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Thinking Beyond A/B Testing: Maximizing Your Revenue With CRO


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Not satisfied with your A/B testing results? You aren’t alone. Studies show that on average, only 1 in 7 A/B tests have a winning result. If you are serious about moving your business up-and-to-the-right, you need to understand the entire customer journey through well-informed conversion research.

In this webinar, Rich shares insights from his 15 years of experience, helping online businesses generate more sales by implementing CRO.

About the speaker:
Rich Page ( has experience of working with hundreds of businesses such as Disney and Adobe over the last 15 years. He is also the author of Website Optimization: An Hour a Day and coauthor of Landing Page Optimization.

Published in: Marketing
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Thinking Beyond A/B Testing: Maximizing Your Revenue With CRO

  1. 1. Thinking beyond A/B testing: Maximizing your revenue with CRO Vipul Bansal Co-Marketing Manager, VWO Rich Page CRO and Web Analytics Expert, Rich Page
  2. 2. ‹# › Who is Rich Page? ❑ I improve conversion rates and sales for online businesses. ❑ 15 years experience with web analytics and CRO – from and to start-up websites. ❑ Author of two popular CRO books - ‘Website Optimization: An Hour a Day’ and co-author of ‘Landing Page Optimization’. ❑ Created one of the most popular CRO courses on Udemy.
  3. 3. ‹# › Why A/B testing fails 6 out 7 times ❑ VWO study found only 1 in 7 A/B tests had winning result. ❑ A/B test ideas are often created randomly or by guessing. ❑ HiPPO’s often wrongly believe they know best ideas. ❑ Visitor insights and feedback not often used to create ideas. ❑ Not much is learned from failed A/B tests. ❑ And of course. A/B tests often setup incorrectly or contain errors.
  4. 4. ‹# › Move beyond A/B testing into CRO! ❑ A/B testing is just one part of conversion rate optimization. ❑ Usually not enough traffic or conversions to A/B test everything anyway. ❑ To maximize your revenue you need to use ALL the elements of CRO. ❑ Doing CRO ensures your whole website and visitor journey is improved, not just pages you can do A/B testing with. ❑ Conversion research is particularly important part of CRO, therefore I will emphasize it in more detail in this presentation.
  5. 5. ‹# › What are the main elements of CRO? Conversion Research Website Persuasion A/B Testing & Personalization User Experience (UX) CRO 1: Conversion Research. Gain insights from your visitors and web analytics in particular. 2: User Experience (UX). Improve website usability so visitors can browse and convert more easily. 3: Website Persuasion. Influence techniques and copywriting used to engage and convert more visitors. 4: A/B Testing & Personalization. Used to test and discover the best converting website experience.
  6. 6. ‹# › The CRO elements in more detail Conversion Research Website Persuasion A/B Testing & Personalization User Experience (UX) CRO Insights from web analytics, heat maps, visitor recordings, surveys, user testing & expert reviews Using A/B tests and personalization to find the highest converting website experience Copywriting and influence techniques like social proof, scarcity, urgency, reciprocity Improving website usability and user experience in design, forms and user flow
  7. 7. ‹# › The importance of conversion research Conversion Research Website Persuasion A/B Testing & Personalization User Experience (UX) CRO Don’t just guess at what to improve or what to A/B test, this often fails to get good results. Conversion research is essential for determining what needs improving and why. Gathered from visitors and analytics tools. Insights from research feeds into better ideas for the other elements of CRO, including A/B testing. It is often neglected, apart from web analytics.
  8. 8. ‹# › The 6 elements of conversion research 1. Web analytics 2. Visitor recordings 3. Heat maps 4. Surveys and polls 5. User testing 6. Expert reviews
  9. 9. ‹# › Research with web analytics ❑ Web analytics = not just for reporting on traffic and KPIs! ❑ This in-depth analysis forms quantitative part of conversion research. ❑ Reveals pages and traffic sources with highest potential to improve. ❑ Conversion rates and bounce rates are key metrics to check. ❑ Audit of web analytics is also important to improve tracking.
  10. 10. ‹# › Example of web analytics research
  11. 11. ‹# › Web analytics: quick wins ❑ Identify top landing pages with lowest conversion rates and optimize first. ❑ Check traffic source reports for improvement ideas (e.g. is email traffic good). ❑ Funnel visualization report reveals which pages have highest drop off rate. ❑ Check your conversion rates on desktop versus mobile. ❑ Create segments for your high value user groups to discover what they do differently than visitors who don’t convert. ❑ Form analysis tools like Formisimo and Hotjar are useful too.
  12. 12. ‹# › Research with visitor recordings ❑ Watch EXACTLY what visitors do on your website. ❑ They are great for discovering visitor issues for improving. ❑ Use tools like Hotjar, Fullstory and VWO to watch these recordings. ❑ Start with an objective in mind to focus on – e.g. to gain insights for improving particular pages, or for checking usability issues. ❑ Always check recordings for insights that relate to pages you want to improve, and for pages you will be running A/B tests on.
  13. 13. ‹# › Example of visitor recording
  14. 14. ‹# › Visitor recordings: quick wins ❑ A good general objective - watch at least 10 videos for key pages, like your top entry pages (check GA), signup pages or checkout. ❑ Don’t waste time watching ones < 30 secs with no interactions (set this up in tool). ❑ Watch for ‘rage clicks’ on specific page elements, indicates frustration. Often indicates need for clarifying/improving. Some tools automate. ❑ Look for page elements visitors seem to get stuck on, like particular form fields. Add tool tips or additional text to explain. ❑ Look for visitor behavior that may mean comparing on other websites or searching for missing info (mouse moving up to other tabs).
  15. 15. ‹# › Research with heat maps ❑ A good compliment to visitor recordings - shows web page interaction data. ❑ Don’t just presume you know what visitors click on or how far they scroll. ❑ Use tools like Hotjar, CrazyEgg and VWO to create heat maps. ❑ Find the top clicks and scroll depth on your key pages in particular. ❑ Reveals CTAs, images and content that should be clicked on more – indicates confusion or lack of prominence.
  16. 16. ‹# › Example of heat map
  17. 17. ‹# › Heat maps: quick wins ❑ Look for CTA buttons or links not getting as many clicks as expected. ❑ Don’t just check click maps. Mouse movements often reveal insightful patterns. ❑ Scroll maps are important too. Ensure key content is above average page fold line. ❑ Look for elements getting many clicks that aren’t clickable – indicates confusion. ❑ Always review heat maps for pages you want to improve or A/B test. ❑ If you have low traffic use predictive eye tracking tools like
  18. 18. ‹# › Research with surveys and polls ❑ The voice of your visitors is THE most important thing in CRO. ❑ Essential to find out what they like and don’t like with surveys and polls. ❑ It is crucial to ask good questions, and not rush into setting this up. ❑ Create single question polls on key pages to get specific feedback. ❑ Create visitor onsite surveys and send customer surveys via email. ❑ Hotjar, Qualaroo and VWO are good tools for doing this.
  19. 19. ‹# › Example of poll creation
  20. 20. ‹# › Surveys and polls: quick wins ❑ Setup single question polls on key pages like product or pricing pages. ❑ Don’t popup surveys or polls too soon – give visitors time or use exit intent. ❑ Automate the sending of a customer survey. Two most insightful questions: 1: Was there anything that nearly stopped you from purchasing from us? 2: What were the biggest factors that influenced your decision to purchase? ❑ Get more survey respondents by offering incentives like gift certificates.
  21. 21. ‹# › Research with user testing ❑ A great way to gather customer voice is to get your target audience to try to complete tasks on your website and ask them questions. ❑ This allows you to watch and listen to a tester using your website trying to complete tasks and answer questions – like an interactive visitor recording. ❑ Great for finding out exactly what people think of your website, their issues with it, and what needs improving. ❑ One of the best ways to gather this user testing is using a tool like or ❑ Can also be done in live moderated format in a lab – better but more expensive.
  22. 22. ‹# › Example of user testing
  23. 23. ‹# › User testing: quick wins ❑ Gather 5-10 user tests on desktop and mobile. ❑ Always use prescreen questions to ensure testers meet your target audience. ❑ Get them to complete major tasks on your website – great for insights. ❑ Ask them to find a competitor website and see what they prefer on it. ❑ Ideally do user testing first on wireframes or mockups to get initial feedback. ❑ Do user testing for proposed A/B test variations (or website improvement ideas) to get feedback and then make tweaks before launching.
  24. 24. ‹# › Research with expert CRO reviews ❑ This review is done by an experienced CRO expert. Often called heuristic analysis. ❑ Fast effective way of getting CRO insights and recommendations. ❑ Offered by CRO experts including myself, CXL and WiderFunnel. ❑ Each website page is reviewed and assessed using best practice criteria. ❑ Wider Funnel has good ‘Lift’ model. I created the CONVERT website success model.
  25. 25. ‹# › Summary of the other CRO elements Conversion Research Website Persuasion A/B Testing & Personalization User Experience (UX) CRO
  26. 26. ‹# › Website persuasion for CRO ❑ You need to persuade visitors to convert – don’t just hope they will. ❑ Compelling copywriting plays a huge part in persuasion, particularly headlines, bullet points and CTAs. Mention how your website solves pain points and benefits. ❑ Social proof, urgency, scarcity, reciprocity are essential influence techniques to use, as made famous by Robert Cialdini’s ‘Influence’ book. ❑ Social proof is particularly essential to show prominently, including reviews & ratings, testimonials, ‘as featured in’ and logos of well known customers. ❑ Showing urgency and scarcity messages can work well. is a great tool for this (don’t go to travel website extremes though!)
  27. 27. ‹# › User experience (UX) for CRO ❑ Doesn’t matter how persuasive your website is if visitors don’t find it easy to use. ❑ Ensure you adopt website usability best practices. Navigation, forms and user flow elements are very important to improve. ❑ Best practice UX improvements should be just launched and don’t need A/B testing first. UX trends should be A/B tested first though. ❑ Use tool tips for fields or pieces of content that require explaining. ❑ Improve error handling on form fields to ensure greater completion rate. ❑ Make buttons and links fat finger friendly on mobile devices.
  28. 28. ‹# › A/B Testing & Personalization for CRO ❑ Don’t just do A/B testing, move beyond by also doing personalization. ❑ Instead of a one size fits all, personalize it to engage and convert more visitors. ❑ Headlines and hero images are particularly good for personalizing. ❑ Target visitor segments with more relevant content: Returning visitors with content relating to what they saw previously Frequent purchasers with loyalty content like rewards or discounts
  29. 29. ‹# › CRO Success Flow 1: Conversion Research 2: CRO Ideation 3: Prioritization of CRO Ideas 4: Launch Improvement or A/B Test 5: Review, Learn and Iterate The 4 elements of CRO shouldn’t be done randomly. A continuous CRO process is needed for success. Start with in-depth conversion research in step 1. Conversion research feeds into CRO ideation step 2, along with website persuasion and UX CRO elements. Prioritization of CRO ideas in step 3 is important to ensure you launch ideas with highest impact. Review, learn and iterate (step 5) then feeds back into step 1 and the process continues again.
  30. 30. ‹# › Prioritize your CRO ideas ❑ Prioritization of CRO ideas is important step, as not all will have good impact. ❑ Look for ‘low hanging fruit’ that is easier to launch first (text, imagery etc). This will help get wins quicker and increase budget for CRO. ❑ Use a prioritizer tool to find ideas with highest potential impact or rating. CXL has a great one and I have created one too:
  31. 31. ‹# › And last. Review, learn and iterate! ❑ Essential step of CRO process is to review impact on your KPIs after launching an improvement or winning A/B test results. ❑ Review impact on conversion rate and revenue, including year over year. If no noticeable difference, review and look for learnings. ❑ Always learn from your efforts, whether they have a good impact or fail. ❑ Don’t just throw away A/B tests that fail – do conversion research on each variation and look for insights for why it failed. ❑ Use learnings to iterate and create better follow up improvements or A/B tests.
  32. 32. ‹# › Want CRO help for your website? Get a free CRO consultation by emailing me at And grab my free CRO toolbox. Includes my website improvement prioritizer tool and CONVERT website success model
  33. 33. Thank You! Q&A