The CRO process of getting more conversions and a higher return on your website

A blog by Charlotte Pauwels, CRO specialist at at Youwe

Online you can find a dozen articles about easy and immediate Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tips to increase the conversion rate of your website. Of course, those seem helpful and they may even provide the desired effect for you. However, the true value of CRO does not lie in quick wins and best practices. CRO is a process.

Conversion Rate Optimization is about truly understanding your users. How do they behave? What do they need? What do they want? Discover what it is that drives your users and how you can serve them best. How you do that? With this process of CRO. 

CRO is a process

It is important to see Conversion Rate Optimization as a process in which we aim to achieve a higher return on the website. Examples of a higher return are more leads, more downloads or, for example, more (repeated) sales. During the process, we learn from what we do. Each effort tells us more about the user, which enables us to alter assumptions.

Because we don’t support quick fixes but think in long term solutions the CRO specialists of Youwe designed an agile approach that helps you get the most out of your CRO efforts. It consists of three steps that need to be taken. And this is what we call the CRO process. The three steps are: 

Step 1: Where is the problem? 

Before you want to start with improving your return. We take a step back and start the CRO process by identifying where the problem is on your website. First and foremost, we need to gather as much as possible information that is already available about the target group of the website. Often a lot of research is already performed to get more insight into the customer, client or lead. Think about old marketing plans, brand stories, business plans, market research, and writing customer journeys. We dive into all the information that can be found. This will be our background knowledge. 

Apart from getting to know the user, it is important to know your business and its KPI’s. What are the mission and vision? What is the key product/service and what are more complementary products/services? Also, think about the history of your business, where does it come from. We will take this into account while optimizing. Additionally, and most importantly, it should be clear what the business tries to achieve. What are the goals and what KPI’s are attached to those goals? When the goals are not yet specified, go specify them.

After the goals and target groups are clear it is time to start a thorough data analysis of your website. The objective of this analysis is identifying the bottlenecks in the funnel from awareness to conversion. How do users get in touch with the website? What pages do they see? How do users behave on those pages? What are the paths through the website? And on what pages do users leave? This data analysis provides good insight into the problem areas of the website and ensures that we work effectively and efficiently. 

Step 2: What is the problem? 

After the question “Where is the problem?” is answered we move on to step 2: “What is the problem?”. There are several techniques we can apply to discover user problems. Hotjar is a tool we use often to create heatmaps which show us on what elements users click within the website, how they hover the mouse over the page onto what extent they scroll. Those heatmaps provide information about the behavior of users. Are the clicks on elements we want users to click on? Is the page depth appropriate? Do users move the mouse over the most important parts? Based on that information problems can be determined. Other techniques are visitor recordings, which show us real visits to the website, or interviews, polls, surveys and user tests. Furthermore, customer service and chat services have proven to be valuable sources to identify the problem. 

Step 3: How can we solve it? 

Only after we know where the problem is and what the problem is, we start working on the solution. All ideas for optimization are piled into a large sheet and then prioritized. The optimizations which are marked as high priority are broken down to changes for on the development backlog and on the test backlog. We test ideas if we want to investigate the impact. Some changes do not require testing and will for sure change the website for the better. All items on the test backlog are then prioritized again, based on the expected impact on KPI’s, implementation priority and technical complexity. Once a test is finished, we determine whether we discard it, repeat the test based on new insights or place the optimization on the development backlog. After that, we go on to the next item on the test backlog or decide to go back to step 2 or even step 1. That completes the cycle. Hence, to get more conversions and a higher return on the website, it is important to view conversion rate optimization is a process. A process in which you get to know the user better and better with every effort. 

Do you need help to improve your CRO? Youwe is here to help! Our experts can help you to improve not only your CRO but also your complete online strategy. Contact us

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