This post has been written by Brianna Cloughan. Brianna is a Final Year English student from the University of Nottingham and is currently underway with a 10-week digital marketing placement with Impression.
What is CRO and how is it related to SEO?
CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. It’s all about making your site the best it can be so you can start turning casual visitors into loyal customers or service users. You may have a killer SEO strategy which has ensured higher Google rankings and increased traffic, but this does not guarantee conversions. People may be clicking onto your site and leaving again before achieving your desired objective – purchasing a product or service; subscribing to emails; downloading an app, or creating an account. For some reason, people are choosing not to follow-through on this vital last step. So, get curious, channel your inner detective and find out why!
How does CRO work?
Depending on your desired outcome, there could be several reasons why someone is remaining a visitor rather than becoming a loyal customer or client. It’s become increasingly difficult to understand and track customer behaviour due to the massive number of offline and online channels. By this I mean anything from TV and radio ads to email marketing and social media platforms. Customer behaviour can be complex!
One of the best things about CRO is that it goes some way to answering the how’s and why’s of a customer’s journey. Tools such as Hotjar help online businesses to see how users are interacting with their site through, for example, a technique called heat mapping. The colour-coded visuals highlight areas on the screen which are receiving the most attention from customers. This technique measures heat-levels according to the number of clicks; how far people are scrolling; and their movements across the site or specific page. Hotjar also takes into account different devices so you can compare mobile and desktop activity. By analysing customer behaviour on the site you can start to identify and make sense of conversion funnels (end to end journey a customer makes within the website from the first click through to sale) which show visitor drop-off points. In other words, at what point you are losing visitors, and how many.
To make the most of these insights, record and gather the data so you can begin to spot trends and note down any potential changes and recommendations as you go. Think about which areas of the site are failing and how they could be improved, as well as thinking about how to capitalise on those areas which are doing well. For instance, the results from the heatmap show that visitors are browsing the site, placing items in their basket, but never commit to checking-out. Now you know this information, what do you do with it?
Well, you have gathered your research and recommendations, it’s now time to consider what methods will work best in implementing your changes. Although this process may involve a bit of trial and error, as well as patience, with the insights gathered from, for example, Hotjar, random guesswork is avoided. Instead, think about what you want to change and why, and what you hope the outcome will be. Having a hypothesis ensures a more organised and systematic approach. For example, let’s say the heat-mapping shows that people enjoy utilising the search bar on your site and so to capitalise on this you make it bigger and more obvious for users. Changes can be big or small, so when implementing them you might want to consider some of the methods listed:
A/B testing – this is probably the most common form of testing. It involves setting up two landing pages, A) being the original site page and B) a variation of it, containing any new changes. Visitors are split between A and B to see if big or small changes to CTA can make a difference to conversion. This is useful if you receive a lot of traffic, as data can be collected quickly. It’s important not to commit to any changes until enough data has been received to show a consistent trend.
Multivariate testing – is very similar to A/B, it simply means splitting your traffic into multiple versions of the same page. Instead of just two versions, there could be A/B/C/D etc, allowing you to test multiple variables against each other.
Online surveys/customer feedback – a popular and less obtrusive option allows you to gain feedback directly from the customers themselves. Allowing them to rate or leave comments on your site will indicate what areas you need to improve.
Even tweaking the smallest aspects of your site can make a huge difference to your revenue. So make the most of your existing traffic and consider investing in CRO, you never know what opportunities you might be missing.
Do you feel that CRO would be a useful analysis for your business? Get in touch to discover how our specialists can help optimise your online conversions, today.