Top 10 myths about website conversion optimization
Website conversion optimization is still a fairly new discipline that has proven to work for businesses, but it has generated a lot of myths and controversy among marketers, UX- and CRO-specialists. So which tactics really work, and which aren’t worth wasting time and effort on? The Turum Burum team decided to debunk the top 10 myths about website conversion optimization that mislead marketers and prevent them from achieving results.
1. “Follow best practices.”
“Best practices and methods are universal and timeless.” This is probably one of the most common myths about website conversion optimization. As we’ve written before in an article about CRO, standard techniques and practices are not always effective because:
It’s already been done and the best techniques may not be relevant to today’s realities;
There is no guarantee that what has been effective for someone else will help you as well;
Every business has its own goals and has a number of features that may simply not be the same as yours.
Articles, reviews, guides, posts can be useful. From them, you can learn from the experience of other professionals, learn important information and information about new tools, trends, and other opportunities to increase income and improve the key indicators of the site. There are also the most common usability mistakes, which you can also find in yourself and fix.
But applying all the best practices in practice, you won’t be able to figure out exactly what brought results. And by doing so, you will miss the most important thing – learning. So you shouldn’t blindly trust and follow such universal practices. Research and analyze your users, as they are the ones who know best what they need to fix or add. By studying your target audience, their needs and requirements, you will be able to offer the best solution to their pains and challenges.
2. “A/B and split testing is CRO.”
Often split testing and various A/B tests are equated with website conversion optimization. But in fact, split testing is just a tool for conversion optimization. With various tests, you can determine the most effective solutions for your business. For example, which page design converts more users.
A/B tests are good for sites with a lot of traffic. But if you don’t have enough traffic, you can optimize site conversion using other tools and methods:
- Heuristic analysis;
- User testing;
- User session records;
- Questionnaires and forms;
- Scroll and click maps;
- Heatmaps and webviews;
- Site speed estimation.
- An example of using scroll maps on the Intertop online store’s website.
- Example of using scroll cards on Intertop online store’s website
By optimizing website conversion according to ESR approach we don’t waste our time on A/B testing where common interface mistakes are encountered. Experience in designing interfaces helps to avoid wasting time, traffic leakage and money on testing multiple solutions. We compare the results before and after to make sure the decisions we made are correct.
3. “Follow your competitors and repeat after them.”
By copying your competitors, you are copying the end result, bypassing the process and the reasons that led to it. Remember that your competitors are using other channels to attract customers, branding, advertising, etc. So whether or not such CRO will work for you is debatable. Especially since you can’t be sure of the quality of the tests and data your competitors used to optimize website conversion.
It is important to analyze and study your customers specifically and build your website conversion optimization strategy relying on the data. By researching your users, you can find the reason why they are not converting and fix it.
4. “CRO is not about analysis and not about statistics.”
Nowadays there is a great variety of functional CRO tools for running tests of different complexity, which even help to decide when and how long to run a particular test. You may get the impression that you can fully rely on the tools and their prompts. But this is not so.
While CRO tools are becoming increasingly reliable, you can’t ignore statistics. Because statistics allow you to know all the data you need, see the big picture of what’s going on and optimize your site based on facts, not guesses and hypotheses.
Here’s a list of things you should do to empower your CRO strategy:
- Split the test into two business cycles;
- Make sure you have a large sample or the data will be false at best;
- Run the tests over an extended period of time (at least 2 weeks) to get truthful and more reliable results;
- Make a detailed plan and be sure to set a specific time period for the test before running it;
- Consider external factors and variables;
- Wait until the test is over before drawing conclusions and making decisions.
5. “CRO guarantees high conversions.”
CRO is not a panacea for low conversions. Let’s say you went through the whole cycle of the CRO process, tried every method you could think of, but your site’s conversion rate still leaves a lot to be desired.
What can this mean? It could mean that the overall user experience is not allowing you to convert more traffic. Perhaps the product or service itself doesn’t stand up to the competition. So if your traffic stays the same and your conversion rate is low, even after optimization, it’s worth wondering what factor you haven’t considered. Think about how you can optimize the sales funnel, so that users do not leave and buy from you.
One of the advantages of the ESR approach, as compared to the traditional CRO, is that you are not focused only on the goal of increasing the conversion rate, but you are thinking globally, improving the user experience and working towards long-term goals. This approach allows you to increase the profitability of the project.
6. “We tried CRO for a few weeks. It didn’t work.”
Very often companies give up on CRO because they didn’t get the results they wanted within the first few weeks. You shouldn’t expect quick results. Moreover, the problem may be that you have chosen the wrong element for optimization and testing. Here it is important to keep experimenting, studying and analyzing.
Website conversion optimization is not a quick process, but rather an ongoing one. It takes time, effort and investment, just like advertising campaigns. It is an ongoing investment in improving the interface, which is as profitable as advertising.
7. “Conversion is the only measure of success.”
So, conversion is the ratio of total traffic to the number of users who took a targeted action on the site. In this case, the target action can be a purchase of goods, and subscribe to a newsletter, order a callback, download a file, and so on. But is only the completion of the target action is the ultimate goal of business? And more subscriptions – an indicator of success? Certainly not. A business can be considered successful when it is profitable and scalable. Therefore, optimizing conversions for the sake of high conversion rates makes no sense if it is not profitable for your business at the end of the day.
Optimizing website conversion by ESR allows you to focus not only on conversion, but also on the average check, bounce rate and other KPIs of the project, which generally give an increase in profits.
8. “You can run experiments without an expert.”
If we’re talking about the color of the button, you might be able to do it yourself in the visual editor. But any changes are better handled by a team, since one person simply can’t fully evaluate and change the design or analyze data from a sample of over 10,000 visitors to the online store.
In addition to this, it is worth optimizing and testing what really matters. Underestimating the complexity of the interface, you are likely to simply spoil the code and the website will not display correctly in half of all browsers and devices, which will have a negative impact on conversion rates. It takes a team to succeed at CRO.
9. “You can only optimize and test one element at a time.”
At first, this approach seems logical: change one element, test and track the changes. But if you choose the wrong design element to optimize, it will not produce any results. Such optimization of site conversions can take years, and the effect will be zero.
In some cases, the necessary element for optimization may be the entire page. For example, working on the Intertop project we increased conversion rates by 54.68% after working on the entire funnel of the user path to purchase and redesigning the checkout page.
So it’s worth taking a holistic approach to the issue. First, conduct a usability audit, research the market and study your users.
10. “Test results = long-term sales.”
If testing yielded a positive result, it’s a mistake to think that it will bring long-term sales. Of course, it’s also possible, but it’s the exception rather than the rule.
CRO is a cyclic process. That’s why it pays to constantly study and analyze the market and your users, keep track of new trends and optimize your website according to the current needs and desires of your clients.
Conclusions of CRO legend breakers
Website conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a new and not fully understood phenomenon, so the internet is full of pseudo-practices and methods. And here’s what’s really important to keep in mind when ordering website conversion rate optimization:
- Be aware of best practices and trends in conversion optimization, but don’t apply them blindly.
- A/B testing is not always justified in CRO and the number of tests can be reduced with expertise in UX.
- Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, but don’t copy their experience and mistakes.
- Any actions on conversion optimization should be based on analytics, not guesswork
- CRO does not solve problems in business processes, products, services, etc.
- CRO allows for rapid interface improvement, but the process of hypothesis testing takes time and consistency.
- Think about how to increase revenue, not just conversions.
- Conversion optimization is most effective when you involve a team
CRO – the process of testing solutions as a whole, not testing individual elements. Think long-term goals, improving the user experience, rather than short-term conversion increases in A/B testing.