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Most websites and digital products exist to help users complete certain tasks, such as making a purchase, booking a table, or finding a piece of information.
When we talk about improving our digital products, there are different measures of improvement. For example, a change could drive an improvement in brand loyalty, bounce rate, or sentiment.
With Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), we’re specifically measuring how easy it is for users to complete the tasks that they’ve sought to complete (or the ones that we want them to complete). In other words, it is the number of “conversions” as a percentage of overall users. And, most importantly, how we can increase this.
In this article, we’ll discuss our data-driven approach to CRO, including fundamental tools and principles that will help to create a sustained and sustainable increase in conversions.
Conversion Rate Optimisation is the practice of increasing the percentage of users who complete a desired task.
For example, on a particular website, a business wants users to sign up to its mailing list by clicking on a sign-up button. The business measures the number of users visiting the site and the number of users who sign up to the mailing list.
CRO, in this case, might include making incremental changes to the user experience – such as changing the position of the sign-up button, reducing the visual clutter around the button, or trialling different wording for the button text – then measuring the number of users who signed up as a percentage of the total visitors to the page, in an attempt to find the optimal layout of the page.
While gathering data on conversions after making changes is essential to the process, using data to inform the actual changes you make is the key to successful CRO.
There are many different tools that help to capture specific types of data about a digital experience, which, in turn, can help with CRO.
These tools can be simple and quantitative, such as analytics tools, A/B testing, heat maps, and funnel tools. You could also employ more qualitative tools, such as mouse tracking or screen recording, to gain a deeper insight into the behaviour of your users rather than just an outcome/metric.
Additionally, you could use website feedback or direct user responses (obtained during user research) as valuable data points to inform future optimisation efforts.
There are many tools for many different aspects of CRO, however, the tools themselves are just that – instruments to assist with the process of measuring whatever it is you’re trying to measure. It’s important to remember that simply using a tool does not equal “doing CRO”. In fact, even more important than what you do is how you do it.
At EyeQuant, we believe that optimisation and experimentation are largely synonymous, and we firmly believe that creating a culture of experimentation is key to achieving continuous improvement and optimisation.
What does that really mean? Well, it requires a shift in thinking, at an organisational level, from thinking about products and launches to thinking about data and learning from what you’ve created.
Too often, organisations will spend significant resources designing and developing a new website, but once it’s launched, that’s seen to be the end of the project. Instead, the launch of any product should really be seen as the beginning of the optimisation process, or a state of readiness for experimentation.
We see many businesses that want to develop a culture of experimentation – in principle – but there is a misalignment at a functional level that prevents it from truly achieving this. To create a culture of experimentation, one could argue that you must first create a culture of sound data management.
For example, there should be documented processes for tracking every data point, and collecting every memory so that the results of experiments are tracked and used to inform future development work.
The business should have systems and processes in place to test and iterate. While doing so, it should develop within the organisation a deeper knowledge and understanding of clean tests, statistical significance, and clean versus biased results. Once all of this data is available, it can be harnessed to conduct experiments at even the most granular level.
Beyond data, there is also a change in attitude that needs to occur (if it hasn’t already). There needs to be an openness to trying new things, even if they do not achieve the desired result. A culture of experimentation is one where it’s safe to try anything as long as you learn from the things that don’t work as well as expected.”
By using a combination of neuroscience and AI to assess visual data within a digital design, we can measure the effectiveness of a design based on various visual factors, including:
Adjusting a design to improve any, or several of these metrics is a great starting point for increasing conversions.
As always, it’s important to remember that these are tools that can be used to help with specific things, depending on what it is you are trying to measure or achieve.
At EyeQuant, we are experimenting with variations of our website design, different messaging, and even the timing of our communications with our users. Another key tip is that conversion isn’t only about the website – it is affected by every step in the user journey, including how and when you interact with your customers.
Seeing as virtually everything is a function of conversion, Conversion Rate Optimisation really needs to encompass the entire customer experience, not just the digital experience.
A great example of this is online retailer, AO’s cross-functional approach to its user experience. Rather than the traditional model of a business being separated by internal “functions”, AO places the user at the centre of the experience, and structures its offering around that.
Whether a user is searching, buying, enquiring, or returning, the information they need is quickly at hand, with multiple points of contact readily available to make completing their task – or completing a conversion – as easy as possible.
For a free trial of the EyeQuant platform, visit: https://www.eyequant.com/free-trial-monthly-plan/
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