Conversion optimisation (CRO)

From 'Looking but not buying' to a conversion canon

Imagine your webshop is a physical shop: customers walk in, look around, but leave the shop without buying something. While you do know that these people come in by searching on relevant search terms. Frustrating, right? That's exactly what happens online when your conversion rate isn't optimal. With conversion optimisation, we transform your digital 'shop' so that more visitors actually become customers. More turnover or more leads within a website or webshop that really works.

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Conversion optimisation

Conversion optimisation is all about optimising the user experience so that the user 'converts' and relatively more conversion is achieved. But what then is conversion?

  • For webshops: a purchase, a higher order value or perhaps even repeat purchases
  • For lead generators (websites with 'leads' as their main goal): a lead, quote request, completed contact form
  • For content platforms: clicks on affiliate links

Conversions differ within types of websites and by industry, but within websites we also talk about different types of conversions. Think about:

  • Purchase or request for quotation
  • Downloads of manuals
  • Newsletter subscriptions

The ultimate goal of a conversion optimisation journey is the 'hard' conversion: the purchase or quote request. But there are many different steps that ultimately lead to this.

Why CRO in combination with SEO?

SEO is all about increasing organic traffic to your website. The focus here is on relevant traffic: users making searches that are close to a product or service. The moment these users don't convert or quickly leave your website, it's a waste. There are three reasons why the combination of CRO & SEO makes sense:

  • The ultimate goal of a website is central to all online marketing channels, including SEO. After all, you have no use for users from organic traffic who do not convert
  • The engagement of organic users on your website also ultimately affects your rankings in Google. After all, the search engine knows when someone comes back immediately after clicking on a search result (so-called 'dwell time')
  • SEO specialists are working on layout and content of different page types, performing data analysis and thus forming an excellent profile to also look at the conversion of your website

What does a conversion optimisation journey look like

A conversion optimisation journey is an intensive one in which we uncover the pain points towards conversion, come up with areas for improvement and eventually implement them or A/B test to find out whether the hypotheses are correct. It looks like this:

Phase 1 Analysis

There is one main question at the heart of the analysis phase: how do users behave on your website? Through website analysis based on best practices, data and funnel analysis (Google Analytics) and behavioural analysis (Hotjar/Clarity), we find out the main obstacles within all page types. This way, we find out in which parts of the website the most gains can be made and where we should therefore start first. The analysis also forms important input in determining what we need to improve within the website: which test ideas do we turn into hypotheses.

Phase 2 Hypotheses (the ideas phase)

In the analysis phase, we found out what the biggest bottlenecks are within the website. Within the ideas phase, we come up with points of improvement at the page type level. The aim of these ideas is obviously to improve conversion. In this, we think as broadly and creatively as possible and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the right target group. The background of the ideas also varies considerably; we do not limit ourselves to adjusting text. Think, for example:

  • Layout changes > think about including an important item in the menu or making a menu sticky on mobile
  • Applying persuasion principles > think about adding reviews to products (as social proof)
  • Clear communication > consider adding 'Response within 24 hours' to a contact form

Many improvements are possible for any type of website. We take inspiration from previous successes, but also from other websites, of course. Once there is a sizeable list of improvements, we decide which improvement point to start with based on Impact / Confidence / Effort scores.

In practice, the list of ideas also often comes about by brainstorming together with the client and web builder. Product or service knowledge and technical knowledge of the platform are a rock-solid addition after all.

It is not always necessary to A/B test improvement ideas. Sometimes the ideas really are no-brainers and it is better to implement them immediately.

Phase 3 Testing

In a conversion optimisation journey, we test hypotheses to verify that they are true. In essence, this means that part of the visitors do get to see the improvement point and part of the visitors do not get to see the improvement point. In other words, a test of the variant vs control situation. This can be done in a number of different ways, but the two most obvious ones are:

  • A/B testing > we test the 'old situation' vs the 'new situation', often on a 50/50 basis
  • Multivariate > we test the 'old situation' vs a number of 'new situations' simultaneously, so that we know which situation works best

The moment a test has run and the hypothesis is accepted, the improvement point can be implemented (after all, we know it really works!). With high traffic, this result can be obtained quite smoothly and with relatively low traffic, the test result takes a bit longer.

We use the tool Convert for testing.

We also really see conversion optimisation as a collaboration: we communicate well with developers who need to make technical changes, but also just as easily come up with ideas together with clients' product (or service) experts.

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