How to Build a Solid CRO Strategy

By Ally Sabrowsky | @absabrowsky | CRO Manager at Hanapin Marketing

With new clients, new websites, and concluding of previous tests, the need for a testing and CRO strategy never stops being important. Creating a structured plan for your Conversion Rate Optimization strategy will align the goals and ensure the process will run smoothly. There are four key components to form a strategy:

  • Gather all information
  • Collect data
  • Put all the information together
  • Revisit your strategy

With these four components, we can ensure that our CRO testing is well thought out and influential for the client.


Gather All Information


The first key component is gathering all of the necessary information. By gathering all of the information, we can make the most informed decisions on the testing strategy and structure. There are five areas to focus on to start gathering everything.


1. Traffic Volume

One of the first things to look into is the amount of traffic that’s being sent to the website being tested. The volume of visitors will help us to decide what tools we might need and create a hierarchy of what pages should be tested on first. If the majority of the traffic is visiting one specific landing page, we might want to start on that to increase performance. There are a couple of ways to measure traffic volume. By starting with Google Analytics, we can segment by the traffic type, traffic on specific landing pages, and the volume of the site overall. Another place to measure volume is through the ad interfaces. By measuring clicks to specific URLs, this will give us another measurement of traffic volume to the website.


2. Pages to Focus On

We can start by focusing on pages by the volume from the interfaces listed above. Otherwise, there might be certain pages that the client deems more influential or important to their strategy. We can also discuss the overall marketing strategy of the business and use that information to guide our decisions on what pages of the website will be most influential for performance.


3. Goals

Having direct client contact can prove to be very beneficial when understanding the marketing strategy. Looking at overall marketing goals and website specific goals will be important information to gather so any ideas moving forward will assist in meeting the goals that were set. And as these goals might change, our strategy might change. Revisiting the goals regularly will ensure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same ultimate goal.


4. Conversions

Whether we’re measuring direct purchases or form sign-ups, conversions are an additional way to know whether or now we’re reaching business goals. There are also various values we can assign to the different types of conversions within the marketing strategy. Does a whitepaper download mean more to the company than attending a webinar? Knowing the conversion values will also influence what pages we test first and what we might focus on when testing the specific landing page.


5. Funnel Process


We want to make sure to gather all of the information we can to reinforce our decisions. One way to do that is to fully understand the business’ marketing funnel. What happens after the conversion? Is the visitor being put through a lengthy sales process or will they be receiving a follow up email to become a member of their business. Fully understanding the post-click conversion process will help us to meet user expectations and reduce any friction they might feel when arriving to the landing page.


Collect Data


The second component is to start collecting data and using that information to further influence testing structure and testing recommendations. There are four ways to start collecting data on the landing pages.


1. Heatmaps

With heatmap, clickmap, scrollmap, etc., tools we can set up on our landing pages, we can collect data on what visitors are focusing on when arriving to the site. Setting these tools up on the website will help to measure user behavior. We’ll know what components of the site are of most interest which can influence how we structure our tests and what pages to start testing on.


2. UserTesting

Another way to collect data is to set up videos of users actually navigating the site and answering questions about what they liked, what was frustrating, and what they would do to meet their expectations, etc. This, combined with the heatmaps will provide areas of further focus.


3.  Initial Feedback

They say the first impression of a site is formed within the first five seconds of visiting. If the visitor can successfully give information regarding what’s being offered within the first five seconds, that might be an area of focus. To meet expectations as soon as possible and as clear as possible.


4.  Analytics

There is a ton of information we can find within analytics’ interfaces. A few to focus on for website optimization are bounce rate, time of site, pages per visit. We can look at this either within the analytics interface or with in-page analytics if you may not have access to their account. Measuring these performance behaviors are enough to help us set up our testing structure.


Put Together Business Information & User Data


For our third component, we want to combine both the business information and user data. With all of this, we can start to set up a basic testing structure. Presenting the findings to the client is one way to ensure we have their goals at the forefront of our strategy. From there, we can create the recommendations to present along with the strategy. If the client approves, we know we did our job and can start our website testing.




The final component is to revisit the strategy and the landing page performance. By looking at the data after testing, we’ll know whether or not the testing structure and strategy increased performance for the client. Lastly, go through the steps outlined above regularly to make sure the audience’s influences and actions remain the same and that the business goals haven’t changed.


Analyzing these four components will ensure that you built a strong strategy and structure for your website testing. These may fluctuate depending on the business and the ways in which we’re able to test websites but having these as a basis will help to create an influential and actionable plan.