Conversion Rate Optimisation
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) strategy is about creating a frictionless experience across the funnel. In order to create this, you should attempt to let analytics data, web psychology, UX and A/B/n tests “come together” to increase conversion rate and delight your customers. You should consistently be researching and/or testing your users, digital assets and your customer journey. You can seek the help of a CRO agency and employ CRO experts to speed up your team with effective conversion rate optimisation support.
Start with the Research Phase
This is a gross simplification, but, for any company, your research phase should start with quantitative research. You would be looking at a tool like Google Analytics to check where in the funnel do you lose the most visitors. The CRO experts’ assistance in this analysis to procure statistical data can prove to be very helpful. Use the comparison view to see which landing pages and most visited pages perform best / worse, and what signifies them.
When you have an idea about where you are and are not performing well, you could attempt some qualitative research. Though the usability tests can be done very simply, Just ask five people per month to do a task on your site. Ask them to think aloud and be honest. With screen recording, you can view the videos afterwards. Track and document feedback.
Move on to the Testing Phase
When you have an idea of the things you would want to change, you are ready for the testing phase. In this phase, you should prioritise different hypothesis on solutions for problems you found in the testing phase.
Grade your ideas when it comes to potential, importance, traffic, effort, and frontend/backend complication. Also, Set up an A/B test in your favourite tool. Use the tool for a QA (quality assurance). Learn more about the different free A/B testing tools, Google Optimize, Optimizely, Firebase or VWO here
Our Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) recommendations
For inspiration on the best practices, we, as a CRO agency, have written out some of the considerations for testing.
Use this piece of stand up comedy to convince anyone in the organisation that is sceptical and potentially share a first analysis done by a conversion rate expert. Or alternatively, proceed through the steps below by clicking on number one or next. If followed consequently, you will see results.
You have one chance to make a first impression. It is usually a make or break moment. We are ready to help you discover some of the weak points in your landing or home page(s). The real question is whether you are ready to test, learn and implement the insights that good landing page testing will uncover. The main factors that determine succes are pretty straightforward. We like to divide them in three stages.
To survive the first stage, you need to show visitors you respect their time. Your visitor has come to your site and the first questions (s)he will subconsciously attempt to answer is “are these guys worth my time”? This question is answered in a split second. No-one still reads a webpage, people skim and read bits and pieces to answer that question as quickly as they can. Do you have a clear CTA and a strong value proposition (above the fold)? Your homepage should align with the top priorities set by your business. Have you cleared the clutter or are you trying to sell every product under the sun on your landing page? No more full page interstitials or automatically moving carrousels, right?
The second stage, is slightly more subconscious or emotional. How is your “look and feel”, and does that align with your target audience(s)? Does it reflect your core values? Lots of folks will be looking to avoid a mistake, and hence “social proof” needs to be there. What other businesses have bought your services? How many consumers use this? What is the number of consumers that have provided feedback along with the score?
If you have survived the above two test, well done. There is a reason why bounce rates are still sky high. At this stage, visitors might be looking to further extend their stay in your digital store, and attempt to answer more detailed questions. Where can they buy your product or service? Is it available in a certain format? Do you cater for a specific use case? In this stage, it is important your navigation is logical and follows conventional wisdom for scrolling through a website. Are you using legible font sizes? Is your menu clear and labeled? Can I easily find your top categories in the navigation?
In this stage of your visitors journey, (s)he will be looking for specific information about you, your products and/or services. How time intensive do you make this process for him or her?
Some of the things we would be looking for are easily recognisable and popular options. Do you have a consolidated menu that sticks above the fold? Once visitors select this menu, are all the options on screen? Is it easy to exit the menu if it does not have what you are looking for? Are your product categories or services order logically in order of popularity? And last but not least, are the standard options to sign-in or register part of the menu?
If all of the answers to the questions above are “yes”, you are doing a great job. We would be happy to share some example sites with you or alternatively you can read on about Search element of navigation.
Your search bar should be hidden behing the well known magnifying glass, but once clicked, it should be across the page. Most people do not enjoy typing, especially on their mobile phone. So you have autocorrection in place, ensure the right keyboard pops up, and use typing suggestions for your most common products, services and/or categories.
Two other settings you can adjust to make it easy for people. Showing previous searches helps visitors easily find what they looked at previously. And always show a result, showing no result is asking people to leave your site and look at competitive offerings.
In this stage of the journey, visitors are looking for a product or service that solves their problem. You have two main challenges. How can my visitor quickly find what they are looking for? And once they find it, and don’t want to convert immediately, how do you ensure this interest results in a desirable outcome further down the line?
Let’s start with the last question. The answer is simple, we would recommend three escape options. First, make sure visitors can easily share a product or service with other decision makers. We would not book a holiday without consulting our other half right. Some of us might face scrutiny at work from colleagues or managers in the decision making process. Other options are the famous wish list (through clicking a heart) or the find nearby store locator option (Google Maps listing icon). All of these would create value for your visitor and your business.
Furthermore, our recommendation is to ensure you repeat your value proposition at every step in the funnel. It is important, and often forgotten. Also make sure you have a clearly written product description (partly above the fold with an option to extend). If you have a large number of products or categories, make sure you include social proof at this level as well.
And last, but not least, ensure your visitors have the ability to filter or sort the results of your product or categories pages. The worst thing that could happen is if you present numerous pages of products, making it impossible to quickly narrow down your search.
All of these statements are generic, but true for almost all businesses. Next are some thoughts about optimising the conversion funnel.
At this stage of your customers journey, the visitor is convinced your product or service is the right choice. Now, you should be focusing on making the buying process as easy as possible. Do keep in mind that if a user doesn’t want to convert in the moment, you should still enable this process to happen later or through a different channel.
It starts by making sure your customer is not forced into the funnel. So don’t redirect into checkout after adding to cart. Allow checkout as guest, but do add a value proposition around why someone should create an account. If your checkout process is more than two pages, inform your customer where they are in the process. Perhaps a progress bar to showcase progress through the conversion flow would be the best option. At each of those steps, you re-iterate value proposition and limit the exit points.
And last but not least, make sure visitors can edit the quantity, allow visitors to continue on another device by emailing or saving for later. If delivery times are communicated, make sure you provide the alternative of picking the good up at a local store as well. It has bene mentioned before, but make sure you have descriptive call to actions on each stage of the process.
The above is a generic but solid way of looking at your conversion funnel. Read on about what matters and how to optimise the final form fill.
The final form where you leave your details is the last hurdle that your visitors will have to take to be able to order your products or services. Twenty-seven percent of users abandon orders due to a “too long / complicated checkout process”. The best performing e-commerce sites have 6-8 fields, and a total of 12 form elements. Average retail checkout flow has 14.88 form fields. You can find more in the full research.
The first thing you can do here is to reduce the number of fields, for example by not including any optional fields and merging first and last name. Do you really need the to ask the title? You can set the default billing address as the shipping address as well, saving you another field. you could potentially also collapse address Line two and the company name field behind an optional link.
Other form optimisations sit in the clever design corner. This sounds too straightforward to mention but do you use the correct keypads? Using the correct input type for each field can make a serious impact on your completion rates. You can use labels that sit inside the open fields instead of a placeholder above or in front of the field. You should also avoid large drop downs and opt for buttons, sliders or open fields instead. Also, the creditcard your visitor is using can be recognised, rather than having to specify what card you intend to use.
One more recommendation is to move the delivery date option to the start of the check out process. This can avoid a lot of frustration.