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Common Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Mistakes

From content-based sites to SAAS and ecommerce, CRO can reduce marketing costs and improve your site’s performance. CRO that’s poorly executed not only wastes money and time; it might even prove very harmful for your business. Optimization and testing mistakes happen more often than you would think – and can prove to be really expensive.

We’ve listed the top problem areas (with suggested solutions) and the good news is that it isn’t so difficult to spot and rectify them:

1. Focusing on conversion only

Marketers often focus on the conversion optimization of a specific marketing element or web page without looking at the larger picture. It’s a killer mistake to optimize a landing page with lead capture in mind without thinking about whether those leads will get converted into high value, long-term customers. All customers must not be treated at par.

There’s real growth only when your visitors get converted into customers who cannot imagine life in your product’s absence. For this, you need to guide the right type of people towards your must-have product. Passionate users are those who engage regularly with your product and spread the word about it.

Solution: Focus on creating a must-have experience for customers. First identify any steps that might be delaying a visitor’s journey towards a unique experience. Cut out everything that’s not absolutely essential. Find out the drop-off points where people lose interest. User surveys and heat maps can help you gauge troubled areas.

2. Not thinking big

If someone advises that simple tweaks like changes in the color of buttons will get you fantastic conversions, ignore them. Micro features like this can be tested forever and the result will simply be a slightly better landing page. But what’s been done for long-lasting improvements? Nothing much.

Solution: Think big and test big too. Instead of simply looking at tagline positions and button colors, feel free to wildly test varied landing pages and user flows. Ascertain what contributes to a user’s on-boarding experience and make changes accordingly. Minor optimizations can be handled later.

 3. Testing without considering visitor intent

Very often, random thoughts and offhanded questions drive testing strategies. No attempt is made to truly understand the intent of the visitors to a website. You might possibly stumble upon something workable using a random testing strategy, but there are chances you might not. An all important question to ask – what are visitors trying to achieve? If there’s no satisfactory answer to this, the entire experience will result in nothing but frustration and inconclusive data.

Solution: Don’t test for the sake of testing. Try to understand the visitor intent before you do so. Before getting into optimization issues, figure out why a user visits your website and what he hopes to accomplish. What are the elements that contribute to user confusion, friction, and exit? Conduct surveys to find out if your site visitors were successful with their searches. Using this feedback, you can make the changes required for better user experiences.

The Bottom Line

For real growth from CRO, testing must be based on an in-depth understanding of visitor needs. While framing your CRO plan, your overall goal should be to give users an experience which converts them into lifelong customers for your product. Visitors saying “Wow!” is an indicator that you’re in the process of building a growth engine which gets its fuel from not only your optimizations, but from word of mouth too.

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