Start your optimization testing process with a bang by prioritizing changes that are likely to deliver dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction and business results.
In the first installment of our one-step-at-a-time guide to conversion optimization, we discussed how to understand your business processes and pinpoint issues and trouble spots that need to be addressed.
In this installment, we will cover how to develop hypotheses, design an experimental approach that will help you positively impact business results by prioritizing the issues to address and designing and following an orderly, effective process for finding solutions that increase customer satisfaction and keep them moving along your funnels to conversion.
Develop hypotheses to test
A hypothesis is not a guess or a hunch. Base hypotheses on your understanding of visitors and their needs, intentions and experiences on your site or in your stores. Keep an open mind. If you fix on one answer at this point, you are likely to end up with a solution that is no better than the problem it was designed to address. After all, someone in your company –- maybe even you – opted at some point for the very process or element that makes your customers jump ship.
Develop and test a number of hypotheses for each issue. For instance, high bounce rates may indicate that your business is targeting the wrong customer in its advertising, or that ad content is misleading, or that the landing page is performing poorly. Until you test them, you cannot know which of your hypotheses – or which combination of hypotheses – reflect the root cause of the issue.
Clarify business impacts.
For each issue you have identified, assess whether resolving it will impact business results and how. Will it enable customers to accomplish the goals that brought them to your site or store? Keep more customers in the funnel? Increase order value? Increase satisfaction? Generate leads? Improve lead quality?
Clarify the value propositions for the specific changes you are considering. Know how they benefit customers, and which customers they will benefit most; whether the change will enable customers to accomplish what they want to do on your site or in your store; and whether they advance what you want customers to do.
Ideally, the optimization targets you choose to test first should be easy to measure so you can demonstrate quantifiable bottom-line impact from CRO efforts.
Prioritize experiments based on their business impact and how quickly and easily they can be run. When choosing issues to focus on, pay attention to micro-conversions that generate brand loyalty and bring customers closer to purchasing, such as viewing detailed product information or size charts, or sharing information with friends.
Whenever possible, start with issues that are low-hanging fruit: Success begets success, and showing bottom line impact is a great way to prove – especially to yourself – the value of CRO.