6 Common Myths About CRO
Myths about CRO can be heard right across the digital marketing industry. Some are good, some are bad, and others are downright weird!
It’s hard to know what to believe, so we’ll go through the most common myths about CRO and let you know if they’re fact or fiction.
That way, you'll get to know exactly what you should expect from your own CRO efforts, and you'll have all the information you need if you decide to approach a CRO agency. Enjoy!
Why are there lots of myths about CRO?
CRO is a discipline shrouded in mystery for many marketers. They’re not sure what it is, how it works or if they really need to bother with it.
To find the answers, they seek out information from colleagues, friends and our old pal Google. However, this can become a game of Chinese whispers as unless you get your information from an expert source it will probably be distorted!
Because of this, and a touch of general scepticism, CRO isn’t given much credit for what it can achieve.
In fact, if you ask marketers which optimisation process is most important, they’ll probably answer SEO. However, there’s a big flaw with this – and we’re not just saying that because we’re a CRO agency!
SEO gets traffic to your site, but it doesn’t push visitors through it. All that effort (and money) spent on SEO is wasted if you can’t get these visitors down the conversion funnel.
You need to get CRO right first, so you can maximise the earning potential of existing traffic. Once that’s all sorted, you can focus on bringing in more traffic via SEO.
Another reason there are lots of myths about CRO is that best practice differs between companies. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution; big red buttons may work for one site, but might be a huge turn-off for another.
Marketers often hear about results from another company and apply the same growth marketing techniques to their own site, only to find they don't work. This makes them think that CRO is flawed, not their approach to it, so they give up and criticise it.
So, it seems like CRO is just very misunderstood. However, we hope that after we’ve debunked these myths about it, things will be a lot clearer!
6 myths about CRO
CRO is just a checklist of changes and best practices for you to try – FALSE
It’s easy for bloggers to write articles about X things that will improve conversion rate. These articles are engaging, and will probably get a lot of hits, but we can promise you that not all the changes they suggest will be effective.
Why? Because they won’t be tailored to your site, audience or offering. They’ll also be vague, so won’t have much of an impact. In fact, it could be potentially damaging to take these blogs as gospel!
However, that’s not to say you can’t try things. A blogger may well have identified patterns within your industry or audience segment that are effective. For example, we’ve just written a couple of blogs on things that publishers and the travel industry can do to improve conversion rates.
However, in all of our blogs we stress one thing; you must test the hypotheses we put forward BEFORE you implement them on your site.
If you blindly make all the changes in a ‘How to improve your CRO’ article, it’s unlikely to be effective.
CRO is just a fancy name for split testing – FALSE
No, not true, absolutely false, not even close!
Yes, A/B or split testing is a huge part of validating hypotheses, but there is much more to the CRO process. Off the top of our head, it includes:
- Heuristic analysis
- Conversion funnel analysis
- Mouse tracking and heatmaps
- User session replays
- Site-speed optimisation
- Psychological/behavioural analysis
Bring them all together, and you’ll get a clear picture of your user, context for conversion, website performance and areas for improvement. With an A/B test, you just get a 'yes' or 'no' answer.
You need a lot of time for CRO – TRUE
At last, one of the myths about CRO is actually true! Improving your conversion rates takes real commitment.
Setting up data-gathering systems takes time, as does analysing all the data. The average A/B test takes about four weeks to get a statistically significant result, then you have to analyse what this result means too!
It’s not just a one-off effort either. CRO is an ongoing process, so once you start you should keep going with it.
However, the time spent on CRO is well worth it, as the insights gained are really valuable. Once you get into the habit of conducting tests and have a strong process in place, that you can use for future tests, you’ll start to save a lot of time.
Multivariate testing is the way forward – FALSE
At FABRIC8, we love A/B tests and, as multivariate testing is considered a step up from that, you might think that we’d love it too.
But, you would be wrong. It may be quicker (because you’re testing more than one thing at once), but it’s really difficult to work out which variable caused the change in customer behaviour. If you don’t understand this, you can’t replicate it across your site … so, what was the point?
If you’ve got your heart set on doing some multivariate testing, make sure you build up to it. Focus your initial CRO efforts on A/B tests to ensure you have a strong site. Later, you can see if you can find a power combo that makes a difference.
You should work on all your pages, not just the problem ones – TRUE
When you start your CRO journey, you’ll analyse your whole site to see which areas need work.
It can be tempting to completely ignore the pages that perform well, because they’re already delivering good results.
However, if you’re updating the rest of your site, you should look at all your pages. Otherwise, things won’t match up and will create a disjointed user experience.
Also, even if the pages that are performing well are more effective than the rest of your site, they still might not be reaching their full potential. You can perhaps put them a little further down the priority-list, but they’re certainly worth considering!
My tool can do it all for me – FALSE
Many marketers use CRO tools like Kissmetrics, Mixpanel and Amplitude to collect data and conduct tests. And, with the introduction of AI and machine-learning on the horizon, it seems easier just to let the tools do everything for us.
It saves time, keeps everything in one place and minimises the scope for human error. However, we don’t think you should leave it all to machines. What if there’s a blip, or something goes wrong?
You need a good understanding of the data you’re collecting, your users and the testing procedure to make sure everything’s going to plan. That way you can:
- Avoid errors in data collection
- Eradicate false positives or negatives
- Make sure you’re testing the right things
- Contextualise the details better
While machines and tools are great, a human touch is what makes CRO truly effective.
So, there you have it, the truth behind the six most common myths about CRO! Make sure you consider it when creating your CRO strategy.