ClickThrough's Frontend Developer, Joe Parkes, talks us through some of the top myths surrounding Conversion Rate Optimisation - from changing the colour of a button to improving user journey.
The Top 5 Myths About CRO
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a relatively new process for optimising your site or landing page experience based on user behaviour, and there’s a lot that businesses can learn from CRO experimentation. While CRO can help to improve the probability of users taking desired actions (conversions), there are a number of myths about how it works and the outcomes it can deliver. Here’s some clarification on what it can and can’t do.
Myth 1 – CRO is a silver bullet
Most businesses believe that as soon as they begin CRO, sales will increase, or that because their first test achieves a 30% uplift in conversions, every test will do the same. But tests can range from the good to the not-so-good, meaning that CRO is not the silver bullet people sometimes assume it to be.
What CRO does do is provide you with information. CRO is not a sales tool – it’s a learning tool. Once you learn about the behaviour of your customers via experimentation, you can consistently deliver better online experiences that increase conversions, sign-ups and/or sales.
CRO can help you to create micro uplifts that deliver a bigger result. It’s a continuous process that works best when you integrate it with your other marketing activity. You might see significant uplifts, but don’t expect them from just one test.
Myth 2 – Changing the colour of a button will increase sales 100%
Seeing great results from changing the colour of a button is not impossible, but it is a niche outcome that happens extremely rarely. They are CRO unicorns, and reports of their success are greatly exaggerated – and not always achievable!
Interestingly, it’s in the areas you don’t expect that the highest conversions are driven. For example, two small features of eCommerce sites – the ‘filter’ and ‘sort’ functions – are a major factor in conversions. Working on these features could improve your site much more than just the changing of a button colour.
Myth 3 – CRO is simple, anyone can do it
Creating and running tests isn’t difficult – but the process and rhythm of testing is. Experimentation isn’t really about the individual experiments, but the systems, tools, time and effort it takes to implement and assess them. It takes years of experience to get the right results repeatedly, and not every site will be the same.
The benefit of working with a CRO specialist is that they fully understand the process of experimentation, including where and what to test. If you don’t have specialists on hand, CRO testing may become a side project and performance will suffer as a result. It may be simple to run a CRO test, but are you really ‘doing’ CRO?
Myth 4 – “We tried CRO for a few weeks. It doesn’t work.”
Often, companies will throw in the towel if results don’t appear immediately. Tony Grant, CRO Specialist at Informa Marketing, offered a hypothetical client quote that all too many optimisers are likely familiar with:
“I tested my CTA colour once and saw absolutely no increase in sales. A/B testing isn’t working for us.”
This is because CRO results will not show immediately. Every site has different users and it takes time to gather information. This is the real CRO gem. Information about users can help to inform decision-making, and slowly improve your site and user journey.
Myth 5 – CRO is only for increasing sales
While many businesses look to CRO to increase their sales or leads, it has many other uses – from finding operational efficiencies to identifying friction points. In fact, CRO can be used to discover more about potential customers or to determine which areas of your site perform best (and the reasons why).
For example, some of our clients want to increase sales, but others want to improve user journey to reduce the amount of people requiring customer service. So, there are many ways to use CRO to make your business as effective as it can be.
Wondering how specialist CRO services might help to increase your sales and improve your user journey? Get in touch with our experts to find out more.