The “Alchemy” of Effective CRO
Best practices for CRO go way beyond “magic” buttons that convert, “killer” copy, or “tried-and-true” layout.
Where is the prime real estate on your site? Can you more effectively encourage sharing? Can you learn why consumers come to your site and optimize personalization? Are consumers satisfied with the time they spend on my site? If you are growing an online business, these are some of the critical questions that impact conversion rate optimization (CRO).
You must know that successful CRO is a multi-step process that involves first eliminating the guesswork – and then, systematically, pedantically, working toward improved site conversion using a careful and almost scientific methodology. Knowing the good, the bad and the ugly about CRO also involves understanding that there are certain, well-known errors that you need to sidestep along the way. So if you are investing in effective CRO for your site, here are several mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
Buttons and headlines should spell out to consumers what to do next, and leave no room for uncertainty or guessing.
You can never know what’s going on inside someone else’s head. This is as true of website mapping and consumer relationships as it is of any other kind of personal relationship: You cannot take for granted that you understand what a person is thinking. As a result, it’s important to be very clear about the options on your site—and to specify where each option leads.
For example, it has to be super easy for consumers to check out on your site. Minimize the distractions, and along the way, I recommend that you reinforce why they are buying from you. For example, you can perhaps remind them that you offer a painless returns process, or that you have many satisfied customers.
Don’t use “Click Here”
Just don’t do it! A good Call-to-Action (CTA) button should never say “Click Here.”
In fact—writing “Click Here” actually hurts SEO. So…what’s the right way to do a CTA? CTA buttons are most effective if they state WHAT they do (a specific action) and WHY (a specific value).
The simple formula to follow for CTA buttons works well: “Action Verb + Benefit.” The goal is to provide absolute clarity about the consequences of each click. You can’t afford to leave people wondering, because they won’t click if they are nervous about it.
One Size (Doesn’t) Fit All
You may have come across a case study that claims including the word “click” increases clicks. Or, you may have come across a second study that advises against it.
Everything you read about design is sometimes true, and sometimes false—and sometimes it’s irrelevant because I find that no study is applicable to all situations.
Don’t believe what you read. Take each study or suggestion as a source of inspiration that can be used to generate your own hypothesis. Then, run A/B or multivariate testing to see what works for your audience, because each audience relates in its own way to different designs, language, reading levels, colors, and more. Keep on testing—even after you have wins.
The key to successful CRO involves maintaining a focus on dissecting and analyzing consumer engagement, even down to the individual user level.
Careful and consistent CRO—and avoiding well-known CRO errors—leads to better content and ad placement, more effective engagement, and improved sharing.