Here’s why you should take a deep dive into data to optimize your conversions
A thorough audit of tracking tools can improve your CRO framework because knowing your platform will help you think about how to best use it for your specific business strategy.
So, you got the basics of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and why it’s essential to your marketing strategy. (To recap: a successful CRO framework increase sales and revenue while reducing the cost of paid media.) Great! But how do you get started? There are some general things everyone can focus on to improve their conversion rate, e.g. site speed. But where’s the list of best practices, you may be wondering? The unfortunate reality is that there’s no convenient checklist waiting for you. There’s quite a bit more to CRO than applying a few changes, crossing your fingers and walking away hoping for the best.
Data and analytics inform CRO
Optimizing conversions works on a case-by-case basis. Each brand, site and customer journey is different. There are millions of sites out there with varying needs, goals, traffic, designs, languages. You can’t take what works for one site and apply it to another. Your site should serve a specific purpose; both providing value and addressing the concerns of your visitors at that moment and in the future. Forget instinct: to make any kind of business decision; you need to base your judgment on the evidence. Also known as data. Otherwise, you might be making decisions that could hurt your sales.
Analytics tells you exactly what’s happening on your site, and can then guide you to investigate the bigger picture and find opportunities. Not only does analytics tell you the core journeys and behaviors that give you the best return on investment, but it also highlights friction points and areas where most people leave the website. This saves a lot of time and guesswork, letting you narrow down the improvements that need to be made to optimize conversions. The real power comes when combining this with qualitative research, to delve into the reasoning behind the key objections that result in people leaving… but also why they stay.
The tools of the trade
It’s essential to have a multi-channel overview of performance with an analytics tool like Google Analytics (GA), instead of working with siloed platforms. Rather than dipping into different tools, a unified view of performance makes it easier to see how each channel stacks up against the others. You’ll also have much richer insights from tools like GA, which is connected to millions of sites around the world. And aside from needing your analytics tool to be accurate, it’s equally important to know how to get the best out of it.
You can access tons of good stuff for free when you first get started with GA, but to get the advanced knowledge necessary for CRO you need to go deeper. These platforms are so incredibly rich in insights, but you need to know how to put them to good use. Tweak your reports. Make use of custom dimensions, filters and segmentation. The more you work with your platform, the more you get out of it. It’s 100 percent worth it to get fully trained because knowing the platform you’re using helps you think about how to use it for your specific business strategy.
Where do you get started with analytics and CRO?
Before making any changes, you need to thoroughly investigate your current setup with a thorough audit of tools and tracking. Ask yourself: are you collecting the right data? Is it robust and credible? Unless you already have a dedicated CRO and analytics team at work, it’s likely that there are some issues at play, so check your goals and events, tracking snippets, filter settings and trigger configurations.
Tagging integration is key. With tagging, you’ve got tracking, analysis and reporting all in one. Using fully synced tagging solutions, you can track everything you’d ever want to know about your site. The more you tag, the more you’ll be able to understand how your users are interacting with your web pages. If you create a new element on a page, tag it. If you’re running lots of tests or using lots of tools, make the most of your tag management for CRO. And speaking of tests… A/B testing is the bread and butter of lots of digital marketing. Whether testing between different designs or copy, A/B testing will deliver the data to assess performance. And depending on the tool you’re using, you can send the results of your A/B test treatment back into your analytics for further analysis and a deep-dive into more granular segments.
Analytics is not optional
If you’ve ever looked at a scientific research report, the basics of CRO are pretty similar: research, experiment and analyze. The beginning, the middle and the end are always about data. Specifically, good data. Before doing anything, you need to make sure that what you’re working with is a source of truth. With so many metrics to look at nowadays, there’s a danger of intentionally finding data that confirms your ideas. CRO is about minimizing this and making improvements for the right reason, which is why a good analytics setup is so important.