How To Convince Your Boss Website Optimization Is Worth It
CRO is the ultimate HiPPO equalizer.
Yes, that’s right HiPPO. Not familiar with the HiPPO problem? Well, HiPPO stands for the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion…and in many organizations, that is how decisions get made.
CRO changes all of this. It lets opinions be tested so that decisions are made based on proven results, rather than pure opinion.
Not familiar with CRO? It stands for conversion rate optimization, and can be called website optimization as well (although most commonly referred to as CRO).
The Benefits of CRO
The first step to be able to convince your boss to do CRO (website optimization) is to understand the benefits. Now, the benefits of CRO are practically endless…but here are a few of our top reasons to use CRO:
1) Test changes safely, large and small.
Prior to CRO, most businesses would implement a change and then wait to see what happened. But this is incredibly risky.
Imagine you roll out a new site design to your audience and it tanks! You’ll not only lose a ton of revenue, but also damage your brand and your reputation.
Now instead of risking your business on that new feature or redesign, you can test it on just a small percentage of your audience and see how they react before rolling it out to everyone. If it tanks, no problem! You’ve lost just a fraction of what you would otherwise have lost and avoid making a big mistake in rolling it out to your entire audience. And if it’s a huge success, even better! Now you can confidently launch without the anxiety that a major change on your site usually brings.
NOTE: That’s not to say CRO is only for major changes.
Actually quite the opposite! CRO is mostly about small changes and iterations so that you are constantly improving your site performance and conversion rate day after day. In this way you make changes gradually, testing as you go, rather than just redesigning a new site from scratch, launching it, and seeing how it goes.
2) Data doesn’t lie.
With the right software in place, you will be able to see the results of your tests as you go, including which variation performed better, by how much (in terms of dollars and cents in the case of an ecommerce store), as well as when you’ve had enough site visitors run through your test in order for it to be statistically significant…which means you can officially declare the winner!
3) Implement minor changes without a developer.
Most CRO software will allow a non-technical employee to create tests between different variations and once a winner is declared, even implement that change through their software, without having a to know a line of code. This is a huge advantage, especially for companies that do not have an in-house development team.
4) Record your gains
Your CRO software will provide you with a complete record of how much money is generated (or lost) with every change that you make on your website. Talk about a foolproof way to ensure that you are always changing your site for the better.
So, you’re convinced CRO is right for your company and you’re ready to pitch it to your boss?
Here’s how to start…
Start by proposing some ideas that you have for small changes that you think will improve your site’s conversion fruit. Look for low hanging fruit and simple updates that will likely provide some small steady improvement.
You likely already have a ton of ideas that you’ve wanted to implement…this is the perfect environment to start testing them out, as long as you have enough traffic.
If you don’t have a bunch of ideas or a list of changes already in the works, start by looking at highly trafficked pages or key conversion points like your product detail pages or cart page (if you’re an ecommerce store). These are the places where a test can have the biggest impact.
Once you show your boss these gradual small wins, it will be easy to convince him to roll out a more comprehensive CRO strategy.
Show the Missed Opportunity
Make your boss feel the pain. The truth is that you are missing out on money by not doing conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Look at it like this: CRO is insurance for your marketing budget. It’s an easy way to eliminate risk and incrementally improve your performance, not only on your main site, but through your campaigns and custom landing pages. CRO lets your users tell you what works for them and overtime improve your overall performance and conversion rate, through any channel. It’s guaranteed! And that is a rare thing in life.
The potential losses of CRO are negligible, but the upside is potentially exponential.
Get Smart About Showing ROI
First you need to make sure to have a clear testing plan and good analytics in place to track and measure your results. This way you’ll be able to attribute your ROI accurately across tests and prove the value of CRO to your boss.
Don’t Sugar Coat
Be realistic about the down sides of CRO.
For example, if you don’t have enough traffic, CRO simply won’t work for you. You need about 2000 visitors per month as a minimum to really be able to run meaningful tests and derive a lot of benefit from CRO.
A CRO strategy will also slow down the frequency of your changes. This is actually a good thing, as every change you do make will be proven to improve your site performance. But it can also be frustrating if you decide one day that you want to make a change outside of the process.
Showcase Existing Data on CRO
There are plenty of case studies and examples online that showcase how CRO can truly transform your website’s performance. Use these as tools to convince your boss.
There are plenty on Optimizely’s website (our CRO software of choice) or you can checkout our very own case study of Lenox, one of the biggest glassware retailers in the world.
Want to learn more about CRO? Check out our blog series/CRO ebook Oh The Places You’ll Go with CRO.