Learning To Crawl: What You (Really) Need To Know About CRO
(June 22, 2022) – As marketers, even if we haven’t run any experiments or tests, we know enough about CRO in that it helps us get better results from our existing marketing efforts. How? By looking inward on something that’s entirely within our control: our web experience.
Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO is really all about testing ideas on how to get more conversions from where you’re at right now. To start, you need to test an idea that you believe in. Depending on your type of business, you could have anywhere from no ideas to test to a thousand to test. The key is in identifying the ones worth testing.
Following are a few guidelines that you need to have in place before proceeding.
Adopt First-Principles Thinking
First-principles thinking is a way of problem-solving that actually dates back to the Greek Dark Ages and is touted as having been popularized by the great philosopher Aristotle. Today, serial entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, ace investors like Charlie Munger and physicists like Richard Feynman all use this technique to break down the most complex of challenges.
A first principle is a foundational proposition about the world or assumption about something that stands alone by itself. First-principles thinking focuses on reverse-engineering a problem by breaking it down into its basic elements. So, in terms of website optimization ideas, you would start with the most basic question: what part of my website is the most important to me?
Let’s use an eCommerce website as an example.
- What part of the website is most important to the business? The checkout page.
- Why is the checkout page most important? It directly impacts the bottom line.
- What matters to people the most on the checkout page? Security of their payment methods.
- What can be added to make people feel more secure on the cart page? Security badges to reinforce trust.
Even a highly converting website has areas that could be improved upon. Keep it simple: go after low-hanging fruit and quick fixes that do not take much effort to implement but can vastly influence user or customer experience. Think slow page load speed, missing navigation bar, distracting popups and so on.
Keep An Eye On The Competition
If you’re in a particularly competitive space, say Direct to Consumer, you have to ensure that you’re always keeping an eye out for where the vertical is going or else you risk losing your slice of the market share cake.
In addition to arming you with business insights, competitor analysis also allows you to come up with ideas to test and fail fast. The most innovative of companies keep abreast with what their competitors are up to, learn from their mistakes, take inspiration from their wins and as a result, deliver a superior experience to customers.
Here are five quick steps to get started:
- Identify direct and indirect competitors
- Give their digital experiences a spin (mobile app, desktop, and mobile website)
- Make a list of things they’re doing that you aren’t
- Assess the potential impact of trying them on your website
- Convert them into testing ideas for your own website
Keep CRO Truths In Mind
While we all know what CRO is, more importantly, we must also remember what it is not.
- There are no magical cure-all fixes that you can just follow to get results for your business. This is why the savviest of optimizers take best practices with a grain of salt.
- No one can ever tell what will work or what will not. The most important thing about CRO is that opinions and egos must be left at the door but experience is an asset.
- Before any decision is made, it should be backed by hard numbers and context. Otherwise, you might as well just implement changes directly hoping for conversions to go up. (And we all know it doesn’t work that way.)
- From a strategic perspective, optimization is an ongoing practice – a continuous process of working towards improving your website experience.
Want to know more about improving your CRO? Download our latest white paper, “The Crawl, Walk, Run of Conversion Rate Optimization”. It’s a complete CRO roadmap that takes you beyond analytics and puts you in the driver’s seat.