A Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) experiment is the process of meticulously adding, re-arranging, and/or redesigning elements on a website to validate hypotheses and improve its performance.
Marketers experiment with different layouts, content structures, and interactive elements to identify the optimal configuration that drives user engagement and conversions.
These experiments, which involve tweaking elements like buttons, images, or text placements, enable marketers to understand how visitors respond to these changes, thus gaining valuable insights into the preferences and expectations of their users.
This information, in turn, guides them in making data-driven decisions about the website’s design and content, ensuring an engaging and conversion-friendly user experience.
Why are CRO experiments important?
CRO offers the invaluable advantage of pinpointing friction points across your website, thereby improving users’ and customers’ experiences.
Even if CRO experiments require an initial resource investment, the results are worth the effort;
you can gradually boost your site’s performance and optimize your marketing budget by increasing revenue per visitor.
This increase in revenue isn’t achieved through escalating media expenses, enabling you to invest in revenue-generating results instead of Ads that may or may not convert.
However, not all CRO tests are equal. Some of your experiments will perform well and increase conversions, while others might not.
Even if an experiment fails, it’s a great way to understand the factors influencing user behavior and conversion rates.
Without experiments, you’re just guessing and making assumptions about what users like.
Decisions grounded in data usually outperform those based solely on intuition.
How To Create CRO Experiments
Even if it’s a relatively easy-to-grasp concept, there is a science behind a CRO experiment: a series of steps that can’t be overlooked in the process of designing such an experiment.
Let’s break them down so we can better understand the work involved in a CRO experiment.
Step One: Data & UX/UI Audit
The process begins by thoroughly analyzing existing data and conducting a comprehensive User Experience (UX) audit.
To carry on this audit, you need to study website analytics, user behavior, and feedback to pinpoint potential website issues and areas where you have an opportunity to improve the user experience.
Step Two: Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Before designing any experiment, you need to understand how users behave on (and perceive) your website.
This involves gathering both qualitative and quantitative data directly from your users.
You aim to understand how users behave and why they do it like that.
Qualitative methods like surveys and interviews provide in-depth insights into user preferences and motivations.
Quantitative research involves analyzing numerical data, such as website traffic, click-through rates, and conversion rates, offering statistical insights into user behavior.
Step Three: Developing Hypotheses
Hypotheses are formulated Based on the data audit and research findings.
These hypotheses are educated guesses about the changes on the website that could enhance user engagement and conversions.
A hypothesis follows this specific structure: by [action], we can [expected result].
For example, a hypothesis can look like this:
“By repositioning the benefits section under the hero banner, we can improve the chances of users making a purchase.”
Step Four: Designing Experiments to Validate Hypotheses
Now that we have our hypothesis, we need to create different variants of the website, with each with unique content based on the formulated hypothesis.
These variants might feature diverse product descriptions, images, designs, or the placement of key elements like the ‘Buy Now’ button.
Step Five: Running the Experiment
CRO experiments typically employ three main types of tests:
- A/B Test
Compares a webpage’s two versions (A and B) to determine the superior performer.
Usually, you will have two variants:
→ Control (where nothing is changed on the website)
→ Variation (where you tweaked the website according to your hypothesis)
- Multivariate Test
Simultaneously tests multiple variations of different elements to find the optimal combination.
- Multipage or Funnel Test
Analyzes the entire user journey across multiple pages or steps, such as in a checkout process.
After you design the experiment, website visitors are randomly and evenly assigned to different variants. While the experiment runs, users’ interactions with the site are closely monitored and recorded.
Your experiment should run for a specified period to gather sufficient data for analysis.
The duration of your experiment will vary based on several factors, including the amount of traffic your website receives, the complexity of your conversion funnel, and the specific goals of your experiment.
However, a common guideline is to run the experiment for at least two full business cycles.
Note: a business cycle typically refers to a complete process from attracting a visitor to the website (or landing page) to the visitor taking the desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. For some businesses, this cycle might be a few days, while for others, especially those with high-value products/services or longer sales cycles, it could be several weeks.
Step Six: Analyzing User Behavior
As visitors engage with their respective website variants, their behavior differs from users on other variants.
This variance in behavior is crucial.
To reach a conclusion about the experiment, you need to analyze the diverse user responses across different variants against the stated hypotheses.
Essentially, you need to see whether or not your hypothesis was true, based on user behavior.
Step Seven: Conclusions
Through rigorous analysis of user behavior and statistical data, conclusions are drawn.
These conclusions reveal which variants performed the best and offer valuable insights into user preferences.
You can then implement changes that yield positive outcomes, leading to an optimized website that effectively engages users and boosts conversions.
After understanding the theoretical side of things, the next natural step for you is exploring various CRO experiment examples and ideas and “steal” strategies that have proven successful for other businesses.
To that end, let’s look into the most common CRO experiments out there and give you a glimpse of how you can upgrade your website to deliver better results.
7 Different CRO Experiment Examples and Ideas
1. Call to Action (CTA) Buttons
CTA Buttons play a huge role when it comes to conversion, so you should definitely experiment with the size, placement, color, and shape of your CTA in order to see the differences that are made in terms of customer behavior.
Understanding how your customers convert and what sort of CTAs are most effective is important.
There are a number of different options you can try when it comes to this.
If you feel that your current CTA is buried on your homepage, these are the sorts of changes that are worth making.
Another approach that we see works a lot is the hovering CTA.
Allowing the CTA to hover with visitors while they are scrolling down your website can make a big difference, so this is something else we would certainly recommend trying out.
2. Headline & Title Wording
In addition to trying out different Calls to Action, we would also recommend trying out different sorts of headlines and title wording.
After all, the headline is the first thing that people are going to see when they land on your website.
Therefore, you need to make sure that it is compelling. It could be that your headline is not hitting the mark at the moment, so try out different wording and see if it makes a difference in terms of improving conversions.
You may be shocked by how much of a difference this can make!
3. Product Page
Aside from the tests we have discussed so far, we recommend doing some CRO experiments on your product pages.
Trying out different variations of your product pages is important. There are lots of different things that you can try here.
For example, why not test both long-form and short-form copy to see what resonates more with your consumers?
Long-form copy is becoming increasingly popular today, but it needs to be presented in the right way, and it will not be appropriate 100 percent of the time.
You may also want to try adding interactive elements and videos to your product pages to see the difference that this has.
Demo videos can make a huge difference in terms of conversions.
Other tests that we would recommend include using bigger photos and adding reviews to your product page.
4. Social Proof
Another method to use in order to boost conversions is to test out different social proof statements across different parts of your website.
What are social proof statements?
These are statements that your customers have made or have been made about your customers to help create a feeling of confidence and trust amongst your website visitors.
Some of the most popular and effective forms of social proof include:
- The number of products that you have shipped or sold
- Product reviews
- The number of customers that have purchased from you within a specified time frame, for example, the past hour, day, or week
- The total number of customers that have purchased from you
The aim here is to prove that other customers love your brand and your product.
After all, people are likelier to listen to other customers than to listen to a brand wax lyrical about themselves!
Therefore, we recommend trying out different forms of social proof in various areas of your website and assessing the results.
Some ideas include adding a video testimonial onto your homepage, changing your headline to incorporate a statistic regarding your customers or products sold, and adding a review section right below the fold.
Make changes like this, and then test your website to see the difference it makes.
5. Tags on Product Images
Another type of CRO experiment you can use to improve your conversion optimization is testing different product image tags.
The way in which products are displayed plays a huge role in terms of whether a customer decides to make a purchase or not.
You should try adding different tags to your products and see the difference that is made.
For example, some of the most popular and effective tags at the moment that can compel customers to purchase include ‘new,’ ‘sustainable,’ and ‘reduced.’
Needless to say, you can’t add any old tag – it needs to be factually correct.
6. Checkout Process
Does your data show that many customers are abandoning their shopping carts and leaving your website in the middle of the checkout process?
You will often find that many people do this when the checkout process is too complicated and long-winded.
You need to make it less confusing and more convenient. Here are some ideas to try…
- Reduce the number of steps needed to checkout – You should always start with this!
- Offer social log-in – This will get rid of barriers in terms of logging in to checkout. How frustrating is it when you need to buy a product, and you have to complete a registration phase first?
- Remove navigation once a visitor enters the checkout phase – This may prevent people from leaving your checkout by removing other distractions and ensuring they are focused on checking out!
Last but not least, recommending products is a great way to improve conversions.
Personalization has become a massive factor in eCommerce and online marketing today.
People don’t want a generic experience; they want something that is tailored to suit them.
Offering recommended product suggestions increases the conversions you make but the amount of money that is spent per conversion.
Not only are you advised to use A/B testing in order to try this feature out, but you also need to experiment with the different elements of the feature.
Firstly, how are products going to be recommended? Are they going to be based on the customer’s past use of your site or purely on previous orders?
Trying out different methods is a must. You then need to test different product recommendation placements.
Where on your website will you place this feature? How many products will you recommend?
What sort of wording and images are you going to use? It’s important to test these factors as well.
Seeing how advertising costs are higher than ever while the competition is also fiercer, Conversion Rate Optimization becomes a must-have for any eComm and Retail player.
One effective way to boost conversions is by trying out different strategies, like the ones mentioned above.
Give these ideas a shot and see the positive changes they can bring to your business!
A CRO experiment involves systematically testing different website elements to improve user experience and boost conversions. It’s a methodical way to validate hypotheses, ensuring website changes are rooted in data, not assumptions.
After all, operating a website based on assumptions is dangerous.
Guesswork often leads to ineffective strategies, missed opportunities, and potential customer loss.
Without acting on concrete data, businesses risk stagnation in the ever-evolving online landscape.
Now, the question is – do you want to navigate the CRO process alone or with a trusty team by your side?
We’re your team if you need someone to handle the complete CRO process – from Research to Final results – for you.
Click here to get in touch, and let’s start working together for less guessing and more analyzing and testing!