3 Guaranteed (or not) Tricks To Help You Win at CRO
If you opened this article hoping to find some quick tricks to help you win at Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) then I’m afraid you may be disappointed. Because like it or not, the number of blanket rules and guaranteed wins in our field are limited. There are thousands of articles and content pieces across the industry citing case studies and best practices to help you succeed. Unless taken with a pinch of salt, these can be fools gold.
Every website is different. Every audience is different. And if there were a set of hard and fast rules for guaranteed CRO success every website would look the same. There is only one guaranteed trick to help you win at CRO – and that is applying a robust methodology to your testing plans.
Trick 1: ‘Green CTAs Always Perform Better Than Red’
There is no one CTA colour that wins every-time. And any content that suggests otherwise should come with a warning sign.
Whilst we commonly associate green with progress — green means ‘go’ whilst red means caution – this doesn’t necessarily translate to a webpage. Furthermore, colours mean different things to different audiences. In Eastern and Asian cultures red is the colour of happiness, joy and celebration. Whereas in many Latin and South American cultures, green is the colour of death.
The real trick:
- It often isn’t the colour of a CTA itself that is responsible for a winning or losing result when testing CTA colours. We need to look at the wider picture and how the colour contrast on the page results in the visual hierarchy. Predictive eye-tracking tools can help with this, so we can find a colour and design approach that means our CTA is visible in the first 3 seconds after a user has landed on the page and test what impact this delivers.
- Think wider than CTA colours too – CRO is much more grown up than this. A better starting point is assessing whether your messaging is optimised and that the route through to a conversion is clear.
Predictive eye-tracking showing what the user sees in the first 3s after landing on the page. When assessing the visual clarity of a CTA it needs to be considered in the context of the rest of the page.
Trick 2: ‘Removing Form Fields Will Increase Conversion Rate’
To convert on a website, 99% of cases a user will have to fill out a form, whether it is a checkout, an enquiry form or providing sign up details. More form fields means more effort required from the user, which means their propensity to give up and drop out of the conversion funnel is increasing with every question asked.
But – is less always really more?
The real trick:
- For every website there is a sweet spot. The user needs enough form fields for them to feel they can provide the relevant information for the site to deliver the required result.
- For example when making an enquiry about venue hire, including fields like date of event, time of event and the guest number will help the user feel that they will get the right level of information back from the venue. They will be able to confirm availability and recommend the best event space at the venue.
- In addition, rather than looking only at stripping out form fields, testing the order of form fields can also yield strong results. Does positioning the typically ‘easier’ to complete form fields at the top of the form, increase the percentage of traffic that starts filling in the form and therefore improve overall completion rates?
Less isn’t always more with forms. Does providing additional highly contextual form fields enable the user to feel they will get a meaningful response after submitting the form, therefore driving conversion rate?
Trick 3: Adding a Trust Seal to The Checkout Will Increase Conversion
The concept is simple – trust seals are displayed on checkouts to help users feel that their personal and financial information they are providing is safe. Yet this topic is a minefield – there are hundreds of trust seals to choose from and research shows that consumers have a poor level of understanding as to exactly what they actually mean.
On one hand the trust seal can act as reassurance, especially when using a new site for the first time. Yet on the flip-side, introducing a trust seal can heighten anxiety for users. It can be a reminder about the risks involved with providing your personal and financial details online rather than a seal of reassurance – therefore resulting in increased abandonment rates.
The real trick:
The only way to validate the use of trust seals on your own site is to test it. Yet again, there is no concrete rule for when and how trust seals should be used. You can use both user testing and a/b testing to understand if a trust seal performs better than no trust seal. And if you find that a trust seal works it is also worth testing different types of seals and testing to optimise the positioning.
In summary to win at CRO there are no quick tricks that you can always rely on. You need to follow a robust methodology to help you understand both your user and your site.
This involves audience research to understand user needs, diving into the qual and quant analytics to see what is helping and harming conversion, building your hypotheses and executing your testing roadmap. In depth research of this nature can be time consuming and is hard work – but it is the critical foundation of a successful testing program.