Is there more to CRO testing than just numbers? Yes!

Phoebe Dormand
Optimisation Consultant

Is there more to CRO testing than just numbers? Yes!

When you think about CRO, is the first thing you think about the numbers? For most people, this is the case. However, there is far more to the process than your conversion rate. Yes you want to improve your conversion rate but it is far more important to understand why conversions have been boosted or not. This allows you to understand what was done effectively to change a visitor into a customer.

Things to focus on short-term

One of the most important things you can look at in the short-term is what the main point of the website you are optimising for is. Different websites exist for different reasons, and it is important to remember that. People often focus more on the aesthetic appeal of a website, and less on the site functionality and if it’s serving its main purpose.

By using a combination of numerical data, qualitative feedback, and psychology you can develop a deep understanding of what persuades and drives visitors to make any purchases, as well as what stops them. You can then use this understanding to offer the best experience that you possibly can. Qualitative feedback is often underused in CRO, but it can be a goldmine of information that you can put towards future tests. Speaking to real human beings is invaluable, as they can provide you with information and feedback that you would not find elsewhere.

Early in the process, you might see some small improvements from time to time, but drastic jumps will be more infrequent. Always remember that big changes don’t happen overnight, so don’t look too far ahead in terms of numbers!

Things to think about long-term

Despite this, it is important to remember that CRO is an investment. By setting yourself up for success in the long run you will have a huge advantage over any potential competitors. Putting the effort into creating CRO programmes instead of the odd test will pay off in the long run. A strong programme will involve a good team, the right technology, a tried and tested process and an understanding of people and culture. This combination is far more likely to produce winning results than simply focusing on running as many tests as you possibly can.

Things to take away from “losing” tests

Don’t be disappointed if you run a test and it doesn’t produce the results you’d hoped for. CRO is an investment. It requires patience and hard work to see the monetary increases that you hope to see, and the long-term numbers are more important than the short-term ones. With CRO, there is no such thing as failure, only learning opportunities.

If you run a test and it fails to produce a winner, go back to your hypothesis and ask yourself why that may have been. Alongside the data you have collected, you should be able to reform your hypothesis to react to what you have learned. Using this to spearhead an iteration of your original test, you’ll be able to get something new out of the door much faster than going back to square one. Adapting your test and rerunning it will also potentially be cheaper than running a brand-new test.

In conclusion - don’t get too caught up in the numbers!