When we talk to people about conversion rate optimisation, more often than not it's the first time they've heard of it. As such, the same questions come up regularly in discussions.
This page is here to give you the answers to those initial questions. We’ll add to this list over time and maintain it as a useful reference point for the most common CRO questions.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)?
It is the process of uncovering the opportunities for improving the effectiveness of your website and then running tests to monitor the impact these changes have on delivering more revenue.
When should I do CRO?
Ideally CRO should be an ongoing process of continually trying to refine and improve your website. Every month as a minimum you should aim to analyse the site, come up with some new testing hypotheses and run a new test. If you are planning a new website, use CRO as a way of testing ideas on your existing website to decide whether they should feature in the updated site. If you’ve already invested in a new website, don’t just sit back and expect it to work optimally, closely monitor performance and get testing as soon as you can.
I can’t make changes to my website, how can I do CRO?
What should I measure as a conversion?
What do you want visitors to do on your website? What is of most value to you? You should always try to define a single primary conversion that is the most important thing to you. This could be a sale, booking, form completion, email sign up, etc. These are often called macro conversions. But also try to measure as many other actions that are of interest to you; downloads, video plays, time on site, etc. these are often called micro conversions.
What is a good conversion rate?
Higher than your current rate! You should always try to improve upon what you have now. It can be useful to benchmark against others using tools like eBenchmarkers and Fireclick to help set a realistic target, but the main aim should always to be to continually seek to improve.
How does CRO differ from UX?
There are many different views on this, because areas of conversion rate optimisation and user experience do overlap. We like to think of them in this way: CRO is the process of refining and improving your existing website through on-going A/B testing and optimisation (it is also typically focussed on your business objectives). UX is the process of planning and researching the best way to make a significant one-off change, often in the course of building a new website (and it is usually more focussed on customer objectives).
What should I do before I start CRO?
There are seven things we advise you to think about before you start CRO. If you don’t know these, then we’ll recommend that this is where we start!
- Know and be confident in your USPs
- Understand your target audience
- Define your KPIs
- Identify your competitors
- Audit your web analytics tool
- Have a solution for a mobile website
- Test the loading time of your website
Is a responsive site the best mobile solution?
It is a very popular choice because it provides a solution to many mobile challenges and is often the solution advocate by Google. However, there are other options (such as Adaptive, m.Dot, Mobile App etc.) and you should consider alternatives before making a final decision. This blog post from Mobify gives more information about the different options..
Why do you need testing hypotheses - can’t we just start testing today?
A key benefit of A/B testing is that you learn the reason why changing something on your site leads to an improvement. if you don’t spend time planning and developing a hypotheses for tests, you just won’t learn from the tests. Any improvements will be from luck, rather than judgement. You can read more on another of our blog posts here.
Can you A/B test on websites with low traffic volumes?
You can, in the right circumstances. A/B testing tools try to determine a winner by calculating the statistical significance of test results. One of the key components of any significance calculation is the size of the sample - the larger the pool, the faster and more robust your result will be. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t run tests on low traffic volume websites. You can make very significant changes, which will result in a greater difference in the impact of the test, or you can sit back and be patient! Furthermore, if A/B testing isn’t appropriate for your website, you should still do what you can to improve it and find ways to measure the impact of the changes.
How much does CRO cost?
In comparison to the cost of media and web development budgets, CRO is relatively low cost. Typically you will pay for consultancy time, or in some cases a performance based agreement may be possible. Furthermore, because the impact is so measureable and with the potential to have a positive impact on the performance of media and web development investments, there is usually a very straightforward business case for CRO.