Four tips for future-proofing your Conversion Rate Optimization strategy

Your CRO strategy is likely no stranger to the all-important privacy changes that the internet has been experiencing in recent years.

We predict that in the next 1-3 years, your CRO capability will face major challenges to delivering impactful A/B tests and personalization across your Websites and Apps. But at the same time, a more private web will introduce new and attractive opportunities that your Optimization team can start preparing for now.

1. Embrace privacy and first-party data as an opportunity

From a CRO perspective, your user consent implementation should be transparent about what data you are asking to collect to personalise their experience on your site. But more importantly, it should be respectful of user choices (no means no) and make it simple to opt-out with effect to analytics and A/B testing tools. 

Of course, it will be normal to see visitors opt-out but your CRO team should worry less about the loss of visitors that they can target accurately, and instead they should focus more on creating remarkable experiences for those users who give you permission to serve them when they opted-in. 

Empower your team to:

  • Advocate for user privacy and to develop a close knowledge of your consent implementation and what 1st party data is collected throughout your marketing systems. 
  • Join the wider conversations about first-party data collection and integration across your tech-stack, you’ll be able to understand what data-sets are needed to be made available to the CRO testing tool and how that data is needed in order to enable testing and personalization with valuable audiences on your site, for example audiences synchronised between your CRM and Analytics platform.
  • Be creative and to think big, give them the freedom to explore for audience targeting and personalisation opportunities that make the most of first party data collected across your tech-stack

2. Leverage the power of predictive analytics

Google and Adobe are currently investing heavily in next-gen capabilities that leverage Machine Learning, seamless integrations with cloud data processing services and cross-platform data integrations features that give these Analytics suites an unprecedented ability to make informed predictions based on a limited amount of session data. 

This unlocks new audience targeting potentials for your CRO activities, for example:

  • Recommending products to users based on a predicted product affinity
  • Tailoring content and offers based on propensity to convert
  • Prioritise certain types of actions on your site based on predicted user behaviour

Motivate your CRO team to start planning for the benefits that GA4 and predictive analytics will unlock as part of your CRO strategy. This might involve activities such as updating your audience prioritisation plan to reflect new possibilities or updating your testing tool implementation so that it can tap onto these new Analytics features.

3. Align your CRO and Media strategies

Customers journeys are complex and span many devices and touchpoints. Gone are the days of expecting that every single visit should lead to a transaction on your site; now media strategies acknowledge that customers want to go through their journey in their own way and at their pace. 

So why is it that some businesses still judge CRO activity just by the last click conversions? And why do we still see many websites delivering the same standard experience for visitors regardless of what previous interactions they had with your digital properties?

We believe that CRO activity should be designed to enhance your media strategy:

  • Design CRO activity that directly targets visitors from different types of media campaigns (prospecting, retargeting etc)
  • Choose different KPIs and goals for your CRO activity depending on the stage of the customer journey that they are impacting
  • Develop attribution models to show how CRO activity impacted different KPIs for different media and at different touch-points
  • Create more communication channels between your media and CRO teams to enable them to collaborate on media performance goals together
  • When reporting A/B tests, share insights about how channels and campaign were impacted with media teams and include them in the winner declaration process

4. Upskill your CRO team to go beyond traditional A/B tests

The world of digital moves incredibly fast. It’s important for your CRO team to start upskilling in certain areas that will be key to their success. 

Core Web Vitals

These 3 important metrics that measure speed performance on websites are now more important than ever because as of May 2021, they will become ranking signals impacting your SEO strategy.

Your CRO team can support your efforts to improve site speed performance and now SEO rankings by learning how certain aspects of the User Experience can be tested to impact core web vitals measurements, for example the time that it takes for a user to interact with a page (First Input Delay). 

Google Analytics 4 

As Google Analytics 4 is becoming the new standard, it’s important that your CRO team starts to study and get some hands-on experience with the platform. Google has recently released a demo account to start learning with, and you can check out Google’s official documentation for further guidance.

Ultimately, as your team becomes proficient with the platform, they’ll be able to mine richer insights and locate better optimization opportunities in your data. And if they get involved early on in your migration process, they can flag needs so that your new GA4 implementation is also designed to power your CRO machine.

Machine learning

Your CRO practitioners don’t need to know how to write Machine Learning models, but they should be aware of what is needed to make that work and what use cases they would like to champion. 

It’s important to establish a workflow with data science and analytics teams to enable the data and the testing tools to make the most of machine learning as part of A/B tests and Personalisation campaigns.

Final thoughts

Just like any other digital marketing capability, future-proofing your CRO strategy to thrive on a private web is absolutely essential. If you’re not preparing your team, tech, and strategy yet – now is the time to start!