Choosing the methods that you’ll use as part of your CRO strategy is an important step as many methods are used in all manner of ways in efforts to improve conversion rates. The methods you choose to use should guide your efforts to an area of focus that will maximize returns monetarily for your business but also improve customer usability on your site, in turn increasing conversions. During your course of optimising, it’s important that the methods you use will give you a clear picture of your customer journey in analytics that will allow you to step into their shoes and set objectives along their path to conversion.
Of course, each method holds merit individually but by combining a handful together you will drastically increase your chances of successful optimisation. Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all answer to which methods you should be using, ideally as many as possible, but realistically it’s an individual choice dependent on what you’re testing and how long for. Where one method may come into stride another may fall short of the mark, that’s why it’s crucial that you can select the right methods for you. To help you in making that decision it’s important to know what others are doing, below you’ll find a snapshot of each popular method used by companies and agencies to increase conversion rates, their popularity according to each type of respondent, alongside their value in connection with those that utilise these methodologies.
Which of the following methods do you currently use to improve conversion rates? Company respondents
Which of the following methods do your clients currently use to improve conversion rates? Agency respondents
A/B testing: A/B testing is by far the most used popular method used by company respondents and agency respondents alike; this is likely down to the simplicity of this testing method. A/B testing compares one version of a site element, for example the wording of a CTA, with another to see which performs better. This method is quick to implement with almost infinite possibilities it can make for quick wins in conversion rates often being the starting point for many companies CRO. With A/B testing being utilised in all areas of optimisation it’s unsurprising to see it have the highest value rating with 72% of company respondents and 60% of agency respondents finding it highly valuable.
Website personalisation: This is an area we find least used by company respondents while being planned by the most; the statement similarly applies to agencies coming in a strong third to last on the list of utilised methods. It’s surprising to see such figures since over 50% of companies have recurrently stated they plan to utilise personalisation since 2015. The fact these figures have stayed so strong for years demonstrates the difficulty in effectively implementing this methodology yet, those who can, often see steep improvements in conversion rates. We cover personalisation in greater detail here but it’s clear from the figures, with only 2% finding it not valuable, that personalisation is worth your time.
Customer feedback: Customer feedback is a relatively easy method to implement in the grand scheme of CRO, all you need is to implement a feedback form field somewhere along the journey of your customer, be it an exit intent pop-up, cart abandonment email or a widget in the corner with a compelling CTA for feedback. Used by 58 and 55% of company and agency respondents respectively this method of data collection allows you to look beyond basic analytics to gain qualitative insights with great speed and precision allowing for a look into the psychological and emotional elements that drive your customer behaviour. This methodology is widely accepted in the field of CRO and valued by a large majority of both company and agency respondents with only 2% and 8% stating they find customer feedback methods to lack value.
Copy optimisation: Writing relevant and engaging content to emphasize a product can make a significant impact on whether a visitor turns into a conversion or not. Copy optimisation is often divided into two subsections, headline and body content, each needing to have their own recurrent format and writing style on theme with the company design. Keeping the right tone for your audience and providing them the relevant information when they need it is vital in persuading them to act. This methodology of CRO is often run in an A/B testing format however can also be run as multivariate for more complex testing where you look at a complete page or even company design overhaul. There’s no doubt in the frequency of use for copy optimisation coming in a strong second and third for company and agency respondents at 59% and 57% utilizing it respectively, however, when discussing the value copy optimisation, it gets slumped to the middle of the pack. It’s likely an area of optimisation used early on in a company’s CRO strategy that will give diminishing returns over time, there’s no doubt you should be utilising it but really there’s far more rewarding methods of improvement out there to add to roster.
Customer journey analysis: Think of your customer journey like a tree with almost endless branches going this way and that way, all stemming from one main trunk, all be it different areas of said trunk. All websites have the trunk, a home page or other landing pages, with branches off to all areas for a visitor to take on their journey to find the answers they’re looking for. It is important that your site is optimised making an experience that is simple, predictable and easy to navigate. If your entire process is fluid, it will allow users to, generally, have a struggle free time reaching a point of possible conversion, however, a poorly optimised unstructured journey can lead to your visitor getting lost in the process and abandon their journey all together. Using customer journey analytics can give you access to real time multichannel analysis and visualisation of their journey allowing you to make more informed decisions and gain a holistic view of customer behaviour and your business. Only 15% of companies and 9% of agencies responded they have no plans to utilise this method of optimisation with only 3% and 5% finding it not valuable.
Segmentation: Segmentation is a method that you’ll find wrapped up in personalisation; this is where you take your broad user base and divide them into sub-groups based on a shard characteristic. By doing this it allows you to closely tailor the UX to the needs and desires of each sub-group based on a shared characteristic. By doing this it allows you to closely tailor the UX to the needs and desires of each sub-group for more precisely targeted marketing efforts. There’re four main areas of analytics used for segmentation; they include
- Geographic: Country, city, language, climate etc.
- Demographic: Age, gender, income, occupation, social status etc.
- Psychographics: Lifestyle, interests, opinions, personality, values etc.
- Behavioural: Usage, intent occasion user status, engagement etc.
This CRO methodology is utilised by 47% of companies and 56% of agencies but can be found running atop the value charts with only 3% and 5% finding segmentation to be of no value from a company and agency viewpoint.
Competitor benchmarking: By gathering company metrics and comparing them against that of your competitors you can gain a snapshot image of possible improvements you could make or hypotheses of where you have downfalls effecting your conversion rates. You can utilise this as a method to measure your performance over time singularly but also compared to others, this allows for an organized overview of your company at all levels and allows you to evaluate your strategy accordingly. Competitor benchmarking seems to be a slept-on method of optimisation with only 22% of companies finding it highly valuable all the while 81% of companies utilising it have seen improvements in their conversion rates.
Multivariate testing: Like A/B testing, multivariate testing is something that encompasses almost all CRO methodologies. This method of testing refers to the testing of multiple variations of many different page elements in various combinations to determine the best performing elements and combinations. For example, a multivariate test on a landing page may test many variations of the pictures, copy and CTAs all at once in complimenting way to find the best performer. Surprisingly enough only 32% of company respondents are utilising it with another 43% having plans to do so yet it has proven to have correlation with those seeing improved conversion rates, in fact 83% of companies that use multivariate testing have seen increase in their conversion rates. It is likely due to the complex nature of this method that responses fail to transcribe the benefits and true value that this mature methodology can bring.
Usability testing: During a usability-testing session a researcher, often known as a moderator or facilitator, will ask a participant to perform tasks where they’ll interact with a website, app or other products. While the participant carries out each task the researcher will observe the participant’s behaviour and listens for feedback. Usability testing is a method utilised by significantly more company respondents than agency, with 49% utilising and 37% planning to use against 38% utilising and 42% planning to use respectively. Usability testing is often an area of focus early in the design stages of a product or service but can be applied just as easily to improve conversion rates, by utilising this methodology you gain first-hand insight to identify problems and uncover opportunities throughout the UX to allow for improvements and reduction in cognitive overhead that could cause a possible failure to convert. With 57% of companies finding usability testing highly valuable it’s safe to say that it’s an excellent methodology to have somewhere in your CRO roadmap.
Expert usability reviews: Expert usability reviews are used and planned by the lowest quantity of marketers from both company and agency viewpoints, yet it’s found to be one of the easier high value areas that companies have found they’re able to focus on, in fact just under three quarters of companies that do use expert usability reviews have seen improvement in conversion rates. Expert reviews involve the analysis of a design, be it a website design or design of a product, they review all elements of UX. It’s different from your normal usability testing in the sense that the issues found will vary from those discovered in usability testing, you’ll see the best results if you can combine both things together. An expert review can identify minute issues that could otherwise go undetected or that may be difficult to observe or measure in a small qualitive study. With that in mind expert usability reviews are still found to be quite useful by 61% of company respondents with 28% reporting to find it highly valuable.