19th September 2016
We’re only human. We’ve all made mistakes and running a CRO project is no expectation. Even the most experienced CRO experts are guilty of having made mistakes, but we learn and move on. Well luckily for you, there are a number of CRO mistakes that commonly occur, which I have listed in this blog post. Please take note so you don’t make the same mistakes – just new ones!
This is one of the first common mistakes marketers make when it comes to taking on a CRO project. Don’t get me wrong; you can still carry out a CRO project even if your site doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, but this is definitely a factor you need to take into consideration. You can either be patient & assign a significant amount of time to you’re A/B tests to get statistically significant results, or focus your efforts on customer acquisition first and let the CRO project follow once you’re traffic increases.
Or in simple terms, ineffective targeting. A CRO project is only going to be useful if you’re already attracting the right type of customers who are actually likely to convert. It’s all well and good that you have a lot of traffic, but it’s also crucial to have the right kind of visitors. CRO won’t deliver an increase in conversions if your visitors aren’t interested in your product in the first place. It is therefore vital that your marketing strategy and CRO project come hand in hand. Your marketing strategy needs to target demographics that are directly interested in your business / product. Only then will your CRO project provide insightful results.
To assume is to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’. Yes, it’s a great idea to do your research and take a look at the kind of A/B tests other people are carrying out as this can provide great inspiration, however, just because changing their CTA button to red worked for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. This is because it’s very unlikely that your website & target audience are the same. What works for one site, doesn’t mean it’ll work for yours. It’s vital that you come to your own hypotheses, which will be based on your own research of your own website & target audience.
Whilst it’s hard to ignore positive results in your CRO A/B tests, you need to effectively be 100% that this was purely because of the changes to the site you’ve made. If there have been external factors that could have effected your CRO tests, you need to be mindful of this. For example, have you seen an increase in conversions because of the changes you’ve made or because your company has recently made front-page news? If an external factor happens at a crucial moment of your testing, it’s vital that you continue to run the tests until you can be sure any positive results are because of your conversion rate optimisation changes.
This is mistake a lot of marketers make. Just because you’re going to modernised your website and make it responsive, doesn’t mean your visitors are going to be more likely to convert. Yes, design is an important part of a CRO project, but relying on a complete website re-design isn’t going to be enough. You often get better results in a CRO project when you focus on specific parts of your site. A conversion rate optimisation project should also be based on data and research, and although you will most likely also do this for a website re-design, you’d be a fool to sit there thinking that you’re getting the most out of you website.
Just because someone (me) is telling you to be doing CRO, or because you’ve seen that your competitors are, doesn’t mean you should decide there and then to carry out a CRO project. You need to effectively analyse whether your site is actually ready to concentrate its efforts on CRO. For a CRO project to work, you need to have nailed down your product and be running successful marketing campaigns driving your ideal target audience to the site. Otherwise, you’re just not ready.
The key to avoiding this mistake is to remember not to end your tests until you’ve reached a statically significant result. Easier said than done right? You cannot stop an A/B test just because one of the variations is clearly winning at that moment in time. You need a significant amount of conversions to accurately say that one variation has clearly won. VMO have created a helpful calculator that lets you input your daily number of visitors, your current conversion rate, and the expected conversion rate you would like to see. It then calculates an effective test duration time. You can then take the result of this calculator to ensure you’re running your tests for an appropriate amount of time.
You think you’ve developed the perfect hypothesis to increase conversions on an important page of your users’ journey, but once it comes to testing, it fails. Massively. This is not the right time to then throw all of your toys out of the pram because things didn’t go your way. That page still needs crucial optimisation, so you need to keep testing until you get it right – which you will. Failed tests often help provide new hypotheses and show you what not to do again. It’s a learning curve, not an excuse to give up.
A few of you will have been sat there reading this blog post, reminiscing about the time you thought your website re-design would be enough to increase conversions. Others would have book marked this page for future reference so you don’t make the same mistakes when you begin your CRO project. Either way, don’t be afraid to mistakes. It’s how we learn & often leads to break-through results.
Until next time …
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