Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of analyzing, testing and implementing elements to your landing page with the goal of increasing the conversion rates. I’ve been doing these for clients in the past couple of years and these are the usual steps that I take:
- Conduct qualitative and quantitative research on your unique site to identify problem areas.
- Use your research to come up with test and experiment ideas.
- Prioritize those test and experiment ideas.
- Begin running the highest priority test or experiment.
- Analyze the results of the test or experiment.
- Record or archive the results of the test or experiment.
- Use the insights from your most recent test or experiment to come up with smarter test and experiment ideas.
It does take time to run these experiments and it is almost a continuous process to achieve that difference between 4% to 8% conversion rate.
CRO involves many skillsets and disciplines, but the 4 most important disciplines in my experience are:
Copywriting – the art and science of crafting words that persuade and sell. Here’s the usual research process for ecommerce copywriting:
- Define your audience and segments. Define your goal and a list of questions you want answered.
- Conduct qualitative research. That means internal interviews, customer interviews, surveys, etc.
- Identify and document patterns in the research. What words and phrases are standing out? What objections, products, benefits and questions keep coming up?
- Define the messaging hierarchy and wireframe. What’s the most important messaging based on your research? Use that to create a wireframe, which clearly lays out your copy.
Psychology – Why would they do a certain action? What motivates them? How do we reward them? Then, how do we bring those answers to life in our product, landing pages, emails, ads, etc.? You can consider these elements of psychology:
Cognitive Biases:Dozens of biases influence every decision your visitors and customers make. You can use these biases to persuade more effectively.
Emotional Persuasion: The human brain is incredibly emotional. Appealing to emotion instead of exclusively logic can be effective.
Persuasion (General):Understanding how the brain works, how it makes decisions, how it compares options, etc. can put you in a powerful sales position.
Testing – Testing requires a certain amount of traffic. You need a strong starting point before you can begin making improvements. Often, there are problems waiting to be solved below the surface. Ask yourself:
- Is my site being properly indexed by search engines?
- Am I missing out on any major keyword opportunities?
- Do all of my pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns have effective landing pages?
- Have I optimized the settings of my PPC campaigns as much as possible?
- Are all of my SEO and PPC campaigns connected to a meaningful drip email campaign?
- How is my email deliverability?
- Are my emails inspiring action?
- Does my site load in all browsers?
- Does my site load on all devices?
User Experience – Walking through your site page by page, evaluating it based on a set of factors:
Motivation: What’s influencing the visitor to take action (or not)?
Friction:What’s difficult and causing roadblocks?
Distraction: What’s taking away from the top call to action?
Relevancy: What’s irrelevant or out of context?
Clarity: What’s unclear or too complex?
There are still so many things that are involved in Conversion Rate Optimization, but these are the best starting points you can use to start it on your own or evaluate if you need an expert to come in and implement the tests for you.
Mike Wagan - Ecommerce & Shopify Expert Comment Policy
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