So, you have decided to invest in traffic acquisition for your website and think to yourself: ‘More traffic = more money’.
Yes, you are technically correct to a certain extent, as with additional traffic the volume of conversions driven by your digital activity will almost certainly increase.
But now that you are driving more traffic, within time, you also start to see your return on investment (ROI) declining…
That is because your acquisition costs are increasing over time. You wouldn’t expect your competitors to not catch up now would you? And you will inevitably reach the point of diminishing returns (the cost to acquire a sale is equivalent to the value that customer brings).
Thankfully, CRO can help you bring your digital strategy back to growth.
Let’s define CRO
CRO stands for ‘conversion rate optimisation’, and it is a continuous research and development cycle that aims to improve user experience reinforcing an expected user behaviour (sales/leads/downloads).
But we did promise you five ways CRO helps to improve the utilisation of their media investment, so here they are.
1. Improving ROI (most likely everyone’s favourite)
Having a team researching how and when your visitors are converting, while testing how to encourage and facilitate that behaviour, will result in an increase in that behaviour (for example conversion rate (CvR) and revenue per sale).
Below you can find a table showcasing a reasonably successful CRO program:
P.S In case we didn’t mention it yet, the increase in CvR and revenue per sale are in perpetuity…
2. Landing page testing
Let us imagine for a second that you have a website with dedicated pages for each of your products. Although you are sending a lot of traffic to the ‘pet rocks’ page, people are not buying it, but are buying other products such as ‘Tamagotchis’ or ‘hula hoops’.
Without CRO you will most likely decide to stop biddable investment for ‘pet rocks’, without capitalising on all the traffic that it is bringing to your site.
With CRO, you can take a bolder approach and completely restructure your page to include:
- A new hero image of a happy pet rock with all its pals on a walk
- A smashing new video of a happy owner walking their pet rock
- A new section with tips and tricks on how to train your pet rock
- A section with name ideas for your pet rock with options such as ‘Rocky Balboa’ or ‘Dwayne Johnson’
- A section with other ‘popular products’ such as ‘Tamagotchis’ and ‘hula hoops’
Preposterous, you might be thinking, however the first goal is to get your users attention (users leaving your page = money lost), allowing them a fun and enjoyable experience while reviewing the product, facilitating navigation to other product pages that might be more profitable.
3. A/B Testing
While full landing page testing allows for a rapid and complete overhaul of a page, it does have a few drawbacks:
- Lack of clarity on what is driving the results
- Minimal transferable insights to other pages
- Increased development times
To counteract the full landing page testing drawbacks, it’s also possible to utilise A/B testing to individually measure the impact of any new addition or alteration to a page, or across multiple pages (such as product pages).
Returning to our ‘pet rock’ example, the changes would be tested individually to measure their impact:
- Existent hero image vs new hero image (happy pet rock)
- Current page (no video) vs with video
- Current page vs current page (with an additional section with tips and tricks)
- Current page vs current page (with a ‘popular products’ section)
The main advantage of this approach is that after each of these elements is individually tested, you can prove that having this new element is or is not beneficial. If a new element is beneficial (such as a ‘popular products’ section or a video review), that is a transferable insight that can be re-tested and validated across other pages.
This type of tactic is recommended, as it allows for the best quality in terms of insights and learnings, however it does require a longer period needed for testing.
Let’s imagine that you finish your working day, and are now at home ready to relax. After a full day of working in front of a screen, you turn on your family Netflix account hoping to continue to binge watch the next episode of The Office. However, in the ‘watch next’ section the recommendations are:
- Dora the Explorer
- The Notebook
- Breaking Bad
The inconvenience of having to navigate to get what you want (or not having it personalised to you) is not a pleasant experience, is it?
If you have no personalisation applied to your website and traffic, this is the first impression you are leaving to all your visitors, and unless you are a market leader multi million dollar business, you won’t have a second chance to make a first good impression.
As you are in the business of acquiring traffic to your site, you will most likely have a significant number of different channels or mediums where you are doing it, such as:
- Organic search
- Paid search
- Paid social
- and the list will probably go on…
You are also most likely to sell your products across a significant number of GEOs (Geomarketing), either within the country or internationally.
That’s a lot of different traffic sources and target audiences to address, but you only have one website? How can you personalise your visitors’ experience as much as possible?
With CRO in the mix you can:
- Tailor your copy based on your customer GEO
- Tailor the website images based on your customer’s previous journey, for example matching the creatives from paid social
- Tailor the buttons on your website with the same CTA from Paid Search
- Redirecting traffic for the correct country page
- To populate the ‘popular products’ section based on a similar audience
These are just some examples, but this means that you can account and personalise the user journey for the most relevant audiences, maximising the revenue potential for these key users.
5. It gets you more customers (a close second favourite reason to use CRO)
Now as with CRO you are continuously optimising and improving your website, your conversion rate will continue to improve over time, leading to an additional number of clients for your business.
This means that with a similar retention rate, the number of clients your business has will continue to increase, at the same rate as your conversion rate does.
But that’s where it enters the least known, or at least the less advertised area of CRO, user research. In the medium to long term, to improve user experience significantly, CRO practitioners must know your users, who they are and what they want and need.
To do this, a significant amount of research needs to be carried out, and within time, this will unlock a deeper and more meaningful view on your business and clients. This allows us to move away from a one dimensional view on optimisation towards a full journey optimisation, unlocking more meaningful tests with potential to impact cross and up-sell, foster clients loyalty, and ultimately improve customer retention.
What does this mean for you?
If you can relate with any of the below, then CRO is too good of an opportunity for you and your website to pass on:
- I want to improve the efficiency of my media investment
- I want to improve the user experience on my site
- I want to improve the ROI of my website
- I want to improve the performance of specific pages