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7 Conversion Optimisation Myths

Every industry, especially within digital, has a few half-truths and dangerous myths and the land of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is really no different.

CRO is a list of best practices

This may seem very simple, but there are lots of design tips and top tests to run throughout the process. Many assume that conversion optimisation is an easy check list. This is a complete misconception.

Imagine implementing the 101 top tips for conversion all at once, I’m pretty sure that your website would look like a pretty hefty dog’s breakfast to say the least.

Some changes will work, others won’t. It is probable that some of the changes may cancel out others. Without rigorous testing in your industry and analysing the impact on your customers, there really is no way of knowing. Learning is the only way. Use research to form the base of your ideas and let the testing do the talking.


CRO is split testing

More often than not, people think CRO and split testing are one and the same. Optimisation is the continual learning and evolving of user experience, split testing is just a mere tool in the process. Testing validates decisions made to ensure that the change has been successful. It’s also important to note that if you focus merely on the testing activity you can miss larger opportunities. CRO has the potential to transform your business, so look at the strategy as a pivotal tool.

Don’t forget, if you don’t have traffic for testing you can still optimise and learn from heat mapping, click tracking and simple goal tracking.

If it didn’t work within a month, it won’t work

Patience is a virtue. It’s too easy to give up on a test if the expectation is that it will immediately win. Optimisation can be lengthy and so timeframes can come down to the question of how long is a piece of string? It’s vital to push through those inconclusive tests to really understand the ‘why’.

Test to validate a hypothesis

The point of testing is to maximise returns. This can sometimes mean that people focus solely on optimising and this can defeat the purpose of testing. It also allows for misunderstanding behind the scope and does not allow for exploration behind the reason. It’s pretty amazing and scary at the same time how tests can sometimes be extremely surprising in the result because we become so obsessed that one thing will win.

Basically, you have to accept you don’t always win. Being wrong is great as this means learning can occur.

Copy the tests of your competition to win

Here’s something that is absolute garbage. How on earth will testing like your competitors make your business win? Don’t steal ideas, it won’t work.  Even if it did work very well, there is much to say around context. Even if something wins, without insights or context there is no basis to conclude.

Conversion optimisation is getting to the core of what is NOT working, fixing it and moving forward. If people copy this, they ignore the first reason and will be likely to fail at the second.


It’s not important to understand the statistics until the tool says the test is complete

Whilst tools are getting far more sophisticated in today’s world, it’s still vital to learn basic statistics. It allows you to avoid any unexpected issues. Ensure you test for full weeks and of course ensure you have a good sample range to warrant the result.

CRO is the same as SEO, PPC etc., you can increase and decrease with budget

This may seem like the easy idea because why stop traffic and revenue when you can pause the ROI. Nevertheless, optimisation is about the funnel, the decision making process and learning how to take away, add and improve user experience. Cutting CRO will be less painful than cutting traffic. Wrong. CRO is a way of working and is a continuous experience to learn, grow and stand out amongst your competitors. Lowering CRO focus will be like digging up the poles that hold up your home. Become unique, never stop experimenting.

By Charlotte MacInnes

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