How to Perform a CRO Audit
15th December 2021
It’s the new year, you’ve probably just had your Christmas sales, straight off the back of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Whatever Tuesday and Oh-Help-Me-Gods-Of-Marketing-Please-No-More-Offers Saturday, and now you might just be having some time to take your foot off the pedal briefly and look at results.
So, it’s a perfect time to analyse performance across your website and perform that all-important conversion rate optimisation (CRO) audit.
What is a CRO Audit?
A CRO audit is an analysis of your conversion rate across your website. Your conversion rate is the number of conversions that you’re measuring divided by the number of visitors to your site. If you’ve got one sale from 100 visitors then your conversion rate is 1%.
A CRO audit will allow you to find out how you can improve that number, and eventually drive more conversions from the same number of visitors. It’s important to look at your CRO regularly to ensure that your site is performing as well as it can be and that you’re capitalising on your data, making your site as efficient as possible.
Audit the Right Things
It’s important to ensure that you’re measuring the conversions that really matter. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to measure every single thing across your site, but realistically you’re going to have key metrics that align with your business objectives, so these should be the things that you focus your time and attention on.
These are usually going to be sales, but could also be other important measures such as leads generated, newsletter signups or free trials etc, but whatever your company has deemed most important is what you will be auditing as a priority.
Also, be sure you’re auditing the right sections of your site - if you know you’ve got a sale coming up in a couple of months, and you’re using the same landing pages and user journey that you did last year then that’s a prime candidate for focussing your efforts. If you’ve just finished your Christmas sales, then you won’t be able to test out any optimisation that you do on those pages for another eleven months, so consider how best to use your time.
Look at the Data
This step is going to set you up for success. It’s absolutely imperative that you understand how your pages performed, which users convert better, where the issues were, what could be done better and what you can do to improve.
In this image below, in Google Analytics we can look at a list of landing pages and see which of them led to the key conversion, in this instance driving a user to book a visit. We can see that “Landing Page 3” out-performed all the others by a decent amount, while “Landing Page 5” performed very badly in comparison. Looking at these numbers allows you to see which areas need improvement, and which areas you can use as information to guide your further optimisation.
You could also look at New Users vs Returning users to see who converts better. In this image below you can see that in this instance, returning visitors converted at more than twice the rate that new users did. This might mean that new users are reluctant to convert at first, meaning that the new-user journey can be optimised somehow. It could also mean that there is a quick win in encouraging new users who leave the site to return at a later date with follow-up marketing.
Look at the Issues in Detail
Once you’ve identified the areas that need improvement, it’s time to look at them in detail and analyse where you can make improvements.
In this example below, you can see highlighted in red several key call-to-action (CTA) areas, which we’ve deemed are important based on our metrics.
It’s worth considering several things when looking at your pages:
Are the CTAs in places that are obvious?
Have you hidden your buttons away where no one can see them? Do they blend into the page or are they hidden away as hyperlinked text rather than actual buttons? Ensuring that your CTAs are clearly visible is important.
Is there enough information on the page to drive users to convert?
If you’re finding that a page like this isn’t converting, then perhaps it’s that there isn’t enough information on it to drive people to click that button. Put yourself in the shoes of a user - if you visited your site looking for information to lead you to purchase, is there enough on your key pages that will encourage them to do so?
Is the design suitable for the CTAs or does it need improvement?
Tools such as Crazy Egg will allow you to heat map your pages, allowing you to see detailed images of “hot” areas; places on your pages where people are clicking and scrolling to, which will allow you to accurately see if people are struggling to find your CTAs, or if your layout is just not quite working.
Contact forms are also important to look at because if you’re driving leads then these are how you’re capturing that important information.
- Do you have contact forms on your key pages?
- Do you have too many or invasive contact forms?
- Are your forms asking for too much information causing people to drop off?
People don’t want to submit too much information online, from a personal data point of view and from a simple user experience point of view, so make sure that you’re only asking for the necessary information that you need to aid with your final goals.
If you only need their name and email address to be able to help them, then just ask for that. If you start asking for lots of other information it can not only look suspicious - remember, people are data-savvy these days - but it will mean that people don’t bother and go to another provider.
Much like your contact forms, you need to ensure that the checkout process is as smooth as possible. If you’ve got an overly complicated checkout process then people will often get put off and leave.
Giving people easy payment options like PayPal, one-click payments and so on will go a long way in ensuring people make that purchase.
By now, if you’ve followed the other steps and identified your key conversions, analysed all of your data and looked at your issues in some detail, you should be in a good place to be able to get to the fun part and start to look at how you can fix the issues.
Fix the designs
Using heat mapping, your own research and user experience data you can make sure that your pages are designed with everything in mind to get those important conversions. Ensure that your CTAs are clear, ensure that your page is navigable and ensure that it’s got all the elements that your customer needs to convert.
Fix the messaging
It could be that your pages just don’t have enough information on them to urge people to convert, or it could be the opposite and that you’ve got too much in there and your key messaging is getting lost among the rest of your content.
SilverDisc Can Support You
This article talks through some of the top-level things that you can do and offers some support, but if you’re interested in working with us to help you with your conversion rate optimisation, then contact us here and we’d love to support you in growing your business.