Why Most Businesses Aren’t Happy with Their CRO Results

Only 22 percent of businesses are happy with their conversion rates, and these are the 7 common challenges holding them back from successful CRO campaigns.

When it comes to business, conversions are your bottom line. With all the time spent planning, implementing and executing campaigns, it’s natural to want real results, but only 22 percent of businesses reported they’re happy with their conversion rates.

So what separates top companies from companies that fall short?

In 2011, Google ran more than 7,000 A/B tests, whereas most companies only run 5 or fewer tests per month. Companies should be analyzing data and conducting tests regularly to boost conversion rates, yet, far too many simply don’t. And while optimizing for conversion rate doesn’t end with testing, it certainly begins there.

The challenge of conversions

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a vital, but often poorly executed, area of business that leaves many brands floundering far below their desired results. It costs money to get visitors to your website, so once they’re finally there, it’s natural to expect your website will do the rest to convert them.

As CEO of InsightWhale, I live by data—because it doesn’t lie. And properly implemented insights drive results—it’s practically a fact of life. But too frequently I hear people reluctant to invest in CRO because, they say, it just doesn’t work. CRO campaigns work—as long as the people behind it are doing the right work. 

Based on those conversations, here are 7 common challenges I’ve found hold businesses back from implementing successful CRO campaigns.

Weak or nonexistent stakeholder involvement

Many companies hand off their CRO activities to a third party and think that’s the end of it when it should be the beginning. Not knowing how CRO works, a hands-off approach is detrimental to understanding how results happen.

Departmental and leadership involvement is vital to improving conversion rates. Through involvement in the process, ideas can be discussed and feedback provided on crucial information related to the customer experience, ultimately leading the successful campaign execution.

Optimization Team Structure
For more on transforming traditional, rigid working silos into structured teams that promote effective facilitation between the different stakeholders and marketing departments, check out this article.

Slow-moving developers

The best CRO efforts are doomed to fail if test findings and insights aren’t implemented in a timely fashion. A/B testing results must be incorporated quickly, but too often developers spread implementation across weeks, instead of days—minimizing windows of opportunity and ensuring that prospective customers move on.

Nonexistent execution

But slow execution isn’t the chief evil that CRO campaigns face. Far worse is when a CRO team tests and determines some nice conversion boosters, sharing equally nice recommendations for on-site or email experiences, and then… nothing.

Teams charged with implementing changes may sit on the findings, perhaps caught up in the busy day-to-day of things. But a business is prone to take a hit if conversions don’t happen, and they won’t happen if recommendations don’t make it through to see the light of day.

Digital marketing is a cruel, cruel world.

Testing every idea instead of analyzing data

Many fledgling CRO specialists or companies err on the side of doing what the client wants, testing everything a client throws at them instead of conducting thorough analyses and tests on elements with historically high probabilities for success.  

Spending time on testing dead-end ideas drain budgets and conversion opportunities. Instead of following testing whims, focus on the data to determine where to direct your efforts for the biggest conversion boost.

Wrong approach to data

Like I said, data doesn’t lie—that is, unless it’s gathered incorrectly or grouped into the wrong data sets. Gathering data properly and thoroughly is crucial to ensuring your results can be trusted. Even the most fervent testing will be moot if your starting point is faulty.

Questions to Improve Your Data-Based Web Analytics Decisions

This article on common pitfalls to A/B testing should act as a good starting point for how to approach data properly.

Lack of feedback from real users

Many companies fail to realize the importance of user feedback when the reality is that the visitor experience is crucial to understanding how to improve conversions. With a rising focus on customer experience (CX), 60% of marketers now see the importance of analyzing the customer journey to improve their conversion rates. That includes the CX when customers are lower in the funnel and on the verge of conversion.

Enabling and encouraging open dialogue and communication can deliver valuable insights often missed in the data to smooth the customer journey.

Lack of documenting insights

Testing website elements is crucial to CRO success. But companies can tend to focus on repeatedly testing instead of clustering and documenting test results under a high-level category. Companies serious about streamlining testing processes should conduct a high-level test several times until satisfied with results, then document it, letting it drive analyses.

For instance, only 52% of companies using landing pages are testing them to ensure conversion on an ongoing basis.

Thankfully, so long as you are capturing it correctly, data is never stagnant. As it changes, so too will your conversion rates, but you can avoid some of the unnecessary issues currently impacting your results by addressing what I’ve outlined above.