Category Archives Conversion (CRO)

Finding Method in Research Madness

published by on 2nd October 2018 under Conversion (CRO), Digital Strategy

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It’s never a bad time to conduct user research. Whether you work on an ecommerce, SaaS or lead generation site – user research is key to understand your users, increase conversions and create an optimal User Experience.

 

As a UX and Conversion Specialist at FIRST Digital, I frequently run user research programs for my clients and I’ve compiled my top tips to create a structured research program.

 

1. Start with questions

One of the greatest pitfalls when running user research is diving in head first without asking key questions. If you lead with questions, then there is always a purpose for your research.

 

Start with a site run through and list out the key business, industry and customer questions at each stage of the user journey. Breaking it down into these areas gives a clear structure to your research program.

 

In the following example, some key questions for a product pricing page could include:

 

  • Business question: Is there ability to change our price offering?

  • Industry question: How are our competitors displaying their prices?

  • User question: Do users find our price offering appealing?

 

Some of your questions might easily be answered with an analytics review or previous research insights. Others will need more in depth analysis such as surveys, competitor analysis or user testing. The end result of this exercise will be a list of questions grouped under these 3 main areas and prioritized based on business needs.

 

2. Choose your research method

There are a range of user research methods and tools available at your fingertips – again it will all depend on your budget, resource available and business needs. If you don’t have the budget to invest in the latest shiny new tool – there are plenty of other options.

 

Back to the product pricing page example:

 

  • Business question: Is there scope to change our price offering? This could be answered by conducting a key stakeholder focus group

  • Industry question: How are our competitors displaying their prices? This could be answered with a competitor analysis and price comparison

  • User question: Do users find our price offering appealing? This could be answered by a range of research methods such as on site surveys, first click tests or user testing and most tool providers have a range of budget friendly options

 

3. Plan your research

“Fail to plan. Plan to fail” – let’s face it, we’ve all been there. This is equally as important when it comes to user research.

 

Having a simple research plan which outlines the goal of the research piece and key details, will not only act a guide but also as a point of reference which can easily be shared between stakeholders.

 

Remember it doesn’t have to be fancy – just a document which outlines the following:

 

  • The research question(s)

  • Goal of the research piece

  • Research method and/or tool

  • Timescales i.e. how long the research piece will take or how long to run it for

  • Key details, tasks or demographics that are relevant for the research piece

 

4. Run it and iterate

So you’ve narrowed down your questions, chosen your first research piece and made a plan. Now time to run it and build momentum.

‘But how long should I run it for?’ I hear you say. The honest answer is – it depends, especially when it comes to qualitative research. For example, as a rule of thumb the magic number of user testers is 5 and for surveys a minimum sample of 200 is advised. Timescales will differ for each site according to levels of traffic – but using these as a reference point will help.

 

Remember the importance of iteration – if a survey is getting a low response rate, switch it to another site area or change the question. If your heatmap or analytics tool isn’t giving you the insight you had hoped for – trial a different tool or method to answer your research question. As long as you’re learning and iterating – then any insight is better than no insight!

 

In part two of this blog piece we will explain what to do with your new insights and how to create stories that every stakeholder will love.

 

Ramp Up Results with Research Based Conversion Optimisation

published by on 19th June 2018 under Conversion (CRO), General

The true benefit of Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is all about gaining knowledge and optimising every single aspect of your product and customer journey. Having an ongoing structured CRO process that is part of the DNA of your organisation can greatly magnify the benefits of all other marketing activities.

The best way to truly optimize your funnel and see real growth via CRO is by ensuring it has sufficient scope in your marketing strategy and treating it as a means to optimize every part of your business.

 

CRO-results

A successful CRO program allows you to develop a deep understanding of what challenges your customers face, how to talk to them and what drives their decision-making process. This means not only more subscriptions, leads or sales but it can optimize your ad campaigns, your acquisition funnels, retention emails, billing processes and even how your products are shipped.

 

Three Things You Are Doing Wrong in CRO

 

There are many common fallacies that we encounter all the time when clients engage with FIRST Digital, often times clients have previously run CRO and their results have been mixed, and they are at a loss to explain why. Usually, they are making one or more of the following errors;

 

No. 1: You are missing the point of a structured CRO program.

You simply treat conversion optimization as a bunch of random tactics to get more signups, downloads or sales.

 

No. 2: You don’t have a CRO strategy.

You follow what is referred to as ‘best practices’ from blog posts, listen to random advice and make guesses as to what should be tested. Best practice is what people do until they discover something better – then that becomes best practice. Be the one to discover a better way.

 

No. 3: You are running meaningless tests.

Using guesswork and running variations on single elements on a page and expecting them to yield the desired results. Big results require more than single element changes.

If you are thinking “Guilty as charged your honour…” we’ve all been there, but you can make positive change, and the sooner the better – potential revenue is leaking out of your funnel right now.

 

CRO conversion optimization

 

Solution – Create a structured CRO program

 

There are a number of steps that should be performed well before launching tests, and that should be executed by all organisations no matter what size they are, or how much traffic their site generates.

 

Step 1: In-depth Qualitative & Quantitative Research

Focus on discovering why leaks exist – what’s preventing your potential customers from taking the next step, analyzing competitors, building customer profiles, segmenting your audience, doing customer surveys and much more. This is the only way to consistently deliver better results. The insights you gain from this research is priceless and will start shifting things within the company way before you launch any experiments.

Data analysis around current behavior, pinpointing problem areas. It’s important to look at heat maps and recordings to see where customers are frustrated, where your current funnel needs optimizing. This step is crucial for any CRO process and requires a great deal of curiosity and in-depth analysis.

 

Step 2: Hypothesize

Based on the previous steps, at this point, you come up with possible solutions and hypotheses on how they can be solved. In this stage, you define how you will optimize and fix these issues. Much like a legal trial you use statistics to prove that the variations you are proposing are ‘guilty as charged’ of causing the relative uplift you observe.

 

Step 3: Prioritize

Once you’ve found areas of opportunity you need to then determine how much of an impact changing them would have on your bottom line and how many resources you will require to build the test. This will help you decide if it’s worth your time and effort.

 

Step 4: Launch Test Program

Only once you’ve completed all the previous steps do you then launch tests to validate your hypotheses, and ongoing research forms a virtuous cycle of test ideas and more potential big wins.

Your goal is to gain as much insight, knowledge and data about your customers so you can truly optimize your site around their journey.

 

 That Sounds Great – How do I get Started?

 

To learn more about getting a CRO program underway, research, CRO training & the best tools to use, or anything else discussed in this article – get in touch

 

 

 

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