8 Minute Read
Conversion rate optimization isn’t just meant for websites with millions of visitors a month. Anyone with a business site, or low traffic site, can apply the scientific mind-frame behind CRO.
True optimization begins with taking scientific testing to heart. No element or idea is too prestigious to avoid testing.
one of the biggest myths in CRO is that you can apply methods from any amazing case study to your site, and you’ll get amazing results
And since there aren’t best practices that can be applied across the board, testing and science are at the core of CRO. In fact, one of the biggest myths in CRO is that you can apply methods from any amazing case study to your site, and you’ll get amazing results. But the reality is that there are often case studies that prove the exact opposite. Psst. That’s why we test everything.
Whatever your CRO budget may be, you can find valuable data that’ll help you increase the likelihood of upping conversions.
How much traffic do you need for A/B testing?
In our business, statistical significance is everything. In order to produce actionable results from A/B tests (or split tests), you need to be able to have results that are statistically significant.
On a low traffic site, finding statistically significant results with a 95% confidence level could take months.
Of course you can reduce your confidence level, but that leaves you more open to random instances of data, and the possibility that your positive results aren’t reliable.
Everything your website has should serve a purpose
Use the Optimizely sample size calculator to determine how much traffic you need in order to run solid A/B tests.
If your site meets that threshold, start testing. In the mean-time, let’s move on to other pressing matters, whether or not you’re ready for A/B testing.
How to get into in the testing mind-frame
There’s a slew of psychological and practical reasons that encourage conversions. Nothing on a website should come from guesswork or because, “hey… looks cool.” Everything your website contains should serve a purpose.
We encourage everyone to have a scientific approach to web design. But we understand your conversion rate optimization strategy will be wholly dependent on your marketing budget.
Fortunately it doesn’t take much to get started!
Some CRO tools are expensive, others are fairly cheap. Here’s a great article to help you discover the types of conversion rate optimization tools that are out there.
If you don’t have anything that helps you track your visitors, you should begin with adding Google Analytics. GA is the most popular analytics tool on the web; more than 50% of the world’s websites use Google Analytics. And it’s free!
You can use GA to set up conversion funnels that will help you locate where your visitors are dropping off.
Other great user tracking tools are heat/click maps from Crazyegg.com and Inseplet.com. Although not free, they are pretty cheap and a great way to track where your visitors are focusing (or not focusing).
How to increase website speed
Website speed is crucial in a world where people have limited time, limited patience, and an over-abundance of distractions. Nobody wants to wait forever for a page to load, and are likely to leave if it takes too long.
For instance, site speed has a huge impact on ecommerce. Amazon could lose 1.6 billion in sales because of a one second delay in loading speed. And 4 out of 10 Americans give up accessing a mobile shopping site that won’t load in just three seconds.
By focusing on landing page speed, Mozilla generated an extra 60 million downloads by shaving 2.2 seconds off their site load time.
Here are a few speed tools you can use:
If your load speed is extremely slow, run through this great checklist from CrazyEgg to quicken the pace.
What can you improve on your website without testing?
While we never recommend making long lasting business decisions based from a subjective view, there are fairly common sense steps you can take before heading into usability testing and qualitative feedback.
Questions to ask in order to build a better website:
- Does your website have a clear value proposition?
- Will your users immediately know what you offer? As the old adage goes, “a confused mind always says no.”
- Is it easy for your customer to complete the sales funnel? Are your forms short and simple? Is the extra complexity worth losing a sale?
- Are you leveraging social proof? Testimonials, case studies, logos, reviews, social media popularity, and media mentions all hold potential in increasing conversions.
- Is it easy to locate company contact information?
- Is there distracting/arbitrary text and images. Every element on a web page should serve a fundamental purpose. Cut the rest.
- Have you created buyer personas? Before testing, find out if there’s a specific type of person that needs or wants your product. Here’s a great guide to creating a buyer persona.
- Do you use language that will be familiar to your target audience? Tone and diction will create a sense of comfort, and trust amongst your users.
- Have you run a QA on different platforms such as desktop, mobile, and tablet?
- Do your visitors get what they expect when they land on your page? Create a frictionless path between acquisition channels and your call-to-action.
- How are you measuring success? Do your metrics impact the bottom line?
And don’t forget to always ask yourself: why am I making these changes?
How to test your website for qualitative data
While the most positive (and straightforward) CRO results come from quantitative testing, qualitative tests are also valuable.
Even though qualitative tests are historically difficult to analyze, you can still learn a lot from your customers (and people in general).
4 out of 10 Americans give up accessing a mobile shopping site that won’t load in just three seconds
Most of us tend to turn to our friends and family when it comes to initial feedback.
But more importantly, asking random people for usability testing will likely get you more critical results. Some people call it the hallway test. It’s a great way to get instant feedback.
Here’s a great set of usability test checklists from Usertesting.com for any level of feedback on UX.
However, you can also get plenty of feedback from brief onsite surveys as well. Qualaroo offers a cheap package that can get you started.
For every problem, there’s a way to test it. Even if you don’t have the massive traffic that generates mind-blowing case studies, you can still get into the CRO mind-frame. Use the tools and processes that we covered in this checklist, and you’ll have better chances of increasing your conversions.
A large part of building a great website involves a learning curve, and understanding to differentiate opinions and experience from fact. While I would never underestimate how much creativity can drive a business, I will say the only way to judge its efficacy is through conversion rate optimization.
Thanks for reading!