What is CRO? Starting A Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy (Part 2)

In the first part of our series looking into conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy we looked at what CRO actually is. We also looked at why CRO is a process and not just “hacks”, the importance of talking to users and why you need to be clear and simple.

This week we move even further into the CRO process. We will look at the importance of testing your messaging, the power of collaboration and the ideal balance between research and experimentation.

Let’s dig further into CRO…

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) - Image of pipettes and other science equipment to illustrate testing.
Photo by Hans Reniers on Unsplash

Testing Your Messaging

We have spoken about content testing before in a two part series. Both posts will have some actionable tips for you to begin testing your messaging and content.

But there is one thing that’s important to note and you should do it before you start testing content.

You need to talk to your users! 

As mentioned last week, user research is the most powerful tool in your CRO toolbox. So make sure you do that before you look at your content.

All done? Well let’s get back to the messaging!

Once you have done some user research, it will be easier for you to test your messaging and content than it is to mess around with the design. If your flow is already established.

You are trying to get people to take action. Your words and messaging will play a crucial part in whether a user converts or not. It is a crucial part that is, however, often overlooked.

Testing should absolutely be able to help you identify the best messages for your customers. A/B testing your messaging on different landing page variations will help you to make conversion gains over time.

Targeted Messaging All Through The Funnel

But you should not solely focus on your site. Your messaging should be streamlined right from the start of the funnel, at the acquisition stage. The same messaging should flow into your landing page/conversion page.

If you are aiming to acquire traffic for certain queries your messaging should reflect the context of those queries. Otherwise you simply will not convert users who find you from those queries. People need to be clear on what they are getting from you when they discover your brand in the acquisition stage.

This means you should not only test your messaging for your desired conversion points. But your messaging needs to be streamlined and tested before the user even gets to that point. Your messaging has to give your customers what they want at every touchpoint in the journey.

So talk to users first then refine your messaging. This will not only improve your conversion rate but it will improve your marketing messaging and bring in better ROAS (return on ad spend).

Actions You Can Take:

  • Do your user research!
  • After that start content testing
  • Test your acquisition messaging as well
  • Make sure acquisition messaging matches your value proposition on your landing page
  • Good messaging converts browsers into customers

Image of a meeting taking place outside to illustrate the concept of collaboration.
Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

The Power Of Collaboration

As a good CRO process encompasses a number of different disciplines, collaboration across teams is essential.

Though your organization may have a CRO specialist that is able to lead CRO projects, it’s more likely your CRO process will be handled by a group from different areas of the business. You may have designers, marketers and copywriters all working together.

When you are putting a CRO process in place it’s important to break down silos and make sure the team is fully aligned. A strong team can help the CRO lead to stay away from short-term “hack” territory and stay true to a holistic CRO strategy.

Sharing learnings within a CRO group can really help to brainstorm ideas, maintain regular A/B tests and implement your CRO strategy.

Actions You Can Take:

  • Start a CRO group within your business
  • Make sure lots of disciplines are represented
  • If you are a B2B company, make sure sales are involved
  • Talk to everyone at the business, they might have great ideas

CRO - A pair of glasses on a notebook to illustrate research.
Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Research vs Experimentation

Many see CRO as being driven by experimentation and testing.

But this is not really the case.

We have already established the value of user research. But the whole CRO process is actually research driven. Research into your specific audience and business context will yield a better CRO strategy.

With good research you will know what the issues are and where your customers experience pain points. This will then help you to talk to users to find out other issues and then you can build an experimentation road map.

By following this process your conversion rate will almost certainly improve over time.

Actions You Can Take:

  • The worksplit in your CRO team should be weighted towards research
  • Use your research to build more experiments in the CRO process

CRO - Image of "value" on a mixing deck to illustrate the concept of value.
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Value & Perceived Credibility 

Social proof and credibility wins user trust, which makes users far more likely to become customers.

It is important to establish honesty and competence in the purchase funnel. If you are just starting out this is the biggest barrier you may face.

Things like ethical corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and community outreach can help your brand build a reputation as an “honest broker”. Combine this with a focus on putting the customer first and this will lead to higher conversion rates.

Testimonials and customer reviews are other methods you can use to encourage consumer trust in your brand. This also works in the B2B niche, where value propositions can be hard to see. If you sell complex products with a long purchase funnel, testimonials, reviews and case studies are an effective way to show potential customers what you can do for them.

Actions You Can Take:

  • Use community outreach methods to build positive PR around your brand
  • Ethical CSR policies increase positive sentiments among potential customers and give social proof
  • Use testimonials and case studies, especially if you sell a complex product or service

Contact us via hello@maqe.com.

Talk to MAQE

MAQE can help you to implement a CRO process that will yield positive wins. We can help you conduct user research workshops, help your organization break down silos, run experiments and help you interpret your test data. Get in touch with us via [email protected].