A Step-by-Step Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization
The flip-side of conversion rate optimization is that it looks easy!
Lack of customer reviews, lack of trust, poor communication of selling points are a few things that hinder conversion optimization. It is easy to make assumptions about what to test but it is better to run conversion rate tests based on actual data from your target audience. A bit of research and discovery is worth the time and effort. Let's do it step by step:
Research and gather all the data you need and analyze
Take time and set expectations around this if you're working with clients, this is that important stage and saves a lot of 'heartache' further, if done correctly!
Where do you gather data from?
From the company and it's website you are working to optimize.
- What is the very reason behind the existence of the company?
Start with why and dive deep deep to find out what makes the company different to others - not just USPs, dig into the culture and DNA of the company. The company and the message it portrays is as important as the product that customers buy.
- Learn the goals of the company. Focus your data gathering around the goals. Some goals might be less obvious than others contributing to a bigger goal.
- How is the company different from its competitors who sell the same thing?
Example : Free delivery might improve conversions, chances are your competitors would also offer this.
- Survey customers, build a list of reasons why visitors aren’t converting. It doesn’t really matter how you survey your customers as long as you do it.
- Talk to the sales team. Ask them to sell the product or service to you. Find questions and objections the customers ask.
Use analytics and user feedback to improve the performance of your website.
Outline what you want to test. Don't jump straight to the process. Ask yourself the following:
What are you testing? From what you gathered from step 1, what would you like to test? What are the common trends? Start with the most common customer objections.
Result: You can end up with a list of things to test, backed up by real data and insight.
Example: If in case you get to know that the customer’s feedback was that they were unsure about how safe their personal payment details are, hypothesis - adding more trust signals at the checkout process to increase the number of customers who complete the process.
Once the hypothesis is in place, it is important to tell if the test result is a positive one.
Who are you testing?
Understand the differences among the people who visit the website, their demographics,their mind set and how they respond to the buying cycle. Who is the new customer and who is the returning one?
Returning customers have already experienced the checkout process ( to go with the same quoted example), they may even have the credit card details registered with. This means they are more likely to convert into a customer compared to a new customer.
When you run the test, the software will allow you to direct traffic to your test pages. You need to specify which page or set of pages you're testing.
Keep this in mind: If you're testing two product pages with a single test and one of those products is a $500 and the other is $10 garden ornament, then the results of the test may be a bit skewed.
Develop variations. Take screenshots
This is the fun part!
Don’t be tempted to test many things in each variation where you end up not knowing what is increasing the conversion rate and what is dampening it. Be scientific in your approach. Keep the record of everything you’re testing and get organized.
Review! Review! Review!
Log the results after the test is finished. Keep them with your log variations. Build a folder of what works and what doesn’t. Analyse the results. Wins are good. Losses are interesting.
Suppose the result is : “Page A lowered the conversion rate by x%”
See it the other way round: “Something about Page B effectively increased the conversion rate by y% over Page A.”
Think if your win could be developed further? Say, You added a testimonial to your landing page and it worked. What will happen if you take the winning element to extremes? How about adding five more testimonials?
Try and apply it to other parts of the funnel as well.
Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
This entire process works in a cycle. Any insight which you get after completing a test will give you more ideas to try different tests. For the best results, repeat all part of stage one. Even after doing this, are you still struggling with the same things?
Follow the process and you will surely and quickly increase your conversion rate.
If you increase the number of people who end up becoming paying customers, you can quickly increase your revenue, optimize the resources that you already have. Start with testing the gathered data, create a powerful customer value proposition but use simple language for your copies. Create urgency for your customer take action. Work towards addressing all your customer’s concerns and work harder to remove them.