Hiring a Conversion Rate Optimisation Agency – Why You Shouldn’t Bother
A good conversion rate optimisation agency will follow a process which will result in improvements in your ecommerce website’s conversion rate and revenue. So why wouldn’t you want to hire one and watch the extra cash roll in?
It sounds like a no-brainer when you put it that way, but not every ecommerce business is ready for conversion rate optimisation (CRO). There are a few things you need before you can get the most from the CRO process, and if you don’t have them then you shouldn’t hire an agency. Here are four reasons you may not be ready to call in the CRO experts.
Reason #1: You’re in charge and no conversion rate optimisation agency is going to tell you how to improve your website
Whether you’re an ecommerce business owner or a humble employee, this is a common hurdle that has to be overcome if you’re going to work successfully with a conversion rate optimisation agency.
You may have become attached to the website. You probably made a lot of the decisions that led to it being as it is. This makes it hard to have someone else tell you that they have a better version of the website that will make you more money.
They’re basically saying: you made the wrong choices. Many people don’t want to hear that, especially if they have a lot of experience online. You trust your own judgement and you’re happy with that.
The problem with opinion in conversion rate optimisation
When it comes to improving your website conversion rate, there’s a big problem with opinion, no matter whose it is; the agency’s or the client’s.
When we make decisions based on what we think, we’re using our preconceptions. We all have cognitive biases and they get in the way because we focus on the things that we prefer without knowing it. We’re speculating about what the answer is, but we don’t know. No one can know for sure because no one can accurately predict how a large group of people are going to respond to something.
We have to gather data about the way people are behaving and then, using that data, form a hypothesis about how to create a change. Our hypothesis then has to be tested in as scientific a way as possible, which is why we a/b test.
The best conversion rate agencies bow down to data and make data-driven decisions, regardless of what previous experience or gut feeling may tell them. It’s not always easy and it takes some practice, but it’s fundamental to successful CRO, and you’ll need to do the same.
Key stat: Nearly 70% of companies say analytics is the biggest influence in their CRO decisions – Econsultancy.com
Reason #2: You’re impatient
You’ll need to be prepared to make some changes along the way. Not just in your website but in your thinking. Many people find it hard to let go of the idea that some changes are ‘no brainers’ that don’t need to be tested.
Unless it’s a quality assurance issue as in something’s broken, the majority of changes will need to be a/b tested.
These won’t be rash changes based on what someone thinks of course. They’ll be calculated improvements, based on extensive conversion research and the data that was gathered through that process.
A/b testing means the changes being proposed can have a trial run. This ensures the changes are actually improvements and that they are taking your profitability in the right direction. More trial, less error. No ‘no brainers’.
Key stat: 75% of the top 500 retailers use A/B testing; 61% planned to do more of it by the end of 2015 – Conversioner.com
Reason #3: You don’t have much traffic coming to your website
A/B testing requires a certain level of traffic and conversions in order to generate statistically significant results within a certain timeframe. If it’s going to take too long to reach statistical significance, the validity of your test would be questionable.
Provided you get at least a few thousand users to your website each month, you can still work on improving your conversion rate.
By undertaking conversion research – such as heuristic analysis, user testing, user session recording, scroll maps and heat maps, web analytics analysis, and even talking to your customers – you can generate great insight and start to address the issues, even if you don’t a/b test.
You will then need to make big bold changes (don’t get caught up in button colours and tiny subtle tweaks; go big or go home) and measure the impact. Just make sure you have Google Analytics set up properly.
You can also try different iterations of a problematic page using sequential testing, where you send 100% of traffic to one version for a month and then replace it with another version and compare the results. This is definitely not the most scientific approach but it’s better than nothing.
It’s always better to a/b test if you can before you make decisions, but minimal traffic and conversions shouldn’t prevent you from working to improve your conversion rate altogether.
Knowing more about what people are doing on your website is extremely valuable and, if you invest in SEO, you will have enough traffic to a/b test at some point. Why not get a head start by getting familiar with the conversion research process and using data to drive your decision-making.
Key stat: 63% of marketers optimise sites based on intuition and best practices alone – Crazyegg.com
Reason #4: You don’t want to spend money improving your website
Conversion rate optimisation isn’t usually cheap. It takes a lot of time and a specialist team who all have to be paid.
Your CRO agency should always pay for itself as an absolute minimum though. If you’re serious about growing your ecommerce business, you have to be prepared to invest in continual improvement.
Like search engine optimisation, conversion rate optimisation is a long-term mission – or at least it should be. Too many so-called ‘CRO experts’ will tell you that they can fix the sales leaks on your website in a month just using their gut instinct and so-called ‘best practice’. These are the ones you want to avoid.
We’ve seen a/b test variations that use best practice usability theories lose countless times.
Sure, there will be times when improvements can be made quickly but, in the majority of cases, it takes time to perform extensive conversion research and test the hypotheses that are formed off the back of that research.
Making changes in a hurry without going through the proper process is how you waste time and resources.
Conversion rate optimisation is about creating a more profitable and scalable online business for the years ahead, which means taking some time and avoiding rash decisions.
In a year when you look back, you’ll be glad you spent the money on doing things properly.
Key stat: 60% of companies are increasing their budgets for conversion rate optimisation – Latitudegroup.com
If nothing in this article sounds like you or your business, then now could be the perfect time to call in a conversion rate optimisation agency. Hey, how about us here at Worship? 😉
The goal of conversion rate optimisation is to make your business more profitable. While strategies like SEO and paid search aim to increase sales by driving more traffic to your website, CRO aims to increase sales by getting a higher percentage of visitors to buy.
Call us on 0161 236 1188 to find out how we can help you grow your ecommerce business, or request a website profit leak audit from our CRO team and discover where your website may be leaking sales.
7th April 2016