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What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

4 min read

Back to Blog

4 min read

What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Author: Phil Birss
Posted in Websites 2 weeks ago

What is Conversion Optimisation?

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) or Conversion Optimisation is a simple and highly effective system for increasing the number of visitors on your website that complete a desired action, such as making an enquiry, filling in a form or making a purchase.

CRO is achieved by completing a series of A/B split tests on your website to discover which elements affect the conversion rate in a positive way. In simple terms, you set up two landing pages, each with a different element from the other and show half your visitors original page and the other half the ‘variation’ page.

Using CRO tools such as Optimizely, you can split your web visitors into two halves, with the first 50% seeing the original page layout and the other 50% seeing the variation layout. The elements that you can test are almost endless. Buttons, headlines, page content, imagery, fonts are just some of the elements that can be trialled in your quest for the best possible conversion rate.

For website with higher volumes of traffic (500k visitors per year+) you can step up to multivariate testing (A/B/n), which involves splitting up your traffic in to 3 or more groups to test multiple variations of the same page.

A CRO campaign should be viewed as an ongoing process of refinement and testing, as opposed to fixed length campaign. Even after a significant uplift has been achieved you should continue to refine your trials to test smaller, micro tweaks. You never know what changes (large and small) may further affect your conversion rate in a positive way.

How to generate more leads from your website – Phil Birss (GTM#11)

Why is conversion optimisation important?

Econsultancy’s 2017 conversion optimisation study show that A/B testing has remained the most used method for improving website conversion rates, with over two-thirds of companies confirming that they have an ongoing campaign in place.

According to the study, 59% of respondents stated that CRO is crucial to their overall digital marketing strategy. While 98% believe that CRO’s makes some kind of positive impact on the success of their wider digital marketing strategy.

Once you have refined your digital campaigns for maximum effectiveness the natural progression is to loop back to your website and look increase the number of conversions.

Whether you measure conversions as contact form completions, email signups, app downloads, ecommerce purchase or wider engagement metrics, increasing the number of conversions for the same amount of web traffic can have a dramatic impact on revenue generation.

Assuming that increasing conversions on your website has a direct impact in the revenue generated, , then increasing the conversion website rate should be seen as key objective.

A brief history of A/B testing

A/B testing, as a process for comparing to variations of something, is 100 years old. Ronald Fisher was a statistician and biologist in the 1920s who discovered the most important principles behind A/B testing. Although he wasn’t the first person to run these experiments, he was the first to define the basic mathematic principles and create the science for A/B testing.

Fisher work focused on agricultural experiments, posing such questions as what is the perfect amount of fertilizer to use on your farmland to gain the maximum crop yield. Moving forward in to the 1950s scientists started running A/B style clinical trials in the field of medicine.

It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s though that the marketing world started to take note and began exploring the use of A/B trials on direct response campaigns (e.g. comparing response rates of postcards vs letters). Modern day A/B testing uses the same mathematics that Fisher defined in the 1920s, but the advent of internet has ushered in a new age of big data and has enabling trials to be run on a far larger scale.

The benefits of a negative result

If in the first few tests, you achieve a large relative lift in conversions, the entire idea of conversion optimization and A/B testing will appear as valuable and sensible to everyone in your company.

If, on the other hand, the results are lackluster or worse still, negative, then the process may appear unfounded or flawed.
To ensure that your hypotheses and tests are valid and successful, make sure you conduct your research properly. That way, your tests will have a higher probability of actually being successful and proving your hypotheses.

The obvious benefit of receiving a negative trial result should be seen a positive result and as clear proof of what not to change.

The Elephant Digital CRO process

Elephant Digital has extensive experience working with our customers to improve the effectiveness of their website conversion rate and to generate more leads. Our process follows

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