In this digital age, the focus of growth has been shifting towards the domain of the Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). In this article, I am going to share the fundamental information about the conversion rate optimization.
Let me start with a simple definition. The first step in the growth process is to bring your target group to your digital possessions. We approach this effort with the title of “Acquisition” within the scope of AARRR. After you attract your target group to your digital possessions (your website, your mobile application etc.), there exists certain actions that you need them to take. For an e-commerce firm, these actions may include purchasing; for a demand-seeking enterprise, the aim might be to make users leave their information that will yield demand.
After you attract your target group through marketing channels, you will see that some of them take the actions you need, while some of them leave you. Here conversion rate optimization steps in: CRO carries the intent of making users realize the higher conversion rates that you seek for.
In contrast to the optimizations done through marketing channels, conversion rate optimizations are done through your digital possessions. With appropriate content and small changes, you can encourage more users to take action. Now let’s go over the situation with a brief example.
Luxy Hair is an e-commerce web site that is aimed at women. Cosmetic products for hair care can be bought via its web site. Normally, the first outlook of the web site is like this:
The crew members of Luxy Hair think that they can attract more users if they illustrate the change in their customers’ hair. For this, they design another variation and take the test.
In the second image, both the benefits of the product and its possible effects on the buyers are shown much more clearly. While you are trying to guess the winner, let me share the results with you: For desktop users, the clicking number of “Shop Hair Extention” button increased at a rate of 7.93%. As we will explain deeply below, this cannot be the only metric for a test like this. Besides, the revenue raised from the average user increased at a rate of 17.61%.
So, are these numbers enough to evaluate this test result? Unfortunately, the issue is more complex. The change in mobile users also matter. Let’s see the first outlook of the page for mobile devices.
Normal version is like this. Let’s now see the version designed for the test:
What do you think about the test’s effects on mobile users? Can we think that the effect is the same on mobile users and on desktop users? Let’s clarify the issue in the light of data. For mobile users, the clicking number of “Shop Hair Extention” button decreased at a rate of 0.67%. According to the test, this thronged design for mobile users caused the revenue to fall at a rate of 27.69% compared to the desktop users.
This example is a small one in the process of the conversion rate optimization. There are many examples around the world to share. But let’s get back to our subject. In brief, catching your target group with marketing, increasing the budget of your marketing exercises and optimizing them are not enough for you to achieve growth. How you welcome your users and how you direct them also matter.
Due to various examples we encounter frequently, we have different perceptions on the working mechanism of conversion rate optimization. It is hard to measure the harm you get from the technical mistakes you do while you are adopting CRO for your business. With the implementations from the world, let’s take a look at the needed healthy and successful process.
To get a genuine result and to obtain a meaningful outcome, you need to start the process with an investigation step. In the investigation step, you need to make use of the tools through which you can analyze the user behavior like Google Analytics, as well as the tools that are inexpressible with data like heat maps, surveys, user research. This investigation reveals the things you need to test for CRO. After this, you need to find out the obstacle for people to buy your product more. This problem should be related to the issues that affect the customer decision like “Our consumers do not find our products reliable”, “They have difficulty in getting information before they purchase the product” or “Our product descriptions are insufficient to persuade the users”.
I want to share some examples of the investigation process. Firstly, the one-questioned survey that we conducted gives us an idea about the problems in CRO.
“I read many complaints about you on sikayetvar, that might be a smear campaign but it is the reason why I am not sure about your products”
How you should evaluate the questions you ask in your surveys and the answers you get is also important.
“Q: What makes you think before you do shopping?
A: I think they are of high quality but they are not appealing for young people.
A: How is the cloth and the size”
When you do investigation, you find out the actual problems about your enterprise. Changing the color or the location of a button do not make you gain anything in terms of CRO.
The second step is to develop a hypothesis. Hypothesis is the set of ideas that you will try on your digital possessions. To be successful in CRO, you need to rely your hypotheses on investigation results, to specify how you are going to test your hypothesis and to clearly state how to measure the success of your hypothesis. Let’s view a suitable hypothesis with a real example.
“We think that changing the detail page CTA text to “ABC” will reduce the time spent on the detail page and increase the conversion rate, based on the fact that “XXXX” and “XXXX XXXXX” CTA texts are higher than the “YYYY” action of cognitive cost and the user motivation seeing XXXX focused on ZZZZ.”
For CRO hypothesis, you should first write your investigation result and mention the factors that led you to think that you will increase your conversion rate. In the next step, you should share the solution that you believe that will solve the problem. In the last step, if your solution genuinely solves the problem, you need to mention which metrics that must be followed.
Now that your hypothesis is ready, we can move to the test stage. Before this, let’s talk about why we need the test stage. Your possible solutions towards the problem do not necessarily increase your conversion rate. Booking.com tells that 9 out of 10 tests they apply results in failure. If you directly apply your solution on your digital possessions without testing on real users, you cannot measure its effect. On top of that you take the risk of performing worse. What makes CRO process significant for enterprises is its being data-oriented and testifying its all exercises with actual users.
The working mechanism of A/B tests can be seen above. While a part of your users see the normal page, the users you choose see the outlook you designed for the test. User behavior for every part is collected. As a result the effect stems from the test can be observed. For both presenting your users a variety of outlooks and for seeing their effects on conversion rate, you need to use A/B test tools. If you want to have detailed information about Google’s free tool Google Optimize, you can read our previous article.
Another critical point in CRO exercises is a proper analysis of the tests conducted. If the results are not analysed rigorously, they may mislead you about your product and your target group. So, before you begin the test, you need to determine the goals of the test properly.
In the first step of the investigation and the analysis, the findings are obtained by the detection of the conversion problems in the micro level. Following the problems in the macro level in parallel with micro ones is also critic.
To give an example, the viewing of the product images by the users can be considered as a micro conversion. If you detect a problem in this viewing process and follow the hypothesis that will solve it, your metrics are the representation of your test variation compared to your control group, the change in the purchasing rates and “add to cart” rates etc. To have a broader knowledge about this issue, you can read our article named “How to choose the right metrics for A/B test analysis”.
If you want to obtain further information about CRO consultancy that we serve as the Growth Hacking Studio, you can contact us here.