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Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is about ideas; managing ideas, testing, collecting data about several digital marketing ideas, distilling that data to find patterns that will help businesses make more accurate decisions in organizations.
In this post, I will try to examine my week’s experience as a CRO-in-Training at the CXL Institute beginning with Introduction to CRO.
One of the major jobs of a CRO is collecting and managing Ideas. Ideas could be from the CEO, the Marketing manager, Customer Service staff, Sales Representative or even the Social Media team. His job is to collect these ideas and manage them by gathering data on different metrics around those ideas and take decisions based on the data. So primarily, the Conversion Rate Optimizer is to take decisions on the gathered ideas according to the data collected.
CROs are not fortune tellers, in fact one danger of being a master at the job is that one may become too confident in their experience that they rely on their guts to take decisions without testing and collecting data to back it up.
I will talk about some best practices in different areas of growth marketing.
Filling forms is one of the nightmares of online experience yet forms play key roles in conversions. Be it Checkout Form, Sign Up Form. Quote Request form, Lead Generation Form, Payment form, Subscription Form, they are critical to transactions. The goal of the Growth Marketer is to reduce friction experience by customers trying to fill out some forms.
Some Tips for Web Forms:
- Set Clear expectations: Making clear your intentions and informing the customer. Sometimes this could mean telling them approximately how long it will take to fill the form.
- Give them a reason to give you their information. For instance, “Fill this form and get this E-Book”.
- Ask for only what is absolutely needed. Some information are not necessarily needed to be able to send customers an eBook or send weekly newsletters.
- There could be advantages to asking for more things but always be aware of the Pros and Cons.
E- Commerce Category Pages:
The main goal of sorting items and products into categories is to help the shopper easily find whatever they need. This also helps them with what could be best needed to solve their problem.
For instance, a nursing mother with her first baby may discover other important things she needs for her baby by seeing them categorized under the “NEW BORNS” page of the e-commerce site.
Some tips on how sorting items to make them easily locatable amongst many other items.
- Use sorting criteria meaningful to the shoppers like ‘age’, ‘gender’, ‘size’.
- Use words that denote preferences like “editors’ choice”, “Staff Choice”, “Top Sold”, “Best Selling”, etc.
- Use familiar Badges but strategically, not putting badges on every item.
Tips on product image and placement.
- Use Large images and Space them out: Armature designers mostly feel that the more product they put out the more chances of conversion. As much as this could contribute, cramping five to seven products per line may not help conversion as they will be too small for a strong emotional and visual impact.
- Use familiar and specific product name: Use names your customers would use to search for your products as this would help both internal search and search engine syndication.
- Put your price clearly on products: This helps shoppers self-qualify and sieves out qualifies leads.
I will take a few moments to talk about pricing.
There are already many researches and publications about pricing, perceived value and human psychology but I will just offer my two cents.
Conversion Optimizers may not be the people to decide the price tags on products but we can all help our customers easily and better perceive the value as expressed through price tags. After all, we are here to reduce friction so we could as well apply some principles of price psychology.
Some Tips on Pricing
- Multiple Pricing: Having more than one price options lets the customer know they have a choice while they skip considering if they need the product, to making choice of which one to buy. This may not happen automatically every time but is helps conversion rate.
- Decoy Pricing: Offer two similar prices with one outstripping the other in value. This makes the better choice so good that it’s the obvious choice. This helps quickly move the customer to take advantage of such a good price.
- Price Anchoring: This is mainly applied by high ticket brands. To sell a $2,000 watch they would need to place it next to $10,000 gold plated watch. Making the shopper see the high price first, then alarmed by the price, the $2,000 looks like a relief and a good deal.
- End Prices with 9s: Research shows significant increase in prices when they end in 9s like $19.99 and 29.99 other than when they end in $17.37 and $27.65 even when the price ending in 9 is higher.
- Reveal Your Prices: If your site is B2B and your competition is showing prices on their price page, you are better fitted to show yours as some people don’t have the patience to send project details and wait for your email before they can know what it will cost them.
- Price Calculator: You can use a price calculator on the pricing page so clients can input some of their project details and get a quote in real-time. This might not capture the details of the project but you can fill out the details later. This saves the client the wait time and still give you their details and a chance to follow up.
Website Speed and Optimization
Website loading speed has significant impact on user experience, checkouts, conversions, engagement and even in search rankings.
If you are using Google Analytics, you can check the site speed. To do this, go under “Behavior” then click on “Site Speed”.
You may want to look at the individual page speed instead of average loading speed. This is important as some pages are very key to conversion and some are in the purchase journey like the product details page, pricing page and the checkout page.
Some Key Metrics to look at:
Average Document Interactive Time: This is the time it takes for the page to become usable. This is the time taken to render what’s above the fold. The contents in the fold could still be loading but the customers can interact with the contents they can see.
Average Page Load Time: This is the time it takes the whole page to load. The page load time and redirection are mostly affected by Web Host and DSN Speed. Generally, server response time should be bellow 200ms.
Some factors that may affect your site speed include slow database, slow application logic, routing, frameworks, libraries, low resource CPU. Some of these can be handled by your systems administration professional.
These are a few tools you can use to get insights on your sight.
- Google PageSpeed Insights
The insights I share here are mostly gleaned from my course at CXL Institute, I would highly recommend anyone serious in improving their CRO skills and staying tops in the game should get the courses at www.cxl.com
Chukwuebuka Justus is a post graduate student of Digital Business: A joint program from MIT and Columbia Business School, with interest in Digital Enterprise and Platform Businesses in Africa. He works with Agroyields Africa Ltd, an Agritech company in the production and retail space in Nigeria. Connect with Chukwuebuka on LinkedIn, Twitter or send him a mail via email@example.com