The key goal of any website is to convert visitors into customers or leads.

However, with so many different variables having an impact on customer behaviour and conversions, it can be difficult to know where to start.

There may also be a few ‘best practices’ you have implemented that are not right for your website, brand or customers so it’s important to be aware of these too.

At Epiphany, we see many brands who make similar mistakes that prevent them from having a well-converting website.

Here are the top five elements we commonly see that could be preventing your website from converting visitors into customers. Taking note of these will set you on the road to a successful CRO strategy.

1. Competitor analysis

One of the key ways to gather insight into the elements that help to create a well-converting website is a competitor analysis.

A CRO specialist will review a range of websites within the same or similar industries and sells or provides similar products or services.

While competitor analysis might be a popular way to snoop around and find out more about ‘best practices’, using this technique in the wrong way could be poisonous to any business.

Relentlessly relying on competitors websites and religiously following any changes they are making across their websites can eventually backfire.

First of all, every business is different and so are their target audiences.

The way people use a website can differ massively from your own users and the elements that may work magic on one website, might have a completely different outcome on another, so it’s important to always be aware of this when reviewing competitor’s websites.

2. Best practices

Looking at current best practices is a common place to start when implementing a CRO strategy. Everyone’s got to start somewhere, right? Well, not exactly…

While it may seem that following some of the industry’s best practices is the way to go, there are multiple factors you should consider before blindly doing so.

In a similar way to competitor reviews, adopting each best practice you find could burn your website out, making it difficult to trace back to what happened.

While ‘Best practices’ might seem and sound harmless, instead of applying them straight away, use common sense and answer these questions:

Would it really impact our audience’s perception?’ If not, ‘Would it alter users’ behaviour?’.

Always remember that the changes you’re making to your website should either directly improve users’ behaviour or perception (about your brand), otherwise it might be impossible to measure the performance and therefore, attribute the success or failure to one simple change made.

Instead, we would always recommend AB testing - if something was to have a generously positive impact on your website, it should be possible to measure it using this method.

3. Lack of CRO knowledge

Some businesses just don’t have a full and in-depth understanding of CRO, what it is and how to leverage the strategy enough to make it profitable to the business.

This is completely normal! There are many experienced professionals with an in-depth understanding of CRO who can conduct research and tests to help take your strategy to the next level.

There are multiple ways to gain knowledge and awareness about CRO and UX such as reading some books, going to local events or trying to get better at understanding the key principles of CRO.

We would say a good start would be getting to know the following:

  • Psychology - a good understanding of basic laws of psychology will be invaluable when trying to come up with hypotheses for your roadmap Data and Statistics - the more you can comprehend, the better! AB and MVT testing can get really complex, therefore, de-tangling large data sets are part of an everyday CRO routine.

  • Analytics - Understanding and being familiar with Google Analytics or any other analytics tool and it’s interface is incredibly beneficial since most of your data will be stored and analysed there.

  • Key tools - understanding the benefits of key tools such as Hotjar and Google Analytics is also useful, especially when you might rely on those tools to understand user behaviour and conversions.

4. An abundance of tools with no one to use them

While many websites will have a lot of third-party tools implemented and subscribed to, the majority of those tools might end up being underutilised simply because there isn’t someone who ‘owns’ the process internally or because no one in the organisation is 100% sure on how to use the tools.

Being aware of updates and the most recent, newest tools is always a good idea but using all of them might simply be unrealistic. The key elements to look for when tempted to sign up for a new tool/product are:

Is there someone in the team who is an expert in the tool? There is simply no point getting a tool that looks like a shiny new toy but no one can use it.

Are there enough members in your team to be able to productively use all of these tools? You wouldn’t want to have too many tools to handle

Do you really need that tool? How is it different from the ones you’re already using? Sometimes new tools might mean new features such as data gathering you didn’t know existed.

However, a lot of times new tools might just be the same old tools with a new and shiny ‘coat’, meaning that it wouldn’t give you any extra value to the existing pack of tools you might be using.

5. De-valuing SEO

At Epiphany, we are proudly able to provide expertise from a CRO and UX point of view but we always recommend working with SEO teams too if possible.

There is no better process than SEO, CRO and UX teams who work together.

Over recent years, Google has become more user-centred, meaning that the majority of the core algorithm updates have been focused on users’ intent, the content user is presented with upon landing on the website and user experience as well as website rankings.

With that being said, it is important to align SEO and CRO strategies together simply because, when implemented hand-in-hand, they will generate the maximum possible ROI.

All of these elements are common mistakes made by many brands when trying to implement a CRO strategy. Being aware of them will set you on the road to a successful CRO strategy and help to maximise the number of conversions on your website.

If you would like to find out more about the impact of CRO on your business, please get in touch.