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Implementing an ongoing conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy can increase the average rate site visitors complete a goal, but where do you start? The first place to start is to learn about the CRO process basics. Below is our conversion rate optimization 101:

1. Audience Research
Learn about and research your audience(s). Who are there? How are they reaching your site (direct, organic search, etc.)? What are they hoping to achieve by visiting your site?  Analytics is your friend for all of these answers.

2. Outline Goals
Without having a solid understanding of your organizational/site goals (and the proper tracking in place), you could test elements with little bottom line impact or receive inaccurate results. This is also a great time to start making a mental note of “conversion elements”, such as payment buttons, web forms and calls to action (CTAs).

3. Identify Bottlenecks
Take advantage of traffic analytics, click/heatmaps, or any additional site usage tools at your disposable. Look for steps throughout the user flow process where conversions aren’t taking place and users are dropping out.

4. Brainstorm Test Hypotheses
Taking all of the information from the above steps, you can now create a list of possible test hypotheses and their corresponding conversion elements to test. One thing to point out- to reach statistical significants a test requires a fair amount of traffic. To get a better idea of how long an A/B test might take to receive a statistically sound conclusion, try this great little conversion rate optimization tool from Visual Website Optimizer.

5. Prioritize Test Options
Before you start to conduct split tests, prioritize the tests from the brainstorming phase. Consider the overall impact of the test as well as how long the test will take.

6. Launch Initial Test
Once the first test is outlined, the “challenger” page/element is created and you double checked goal tracking was in place, you’re ready to start your first test!

Once you’re first test has run for a reasonable amount of time (usually depending on traffic), you can review the results.  Identify the key takeaways and implement the necessary changes. Now you’re ready to restart the testing process to test your learnings again. Apply this information to upcoming tests to contentiously improve the conversion rate of your business’s web site.


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