The season between Black Friday weekend and New Year is a huge opportunity for commerce businesses to boost their performance and increase sales. Here are our top Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) tools to get the most out of the holiday season.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Conversion rate optimisation is the process of optimising your site through experimentation to increase the likelihood that visitors will complete a desired action.
CRO can help boost your marketing strategies by delivering a better user experience.
Useful tools for CRO
In CRO, data is your most valuable asset. Here are some of the best tools to capture data with.
Ensure your Google Analytics is tracking correctly. Monsterinsights have a useful guide to ensure your account is set up correctly. Be sure to set up events tracking for key conversion points such as form completions or Call To Action (CTA) clicks.
HotJar gives you a fly on the wall look at users behaviour on your site. It can record Users using your site in real time, or create heat maps of areas of high activity on your online store or website. HorJar is also a handy tool for market research, allowing you to quickly set up surveys and polls for your site users.
Google Optimize allows you to quickly set up A/B tests. These types of experiments allow you to compare your original site to a variation you have hypothesised will change users behaviour on your site. There are a few different types of tests you can run on Google Optimize, but we recommend sticking to A/B tests as a beginner to run clean and conclusive tests. You can calculate how long you need to run a test using an online calculator like this one on VWO.
How to conduct an experiment that will get results
If you take yourself back to High School chemistry class, you might remember forming a hypothesis before your experiments. These digital experiments are exactly the same.
Before you test anything, prioritise the area you want to experiment on. This might be a key point in the user journey or on high value pages like product pages. Next, select a specific item in that area of your site, and form a hypothesis for the outcome of the experiment using an ‘If’, ‘Then’, and ‘Due to’ statement.
If the CTA button is red, then we will receive more clicks, due to its brighter colour.
The IF statement defines the item or variable that will change.
The THEN statement defines what you predict to happen.
Finally the DUE TO statement defines what you believe caused the change.
Using a hypothesis like this allows to your measure the success of the experiment, and attribute the result to a specific change that you can then roll out to other areas of your site.
Consider all of your options when creating your hypothesis.
4 Experiments to run before Black Friday and Christmas
1. Try new CTA colours or text
Your CTAs are the most important feature on your pages as these are the points that your users actively click on to complete conversions. There has been a lot of research surrounding what is the best CTA colour which has produced some guidelines, but will vary based on audience and context. The best approach is to find a colour that makes your CTAs more visible within your existing designs.
Testing the urgency of the language used on your CTA buttons could be another area of experimentation. Using words such as ‘Now’ and ‘Today’ after CTAs like ‘Subscribe’ and ‘Contact Us Today’ place the action in the present for the user, increasing its urgency.
2. A/B test images
Images are a key part of a users experience. They can give us information as to what to expect on the page, or clues about how much we’ll like a product. Swap out a key product image for a variation and record which version gets more sales or conversions. If your product image only shows the product, try a variation where a model is holding the product, or even show it on a different colour background to make it stand out.
3. Compare category titles
Do your category titles entice your customers into clicking or reading more? If you aren’t sure, test your section titles with a variation and see which results in a longer read time, or more clicks on the relevant CTA.
4. Evaluate the experience on mobile pages
You don’t need any additional software for this one. All you need is 2 screen sizes, one desktop and one mobile sized.
Pick a common conversion path a user may take and follow it on desktop. Then complete the journey on mobile. Are all the buttons where you expect them to be? Is any text cut off by the screen, or runs onto another line where it shouldn’t?
Compare variations between the two journeys and update your mobile pages to keep your on-the-go customers happy.
Sports nutrition start up The Protein Works using optimised navigation elements.
No time for experiments? Here are some no-brainer optimisations to increase your conversions.
Depending on your site traffic, experiments usually need to run for a minimum of 4 weeks. If time is running short, here are some no-brainer optimisations you can make before the Black Friday and Christmas Shopping season hits.
1. Compress your images to increase site speed
Large images on your site can cause pages to load slowly and users to abandon their journey. Start with high value pages like category and product pages, and optimise the images for web. This may involve making the image smaller, compressing the file, or changing the file to be a format that is suited for the web.
2. Update your page titles to relevant, search worthy terms
This is a double whammy fix, combining SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and CRO. Begin by doing some keyword research for your pages to find out which terms get the best search traffic, but aren’t too competitive. Then update your page titles to include these valuable terms. Not only will this increase your click through rate, but it may increase your overall organic visibility.
For more advice on organic visibility around the holiday season, read our SEO quick wins.
3. Turn key text links into buttons
Finally, not all text links are created equally. Sometimes text links are the perfect way to cite a resource in a paragraph, or give users an option to delve deeper into a topic. Text links aren’t so appropriate where the text link is your main call to action. Update these critical links to clickable buttons that users will be easily drawn to and want to interact with.
If you would like to speak to an expert about increasing your Conversion Rates, contact us today.