Conversion rate optimization best practices

When it comes to marketing, optimizing your website for better conversion rates is crucial. However, it can also be quite challenging. That's why I recommend following a 4-step process to create a successful conversion rate optimization strategy. It's easy to understand and highly effective.

Before we delve into the 4-step process and best practices for conversion rate optimization (CRO), there are three aspects is crucial to any optimization:

Analyze your data

I always make it a point to thoroughly investigate my data, conduct research and explore my analytics. This not only helps me gain insights about my website traffic but also helps me identify potential opportunities for growth and improvement.

Create a  strategy

Once you have identified the areas that require improvement, it's essential to brainstorm various strategies to alter user behavior. This is where your creativity comes into play. Based on the data you have at hand, start by brainstorming ideas and then find the best idea to make a strategy around.

Take action

With the ideas and strategies in place, it's time to take action and implement your ideas. When doing A/B testing, evaluate and readjust as necessary. 

The 4 steps to CRO best practices

conversion rate optimization four step process illustration

Let's get into the process and best practices of CRO. This is how I usually do the steps.

Step 1: Investigate

When it comes to gaining trustworthy web analytics data, the objective of this step is pretty straightforward. As I see it, it involves two parts that need to be taken care of:

1 - Collect your data

As someone who specializes in digital marketing, I know that successful companies rely heavily on data. While it's great to trust your instincts, using data to make decisions can significantly lower risks. When starting the process of generating ideas, it's important to first look at the data and identify opportunities. However, before doing so, it's crucial to ensure that the data being collected is comprehensive and complete.

2 - Filter out any unwanted data

Once I finish the first technical step, my next task is to tidy up the data, so that it can be easily analyzed in the future. There are various techniques that I can use to remove unwanted data from my records. First, I will merge the canonical URLs, then filter out internal IP addresses and testing environments. I will also exclude any known spiders or bots, and add personalized campaign parameters to my URLs.

Step 2: Understanding

Once I have confidence in the accuracy and organization of the data, I feel ready to proceed and gain a comprehensive understanding of the business and its online presence.

Ask yourself what your business objective really is, what is the ultimate goal with the website? 

Next, you need to find your KPIs to measure success. These KPIs should always align with your business goals. An eCommerce site exist to sell products, therefore increased sales is the ultimate KPI.

You can also measure secondary KPIs. For an eCommerce store that could be average order value (AOV), engagement rate, shopping cart abandonment rate among others.

Now you should be looking into you Google Analytics and look for opportunities. How I like to set GA4 is to make a funnel to see where users drop of. A typical funnel for an eCommerce store could be something like this:

  1. Website visits
  2. Viewed a product
  3. Add product to cart
  4. Purchase.

Naturally users are going to drop off later in the funnel, but your job is to increase the business objective which is purchases, so you would want to increase the percentage of users who end up in that last stage.

I also like to segment users in my funnels and look at desktop vs mobile visitors. Another segmentation you can do is looking at traffic source. If let's say paid traffic converts more poorly than paid traffic, you already discovered a problem to solve.

Another thing you can look at is to compare yourself to an industry benchmark. By doing that you will have some concrete way of measuring your performance.

Step 3: Start optimizing

After scrutinizing the data and recognizing the areas of potential improvement, it's time to put on our thinking caps. How do we intend to tackle the challenges we face? 

When coming up with a good idea, it's important to have a hypothesis that clearly outlines the change you want to make, the expected outcome, and the reasoning behind it. Writing well-crafted hypotheses can improve the effectiveness of your personalization ideas, provide valuable business results and marketing insights, and prevent wasted time on ineffective tests.

It should include three things:

  • The change your going to make
  • What you expect is going to happen
  • The reason for doing it

Here is an example: If we show recommended products that goes well with the item added to the cart, then we will increase average order value because users will buy more products.

Next it's time to implement your ideas. You might have many ideas on how to optimize something and you probably can't implement each and everyone of them. Pick one idea and go with it.

Estimate how much time it will take to implement that idea and what you need in order to do so. Perhaps you lack the technical know how and need to hire an agency to implement your idea. It's important to stay grounded and not get carried away with ideas that are too hard to implement.

Step 4: Evaluate and adjust

When dealing with conversion rate optimization best practices, it's important to create either weekly or monthly reports. It is also essential to identify any new groups of people you are reaching, potential problems with your methods, and areas where you have succeeded. 

Don't shy away from identifying unsuccessful endeavors, as they can provide valuable insights into what strategies work best for your intended audience. Personally, I believe that failure is just another opportunity to learn and improve.

I always make sure to adjust my optimization strategies according to different targeting conditions and segments. It's important to double-check everything and preview the results to avoid any mistakes. I understand that it takes patience and constant adjustments to achieve high-confidence and sustainable results, especially depending on the amount of traffic you get.

To sum up

Follow these 4 steps for best conversion rate optimization best practices to get a firm grip on the process. It's important to lay the ground work and not just jump into it and implement right away. 

Failures can and will happen, you just need to learn from them and readjust your strategy or implementation.

Good luck!

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