How was your year in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)? Did you see plenty of passive website browsers turn into active consumers? Were your purchase funnels working at the optimal level? Or, did your conversion fall flat? Next year, things will be different. Whether you’re looking to improve on less than stellar numbers or take your CRO to an even higher level, we’ve got a list of CRO-based New Year’s resolutions that you should stick to:

For CRO in 2016, I Vow That…

I Will See Things From the Customer’s Point of View. It’s surprising how many companies overlook this, and it can be a huge reason why conversion rates end up being so low. If you’re finding a lot of people aren’t completing their purchases  — abandoning their baskets before the transaction, say, or not even making it to the checkout screen – Moz’s guide to CRO recommends that you yourself try buying the product. Go through the online transaction as a regular customer would, and take notes on what small factors in the purchase process work and don’t work. This should help you get in the mindset of how your customers are interacting with both your transaction process and the product itself.

I Won’t Assume That CRO Is a One-Size-Fits-All Strategy. There’s an entire industry built around the notion of best practices, so it’s natural to go looking for something that’s a tried-and-true solution. However, don’t expect what works for others to work for you, too. CRO is something that needs to be tailored to each individual venture, and following someone else’s lead might mean success for them but failure for you. Instead, pay attention to your website’s analytics and do a deep dive into what’s not working for your site, then figure out the best solution for you rather than simply doing what a “CRO guru” tells you to.

I Will Use Analytics Properly. About those analytics: They’re your key to spotting where the pain points are in the buying process, as well as noting which sections of your website get the most traffic and why. If you haven’t done so already, get to Google Analytics and set up your goals and funnels. This is the quickest and easiest way to get a sense of your traffic, but feel free to look into other analytics dashboards as well, and begin drilling down into where customers are dropping off.

I Won’t Ignore the Post-Sales Process. How many times have you purchased something online and been unsure if the transaction has processed correctly? You can save yourself — and your customers — a ton of headaches by implementing a very clear message at the end of the transaction. Unbounce backs this up by stating that “according to a recent study from the Journal of Consumer Research, you can increase customer satisfaction with each purchase if you create a clear sense of closure after the sale is made…” The authors of the study emphasize that for online sales, visual cues should be in place to indicate that the deal is done and other options are no longer a concern. Although it’s great that you’ve got a sale, make sure that your customer gets that sense of closure once the buying process is finished. Tighten up the copy and use definitive language on the follow-up screen.

I Will Pay Attention to Copywriting. If writing content isn’t your strong suit, it’s definitely worth the cost to bring a copywriter on board to touch up your website. After all, the content is what will attract people to your site, and hopefully entice them to make a purchase. Unbounce also vouches for expert copywriting when it comes to a corporate blog, and says that special attention ought to be paid to those blog posts: “Just as it pays to spend some extra time on your headlines, you should always go back and check your post intros to ensure that they have a good flow, are brief, intriguing, and will get people to the next paragraph (which is literally their only purpose).”

I Won’t Dismiss My Customers. Remember the first resolution? If you followed it through, you likely have an idea where the pain points are for your customers. But don’t just make the assumption – instead, survey your customer base to find out what’s working for them, and what isn’t. Take their feedback to heart and implement changes that will make things easier for them.

Make Some CRO Resolutions

The spending habits and patterns of consumers may change, but if you’ve got a good handle on CRO, you can ensure you’re making the best possible choices when it comes to encouraging potential buyers to move into the purchase funnel. Stick to the above resolutions in the New Year, and you’re sure to be rewarded for your tenacity.

What are you vowing to try with CRO in 2016? Let us know in the comments.

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