How CRO & UX Intersect

Most digital marketers in the past would only worry about links being built and their rankings. Now this is still important, but Google has said that user experience is becoming a greater part of Google’s algorithm. If a user gets to a site and it’s hard to navigate, or they don’t find what they need immediately, they’ll bounce off the site back to search results. When this happens it tells Google that the page wasn’t relevant for what they were looking for.

How do UX and CRO intersect? What can you do to help keep users on your site and have them click-through? Follow me on this journey and I’ll show you.

The difference between CRO and UX

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) allows a user to test different items on a site to find out what’s converting best.  There are multiple tools that you can use to A/B test : Optimizely, VWO, Zarget, and Convert, just to name a few. User experience measures how a user interacts with the site. Does the page load quickly? Is the content engaging? Is the content what the user is looking for? Answering and addressing these questions can help decrease bounce rate and create more conversions.

Getting Started with UX

When a user comes to your site, what is the main goal? Do you want a form filled out? Phone call? E-book download?

Ask yourself, who’s your audience? Is your website useful? Are your users able to find what they need?

By asking these questions you can make for a greater user experience. Remember: if something is easy for you, it doesn’t mean it is easy for everyone. (Moz)

Landing Pages

According to Moz, there are 4 main areas to make for a great user experience:

  1. Design
  2. Website Speed
  3. Message
  4. Call to Action

Let’s break these down to summarize the perfect landing page.

Design

When designing a landing page, make sure it’s synchronous to your brand. The font, text color, logos, and looks all need to have the same feel to it. Make sure everything works. Nothing is more frustrating to a user than wanting to click on a phone number on mobile and the number doesn’t work, or submitting a form and the form is broken.  

Website Speed

Use tools like Google Page Speed Insights & Pingdom to see how your site performs. For every 1 second of waiting, conversions drop by 7%. Not only will faster page loading help increase conversions, it will also increase search rankings.

Message

Check on your content. If you have a dental site, your site should be about dental work. Having irrelevant content will decrease rankings and make users bounce from the site. 

Call to Action

The best calls to action won’t be boring like “submit” or “subscribe”. They will have a unique color that stands out on the page, to show the user that it’s a button they need to push. Depending on the business that you’re in, you should use different colors for your CTA’s. Check out this blog post by Kissmetrics to help determine what your CTA color should be.

Where UX and CRO Intersect

UX is important as it lays the foundation for a perfect landing page. Once you have your design figured out, it’s time to start testing. This is where A/B testing comes into play.

Start by creating a hypothesis of what you want to test. You can test almost anything, whether it’s the button color, changing out CTA’s, putting forms on different sides of the page, etc.

Once the hypothesis is finished put your test into place.

The perfect landing page is only perfect if it converts. Run the page by itself for a week or two, to get a baseline of what conversions are. Put the original page up against a new variation of the page.

Pro Tip: Test 1-2 things at a time. By only testing 1-2 things at a time, you have greater control over the test. Test the 1-2 items, see which one does better, then use the champion variant as the new control.

The biggest and simplest changes one can make is by changing a button color. On a recent test I ran for a client, the original CTA button was black. I changed the button color to red, and it increased conversions by 3.79%

By changing thisCRO screenshot

To this:CRO screenshot 2

It increased conversions by 3.79%

CRO results

This is where UX and CRO intersect. We took the initial design that works great for the rest of the site, changed one element, and improved conversions overnight.

Funnel Setup

A good way to find out where there is a breakdown in sales is by setting up a conversion funnel in Analytics. After you set up the funnel, look and see where users are dropping off. If there is a large number of dropoffs then there is something wrong with the UX.

We found out with a client that there was a drop-off of about 70% when proceeding to checkout. We wondered if it was the user simply not wanting to purchase, or the CTA just wasn’t enticing enough to click on.

After reading the color psychology blog by Kissmetrics, we tested changing the “proceed to your cart” button to blue, a trust color. Above you saw we changed the “add to cart” buttons to red to help create urgency. This combination of colors helped increase conversions a full 2%.

CRO testing

Conversion increases of 2%:

CRO results

Follow the steps above to help you or your client increase conversions. You shouldn’t just have a good UX or just do CRO. They should work in harmony to get the most out of your site.

Ryan Skidmore
Digital Marketing Senior Manager at Big Leap
Ryan is a Digital Marketing Director at Big Leap. He is a master of quizzes and all things SEO.