The complete CRO guide you need to optimize your website conversions – WAU
CRO stands for “Conversion Rate Optimization” or “Conversion Rate Optimization”, in London. This strategy is based on the constant improvement of the website elements in order to attract and convert more users.
Conversion is an essential part of Digital Marketing. And even if you use multiple digital channels, the transition from lead to customer is very likely to happen on your site.
With that in mind, it is very important to create a strategy focused on optimizing your site conversions over time, in order to always achieve good results.
The name of this strategy is CRO. No matter how big your business is or what your niche market is, CRO can help you greatly increase your marketing ROI.
Are you curious to know how? Stay tuned to this comprehensive guide that will show you everything you need to know to master the CRO!
In this guide you will see:
What is CRO
CRO stands for “Conversion Rate Optimization” or “Conversion Rate Optimization”, in London. This strategy is based on the constant improvement of the website elements in order to attract and convert more users.
For example: when using Digital Marketing, you are likely to make your site a prospecting and sales channel, in which leads can request a quote or even hire a service.
But, of the total number of visitors, how many are actually achieving this purpose and becoming your customers? The number that shows this is known as the conversion rate.
The idea behind the CRO is precisely to optimize the conversion rate, that is, make your sales process more efficient and make more money consequently.
This is done mainly through tests that aim to understand what works best to convince visitors to a page to take the desired action for them.
There are a wide variety of elements to test and different ways to do this, but the objective is always the same: to convince more people to reach the end of the purchase process.
Why CRO is important
It is good to understand that the traffic to your website, even the organic one, has a cost. So, knowing what to do with it is very important to achieve your marketing and sales goals.
The CRO exists to help you ensure that as much of that traffic as possible translates into sales and valuable opportunities are not lost due to an error in the conversion process.
Here are three valuable reasons to value what CRO can do for your company:
Saves time and money
It doesn’t take much thinking to understand the impact that the CRO has on a business in terms of the time and money spent to achieve results.
After all, the higher your conversion rate, the less time it takes to reach your established revenue goals.
Better results without increasing work
Think about the following situation: you have a SaaS product that costs R $ 29.90 per month, with a conversion rate of 5% and a monthly average of one thousand visits.
This means that for every 1000 visitors that access the product’s landing page, 50 become customers, generating monthly revenue of R $ 1,495.00.
After performing an A / B test, you can increase your conversion rate to 8% just by changing the background image of the page. What does this represent in financial terms?
For every 1000 visitors, instead of 50, you will have 80 new customers, right? This means R $ 2,392.00 of monthly income, that is, R $ 897.00 more.
Average ticket increase
Consider that it is easier to sell to someone who is already carrying a product (the famous cross-selling) and see another opportunity to increase profits through the CRO.
Instead of simply thanking the customer for the purchase, some tests and refinements in the flow of the pages of Check-out can help provide useful recommendations to customers.
In this case, a purchase may even double in value only through a few changes in the way the products are presented.
How a CRO Strategy Works
Like any marketing strategy, CRO follows a method. The more committed you are to each step of the process, the better the results.
See what are the basic steps for CRO to be applied correctly and relevant to your marketing strategy:
Tests need to be performed based on collected data, not just guesses or assumptions.
So spend considerable time doing research and gathering information that is useful for you. make the right changes and prevent your tests from failing to identify what really works.
There are several ways to collect this data, such as:
- monitor metrics analysis tools;
- conduct user surveys on the page itself;
- interview current customers about the product and the purchasing process;
- perform usability tests.
All of these options are useful for providing quantitative and qualitative data that will help make your tests accurate and successful.
Interpret data for opportunities
After collecting enough data, you will still need to know how to interpret it in search of real opportunities for improvement in the conversion process.
In other words, don’t just look at numbers, look understand what they say about the wishes and needs of your potential customers.
Why do users behave this way? What could be improved on the page to better fit them?
Create tests to define the best solutions
Once you have collected the data and thought about real opportunities for improvement, it will be easier to perform the tests, so important for the optimization to become a reality.
A / B tests are very straightforward in pointing out what works best, and the research work done before will serve to increase the chances that these tests are really useful in your case.
Optimize strategy and track results
Did you find the variations that were most effective in attracting customers? Do not delay in putting them into practice, but continue to monitor the results closely.
It’s time to end the test, declare the winning variation and, if applicable, trigger your web developer to make the change official and implement it permanently on the site.
Repeat the optimization cycle
Even if the whole process has been done correctly, the market changes quickly and the solution you have tested may not be as efficient in a short time.
It is not because you have found the right variation of an element today that it should be kept blind.. The monitoring must be continuous so that it never fails to give results.
With that in mind, the CRO strategy is not a one-off action or an important event that occurs periodically. Before, it is a collective and permanent effort.
What are the 10 essential concepts of CRO
Contrary to what some people think, Conversion Optimization is a science and, therefore, should be tested and proven, that is, no guessing.
With that in mind, we’ve selected 10 concepts that will help you create pages that convert more (don’t trust what i’m talking about, test it yourself). Come on?
1. Elements that directly influence your conversion rate
When creating an offer, it is necessary to gain the visitor’s attention so that he feels safe and converts. Don’t know how to do this? Let’s go to the tips below!
- Value offer: to perform an action on a page, a person analyzes the cost benefits of it before taking action. Therefore, it is necessary that the value of what is offered be visible.
- Clarity: there is no point in having the best product in the world if the user does not understand what you are trying to sell. So it is necessary that the offer is clear so that the visitor can understand as soon as he reads.
- Relevance: Is the user really looking for what you are offering him? Making sure your offer is relevant to solving his problem is essential.
- Anxiety: Avoid elements that cause friction and insecurity in the user. The goal is for him to feel safe and convert.
- Urgency: With so much information in your daily life, people’s attention ends up being divided into several things. Therefore, ensuring an urgency of your offer is crucial for the user to take action at the moment and not leave it for another time.
- Distraction: People in general are terrified of leaving spaces blank, a phenomenon that is called “horror vacui”. In this way, when making a page, people include elements with no purpose, which can cause distraction in the user and hinder their conversion.
2. Roberval Balance
The Roberval Scale is a mass measurement device named after its inventor Gilles Personne de Roberval, a London mathematician and physicist. (Wikipedia)
When thinking about a scale, where each side corresponds to a page, it is necessary to maintain balance.
When making big changes on one side, there will be a big discrepancy in relation to the other, which can result in a decrease in conversion of the second and, consequently, lead to a decrease in the conversion rate of the experiment.
3. Paradox of choice
O Paradox of Choice is a theory created by Barry Shcwartz. This American psychologist tries to explain that the fact of having many choices can lead individuals to achieve less effective decisions and satisfactory that they would have if they had fewer options to choose from.
With this, when creating a page, it is interesting to focus on offering only one thing to the user, because on the contrary he may fall into the paradox of choice, having doubts about what to do, resulting in closing the site without taking any action.
4. Loss aversion
In general, people would rather stop losing something than win.
Therefore, when making an offer, it is interesting to make it clear that, by not buying, the person is losing money. This has a greater effect than showing that by purchasing the product it will have some benefit.
5. Immediate effect
With a busy life, people tend to want solutions that are immediate and quickly solve their problems.
In this way, a clear and objective message can have a better result than one that is longer and needs more attention. For example, listing product benefits using topics can be more relevant than creating a large paragraph with descriptions.
6. Anchor effect
When people receive information, they use it as a point of reference to make judgments about subsequent information. Thus, when presenting a concept or an offer to the visitor of your website, he will take it as truth, which will directly influence his next decisions.
An example of this is when a person asks you to repeat the word “white” several times and then asks what the cow drinks. It is common for the person to use the first statement as a basis for answering the question, which increases the chances of the answer being “milk” instead of “water”.
7. Serial position effect
The effect of serial position indicates that, in a list, the first and last items are remembered more easily than items that are in the middle of the list.
Placing relevant information at the beginning or at the end of a sequence can have a better effect than the center.
This theory indicates that a person’s positive action can be induced by familiarity with something. Isn’t that clear? Let’s take an example!
Imagine that, whenever a person sees a red car, it refers to his childhood due to the car that his grandparents picked him up at school (which was red). Thus, when seeing another product next to a red car, that person tends to have a positive opinion about that product.
This often occurs in beer commercials, which associate drinking with beautiful women, or even at Apple, which uses icons on the iPhone that resemble physical objects.
9. Conversion heuristics
The Conversion Heuristic is an equation developed by the MECLABS Research Institute in order to explain how this process works. It is translated by the formula:
C = 4m + 3v + 2 (i-f) – 2a
In this formula:
- C = conversion probability
- m = user motivation
- v = clarity of the value proposition
- i = additional incentive for action
- f = friction elements
- a = elements of anxiety.
The equation can be used to analyze whether the page meets the user’s usability expectations, so that the ultimate goal is always to convert.
It is worth remembering that, although they are important, heuristic evaluations should never replace tests.
THE Usibility.gov, an institution whose goal is to deepen usability studies on websites, listed the advantages and disadvantages of using heuristic assessments, which we summarize in the table below:
10. Zeigarnik effect
The Zeigarnik Effect is psychological and explains that incomplete tasks tend to get more attention and stay in people’s minds than complete tasks. This is linked to Cliffhanger effect, which is the expectation created by people to know what the end of something will be like.
While in the Zeigarnik Effect you keep reminding yourself of something that you haven’t finished, in the Cliffhanger Effect you still think about what the sequence of an event would be like. This effect is common in soap operas, films and series.
Although I have shown you some concepts, it is always necessary to do tests to prove how the hypothesis works.
The biggest mistake for CRO professionals is to think that there is a magic formula and that “good practices” work. In Conversion Optimization, the maxim:
“No data, no talk.”
Now that you understand the importance of the concepts listed above, to optimize your conversion rates, it’s time to get your hands dirty and apply it to your website.
How to optimize your conversion rate: 6 practical ways
The theoretical part is already very clear. Now, you’re probably wondering what are some practical ways to optimize conversion rates on your site.
The following list contains 6 simple – but very effective – tips that can dramatically increase your results if applied correctly:
1. Test versions of your landing pages at the same time
Testing different versions of your landing page at the same time is certainly the best approach, as it allows variations to be put to the test under the same circumstances.
If the test is done with one version followed by the other, for the whole public, at least 2 problems arise:
- results can be influenced by an external factor and point out a conversion rate that does not reflect reality;
- the public can perceive change as inconsistency, especially if tests are performed regularly on the page.
2. Create a lead qualification process
Lead qualification is crucial to increase your conversion rate. The conversion process does not happen overnight, especially if the goal is to sell.
But in some cases, all a visitor wants to do is speak directly to someone who can show them how the product works without having to go through the entire nutrition process.
Offer this option when placing links and CTAs to chat with a sales representative or to test a version of the product, if your business is self-service.
3. Optimize your posts with the most traffic
Do you know those posts that are most successful with the public and attract the most traffic from your blog? How have you used them to better convert your visitors?
If these posts are such good attraction tools, why not also use them to offer visitors something more?
Perhaps creating a CTA that is appropriate for the topic of the post – but that is in line with the main objective of your strategy at the moment – makes sense to ensure an increase in the conversion rate.
4. Use chatbots to improve service
Chatbots are among the biggest trends in digital transformation. Therefore, companies that are willing to invest in this form of interaction can expect great results.
Besides automate an important part of every company’s work, which is to provide help to interested parties, chatbots do this 24/7!
Having “someone” helping and answering questions throughout the conversion process on a page is certainly one of the best ways to navigate, and makes all the difference in the final decision of the visitor / lead.
5. Automate workflows
Creating automated flows of interaction with visitors and leads using marketing automation tools is another important way to ensure that the conversion rate goes up more and more.
This type of interaction – like sending an email after a person takes a certain action on a page – helps to guide them through the customer’s journey.
Engagement will be much greater if leads are led in a logical way to discover that your product really is the best option for them.
6. Use remarketing to help keep interest alive
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is an incredible tool that allows you to a website reconnects with a visitor, even when they’re on another page.
For example: suppose someone visited your landing page, but for some reason, did not accept the offer at the time.
Through retargeting, he will be reminded of the offer when he is accessing his favorite social network or any website, which revives the possibility of returning to his website and being converted for good.
All of these actions are practical and can be applied without great difficulty on the pages of your website or blog. Good CRO planning and patience is enough to successfully test the hypotheses.
What 5 mistakes even experts make
The benefits of CRO are already clear, and you certainly can’t wait to increase conversions by applying the tactics listed here. But care must be taken with the other side of the coin: mistakes.
Certain actions can quickly sabotage your strategy and undermine efforts to optimize results.
Well then, let’s avoid that, okay? Start by avoiding these 5 mistakes:
Overestimate the reach of the CRO
The CRO is an incredible way to improve the conversion process, but it cannot repair certain structural problems of your business, as a bad product or bad reputation in the market.
To think that all your problems could be solved with A / B testing alone would be overestimating the scope of this strategy, and would only lead to frustration.
Try to understand if the reason for conversions being low is really something on your site or deeper factors, and see if the issue can be resolved with the CRO or not.
Have little patience when testing a hypothesis
Testing a variation for a short time is like burning the start in an important race: you will need to start from the beginning and start all over again.
Do not rush to make a decision or make a change, as any misstep could result in wrong changes and future losses.
When the necessary time is given, it is possible to see if the differences found were really consistent with the time or only caused by an external event that changed the results.
Do not perform simultaneous tests
Testing a variation for a week, ending it and testing another for another 7 days is a bad idea. A lot can change from one test period to another, and the analysis done in this way would simply not be reliable.
The best approach is to run the experiments simultaneously. Thus, all interactions occur in the same period and the scenario is the same for both variations.
Test many variables at once
You may think that testing several variables at once will increase the chances of optimizing the conversion rate or helping to save time, but this is not a good idea.
If you change more than one element per test, how do you know what really influenced the conversion? Instead, it is far better to test only one change at a time.
Use others’ tests on your site
We have already mentioned this here, but it is worth pointing out again that what works for others will not always work for you.
So, as interesting as it is to learn from the tests that are done by competitors and references in your niche, be careful not to imitate them.
If you do a good job of collecting data and researching how visitors behave, you will have all the material needed to create good tests.
What are the 8 best CRO tools
It is not new that each task requires an appropriate tool, or in the case of the CRO, a set of them.
Obviously, they represent only part of the job, but they should not be underestimated, as they will have a direct impact on the information you will be able to collect.
We have separated the tools into 3 main groups that summarize the CRO process well: metrics, research and tests. See some of the main ones:
- Google Analytics: the most known and used metrics analysis tool in the world, it even has its own resource for A / B testing, called “experiments”;
- Mixpanel: Mixpanel offers a set of solutions to monitor user engagement, perform A / B tests and how they are conducted through the sales funnel;
- Kissmetrics: the Kissmetrics software is one of the most complete in pointing out why users are being converted (or not) and how to solve problems;
- Qualaroo: create targeted surveys for your website users, in order to understand what they want and design your conversion process accordingly;
- SurveyMonkey: one of the most popular tools in the world for creating user surveys, SurveyMonkey has several features;
- CrazyEgg: using heat maps, the software developed by Neil Patel is very straightforward in pointing out how users behave on their pages;
- Optimizely: few software can compare to Optimizely when it comes to creating tests and personalizing the browsing experience to increase conversions;
- Unbounce: if your focus is to perform A / B tests on landing pages, Unbounce is the right tool, as this is the main focus of the software.
Implementing the CRO requires planning and patience, but it is certainly worth it in view of the incredible results it can bring to your business.
With this complete guide, you already have everything you need to get your hands dirty and get started!
And if you want to be a CRO analyst or are interested in further specializing, take the Certification from our Conversion Rate Optimization Course at Websites Are Us University!