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5 CRO Mistakes


In CRO, myths are abound and there are a lot of opinions about what to do. It can create a lot of confusion, lead to sporadic results and pretty much waste your time.

The following article details the most common mistakes and myths:

  1. Paying lip service to the process

No matter how you dress it up, if you don’t follow a disciplined process it’s likely that you won’t be led by the data and the insights you learn in research, or gain the maximum amount of information from the test. Whilst it’s absolutely fine to try your own ideas – creating a test structure and detailing the rationale behind your changes really helps you to focus and create a test process you can stick to. I also recommend creating a hypothesis surrounding why you are making the change, why you believe it’s a valid change (i.e. what data backs this up?) and what you expect to happen. Knowing this in advance means (at the end of the test) you can review your initial hypothesis and gauge whether the results matched/capture any interesting changes beyond your expectations.

  1. Debating the detail and holding back the test

Test. Test. Test!

There’s a mantra in CRO: “Always be testing!” Unless it’s a pivotal service issue, off-brand or could be misleading to customers, you will learn more in test than debating the small details of the variant page or trying to be perfect. Tests can be used to both prove and disprove a concept, so long as you approach radical test changes in a considered way – for example limiting the amount of traffic in test – you can learn a lot. This also links in with another common error, the team you work with missing the value of the test. Amazon still tests their site every day; we achieved an extra £55,000 for one client when we completed two tests of their home page – understanding the value of the test is paramount.

  1. Only using the data and insights for CRO

The research and insights you gain through a thorough and detailed CRO analysis can have far-reaching implications for many different digital disciplines i.e. persona analysis can inform targeting through emails and AdWords, competitor reviews can inform extra landing pages and keyword targeting for SEO, the insights you gain from usability tests and understanding customer pain points can inform your business strategy. Limiting the knowledge and information to only apply it to the test isn’t extracting the maximum amount of benefit from it and misses out on further application.

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  1. Not thinking about the traffic

Traffic is the lifeblood of the test and has a lot of ramifications. Firstly pre-test; if the page has a small amount of traffic then the test will take a lot longer to hit a statistically valid result, and this should be factored into your test schedule and you should assess that ahead of the test. Also, the traffic will determine the format of the test too – i.e. a small amount of traffic will mean that a multi-variant test (where you split the traffic between more than one variable) isn’t realistic either – as it will take a long time too.

Post-test if you haven’t considered SEO content, then your winning page could hurt your rankings once you’ve replaced your control. It’s a common mistake (if you don’t know the rules of SEO), so it’s important to use an agency (if you are outsourcing your CRO) who understands and appreciates SEO too.

Enough traffic is needed to run CRO tests.
  1. It’s all about the colour of the CTAs

Each website is different and it’s risky to apply a general principle to every site.

It is true that the CTA (call to action) is a key area of the page that’s important to review your CTAs and to devote tests to them.

However, whether or not a visitor clicks on your CTA will also rest upon whether you’ve convinced them through other messages and triggers in the site too – such as your value proposition, unique selling points, trust metrics, social proof, stories and the information and visual clues on the site, and whether they enjoy the overall user experience. Devoting a lot of time to CTA test misses out on other bigger opportunities too.

Now for an extra error just for fun!

  1. CRO is a project – with a finish and end date

This is another myth that surrounds CRO. This is would be true if everything remained the same, but that’s not the case, especially in a competitive and digital world.

Your environment will constantly change. Your competitor, visitors’ expectations, a new service changing the game or even a change in source of traffic can have huge consequences. Knowing the environment and competitive landscape is continually changing, testing can become your secret weapon to ensure your site adapts and pre-empts change.

If you’d like to know more about CRO, how you can possibly increase your business growth and benefit from powerful knowledge such as understanding your digital competitors and their consumers’ needs and behaviours – thanks to accurate data and powerful insights – don’t hesitate to Contact Us.