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An Expert’s Guide To Doing A CRO Walkthrough on Your Own Website

Amber Rhodes
Last Updated April 26, 2021

CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is a strategy for getting more out of your web traffic.

Typically, businesses spend a lot of time, effort, and money on getting traffic to your website. But for what reason? That’s the real question.

So what’s the big deal about CRO?

Saying that all you might need to do to increase conversions is to move a button around, change its color, and tweak the wording makes CRO seem easy.

It’s not necessarily easy, but it is principle. You just have to commit to doing these things:

  • Question your assumptions about what works best.
  • Pinpoint the key performance indicators (KPI) you want to improve.
  • Set up tests to figure out what pieces of your website are creating blockers or friction for would-be customers.
  • Learn from your tests and apply your new knowledge.

With that being said, let’s talk a little bit more about the importance of CRO.

If you’re an eCommerce brand, you’re probably trying to increase the rate of completed purchases at your online store. To optimize for this type of conversion you need to figure out what blockers are standing in the way of a site visitor initiating and completing a purchase.

An average conversion rate for eCommerce stores is 1%-2%. It might seem pretty low, but this is actually typical. What’s your current conversion rate? If it’s not within the 1%-2% range, you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue.

Let’s say you’re currently making $15k per month in revenue with an average order value (AOV) of $50, monthly traffic of $30k, and a store conversion rate of 1%.

📈 If you improved your conversion rate to 1.5%, your revenue would increase to $22,500 per month with everything else the same. That’s a monthly revenue increase of $7,500.

📈 If you improved your conversion rate to 2%, you’d be generating $30,000 (double your monthly revenue) just by focusing on fixing the gaps your potential customers are falling through right now.

Hurts, doesn’t it? Think about how many visitors came and went from your site, all that traffic you got. Why’d they leave?

Why do you want to leave me?
This is where CRO can take your store to the next level. CRO helps you focus on those things that made visitors leave. Whether your site loaded too slowly or they made it almost all the way through the purchase process and bounced, employing targeted CRO testing can help you make educated decisions to improve purchase conversions.

How to Implement CRO Strategies

We’re going to give you the 411 on how to do a CRO walkthrough on your own website so that you can use these strategies to reach your conversion goals.

When we do a CRO audit for clients, our CRO specialists go through a website with a fine-tooth comb to find common sense (and not so common sense) mistakes that might prevent a visitor from becoming a customer. That means asking a LOT of questions, some simple and some more complicated and based in psychology.

This walkthrough is a big piece of the research puzzle we use to develop hypotheses and begin testing updates and improvements on a store’s site.

Be a Visitor in Your Own Store

Understanding what causes friction for a customer requires you to put yourself in the shoes of a customer. What are their concerns? What are their questions? What gets then excited or makes them turn away?

It can be hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, so we put together this scenario to guide you through the CRO walkthrough process.

Imagine you’re a new customer who has never been to your website before.

➡️ Start your walkthrough on the home page and answer the following questions:

  • How many clicks does it take to go from browsing to the checkout process?
  • Is there any information missing that you’d like to know before making a purchase?
  • Do the pages load quickly?
  • How does the website look on a smartphone?
  • How many steps are in the checkout process? Are they all necessary? Is the checkout form clear?

➡️ Now, click on a paid ad and follow the customer’s journey from seeing the ad, to shopping the site, to initiating checkout.

  • Did the link take you to a landing page that matches the ad’s promise?
  • Does the landing page offer a discount for first-time buyers
  • Was it easy to navigate between the landing page and the cart?
  • Were the products or offers on the landing page relevant to a first-time customer?
  • Is there a clear UVP that tells me why this company is different from others? 

➡️ Take note of what parts of the process are frustrating or make you lose interest.

  • Do the product images fall flat?
  • Are there any products that are out of stock?
  • Is there an easy to use search feature? Can you apply filters?

Develop Hypotheses

Now that you’ve been able to gain insights on the customer experience, you can make hypotheses about changes that could improve their journey and lead to more conversions.

What actions can you draw from your questions?

For example, if you notice during the checkout process that you can’t review your order before purchasing, you might note that this is a missed opportunity to reassure the customer before completing their purchase. You might then hypothesize that including a “review your order” page could result in more completed purchases.

Come up with a few hypotheses for easy actions you can take to empathize with the customer’s experience. Some common areas for CRO implementation include:

  • Providing transparent shipping information
  • Replacing product photos
  • Changing the text on buttons like “add to cart” and “purchase now”
  • Updating product descriptions
  • Offering customer reviews and customer photos
  • Simplifying the checkout process
  • Organizing products into collections or categories
After you come up with hypotheses to test, it’s time to implement your tests! By using your findings strategically, you should be able to optimize your website to increase purchase conversions. New goal: stop sacrificing tons of money on ad spend to bring in traffic that just doesn’t make a sale.

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