All businesses want a better conversion strategy. Bu, it’s such a big topic that it can be hard to navigate and easy to spend a lot of time and money and not get the desired results.
CRO done well can yield incredible results for businesses. Sales go up, queries go down and (arguably) most importantly, customer experience becomes simple, slick and straightforward.
All of us know just how short attention our spans are these days – and just how much more demanding we all are when it comes to our online experience. In a world where information comes at us from all angles – finding what we want and being able to make a purchase quickly and easily matters now more than ever.
So, what are you to do? How can you navigate through and avoid some of the main pitfalls, so you can create a commercially successful CRO strategy that also benefits your customers?
Let’s shed some light on what some of the pitfalls could be:
We’ll start here because, let’s face it, it’s the most important thing for a business.
The traditional agency model of billing clients by the hour for a set number of hours per month with any extra hours then billed on top just isn’t designed for CRO.
A key factor in determining whether a CRO strategy works is if it has momentum. Momentum that falls flat on its face if more budget suddenly needs to be pulled out of thin air because hours have run out and your test throughput grinds to a halt until more cash is found.
For small businesses – the money simply may not be there. For medium and larger businesses, the process of getting that money can be arduous and drawn-out. In this situation both the business and the agency lose – because the results that were expected can’t be delivered when momentum vanishes.
Next up, let’s cover SPEED
Speed shouldn’t refer to getting things done in the quickest time possible. Instead it should refer to getting things done at the right time. It’s an incredibly important distinction to make as delivering too quickly means the quality won’t be there but aiming for perfection could take forever.
Let’s face it – no-one is sat around wishing they had less hours in the day. So, a CRO strategy needs to be achievable within the day-to-day running of a business. It also needs to be realistic. To promise improved results overnight is dangerous and disingenuous and only leads to disappointment.
Leading on from speed, next potential pitfall is QUALITY.
Service delivery is what takes a strategy from good to great. From the build and documentation of the processes to the responsiveness of the CRO agency – the way the programme is run needs to be exceptional to get exceptional results.
It also needs to involve the right people with the right skills at the right time. This one may sound obvious but, in a lot of instances, when the focus is on quick delivery those who have the skills may not have the time to put these to proper use to get the best results.
Again, this is where getting rid of the idea of having a certain number of hours makes a huge difference. Because quality = time, and great service delivery can’t be rushed.
Next, we’ll look at PROCESS.
All too often the reason CRO falls down is because process isn’t considered thoroughly enough, or it becomes too complicated. Process is paramount to success because it reduces the risk of nasty surprises. Surprises which can derail that all important momentum.
Processes also need to be manageable and be able to fit into a businesses operating model. There is absolutely no point in creating something that makes teams less efficient and doesn’t work well with the rest of the business. Cohesion is key here – it’s about making changes that can stand the test of time.
And, last but by no means least – we have RESULTS.
This is where a lot of CRO programmes can go off-track. If targets haven’t been properly defined and a reporting process not agreed upon upfront it can undo a lot of hard work by making results difficult to understand.
Having the time to create targets that have full business buy-in at the beginning of the project allows everyone to focus on the end result, without time and effort being wasted going down various rabbit holes.
It is also essential to emphasise the “testing” element of CRO – if your agency had all of the answers, they wouldn’t be in the business of testing. We are resolute in our belief that the only way to create a successful, long-term CRO strategy is to test, test and test again. This way we build out our understanding of the human beings (yes, that’s what they are!) that interact with your websites every day. And we as humans don’t work in logic – we don’t make the decisions which are obvious or would get us the most gain. Because of this, every element of a CRO strategy needs to be tested to make sure it works in real life.
You could have the slickest conversion journey on your site but if users don’t interact with it the way you assumed they would it won’t do a bit of difference to your conversion rates.
Putting our principles into practise
For those of you who are starting to look into CRO we want to help you navigate these often-muddy waters. We believe that no-one benefits from money being poured down the drain to deliver results that won’t stand the test of time. This isn’t the time or place for quick fixes.
And for those who may have already tried but didn’t get the results they were after, we want to tell you that there is a different way. A way that delivers the results you want – but that does it on your terms, in your time and through your point of view.