If you are dedicated to digital marketing or have an online project in hand, you have probably heard about CRO a thousand times, a concept that has become one of the keys to increasing the income of eCommerce and other types of websites.
But… would you know what it is?
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is a set of techniques designed to improve the performance of a website and, specifically, increase the conversion rate. These techniques range from the analysis of said website to continuous management aimed at improving the conversion ratio.
CRO strategies usually respond to iterative processes. That is to say: different phases are proposed that must be fulfilled in an orderly manner so that, once the last one is finished, return to the initial phase.
The process must be repeated as many times as necessary to optimize the conversion rate, since thisindicator usually has a large margin for improvement.
What is not CRO?
It is important to distinguish CRO from other concepts with which it is commonly confused:
- It is not a metric or a KPI that measures the conversion rate. Although the CRO must take it into account, it also covers other metrics such as bounce rate or loading speed.
- It is not a set of theoretical tips to increase the conversion rate, but it involves the analysis of user trends, in-depth knowledge of the web, execution of certain actions… And of course a final analysis.
- It is not usability. They are closely related, since without an intuitive, clear, simple and correctly structured interface, a high conversion rate cannot be expected. But that does not mean that they are synonyms, simply that the CRO needs usabilityand vice versa.
- And neither are they actions as simple and isolated as removing a field from a form, performing an A/B test between two landing pages, creating color maps or adding a CTA. These could, however, be concrete actions within a CRO strategy.
Now yes, yes… Let’s see what a project of this type is made up of.
Phases of a CRO strategy
There are many ways to approach and develop a CRO strategy. Actually, each digital project must be based on the characteristics of its website and the objectives it pursues to define its own strategy. But in general, we recommend you follow the following phases
- Website analysis. It is important to study the strengths and possible errors that affect the operation and design of the web. First, at a quantitative level, analyzing metrics such as the bounce rate, sessions, length of stay… And then, qualitatively, to understand user behavior. In this sense, techniques such as heat maps, surveys or even session recordings can be used.
- Define objectives. Based on the information collected and analyzed in the previous phase, we must determine what the current objectives of the website are.
- Propose a hypothesis. Although in the first phase we will have determined the fundamental problem of the web (for example, a high bounce rate), now it is time to define the hypothesis. For example: The high bounce rate of the web is due to the fact that we are not working on the indicated keywords and, therefore, the user does not find what they expect, thus causing their premature abandonment. Se puede plantear una o varias hipótesis, según todos los cambios que se deseen abordar.
- Hypothesis testing. Here we come to the key point of the CRO strategy. To confirm or refute the thesis (or theories) raised in the previous phase, it is important to carry out a series of tests. In this sense, it is necessary to make the test plan (what tools are going to be used, how it is going to be executed, the timing…), execute it and analyze the results.
- Search for solutions. It is time to make decisions based on the test results and make the relevant changes on the web.
- Analysis of the results after the modification. Once the improvements have been made, it is important to study the evolution of the website to verify that we are on the right track. Have we managed toincrease the conversion rate?
- Establish a cycle of continuous improvement. As we have already mentioned, CRO techniques are iterative in nature, which implies the creation of a cycle with continuous improvement actions to enhance the functioning of the website. Once the six previous phases have been completed, it is time to start a continuous circuit that allows us to continue identifying errors or aspects to improve. And, therefore, we return to phase 1.
Implementing a cyclical CRO strategy may seem complicated and expensive at first. However, it is one of the most effective ways to keep a website alive toimprove the conversion rate and therefore increase your income.
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