CRO: Getting stakeholders on board



February 16, 2022

This article is intended for companies who are just starting out in conversion rate optimisation or looking to bring it into their business.

A website is one of the most opinionated areas of a business. Every single employee of your business has used a website and has an opinion of what works and what doesn’t from the hours that we scroll through websites.

Your business, big or small, likely has a development team stacked with changes that they have enough work for the next year or two on just critical features. So how do you squeeze in there to make, on the surface, small changes which can make a big difference to your bottom line.

The answer to the question in the title is data…If you have the results without using much development resource then that’s very hard for a key stakeholder to turn down. No one turns down money no matter their position, ego or restrictions.

So how do you go about getting started no matter your skill set?

Understand your data

Even at one pass on your website you’ll find a list of niggles and improvements you want to tackle but these might not be shared by your users. So write down anything you spot as a hypothesis and then explore this in your data. Does it impact a high volume of your customers, is it an issue at all. If you only have a limited amount of data or knowledge on how to interpret the data then select your top 20 pages in terms of volume. Review it’s content, layout and goals and then build tests to improve the conversions (click through, purchases, bounce rate).

Free tools

If you’re looking to embed a conversion rate programme into your business you’ll need a tool to deploy your tests and personalisation. Depending on the requirements and volume of web traffic you can pay a hefty annual fee however before you jump in with both feet you can pick up Google Optimise for free. It offers 5 tests running in conjunction, a number of features and links nicely into your Google Analytics.

Hotjar also offers a free version for 100 sessions per recording and is great to get started with understanding your users paths and struggle points and give you a hatful of avenues to explore on your improvements.

Inspect Element is your friend

Many IT departments worry about AB testing tools because it manipulates the pages, code and functionality that they work so hard to keep stable. The main ingredient of success for your programme is trust between the marketer delivering the tests and the IT department responsible for the website. That can often put off novices from getting started but remember, you can’t break anything until you press start on the test. Initially use Inspect Element (Ctrl + F12 Windows / Option + Cmd + C Mac) to place your new element on the page.

Stay within your website’s design

Be smart and use what is already there. Use inspect element to understand styles and patterns already there and write your code in a similar way. Not only does this save you time when coding but it gives you a better chance that your changes will work as your are utilising frameworks which have already been tried and tested.

Unless you are doing a full re-design it is unlikely that you’ll be straying too far away from the design patterns on your website and keeping your websites design similar throughout the flow improves your customer’s experience and the likelihood that they’ll find information and call to actions without having to think.

Start small and grow

When you’re putting a test live I would always recommend putting it live to a small proportion of customers to begin with. Most testing tools allow you to throttle the test to X% of users splitting the control 50/50. For instance if 1,000 users visit your homepage and you start your test at 10% web traffic 100 people will be tracked, 50 in the test and 50 in the control.

This will help iron out any kinks in the test that you missed during testing with the added safety blanket of spotting any issues before the rest of the business notices it in the stats. You should have, of course, thoroughly tested your variant but in a game where trust between key stakeholders is paramount it removes risk of confidence being lost in your programme by any mistakes being found by the business.

Hire the necessary skills

If you’re starting from scratch with coding knowledge you’ll only get so far with out of the box functionality with testing tools. Moving elements around the page, changing text and hiding/showing sections. Once you have buy-in from your business it

Shout about it

The more confidence there is in your testing programme the more doors will open to resource and backing so it’s important to not only track your wins (and losses) but to spread the news of progress far and wide in the business. Build a basic report that shows number of tests completed, wins, losses and any uplift and roll out plans for those which made the cut.

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