Developing Effective CRO Tests: Part I

by Brian Toomey, JB Analytics CEO

Data Sources

Start with known issues – and if you don’t know where the friction points in your process are, find out! Almost all sites have some form of data collecting, for example through Google Analytics. 

We start by investigating the data to see where the most likely tests will lie, whether it’s a matter of pages with high losses from bouncing users or forms that are not delivering the right level of completion. 

Softer data can come from user polling, session recording, and best practice usability audits. We can help with all three of those. 

JB Analytics has partnered with us on a number of projects to help with SEO and complex Google analytics and Google Tag Manager installations. They are experts at analyzing data and translating that into a winning strategy that leverages the latest web marketing best practices.

Developing Tests

Although we’ve run many hundreds of tests, we’ve found the same 20% of test hypotheses and test forms that generate 80% of the actionable winning tests. These themes include:

Smiling People

Are we friendly and smiling, like we would be in real life?

Sales is all about trust and the facial recognition part of the brain is a powerful mediator of trust. Faces draw the eye. Have your users look at the call to action and see something that embodies the desired state/relationship?

We have run over 30 tests comparing pages with and without smiling faces in industries from women’s clothing to industrial components and with the right image, we usually expect a win from this one.

Smiling woman in a black suit
Smiling man wearing glasses with a beard

Benefit Statements

Did we rapidly, clearly and repeatedly convey benefits to your users? 

Grab people’s attention fast. Sometimes it makes sense to use the area above the fold to convince them to read the rest of the page, and then the area below to fold to convert. 

Speak the clients’ language. Although a high-end jeweller might want to refer to their ‘neckpiece collection’ the user is looking for and thinking about ‘necklaces’.

Screenshot of benefit of joining now
  • Make sure benefits to buying, joining, or otherwise converting are laid out clearly. 
Screenshot of CTA for scalable cloud hosting
  • Recognize and name-check the pain points to let users know you’ve got the solution. 

Believability, Authority, and Trust

Did we convey believability via social proof, testimonials and magnitude signals?

Consciously or otherwise, users look for certain signals to establish whether or not to trust a business with their custom. The bigger the decision, the bigger the risk and the greater need to tick all the boxes.

Important Trust Signals

1. Can I clearly see how big and well established the business is? Screenshot with numbers highlighting trustworthiness
2. Do names I know trust them? Screenshot of business logos showing trust
3. How about real people like me? Screenshot of smiling woman and her testimonial
4. Do they have a real brick and mortar presence, with real people? Address and phone numbers are key even if you don’t expect contact through these channels.  Screenshot showing address, phone number, and email address

Happier Users & More Traffic

We’re passionate about delivering value through design, data and development. Let’s talk!