Conversion Rate Optimization is making waves in the digital marketing world. Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz and SparkToro, dubbed it as “the most important marketing activity.”
Neil Patel named CRO as one of the most important trends in digital marketing in 2019 and onwards.
As traffic generation becomes more expensive due to intensifying competition, companies are looking at CRO to increase the efficiency of their marketing spend. Conversion rate optimization can make a difference when it comes to profitability.
However, for someone just starting out, it can become difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Not to worry though. We have listed out 5 common myths that are prevalent about Conversion Rate Optimization, which should make it easier to move forward.
1. CRO is about increasing traffic (or confusing CRO for SEO)
This is a common one. Many people think these two terms are synonymous. Since a lot of companies think they don’t need CRO as they are already doing something about SEO.
Here’s the fundamental difference: SEO is about ranking higher on search results so that when someone searches a related keyword, your website is among the first ones to be visible. This helps in getting more people to your website. In a nutshell, SEO has to do with increasing your traffic.
At its core, CRO is not about increasing traffic. It is about getting more out of your existing traffic. It is about making all the necessary improvements on your website so that a larger percentage of your visitors actually complete the purchase that got them to your website in the first place.
2. CRO is A/B testing
There are many companies that provide A/B testing tools, that also claim to be CRO companies. While A/B testing is definitely a very important component, there is more to CRO than just that.
A/B testing ensures that the changes made on a website are based on data, not on opinions or whims. But there are other crucial stages that must precede and follow A/B testing. Any optimization exercise must begin with funnel analytics.
Based on that, you formulate hypotheses which are then A/B tested. The hypotheses that work are implemented. The ones that don’t work are re-formulated and subjected to further testing and so on. What’s being tested is as important as the testing itself. Testing alone isn’t optimization.
While A/B Testing is one of the most important methods for optimizing conversion rates, there are many other crucial methods as well.
3. CRO is a quick-fix, one-time thing
CRO is a process, it is not a tactic. The essence of conversion rate optimization is to continuously improve the website’s experience based on data & experimentation. It is not about changing the color of the CTA button or adding a spin-the-wheel feature.
It is about systematically learning why your visitors are buying (or not buying) and then optimizing your website based on what you learn. The tactics must be guided by an overarching framework and not be implemented in isolation.
4. Failed tests are bad, successful tests are good
This builds on #3. Different hypotheses are A/B tested and the ones that succeed are implemented.
But the ones that fail serve a purpose as well. You get to learn what doesn’t work. It’s like when Edison found 10000 ways not to make a bulb to arrive at one correct way to do so.
Every failed test is an opportunity to learn. You come back with a different hypothesis that is to be tested further. As mentioned before, it’s a cyclical process of continuous improvement.
5. What works for one website will work for all
Every website has different things going for it. An optimization tactic that worked on one won’t necessarily work on another. Every e-commerce business is a unique brand. The opportunities for optimization, therefore, are unique.
Make sure you keep in mind what is your company about, what is the story you are trying to tell, what is your brand identity, what your goals are etc. while optimizing your website.
You should focus on core principles (e.g. the Call to Action button must stand out from the rest of the page) rather than on tactics (e.g. change the CTA button from green to red).
I hope this clears some of the misconceptions you may be having about conversion rate optimization. Let us know what you think and please feel free to comment on what you believe we have missed out on.