Successful conversion optimization programs are built on people, processes and finally the product. However, many organizations miss the first two components and start by exclusively focusing on the A/B testing and CRO products out there in the market.
This post is an attempt to help you setup your conversion optimization program in the right way so that it has the greatest chance of success.
1) Get Management Buy-in
The first step to setting up a successful conversion optimization program is making sure that your management is convinced about the need for CRO over other marketing priorities. Getting unequivocal buy-in means you’ll get the budget, resources and patience needed for the program to show results. However, this is easier said than done and in most cases, you’ll have to build a business case for your optimization program.
2) Understand and Map the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
To build your business case, you’ll have to show an expected positive return-on-investment. This means that before you start, you have to be clear about what KPIs you’ll be driving, and these KPIs have to be as close to bottom-of-funnel or revenue as possible. In fact, the best outcome is if you can prove there’s more money in the bank because of conversion optimization.
Mapping the impact of your optimization platform over six months or a year will help you prove positive ROI when you have to justify the cost of the people, time and products invested.
3) Understand the Skills Required for the Program
People are at the heart of any successful business process or strategy, and CRO is no different. But instead of looking at the people required, think of it in terms of what skills are needed. One person can often play more than one role.
Thankfully, there’s some great content out there to help you structure your team:
- Niels Tybjerg’s answers in this discussion on VWO’s Linkedin group
- Michal Parizek’s post in Online Dialogue’s titled “Conversion Optimization Maturity Model: People“
- Jeremy Smith’s post in Marketing Land on “How to build an in-house marketing team for conversion optimization“
Generally speaking, the skills you need in your conversion optimization team are:
- A Strategist: Focuses on managing the program and deciding the goals. Usually knows the most about conversion journeys, personas and persuasion design. Owns the KPIs.
- An Analyst: Looks at data before and after the test, connects it with other important data sources and helps everyone understand the test outcomes.
- A Conversion Centered Designer: Graphic designer who focuses on conversion centered design.
- A Copywriter: Someone who’s great with the written word and can write to reduce anxieties, ease friction, persuade and delight visitors.
- A Developer: To help you run your tests with optimized front-end code and send events or record goals in your analytics software.
4) Get Robust Analytics and Tracking in Place
Before you start any optimization program, spend some time thinking about the data points that you’re currently tracking and those that might be needed in the future. Also, it’s recommended to get top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel goals in the same analytics software so you can view the entire customer journey and optimize for macro goals. Here are a few guides on how to integrate Google Analytics and Salesforce:
- The Ultimate Guide to Universal Analytics Integration with SalesForce
- Integrate Google Analytics and Salesforce
- Mastering Google Analytics and Salesforce lead tracking integration
5) Set Up Test and Program Documentation From Day Zero
Good conversion optimization programs ensure that you’re recording everything and you’re learning something from every test, whether it’s a win or not. The goal of the program should be to have your own set of best practices that have been thoroughly tested, and that serve as a bedrock for future testing, design and customer experience decisions.
For that to happen, you’ll have to setup clear documentation guidelines for all user research, test hypotheses, test outcomes and final decisions. Also, it’s pretty satisfying to have an answer when someone new comes in and asks “Why do we have this on the website?”
How do you plan your conversion optimization program? Tell us in the comments section below.