2 minute read
It’s pretty amazing that there are still so many myths and misconceptions about Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
Perhaps it’s because the business world is a vast ocean with constantly changing conditions. Some days it’s clear and calm, while other days it’s fiercely windy and choppy. Sometimes a sailor has to change course to beat the weather.
What modern mariners and CRO experts have in common is they always use everything that’s available to take advantage of the current conditions. Whether this means having the best tools possible, or using the best techniques. The whole point is to get from point A to point B as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible.
However, CRO experts are guided by a code of ethics and practices, but not bound by them.
As CRO continually evolves, so do the methods. Nothing is certain. Which brings me to my first point:
There’s a perfect recipe
If there are “perfect” colors, don’t you think every website would look exactly the same? Of course there’s plenty of design merit when it comes to contrasting colors, but it’s often the last of your worries.
The reality is that there’s likely a broken section in your sales funnel. Customers are interested, but it’s usually not pretty colors that draw them in – it’s your product. That’s why strategies are independently designed to meet company needs.
Simply, sometimes websites just look really bad, and endless A/B testing won’t fix the problem.
Copying always works
Starting a Google search for CRO is a great way to come across some of the best clickbait the internet has to offer. Sony changed one element and increased sales by 20 percent! Visa’s conversion rate went up 300 billion percent using this one simple trick!
Ok the last stat is made up…
But my point is that it’s tempting to incorporate case studies into your own site. But the reality is that case studies are meant to highlight the value of CRO, not necessarily the process. It may have taken a long time to get to those kinds of results, and that aspect isn’t often made immediately clear. CRO is not a copy and paste process.
CRO is a one-time quick fix
Testing, theorizing, and hypothesizing are at the core of CRO. Our mission is not just to run a few tests and quit. It takes time, patience, and rigorous analysis to do the job properly. Iterations are constantly evolving, and always changing with the tides.
CRO is a synonym for A/B testing
Don’t get me wrong. A/B testing is a valuable tool, but it’s only one of many. A/B testing is valuable in that it can give clear results for singular variables. But sometimes it just takes too long to complete tests, which is when multivariate and multi-channel testing comes into play.
Multivariate testing allows entire pages to be re-organized and tested. And multi-channel testing tests multiple pages in groups to fix leaky sales funnels.
Sometimes it’s not really a matter of CTA button colors, copy, or location, but rather a conjunctive issue. There may be a whole cacophony of elements on your site that impede visitor conversions.
Tests always yield positive results
The most pervasive myth about CRO is that all tests provide positive results. But just because testing new variables doesn’t increase conversions, it doesn’t mean the test wasn’t valuable.
When you’re provided with negative or neutral results, it’s time to head back to the drawing board.
After a tester at Optimizely found a neutral result that was hypothesized to get better conversion rates, he sat down and realized that some of the data was skewed. By implementing a more precise test activation method, the results found the new variation actually increased conversion by 5 percent.
It’s always worth rechecking your methods. Sometimes the test hypothesis is absolutely spot on, but the test didn’t show the results you were hoping for.
- CRO is a constantly evolving practice. Everything is in perpetual motion.
- Don’t ever get discouraged by seemingly insignificant results – learning is valuable.
- Don’t copy and paste testing methods. It may not be plagiarism, but it probably won’t provide the results you were looking for either.
Thanks for reading!