03 Sep The Roadmap To Successful Conversion Optimisation
Conversion optimisation is often approached incorrectly… In this article, I’ll show you how not to do it. But more importantly, how it must be done. Step by step.
Do you recognise yourself? You read an article in which Company X increased its conversion rate by 50%, by changing the colour of the call-to-action button from red to orange. You happen to have red buttons on your site as well. So you set up an A/B test to see whether orange buttons would work better for you. In the worst case, you don’t even do an A/B test and you just make all your buttons orange in a hurry. Let the money roll in!
But what happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No difference at all.
And so you decide: CRO doesn’t work! Wrong. CRO works ridiculously well. Only not that way.
How should you do it?
Here’s where the example went wrong. The majority of conversion optimisation efforts are not based on research. And thus not based on data. A data-driven approach to conversion optimisation guarantees you the best results.
Often a conversion optimisation attempt starts with 1 of the 2 following scenarios. And both scenarios are doomed to fail:
- You read a case study and try to repeat the success from the case study to your site by testing exactly the same thing. That’s like going to the doctor with knee pain and asking for a certain painkiller because that helped the neighbour with his back pain. Every site is different. Different problems. Different solutions. You can only prescribe a remedy if you have made the correct diagnosis.
- A so-called expert tells you immediately what you need to test. Yes, he has experience. And he will probably hit the nail on the head more often than someone without experience. But that’s like a doctor looking at your knee from a distance and deciding that you need a cast. The doctor might be right. But the chance is also great that he has prescribed the wrong remedy. He can only reach the correct diagnosis with some X-rays and other investigation. And then prescribe the proper remedy.
Without good research, you’re flying blind. You just do something. And that is a waste of time, money and traffic. You can better use your traffic for A/B tests that do have a chance of succeeding. Only in that way can you make it as clear as possible what works best for your visitors. And only in that way can you increase your turnover.
But how does such conversion research go exactly? Follow these 3 steps:
a. Correct data collection.
Make sure that you collect the data in the right way. Most likely, you have Google Analytics (GA) on your site. But is GA configured in the right way? Are your goals set correctly? The goal-directed steps? Your filters? Is event tracking set where needed? And so forth. Do a complete ‘health check’ of your Google Analytics. Because if you bring in data wrong, you’ll draw conclusions on the basis of bad data. And that can have disastrous consequences.
b. Quantitative research
Is your data coming into GA correctly? Super! Then we can now dive into GA to see where it’s going wrong. A good conversion optimiser will need 1 to 2 days to draw ample information from your GA. Your optimiser will play with segments, reports, devices and browsers until finding out where things go wrong.
GA of course never tells the complete story. That’s why with quantitative research you also use mouse tracking tools such as SessionCam or Clicktale. With those, you make (among other things) heat maps, scroll maps and click maps that give you a clearer view of exactly what your visitors are doing on your site.
c. Qualitative research
Here is the focus of your research. The quantitative research will tell you WHERE things are going wrong. The qualitative research will tell you WHY.
Do the following:
- Send a customer survey to recent customers. Try in that in particular to find out why they bought from you, or why not. Send the survey only to new customers who recently made a purchase for the first time. From them, you get the most valuable feedback: the purchase was recent, so they still remember the process. And in addition, they haven’t gotten used to using the site (like your loyal customers have) and thus you can better learn what the stumbling blocks were.
Don’t waste any time and money on expensive tools for this. With a simple Google Forms document, I have often achieved fantastic results.
- Do user testing. You will get very valuable feedback from it and can see live where your testers struggle, what they misunderstand or do wrong.
Talk with the customer support division. Or if you have live chat on your site: go through all the transcripts from the live chat.
Add a web survey to your site. Qualaroo is one of the best tools for this.