Whether you know it or not, your website has a funnel. There are a few steps that your users will have to take before they do what you want them to do.
It doesn’t matter if you want a registration, to sell products or even to generate signups for your newsletter. Before each goal there is a funnel.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of finding and fixing problems with your funnel.
How does CRO work – Holes in a hose
Imagine having a nice flower garden in your backyard. You grab a hose and hook it up to the faucet. You switch it on and go to water your plants. But oh no! It barely let’s out any water.
You go back and check the faucet. The water pressure is high so the problem is somewhere else.
You check the hose’s end. Again, no problems. It’s clean and looks as expected.
How am I supposed to water my plants then? You ask yourself.
There are 3 possibilities:
- The hose has holes in it that needs to be fixed.
- The hose might be too long, so shortening it up might work.
- You go and buy another hose.
As you really need to water the plants soon, the third option is out of the question. It will be too long before you go to the shop, buy another one and set it up. So you are left with the first two.
Finding holes is really easy and fun. You let the water on and look from where it’s leaking.
Just apply a small patch and you’ll water your plants in no time. This option saves you time, money and helps your plants survive.
In a short time, the patch falls and the water pressure goes down again. This time, you apply a better patch, made from something else.
Another hole appears. You decide to test and see what material might be stronger and more resistant.
This will go on and on until you find a material strong enough, that will make the hose even better than it was before, just like magic.
CRO is about fixing that broken hose:
- First, find out why the hose doesn’t have pressure;
- Second, look for a solution to fix the hose;
- Third, apply the solution and see if it worked;
- Fourth, if it didn’t, try something else;
- Fifth, apply the solution and look for other ways to make the hose better.
What exactly is CRO
It’s the science of finding and fixing problems with your website.
It all starts with the analysis of your users. Who they are, what they do and where they come from.
Next, you find out what are the most problematic pages of your funnel. The pages that leak the most users.
Finally, you create a hypothesis based on your data. Implement a test to see if the hypothesis is better than the original version. If the test is successful, apply the changes on your website.
Repeat the above.
You can’t fix your funnels and hope for them to work indefinitely. People change and so is their behaviour. You will have to continue testing even if you find a winning combination.
This whole process is complex and takes a lot of time to master, but it’s a proven way of getting the most results with the smallest investment.
Let’s say for example that you want to scale your business. Before you start pumping more money in ads, you should see if your website is ready to convert traffic.
It doesn’t matter how many people reach your website. If they find it difficult to browse it they will just leave for your competition.
Why is CRO important
Think of it this way, you spend money on getting new users and the cost of ads has been steadily rising over the years.
You can either spend more money on ads or you can optimize your website for conversions (like signups, purchases or subscriptions).
Conversion rate optimization is all about analyzing data, finding out problems and crafting solutions. It’s always better and cheaper to test different buttons, copy, images or sections of your website rather than spending more to get the same results.
Would you increase the water pressure in a broken hose?
That will make your water bill really expensive.
Adopting a CRO program will not only fix your funnel, but it will help you better understand your business as a whole.
You will find out more about your users and apply these findings to your marketing efforts.
It can help you uncover new business opportunities.
Once you discover where your funnel leaks money, you can fix it and boost your ROI.
So next time someone asks you what conversion rate optimizations is, just tell them it’s all about fixing a broken hose.
Why not use a robot instead?
It’s almost 2020. AI has already infiltrated in almost every field out there, CRO included.
We have created an app that will help your CRO analysis. You’ll see who are your users (age, gender, device used), where they entered your website (landing pages), discover your funnel analysis (only for Shopify for the moment) and many more.
It’s like your virtual data analyst! But don’t take my word for it, check it out.
The app is called Ontrack Analytics and we are really proud of it.