Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the method of using statistics and analytics to determine how you can optimise your website to encourage desired visitor behaviour. This behaviour can range from clicking through to accept an offer to sharing content with peers.

Often, the recommendations from professionals are very simple; like the changing of the colour or text of the call to action button. Another common recommendation is the CTA’s placement on a page or swapping the image for something that is more appropriate to the offer.

The change to your website is then compared to the previous version by a method known as A/B testing (or split testing). This is the process where half your visitors are sent to the old webpage and the other half are sent to the new version. The behaviours of these two visitor groups is recorded and analysed. The version which returns the best results is kept.

If you effectively introduce a CRO campaign, you can see good business growth and an improved ROI on your online marketing investment. Not implementing it properly and your business will stagnate.

The problem is that there are many sources across the internet that tell you exactly how you can improve your content, landing pages, social updates, etc to gain more ‘desirable behaviours’; yet these articles only tell part of the story. In some cases, you might be misled with common myths about online marketing or your target market.

These myths may help you gain some positive improvements in your landing page conversions; but, they are unlikely to truly optimise your site. Only by understanding the myths, will you truly recognise the work needed for CRO. Then you can take your business to the next level by systematically analysing your site’s current properties and how you can implement improvements.

 

So what are the myths of Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Myth One: CRO Is About Making Changes On Your Website That Follow Best Practices

As previously mentioned, there are a number of blog articles and whitepapers online that will detail exactly how you should create landing pages, design your website, write a piece of content or what colour your call to action needs to be. While these can be useful insights and implementing them can sometimes make a positive difference – CRO is not about following these best practices.

There are other conversion barriers that need to be addressed in addition to page design; for example:

  • Your visitor is not encouraged to trust your brand.
  • You have a lengthy conversion process that seems like too much work for the visitor.
  • Your site is too slow.
  • Your content is confusing the visitors.
  • Your call to action is obscured by other elements on your website.
  • Your adverts, copy or page title makes the visitor believe the offer is something you are not giving and they are disappointed.

The above list is not extensive, but it gives an idea of other factors that you might need to address.

Myth Two: CRO Is A Quick Action Followed By An Optimised Site

CRO is not a quick fix for your website or online marketing campaigns. It takes time to optimise your site and as time goes by, the behaviour of your audience is likely to change. Therefore, it is important to consider website optimisation as a continuous project. As soon as one A/B testing session is finished, you should assess what other changes are needed and start the process again.

While for some people this may seem like a waste of time, especially if you have achieved a positive response with one testing cycle, it is the only way you can truly optimise your site.

Myth Three: CRO Is About Guessing What Your Website Visitors Want

There are a couple of variations to this myth which include: “I know my users, so surveys aren’t necessary” and “testing isn’t necessary because my site is better than anything else on the market”. These variations and the original statement all stem from an opinion that your target audience is clearly defined and their opinions do not change.

The problem is that the internet is constantly evolving and as technology develops, so do the trends and demands of the users. Therefore, what may have been true five years ago is probably not now. For instance, scrolling was not popular a few years ago, but with the rise of mobile technology, it is now considered to be an integral part of good website design.

Likewise, you cannot guess what your users want. You need to ask them. Only by interacting with your target audience can you truly understand what emotions they are experiencing when they are accessing your site. If you can develop a design and create content that taps into their thoughts and emotions: you’ll have a better performing site.

Myth Four: Too Much Content Does Not Work

This is one of the biggest myths. It assumes to know the visitor without asking them for their preferences and forgets that customers who are interested in something tend to want more information. That is why they often visit up to 12 sites before making a purchasing decision.

As long as your content is clear, concise and informative; you’ll probably find it will be persuasive enough for your target audience.

Myth Five: Copying A Successful Website Is The Key To Optimisation

Apart from being morally wrong; copying a successful website is not going to guarantee you success. There are many elements (i.e. trust) that impact the decision of a visitor to comply with a desired behaviour.

Unless your organisation is exactly the same as your competitors’, you cannot guarantee the same design will achieve the same results. You should also consider your brand image. Not being consistent with your image can confuse customers, resulting in poor sales.

 

Conclusion

CRO is a powerful tool for improving the performance of your website and ensuring your visitors are taking desired behaviours. However, there are many myths about CRO which limit its effectiveness if people believe them.

By understanding these myths and knowing how to correctly implement CRO, you can improve your business’ website, gain more leads and better revenue while limiting barriers.

Jake Burdess

Director at Aflua
This post is by Jake Burdess, the founder of Aflua and HEROIC. Jake is an English designer who lives in New Zealand with his wife and three kids.

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