5 Conversion Optimization Myths
When it comes to conversion optimization, the words “best practice” are thrown around a lot. There are always new tips, tricks and hacks to magically get your numbers up, but how do you know which ones will actually work and importantly, which ones won’t? After reading dozens of “must-do’s” or “need-to-know” articles, we wanted to shed some light on which of these ‘best practices’ are nothing more than myth. Below, we’ve created a list of the 5 most common ones and what you should do instead.
Myth 1: Long Copy Is Bad
This stems from the idea that online users don’t read everything (or anything at all) and don’t want to scroll through a bunch of information to find what they want. However, users who are genuinely interested in what it is you’re offering are actually more likely to search for more information. This means that you should include as much relevant information in your copy as possible (emphasis on relevant!) that’ll keep them on your site. If they really want it, they’ll read and they’ll definitely scroll.
This doesn’t mean that you should go on and on and write a whole essay at every opportunity – meet your users half way by keeping your writing clear, to the point and as engaging as possible without losing important information.
Myth 2: CRO Is Simple Fixes
All too often, you hear that the key to achieving CRO is as simple as changing the color of a button or tweaking a headline and hoping for the best. Of course there is much more to optimizing for conversions than changing the shape of your CTA.
We’re not saying that making small changes like these won’t improve your conversion rate, but they certainly won’t eliminate all your users’ conversion obstacles. True barriers to conversion could be a combination of:
- lack of confidence or trust in your website;
- unclear copy on your website;
- your CTA is outshone by other images on your website;
- your website takes too long to load;
- the steps leading up to conversion are simply too many;
- the list goes on and on…
Myth 3: If We Replicate Success, Success Is Certain
When optimizing for conversions, you might think that replicating another, more successful company’s color schemes or website layouts is the way to go. However, this rarely (if ever) works. Success for someone else won’t necessarily translate into success for you.
You might see positive impacts on your conversion rate in the short term but simply copying someone else’s design because you think it looks good, is only a superficial change. You must understand the reasons beyond the simple visual elements to understand what’s making people click or not. As with most optimization tactics, the truth is in the data; look at keywords, user behavior, collect user feedback and make a well-founded decision.
Myth 4: Conversions Are The Only Metric That You Should Care About
Time and time again, you hear that “the only thing that matters are the conversions.” Increasing your conversion rate is obviously important to the success of your business, but ultimately you need to look at the quality of the conversions you’re getting and the tactics you’re using to do so.
In the end, your objective is not to trick your users into converting on your website. You need to make the effort to find out what they need and build a positive user experience around that. Quick conversions are great but keeping your users engaged and happy in the long term is more important.
Myth 5: More Testing Is Always Better
Testing is beneficial, but only if you test the right things. This means the elements that influence your conversion rate and the overall user experience of your your website. There is of course a whole list of potential obstacles to conversion, but if you’re putting in the time and effort to test effectively to get qualitative data, you’ll be able to truly optimize your conversion rate. User testing is great for CRO because it shows you how users will interact with your website, what they like and what they don’t. Also, collecting feedback helps you optimize continuously without having to actively look for input. Whatever you do though, don’t just test for sake of testing something, make sure it’s worth your business’ resources.
Conversion optimization can be a tricky and delicate process because business success often depends on it. So it makes sense to regularly look for ways to stay up-to-date and on top of your CRO game. As with most things online, you should always take tips and tricks with a grain of salt; there are definitely exceptions to “must-do’s” in conversion optimization. There simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution or technique here. The best approach is to use your company data to guide you in the right direction. You might find that certain ‘myths’ are relevant and true in your case and others simply aren’t.
If you don’t have the data or insights yet, why not start thinking about which barriers to conversion you might have on your website? Start looking at the experience from your users’ perspective by doing tests and gathering user feedback. When you have a better idea of the challenges your users are facing, test the things you believe are relevant for your business. Your data is the best and most accurate way to achieve conversion rate optimization.