4 CRO Resolutions for the New Year

There are some new concepts and techniques surrounding Conversion Rate Optimization today that are being practiced industry wide thanks to technical research and enhanced tool sets.

This helps companies achieve more leads/sales, more traffic/sessions and more engagement. Here we will discuss some current tactics that fall within a good CRO strategy.


Mobile First

Now that mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage in the United States it is no longer important to just have a mobile (responsive) site but to incorporate a mobile first strategy for your prospective and current users. This begins with thinking about your web presence from small to large instead of large to small. Responsive builds rely on media queries dependent upon target devices and viewport sizes.

Through multivariate testing, select the most important elements of content to display for mobile to present to users as their first view point.

It is also important to understand the shift in mobile SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) over the past two years. Google has made a dramatic shift in result pages to capitalize on the mobile usage trends. On mobile, paid search ads will beat out organic search traffic on branded terms at a much higher ratio than desktop. This is given to the amount of screen share taken up by PPC, Shopping, Local and other SERP developments (including organic site link boxes).


But unlike paid SERPs, with your owned media you control every aspect of how and what you want to present to visitors. While this impression may be considered the first step of the journey or a deeper step in the path to conversion it is by all means a high priority.

Even the mobile navigation debate over hamburger icon usage and glance-able elements vs. HCI principles you need to consider.

Lastly, for larger sites, consider how internal linking will effect SERP results. There are correlations between internal pages that link to the home page of dynamic (user/login) having so much power that Google will change the home page title to the anchor text of mobile SERPs.


Modals & Overlays

Like a mattress sales person ready to charge as soon as you enter the store, these can be the most obstructive annoyances in user experience. Now, consider you are in a very tiny store (like a mobile site) and you can’t get away from the salesperson. You try to tap the X to close the overlay. Certainly this may be effective in some industries (ecom instant coupon), but it isn’t for everybody. Use this sparingly.


A bit less intrusive is the Exit Pop Up. When navigating toward the back button anywhere up on the browser you are greeted with a CTA window. A last chance pitch from the sales person to get you to buy his doorbuster mattress. Again – a time and a place. There are great cases for this approach.



What do you look at to make decisions on testing (optimization)? Common metrics to evaluate other than conversion rate are time on page/site, bounce rate, click path, landing page (entrance) and a handful of others. In-Page Analytics from GA offers a satisfactory analysis of links clicked on a page but does not handle multiple links with the same URL or form buttons. There are some other Analytics tools that provide better in page analytics if you have the budget.

First and foremost, make sure your Analytics data is accurate. It goes without saying, but too many companies have long standing accounts with no annotations and may not be collecting properly. It is also important to establish clear KPI’s and benchmarks prior to implementing CRO testing.

Know where and what to look for in analytics. Here are a few examples of the best paths to find targeted answers in GA. These include custom dimensions and metric groups.


Trend of Conversion Rate Optimization


Testing… 1… 2… 3…

Successful CRO strategies will cover several elements of a page including page layout/design and distractions, the value of the offer and how it is messaged as well as the relevance and trust. Here some of the most widely measured tests CRO experts analyze:

  • CTA – Call to Action buttons
  • Layout/Design
  • Navigation
  • Copy – Offer
  • Checkout Flow
  • Security Fields & Form

A/B Testing continues to be the most popular and effective method of evaluating hypothesis related to CRO. There are many tools that offer A/B implementation testing at affordable rates. In addition, setting experiments up with GA is an additional testing opportunity.


Where Do We Go From Here?

As wide as the industry has grown with independent roles and functions in digital marketing there is an ever increasing split in responsibility when it comes to CRO. Development, Analytics/Consulting, Market Research and other job functions need to work together to set clear objectives and implement efficient tests and reports to achieve success in improving conversions.

Optimizing conversion for one medium or device may (or will) have an effect on others. Conversion Rate Optimization is only going to grow within the Analytics industry and will cross over to multi-device (and offline) metrics.

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