If the primary goal of your business is to generate conversions, then it’s ideal that you contemplate the best ways to increase the conversion rate to your website. And to achieve that target, it is critical for you to keep experimenting with various action points in your website. Conducting a Conversion Rate Optimization test (or CRO) enables you to do just that. It helps you to systematically increase the percentage of your website visitors, and understand how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what’s stopping them from completing your goals. For example, you can conduct an A/B test on your website by creating a demo request of a product on one of the pages you redesigned, to see what your customer’s response will be to your new page. In this manner, half of the customers coming to your page would see the original product page design, while the other half would see the revamped design.
In such situations, the greatest mistake that marketers make is that they do not conduct the test long enough for it to be statistically relevant. It’s very common for marketers in believing that they are improving their marketing, whereas the opposite is true. And these seemingly insignificant mistakes can result in a loss of business for the company.
Here are six dangerous mistakes which marketers commonly make while conducting CRO experiments, which you must keep in mind while running your next CRO test :
#1 Thinking of CRO as primarily for A/B testing
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a diverse concept which encompasses various processes to increase the number of visitors who take the desired action. While A/B testing is a part of CRO, it’s just one of the tools of execution. A/B testing only covers a single variable against another to see which one performs better, while CRO includes all the types of testing methodologies.
There are many testing methodologies which you can adopt while conducting CRO tests. You need to choose a research methodology which fits the variable you want to experiment with. For example, A/B testing won’t be helpful in situations where the sample size you require is not too large.
Hence, it is imperative for a marketer to understand different testing methodologies, and understand which methodology can be used to test various aspects of your CRO goal.
#2 You don’t give a context to your conversion rates
While conducting CRO tests, the mistake which many marketers make is that they don’t provide any context to their conversion rates. This can be very confusing, as it is difficult to understand the true purpose behind this conversion. Just saying that “we had a huge increase in conversions” will not make things clearer to people, unless you provide a context to this conversion. You can measure many things, like purchases, leads, prospects, subscribers, users, etc.
But stating the context of the conversion won’t be enough; you need to focus on which days of the week you did the test run as well. Different days of the week/month can yield different results. For example, the results of the holiday season would be outstanding, as compared to the lean months. Also, you need to conduct your test for the whole week to see the actual results, since different days of the week may have mixed results.
Another factor which impacts conversion rate is the device type. Visitors may be willing to invest more time in filling a form on their desktop, rather than a mobile screen. Which digital marketing channel you’re using is another factor that affects conversion rate. You should never report the “average” conversion rates of different channels. Some channels may have higher conversion rates than others, so you should consider treating them differently as well.
#3 You don’t possess sufficient knowledge of statistics
Statistics is the backbone of CRO. You must have a thorough knowledge of it to run proper tests which can have a significant effect on your results, and hence seriously derail your marketing efforts. For example, if you do not have a fair idea about statistics, you will stop your test too early when you achieve 90% statistical significance, rather than waiting for 98% statistical significance, since you would think that 90% is good enough. But, if you understand statistics, you would know that there is a huge difference between the results about tests which had been conducted for the sample period, and which was stopped too early. Hence, as a marketer, it is very crucial for you to have a thorough knowledge of statistics.
#4 You don’t focus on campaigns or pages that are already doing well
This is the biggest mistake which a marketer can make while conducting CRO tests. Just because a page or campaign is working well doesn’t mean that it does not need improvisation. More often than not, these are the market assets which have even a greater potential to perform better if optimized properly.
Hence, don’t just solely focus on optimizing marketing assets that are poor performers. You may find that if the high performing pages or campaigns are optimized further, they may have the potential to generate more revenue.
#5 You base your CRO tests on tactics instead of research
CRO is a planned and procedure based effort, which needs to be carried out systematically. Hence, this process is of the prime importance while conducting CRO. You should not rely on individual tactics to optimize your marketing, and instead take a systematic approach to CRO.
Here are steps you should follow to conduct a CRO test :
- Do your research
- Form and validate your hypothesis
- Establish your control and design a treatment
- Conduct experiments
- Analyze experimental data
- Conduct follow-up experiments
Your CRO efforts must always begin with research. In fact, it is the most important step of the process in which you must devote maximum time. It is so because the research and analysis you conduct during this step would lead you to the problems, and it is only when you know the problems that you can come up with a hypothesis to overcome them.
#6 You give up after a “failed” test
While conducting various tests in CRO, there may be some tests which may not garner positive results in the first attempt. You should not get disheartened after this, continue with your tests systematically and objectively, putting aside your previous assumptions and keeping expectations that the results would turn this time.
Imbibing these essential practices in your marketing culture would help you adopt a systematic approach to your experiments. And as a marketer, if you want to increase your learning curve and hone your marketing skills, keeping these factors in mind is an absolute must.
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