Do you ever look for the lowest hanging fruit in your business?
Perhaps you occasionally audit your sales funnel, to see where you’re losing sales – or could increase revenue?
In the online world, this is what User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is. It’s all about “setting up & auditing your online sales funnel” from a visitor’s first touch point, to their last when they ideally become loyal paying customers.
Another way to visualise this is if one-hundred people land on your website, but only two buy. You’re losing 98% of potential sales. You can use a combination of UX and CRO to understand ‘why’.
When you understand UX and CRO, you can make calculated changes.
Before we jump into using these techniques to improve your day-to-day operations, it’s worth highlighting the difference between User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
Because while they share similarities, they’re two distinct disciplines.
What is User Experience?
User Experience (UX) includes all areas of a person’s interaction with your company, be it your team, services or your products. The goal of UX is to make this interaction better; this could extend from changing your phone call scripts to your websites, or even creating an app that’s better for users.
UX is applied across all kinds of products. Take a car. When Porsche (or even Kia) design a car, they spend countless hours on the design, knowing what they did right and wrong last time, to make sure it fits the people buying it. They may even spend weeks on the position of a radio knob, to ensure you can reach for it without thinking.
The flip side of this is a poorly designed car. Maybe you’ve driven a car where the gearstick, seat or steering wheel just didn’t feel right?
That’s poor UX, and car or website, the same principles apply.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a tad different. In the digital world, it’s all about taking an already established website design (from the UX process) and making it even better – to improve sales and conversions.
Let’s jump back to the car analogy. Porsche have a lead designer, but they don’t just take the initial design and build a car. They get hundreds of people to test prototypes and re-iterate as they go – that’s the same process us web designers use for CRO, except unlike a car, with a website, your able to make changes once it’s launched.
These two disciplines fit together as such:
UX + Analytics + Copywriting + Testing = CRO
How do you use CRO on your website?
When your web designis set up to proven UX guidelines initially, you’re halfway there. And you may already be making a good amount of sales and leads
The goal of CRO is now to improve a website’s ROI and bottom line, but there’s a funny thing at play that many web agencies won’t tell you.
That is, increasing your website’s conversion rate through CRO techniques may actually lose you money. For example, as part of the CRO process, you might offer a 30% discount to make more sales. But with this discount, your average customer value might be reduced overall.
CRO needs to be based around your overall business goals, not just making more sales.
And then there are methods that might make more sales, but actually, frustrate (and lose) the clients you really want.
Website pop-ups are a good example, you might be able to get the email addresses of lots of people – but these people may not value their email account and have an inbox full of spam already that you’ll just get lost in.
They might not be the paying customers you’re after, but people looking for freebies.
Perhaps your ideal customers don’t readily hand out their emails, so you need to offer something of more value – or work on retargeting to them through Google or social media until they decide to engage (or buy) from you.
How do you start improving your website today?
In a word – testing.
Just like Porsche do with hundreds of test drivers, you need to test, measure and make calculated changes based on data. There is no shortcut for gathering this data, which we’ll cover a bit later.
You need to test all areas of your website. From your Homepage image, button colours, how much priority is put on your team’s profiles, the length of your contact forms – it all matters when trying to increase sales.
In the long term, this testing is always invaluable!
And while testing may sound like a lot of work, consider increasing your website’s profit by 3%, what would that mean to your bottom line?
What about a 10% increase in sales or leads?
It’s exciting – and why companies like eBay and Amazon have dedicated teams working around the clock on their CRO, a 1% difference can translate into billions of additional revenue, and likely a lot for you too.
How you approach UX and CRO?
At the core, you should focus on the outcomes rather than each discipline. For example, if we build an eCommerce website for a client and it converts at 30%, we’d be cautious about touching anything. But we would monitor the site to see why it’s converting so well. We apply these learnings to other parts of the website and use these learnings across other client’s sites.
It’s why working with a website agency is worth it. It’s the years of experience and data.
It’s also about balance, weighing up the short-term interruptive methods with longer-term side results – often a tough call to make.
Primarily, it all comes down to gathering and using data correctly, even if it goes against your gut, which is often the case. You need to make decisions on real client interaction, which leads nicely to the next point.
Why asking friends doesn’t work!
These results can often hinder your moving forward as often the results are terrible because twenty people who know will have very different opinions to the hundreds or thousands that don’t know you personally.
For example, the twenty people who know likely won’t be looking for your teams’ profiles or testimonials, because they already trust you.
That in itself is a massive difference.
What tools do can you use?
When it comes to UX and CRO tool, we use a lot; it depends on your business goals. At the core are brilliant A/B testing tools like Google and software like Optimizely. We also use heatmap and screen recording tools like HotJar, and many others designed purely for UX and CRO.
Quick UX and CRO summary.
User Experience (UX) best practices are used during your initial website design and relate to how “pleasing” your website is for visitors.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) follows UX and is based on customer data. CRO refers to the percentage of ‘conversions’ your website makes, like contact form submissions, number of phone call enquiries, PDF downloads or direct sales on an eCommerce website.
Like to know more?
Please get in touch with the KMO team. We’d love to chat!
About the author
Katrina O’Connell is the managing director at kmo. Having started her career in the early days of web, Katrina was a part of a team that was one of the first to build a multi-currency payment gateway for both real-time and batch payment processing. In 2007 Katrina started kmo a web development agency located in Brisbane and works with both clients and agencies throughout Australia.