Carrying out CRO tests is a huge part of the conversion rate optimisation process. Why? Because they tell you exactly what is and isn’t working on your site, giving you the essential knowledge to make changes that will boost your conversion rate. Learn more about CRO tests in this helpful intro, featuring insights from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast episode ‘How to get CRO testing right’.
What is a CRO test?
A CRO test is a way to identify the most logical course of action to increase your conversion rate. It’s often called A/B testing or split testing, and it involves comparing 2 (or more) separate versions of the same webpage in order to see which one is most effective in increasing your conversion rate.
Carrying out CRO tests is an integral part of any CRO professional’s role because it’s what guides their work and provides evidence of their successes and failures.
Why do we use CRO tests?
CRO tests tell us what works and what doesn’t work in the CRO process. We conduct tests to see if certain changes to our site will have a positive or negative impact; if it will boost the conversion rate or not.
Making changes to your site without carrying out CRO tests would be like a doctor diagnosing a patient after just a quick look up and down: it’s not to be trusted.
Conversion rate optimisation is only successful if the changes you make to your site are backed by hard data and proven to have a positive impact through CRO testing. Otherwise you might end up making a change to your site based on a random opinion which ends up tanking your revenue.
We conduct tests to ensure that your revenue is always protected during the CRO process.
How do you conduct an accurate CRO test?
The first thing you need to do to conduct an accurate CRO test is research, research, research. Gather data to find out:
- Are your users mainly accessing your site from desktop, mobile or tablet?
- Which pages are they landing on?
- Which pages are they exiting from?
- Are there any patterns in revenue drop? Is seasonality a factor, for example?
It’s essential to have a wealth of accurate data about your site before making any changes so you can prioritise fixes and propose changes to your site that will likely be effective. This will also ensure that any CRO tests you carry out will be purposeful and backed by data.
Once you’ve collected this information, you need to scope for opportunities and hypothesise the outcome. There’s no point in saying “I want to change x because it looks ugly”. Just because you think it’s ugly, it doesn’t mean your ideal customer does.
Use the data you’ve gathered to get into the mindset of that ideal customer. Could changing the size of your call to action improve the user experience? Could adding more imagery reduce exit rates? Could adding testimonials build trust?
Document each and every proposed change (hypothesis) to refer back to, and ensure you test one change at a time to ensure you can accurately report on the results.
And remember: it’s not about what you think looks great or works well, it’s about what your potential customers think.
Which CRO tools are best for carrying out tests?
Nowadays, CRO testing is made a lot easier and more accessible by the wealth of (often free) CRO tools on offer. Our in-house CRO & UX Specialist Lilliana Miller recommends the following CRO testing tools to help you enhance your conversion rate optimisation journey.
Google Optimize is a helpful free tool that allows you to test new elements on your site, gathering data from Google Analytics to assess whether or not that change is effective. It’s a basic but essential split-testing tool, and it’s a great place to start out. However, as it’s free, it does have some limitations.
Heap Analytics is a data gathering tool that captures a range of qualitative data like clicks, form submissions, transactions and more. It helps to identify top converting behaviours, marketing channels and journey paths, allowing you to analyse exactly what leads to conversions on your site. The Heap Analytics dashboard is also very user-friendly, so it’s a great place to get started.
Optimizely is Lilliana’s recommendation for the best split-testing tool because it’s really easy to set up and personalise. Optimizely prioritises website speed, meaning that unlike some other CRO tools, it doesn’t slow your site down. Optimizely allows you to run tests without any web developer knowledge, helping you find out exactly which changes have the best impact on your site.
This blog post features insights from “How to get CRO testing right”, an episode from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast series featuring CRO specialist Lilliana Miller. You can watch the full episode here.
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