18th May 2022
2 minute read
CRO is broken—it optimises the wrong measure in the wrong manner. Conversion rate is one of those measurements that’s been around for a while and is easy to understand, but your business will suffer if it becomes your sole focus. This is because increasing a conversion rate is easy; but increasing the volume of sales and gross profit of your website – and therefore your business – is much harder. When agencies talk about CRO it implies that all they care about is increasing your conversion rate. You can increase conversions by having a 50% off sale – is that what you want?
What we need to concentrate on are the metrics that really matter; average order value and number of transactions. These things can’t be faked or misinterpreted, and the higher they are, the better for you, your website and your business.
To improve these metrics we need to understand why real people buy, and this is the second place where the usual optimisation process falls down; we optimise for the brain; but real, human beings don’t buy with their brain, human beings buy with their heart.
Our decisions are made subconsciously and then post-rationalised by the brain. Optimisation work can ignore this, instead focusing on checklists of ‘best practice’, data, and rational solutions.
If you use the same techniques as everyone else, you’re likely to end up the same as everyone else. If you’re optimising the same, wrong thing the same, wrong way as everyone else – you’re not going to win.
We need a different view of what’s needed on a website and how to achieve it. One that uses a combination of psychology, UX and creativity to improve the metrics which really matter for your business. The sweet spot in the middle of these three is where the magic happens. Where we can combine logic with intuition and science with lucky accidents. Try the things nobody else will to get the results nobody else does.
More magic. Bigger leaps
Optimising a website for the heart and not just the head.
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Rob Dobson has been working in digital and building websites for 20 years. From designing and developing the world’s first internet bank in 1999 (smile.co.uk), he founded Northern Comfort in 2010.
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