Savvy business owners know that their website is never truly completed—it’s a work in progress. To make the most of your redesign, you will need to have this same attitude. There is always something you can do to improve your site and gain additional customers.
To make the most of your redesign and further boost traffic and conversions, you should do some CRO, or conversion rate optimization. Here’s a look at what CRO is, how you can do it, and how its most crucial component, the A/B test, works.
About Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
CRO is all about performing tests to determine how you can increase the conversion rate on your website. You can perform CRO to improve an overall feature, like the color of all your buttons, or just a single line of text. The end goal is to increase conversions by optimizing your site’s content and characteristics to best suit your visitors and customers.
Optimizing your conversion rate doesn’t involve blindly making changes and seeing what sticks: it’s based on testing, specifically A/B testing. Before doing anything permanent that could actually harm your conversion rate, you should take the time to test any changes. This will involve an A/B test.
How A/B Testing Works
In A/B testing, two different versions of a page are compared against each other to determine which performs better. Typically this involves the original page, version A, being pitted directly against a variant, version B. The same amount of people will see versions A and B, and they will be unaware of any testing, so the results should accurately reflect the higher performing version.
There are a few different ways to perform A/B testing. There is software available, or you can set up an experiment through Google Analytics to track the results. However you choose to perform your tests, you should let them run as long as possible to ensure that your data is as complete and accurate as possible. Cutting off a test very early, or with a small sample size, could result in poor changes being made to your site.
One word of advice: an A/B test should always be performed based on data, not on gut feelings. If a button performed well prior to your redesign but isn’t working now, test away—but if you simply have a gut feeling that making your site background gray instead of white will increase conversions, try to find some actual data or existing studies to support this before you test. Who knows, maybe gray does increase conversions, but it won’t work on your site because your target market prefers bright colors.
When Should CRO Be Done?
You should do conversion rate optimization testing when:
- The redesign appears to have impacted your conversion rates in a negative way
- The results of a new button, form, or CTA are not as expected
- You receive one or more complaints about a specific element not contributing to your site (these can be taken with a grain of salt, but if 20 people say that your CTA button is too big, maybe you should test a smaller one)
- When you are introducing a new function or page of some kind and aren’t sure which version or option will work best due to a lack of existing data
You don’t have to perform any CRO or A/B testing if you don’t want to. However, if changing a single word or moving a button elsewhere on a page could boost your conversion rate dramatically, wouldn’t you want to know? Consider setting a simple goal to test one item a month, or even once per quarter, and monitor the results carefully. You may be able to increase your revenue or leads more than you expect!
Next, let’s talk about some of the most common problems you may run into after your site is launched and find ways you can resolve them.