4 traps to avoid when doing conversion rate optimization

When you first experiment with conversion rate optimization it’s easy to think lightly of it or to be too enthusiastic and pass over important details. In such situations, the important thing is to get back to the methodology and to analyze in depth the strategies. Here are a few of the most common traps of conversion optimization, and of course, the ways to avoid them.

1.    Applying conversion rate optimization without taking into account the overall marketing strategy

The first objective of conversion rate optimization is to transform a bigger proportion of the traffic into buying customers. Only that the objective that dominates the whole picture of online businesses is increasing the ROI. Depending on the type of products and the targeted customers, conversion rate optimization that takes into account ROI can follow two paths: increase the number of customers or increase the value of their shopping carts.

Each approach is very different and is closely related to the price strategy, the promotional strategy and the type of customers. Applied to new visitors, conversion rate optimization might aim at transforming them into immediate buyers through surprise offers. With loyal visitors identified as having a certain spending power or showing an interest in high-end products, the strategy can be completely different: it can revolve around cross sells and up sells and trying to increase the Average order value.

Very simply put, avoiding this trap means choosing between:

More sales / More consistent sales

2.    Not calculating how much the changes you are making would cost you or not assessing their impact first

Conversion rate optimization sometimes implies making changes on your website’s design, creating new promotions, inserting new filters, developing new pieces of content, etc. Before making these changes assess if their outcome will surpass in value the time and the resources invested.

A well thought change can have a great impact on a long term. But to see if all your ideas deserve being put into practice don’t forget one of the basic rules of conversion optimization: testing. A/B testing, multivariate testing and even usability testing can show you clearly how users react to your proposed improvements. And usually they only require WYSWYG editing.

3.    Forgetting about goals

Conversion rate optimization is a must and can be deployed continuously. Sure. But conversion rate optimization doesn’t refer to adjusting a thing or two, and waiting for sales to burst. For conversion optimization to work it needs precise goals and precise steps that will lead to achieving those goals. They can be anything from increasing sales by 10% to retaining more of a certain segment of audience on site.

4.    Thinking indistinctly about you audience

Sometimes you might notice a certain pattern of use on your website (visitors abandoning more often at a certain stage of the funnel, people buying certain products more during weekends etc.) Trying to address these elements is useless if you don’t figure out what kind of users are behind these actions. The first question to ask is if a usage pattern is associated with a segment of audience.
Consequently, whatever your aim is in terms of conversion rate optimization, segment the traffic through traditional segmentation and even better, through behavioral segmentation. It’s the key to creating more persuasive content, promotions and key messages.

Conversion rate optimization is an essential activity for online businesses, but it’s justified only when it contributes to marketing and business objectives. Otherwise you can do conversion rate optimization, only to continue the business without any visible change. So, if you price conversion rate optimization and are convinced of its results, you will try to give it the in depth concentration and analysis it deserves.

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