The 3 pillars of a robust conversion optimization program (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): What is it?
CRO is a concept that appeared around 10 years ago. It was developed to improve business performance of e-commerce sites. The discipline works based on controlled risk-taking and guaranteed results. The CRO requires a number of different skills, which may explain why this method is quite complicated to understand and integrate into a team. It requires using design, UX, UI, content, analytics, and more. Companies normally take a first step towards CRO with A / B Testing, but success rates based on A / B Testing are still very low. Let’s take a look at the 3 pillars of the CRO in more detail.
Pillar 1: Understanding how CRO works
“Knowing where the problem comes from is simple, but fully understanding the problem is complex”
CRO consists of setting up a sequence of structured actions, which will maintain coherence among them. This technique brings a better result and allows qualitative lessons to be learned.
Behavior of a young company vs a grown-up company
A company lacking experience in this area will experiment with an optimization idea on the fly. After highlighting an issue, they will base their idea on a personal opinion, an idea emanating from a blog post, or from similar case study. This approach lacks structure, and objective data (quantitative and qualitative) are not used. In this type of approach, the success rate is low.
A grown-up company will focus their efforts on understanding the real problems of users. This detection of problems involves the implementation of qualitative analysis tools such as: focus groups, user surveys, user tests with eye-tracking etc. The consolidation of these actions makes it possible to fully understand the problem and to highlight relevant optimization actions. An activation of this type of process increases the success rate and allows you to collect beneficial analyses. Collection of information about users is crucial. Thus the company can understand with accuracy what their users like or don’t like. The projects that follow will benefit from all these reports and a reasoned decision-making process.
Pillar 2: Implement a CRO strategy and culture in your organization.
You must infuse a culture of optimization into the business. Educating your teams to a CRO-oriented culture is not obvious at first; it requires everyone to question everything that they already know. Henceforth decisions will have to be based on objective data resulting from the actions implemented. It is necessary to eliminate the phenomenon of the HIPPO = Highest Paid Person’s Opinion – and to be based on real user problems, rooted in precise facts and not on preconceptions and opinions.
The optimization planning must of course be aligned with the company’s business objectives, as well as its culture. Imagine that the goal of the team is to increase the number of leads:
What does a beginner level team do? They will base their approach on the performance of the landing page and measure for example the click rate, or even the bounce rate. This approach is certainly good, but it will not increase the performance of the company.
What does an advanced level team do?
They will establish a complete analysis of the user journey, from the landing page to the signing of sales contract by sales representatives. This approach helps to understand precisely the users’ expectations regarding the product offer, as well as their understanding of it. This analysis allows to fulfill the essential objectives of a company which are: the acquisition rate and the quality of the lead.
A CRO culture will be based on experimentation to innovate effectively. Before embarking on the implementation of a new feature, which will require months of development, the CRO team will have the automation set up to first launch an A / B Testing, to extract the intent rate and the intended functionality.
This culture will develop within the company afterwards through communication of results and lessons learned.
Pillar 3: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”
First of all, it is necessary to define a good indicator to measure the improvement of the performance, the quality of the tests and the impacts on the company strategy.
It is also important to measure the number of tests that will be done, which will give an idea of the team’s production capabilities.
Then follow the success rate to check the quality of the experiments launched.
Finally, it is necessary to measure the working time of the teams. This indicator includes the entire time of the teams. These can then be be compared with the gains made and indicate the balance of the campaign.
All these measures must be followed monthly. Their improvement will allow you to be able to adjust the strategy of the team.
Relying on the 3 pillars of CRO is the key to success in improving a company’s performance over the long term.