11 tips for the one-person CRO team
Whether you’re the first CRO specialist hired to build the CRO programme from scratch or you’re working in a related role already in the marketing or product team and have been given responsibility for CRO - you are the CRO team!
Like you I am a team of one and the first marketing hire here at WeTeachCRO and can understand the responsibility of the one-person department, and it can be hard to own and make all the decisions without others working in similar roles.
And like me, I’m sure you’ve rolled your sleeves up and are ready for the challenge, asking yourself how can I make waves here and accomplish a lot with limited time and resources?
Here’s some tips to help the one-person CRO team:
Teach yourself the basic CRO metrics
I’ve heard CRO described as a dark art, but if you understand the basics it becomes a lot clearer!
Conversion rate, average order value, revenue per visitor - understand how to calculate these numbers.
Understand statistical significance and chance to beat control (check out our guide at the end of this post).
Don’t let this lack of knowledge discourage you from trying. As a one-person CRO team you can learn these things yourself. And remember everything is a guide. The metrics, the hypothesis, the rules for significance - be flexible and open in your approach.
Make sure your Google Analytics is set up correctly
A successful CRO programme relies on correct data. The consequences of inaccurate data include pursuing the wrong things to test, implementing the wrong variations and measuring your whole CRO programme incorrectly.
GA is one of the most important tools you can use to track your website analytics and uncover core insights for CRO. So make sure your tracking is working before you start. This will include tracking your conversion funnel so you can see how visitors enter, navigate and exit your conversion journey. You should also track more granular data such as interactions measured with events (e.g. hover, click and scroll depth).
Once you have this set up properly, you can not only identify opportunities for testing, but also quantify those opportunities and understand how valuable they might be. So make sure GA is set up correctly to get the most from your CRO efforts.
Base your tests on data not opinions
Opinions don’t exist in CRO. OK they do, but they won’t lead to the best results! If you’re testing based on someone’s opinion or someone’s hunch, and not based on any solid data, you’re not going to get the results or learnings you’re looking for and you will struggle to build a reliable programme.
This mindset can be met with resistance and is hard to instill if up until now, all changes have been steered by opinions. But testing brings science to the debate. If you base your hypotheses on insights from data, you will have a greater chance of success.
Do an audit of your site to determine where to start testing
1) Look at your bounce rate
2) Of all the non-bounces, how many added to basket?
3) Of those that added to basket, how many turned into a sale?
Now you should be able to see where the issue is? Let’s say it's your checkout process, for example. Now you can break down your checkout process into more manageable chunks so you can see where you need to focus your efforts.
Look at the conversion rates between these stages (the journey below may be different on your site): add to basket ➡ login ➡ sale
At which stage is abandonment most prominent? Now you've determined the problem area you need to focus on.
CRO is a marathon not a sprint. Starting small is something we’d recommend to everyone starting out, not just the one-person CRO team! In your case, with limited resources it’s even more important to know your capabilities and be selective.
Choose to test something that requires low technical effort so you don’t fall at the first hurdle, or indeed seek extra resources initially. If you can start small and demonstrate what the process looks like to stakeholders, this is going to enable you to start to build trust, an important ingredient for the growth of your programme.
Try small copy changes or shifting a CTA higher up the page - small changes can have a big impact!
Align your CRO programme’s objectives with business objectives
As a one-person CRO team, you could go down a rabbit hole with what to test, but you don't have the luxury of time or resources to do this on your own - so be clear on what the business is trying to achieve. Understand that this isn’t about the test, but rather how you make sure you can tie everything back to business objectives in a measurable way so you can say I did this, this is the output, and this is how I’m supporting the business in it’s bigger objectives (and winning over your stakeholders).
Choose a CRO tool with a good visual editor
If your technical knowledge isn’t strong, you can still absolutely get started with CRO as most tools have easy-to-use visual editors - but just bear in mind as your programme develops, you will either want to build technical knowledge yourself or get the support of a front-end developer.
If you need a free tool, you have Google Optimize. However it is very limited in its capabilities right now, and its execution of certain types of tests is hampered because of that. But free is still free!
If you can afford to spend a little, Convert Experiences (convert.com) is our go-to as the functionality it offers for its price tag is very good. Their lower-tier packages don’t go low enough for some budgets, however they do a lot of their selling via agencies, so a Certified Partner (like us) could well be able to give you a tailored package that would suit your needs more closely!
You may be thinking but it's just me and I know what’s going on! This is for your stakeholders, this is for you in 6 months’ time, this is for a time when your team will grow and you’ll be able to share what you’ve done so far. So document your tests no matter what. You’re also likely to have a number of ideas that you can’t implement right now as a team of one, so create your wish list of tests too.
Create your CRO process
For repeatable results, you need a CRO process in place (also documented). If you don’t have a process in place yet, here’s ours - take it, adapt it and evolve it :) The quicker you set this up, the easier it will be to scale.
Talk to other teams for ideas
You might be on your own when it comes to CRO, but you’re not alone. All around you there are teams with insights that you might not see. Take the customer service team for example, they’re talking to customers day in day out, answering their questions and solving their challenges - there will be so many testing ideas that come out of these conversations, so set up a communication loop so that they get fed directly to you.
Get help with your CRO
The 3 main skill areas of a CRO specialist are analytical, technical and creative. And as the one-person CRO team, you need at least some working knowledge of these areas - but you don’t need to be an expert in all of them.
For example, you might be strong analytically, worked hard for your creative knowledge, but be weak technically. If you have little knowledge of coding, you’re going to struggle to get more complex tests built. You may have a brilliant test idea, but you don’t know how to make changes to forms or your checkout process.
Who do you have available to support your experimentation activity around the business? This could be an existing developer team within the business, or you can plug the gaps with extra support externally through a CRO agency. CRO is all we do, and we have an experienced team of consultants, devs and QA implementing CRO programmes for one-person CRO teams just like you. If you need some help, please get in touch.
Just because you are a one-person CRO team doesn’t mean you can’t still lay great foundations for CRO and testing. Things may take a little longer, and therefore the impact you can show may also, but don’t be discouraged!
Need more tips getting started? Check out our guide here.