Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) has become one of the most important elements of eCommerce. With the right techniques, you can significantly increase your ROI and acquire more customers for the same level of effort. However, what a lot of people don’t realise is that conversion rate optimisation techniques are not just about changing the tactics you use. Without a clear basis for the decisions you are making, you run the risk of your CRO becoming a futile exercise.
As entrepreneurship expert Neil Patel recently told Forbes, before you can make effective changes to your website through conversion rate optimisation, you need to truly understand what it is that you are looking at, and what you are looking for.
Testing Needs a Purpose
Testing is the cornerstone of all forms of optimisation, but testing can easily become an abject waste of time if you do not know what you are looking for, or why you might want to make certain changes. Before you start testing, you must research your target audience and understand what it is that interests them, what they want, and why they care about your products.
Once you genuinely understand your audience, you can make educated guesses. Testing those guesses makes more sense than making changes for the sake of change. This is something that is discussed in greater depth in the Hearing the Voice of The Customer report published by the researchers at Conversion Rate Experts.
Changes Need a Plan
Conversion rate optimisation is an on-going process. You will almost certainly end up making numerous small, incremental changes to see even a ten per cent increase in your website’s performance. Occasionally, you may see a substantial improvement in your conversion rate from just one small change, but hitting the jackpot like that is rare unless there was a fundamental flaw in the design of your site. Examples could include the lack of a call to action, or a broken form that deterred customers before they completed a transaction.
Conversion rate optimisation is far more complex than the simple ‘best practices’ that are so often repeated online. Patel encourages business owners to think about the practice in a broader way, and to learn as much as possible about their customers before they start deconstructing their websites. Think of CRO as a core element of marketing, rather than an isolated activity that pertains only to your website.