanding of your visitors, but, if you don’t back up your understanding with solid testing and factual evidence, chances are you’re not going to achieve the results you want.
The difference between an expert and an amateur is that an expert knows that your understanding is subjective, and therefore is not enough. Testing and focusing on the hard data is essential to back up your conversion strategy.
Next up, the Co-Founder of Unbounce fills us in on his approach to optimisation.
3. Oli Gardner, Co-Founder of Unbounce
I like to practice a nuanced approach to optimisation that focuses on changing small elements of user behaviour.
For example, the leads you get from a lead gen landing page can be split into 4 categories: spam (bots), fake (real person, fake info), real (personal email address), real (business email address), each of which can be considered a ‘micro metric’.
Now if I’m in B2B I can design an experience that increases the number of business email addresses – you can do this by asking for “business email address” on the form, I’ve seen 30-50% increase in biz emails that way. If I’m B2C, I can optimise for personal emails.
Once you identify the micro metric you want to influence, it’s easier to design for behavioural change vs. thinking “how can I increase the conversion rate of the whole page?”
Defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your website is, for many experts, the initial step to any CRO campaign or strategy. By tracking and analysing the results of these KPIs, you can start to optimise for better conversions. A micro conversion is a step that helps your users reach that macro conversion, or end goal.
By dividing his micro conversions based on the goals of the website, Oli optimises by changing small elements in order to influence behavioural changes. This approach allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the decision-making process and the factors that influence user behaviour.
Now we move on to hear a female voice on the matter, who takes a consistent and scientific approach to CRO.
4. Whitney Norton, Senior Analytics and Optimisation Strategist at Portent
“At Portent, we follow a scientific method for CRO and A/B Testing. We use tools to do research and make observations. We then formulate a hypothesis that we A/B test. Next we analyse the test data, report our results, and iterate on our findings. We’re never not optimising.
When it comes to this approach to conversion rate optimisation the saying, ‘what you can’t measure, you can’t manage’ comes to mind. It basically means that when it comes to CRO, you should never be guessing.
Remember: data is your most important ally in the battle for conversions, whilst assumptions or guesses can be your enemy, so if you want to improve your conversion rate, make sure to employ a data-driven approach.
Next up, Author Rich Page explains why research is essential for optimising your website…
5. Rich Page, Author of Website Optimization: An Hour a Day
“You can’t do effective CRO without conversion research.
“In particular, you need to find out what your visitor’s main issues and barriers are, and then improve your website to eliminate those problems.
A fast way of getting started with this is to create a short visitor survey that includes this question: ‘Is there anything stopping you from purchasing right now?’ This very important question will give you a gold mine of website improvement insights.”
At Mopinion, we are absolutely obsessed with feedback, we see it as the best way to truly get to know your customers and understand why they make the decisions they do. However, what’s just as important is how you approach your visitors to collect feedback, and that’s where we really shine. Mopinion offers a completely customisable approach to feedback collection and analysis so that you can gather responses and evaluate the results in whatever way you, and your users, will prefer.
Free White Paper: A Digital Feedback-Fueled Approach to Personalisation
A guide to Personalising the Digital Customer Experience (CX) with Online Feedback.
6. Peep Laja, Founder of CXL
“CRO is about research and experimentation.
Above all, focus on understanding the user and where the problems in your sales process are.”
CXL have refined a framework and priority scale to help the research and experimentation process. Whatever framework you decide to work with, the most impactful thing you can do to optimise your website is to truly understand your user’s and what they’re experiencing on your site. If research and experimentation get you there, great, but don’t forget to include soft data metrics in that research, so you are filling in any gaps in your analysis. Collecting user feedback is an easy and effective way to listen to your users and figure out any issues in your sales process.
And finally, we have an expert with over 30 years of experience as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, corporate marketer, international speaker, and writer…
7. Bryan Massey, Founder of Conversion Sciences
The disciplines of conversion optimisation are not just improving websites across the internet, they are fundamentally changing the way we do website design.
“The days of creating a new website and launching it in one big push is very 2000. It’s a process that maximizes your revenue risk. The tools have got too good for you to ignore user research, analytics insights, and experimentation.”
You don’t want to just invite conversion optimisers into your business, your business needs to become proficient at using this data. Designers, developers and marketing people all need to be in on the data. Don’t settle for “safe” and “best guess” designs any more.
Each and every step of your CRO process should be measured and data-driven. That doesn’t mean you should be afraid to be bold and creative. Allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to designing your website, but remember to use the host of tools available to you so that your decisions are calculated. Nowadays, there really is no excuse for neglecting the importance of experimentation, user research or analytics. CRO cannot exist without them.
So, you’ve read our Beginner’s guide, now you’ve heard from the experts, maybe now would be a good time to dive into some cases where these best practices come to life. Let’s hear from one of Mopinion’s customer’s about how they make data-driven decisions to help fuel their CRO strategy.
“It is up to us to identify why people behave their certain way and then find the proof that supports the solutions we’d like to explore.” – Davy Schuyt, CRO Manager at Calvin Klein.
As Bryan Massey mentioned, nowadays, there are too many helpful tools available for us to make decisions based on impressions or assumptions. With all these labour-saving tools at our hands, it’s important to utilise them strategically to prove any assumptions, or hypotheses you may have. Remember, you must test your understanding and assumptions before making any decisions.
“People move about the website very differently based on their goals and personal backgrounds, making it increasingly more important to be able to ask the right question at the right time.”
For Davy, getting to know their users and listening to what they have to say, or what they don’t say, is as important as anything else when it comes to conversion rate optimisation.
“In order to come up with valid ideas that move the site forward,
I believe 80% of the effort is simply to listen to your customers. They talk to you through their actions, interactions, engagements and other data they leave behind. However, this can leave room for interpretation as well as emotions being hard to track. This is why we need a way to get in touch with our consumer, so we can answer the “why” to the “what”
Check out our customer story and read more about how Calvin Klein makes data-driven decisions with Mopinion!
Our experts certainly did deliver, and the majority of them seem to agree that research, analysis, testing and prioritisation are essential to getting your CRO strategy off the ground. To be honest, even with this great advice, we have just about seen the tip of the iceberg that is conversion rate optimisation. There are countless tactics and practices that yield different results, some of which will help to increase conversion rates, others will have the opposite effect, depending on your website and your users.
However, whatever your business is, it’s clear to us that getting to know your users is the common denominator amongst these expert opinions. The best way to start off is by researching and understanding your users, then test your understanding in order to find out what’s working for them and what’s not. After that, you can pick and choose from the advice above and apply them to your business and decide what works best for you and your users. In the meantime, it may be good to really get to know your users with Mopinion and start boosting your conversions today!
Ready to see Mopinion in action?
Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.