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What is CRO Audit & How to Implement It?

Discover the importance of a CRO audit, its key components, and how to effectively implement it to boost your website's conversion rate & overall performance.

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Your conversion rate should be skyrocketing, right? But if that’s not the case and you’re wondering why you're still nowhere near meeting your sales goals, it’s time for a CRO audit. This crucial tool has the potential to make or break your online success. 

In fact, a structured approach to CRO can yield up to a 30% increase in conversions. Interested? Join us in this blog as we decode the ins and outs of CRO audits, analyze implementation strategies, and guide your business to greater profits and conversions.

What is a CRO audit?

Conversation Rate Optimization Cycle

A CRO Audit, or Conversion Rate Optimization Audit, is an in-depth analysis of the customer journey on your website. It's like hiring a digital investigator to determine the reasons behind poor conversion rates and get your website performance back on track. 

It aims to identify every barrier that prevents visitors from completing a desired action. But what makes a CRO audit the right choice for your conversion rate challenges? Here's what you need to know.

Why Does Your Business Need A CRO Audit?

Company Respondents

Here are the top three reasons why your business needs a CRO audit:

1. Identifying Conversion Roadblocks through Data Analysis

Your website is often the first point of contact for potential customers, and it's crucial to ensure their experience is smooth and enjoyable. A CRO audit helps uncover any barriers preventing them from converting. Through in-depth data analysis, you'll be able to identify patterns and trends that may negatively affect your conversion rate. 

Baymard Institute reports that roughly 17% of online conversions are abandoned due to a complex checkout process. By auditing your site and gathering data, you can pinpoint any issues that need to be addressed and potentially save you huge amounts of missed revenue.

2. Enhancing User Experience through A/B Testing and Personalization

With a CRO audit, you can employ various techniques like A/B testing and personalization to optimize the user experience. By segmenting your audience and tailoring your site to suit their needs and preferences, you're taking that extra step towards converting them into happy customers. 

For instance, according to Hubspot, personalized call-to-action results in 202% more conversions than generic ones. A/B testing can help you determine which on-site elements and content your visitors prefer, and optimize them accordingly.

3. Quantifying the Impact of Design Elements on Customer Engagement

Did you know that 38% of users will stop engaging with a website if the content and layout are unattractive? With a CRO audit, you can test the effectiveness of various design elements, such as headlines, button colors, and page layouts, and measure their impact on your overall conversion rate. 

CRO testing allows you to continuously tune your engagement strategy and improve conversion rates by constantly evaluating the design components of your site.

The Step-by-Step CRO Audit Process

CRO auditing involves several steps that require data collection, analysis, and testing to identify potential optimization opportunities. Here’s a breakdown of the CRO audit process:

Step #1. Answer the Question: “Why Do I Need a CRO?”

The goal here is to identify why you need to optimize your website, what challenges you are facing, and what goals you want to achieve. It could be anything from increasing conversions or sign-ups on your landing page, boosting eCommerce sales, improving website engagement metrics, or increasing user retention. 

For example, Hotjar faced challenges in gaining traction in the market in the early days. As a result, the company decided to do a CRO audit to improve its performance and grow its user base. They employed advanced CRO analysis tools and methodologies to identify areas for improvement and gain insights into their users' behavior.

Answer the Question: “Why Do I Need a CRO?” - HotJar

Step #2. User Experience (UX) Audits

User Experience (UX) Audits involve assessing user journeys on your website, focusing on usability and design elements that could be improved. UX audits look at things like navigation menus, content hierarchy, calls-to-action (CTAs), form fields, search functions, and other aspects of design that impact how users interact with your site. 

For instance, in 2018, Mailchimp underwent a comprehensive rebranding effort that included the introduction of a modern new serif typeface and a redesigned logo. As you can see below, there is a significant difference in the user experience, which allowed Mailchimp to turn its visitors into customers.

User Experience (UX) Audits

Step #3. Website Analytics Audit

An audit can reveal engagement levels across different devices, platforms, or browsers that may not have been detected previously. It involves digging deep into data gathered from web analytics tools such as Google Analytics to identify areas for improvement. 

You should look at key metrics such as pageviews, bounce rate percentage, average time spent on the page, etc. These will help you determine which pages need improvement and identify potential areas of optimization opportunities.

Take, for instance, Sage Intacct performed a website analytic audit to measure cmrr across different channels and heaps. It provided analytics tracking solutions for capturing usage data from each user’s session on the site to uncover trends over time about user behaviors.

Website Analytics Audit Report

Step #4. Tracking Audit with Focus on Actionable Metrics

An audit tracking process that focuses on actionable metrics involves coding different elements, such as CTAs or forms. This will help you track the performance during an audit and analyze the performance of different versions of elements through A/B testing tools such as VWO or Unbounce. 

Since these metrics measure the conversion rate of visitors to leads or customers, they provide us with valuable insights when optimizing individual pages. For example, Salesforce has seen tremendous growth by tracking its audit with a focus on actionable metrics. 

The company tracks data from its customer relationship management (CRM) system and gains insights regarding customer trends and preferences. This data is then analyzed to determine which areas need improvement, inform strategies, and prioritize initiatives.

Salesforce - Actionable metrics

Step #5. Website Design and Layout (both Desktop and Mobile)

The aim of web design and layout is to create desktop and mobile-friendly websites with experiences that align with customer needs & wants. After gathering all the data needed for your CRO project, it’s time to begin making changes based on those insights gathered from previous steps. 

The changes can include tweaking elements like color schemes, visuals, and placement of call-to-action buttons for an enjoyable user experience. It should deliver effective & engaging layouts leveraging current design trends & standards established by modern browsers & devices like Apple & Android phones.

For example, Slack is acclaimed for its exquisite design, embracing both aesthetics and functionality. It employs an excellent visual hierarchy, which guides users on where to focus their attention and provides a smooth navigation experience. 

Its combination of aesthetics, functionality, user-friendly navigation, and adaptability across desktop and mobile platforms contributes to its excellent design and layout for desktop and mobile.

Slack connect

Step #6: Search Engine and Social Media CRO Audit

A Search Engine and Social Media CRO audit evaluates how well your content is optimized for search engine rankings and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., for organic traffic. Understanding what converts prospects into customers helps improve overall digital campaign ROI and identifies any areas that need improvement.

For instance, as an inbound marketing and sales platform, HubSpot recognized the importance of search engine optimization, visibility, and social media engagement. They used a variety of their own tools to audit the success of individual pages and campaigns and made an SEO audit worksheet to maximize conversions.

Hubspot - SEO Audit worksheet

Conversion Rate Optimization Audit – Best Practices and Tips

Conducting a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) audit is an essential step to identifying areas of improvement in your digital presence. The following structure and tips will help you succeed.

1. Business Goals

Examine your sales funnel and identify the various user journeys and touchpoints that are crucial for a visitor's conversion into a customer. Determine your target audience and the essential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure that the conversion optimization strategies align with your overall business objectives.

Tip - Keep your business goals SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timing-bound.

2. User experience (UX) Audits

To provide an optimal user experience, walk in your visitors' shoes and evaluate the design, layout, navigation, and overall aesthetic appeal of your website. Identify any friction points, design inconsistencies, or areas that may cause confusion or frustration.

Tip - Involve multiple team members in UX audits to get diverse perspectives.

3. Analytics Audit

Analyze your website's analytics data to identify trends, patterns, and specific pages with low conversion rates and high bounce rates. Utilize tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics to uncover insights on the audience, acquisition, and conversions.

Tip - Keep an eye on pages with a low average time on page and high exit rates to identify potential issues.

4. Qualitative research

Insights from qualitative research can provide a human aspect to data-driven audits, helping you empathize better with your audience. Gather user feedback through surveys, interviews, or feedback forms to understand their expectations, desires, and pain points. 

Tip - Ensure open-ended questions in surveys to gather more subjective insights from users.

5. Data Collection

Integrate the quantitative and qualitative data from the analytics audit and user feedback into a single document. This will help you visualize a complete picture of your website's performance, user behavior patterns, and potential improvement areas.

6. Moving From Data To Hypothesis

Now that you have the data in hand formulate hypotheses on what changes can improve conversion rates. These hypotheses need to be testable and should be clear and concise.

Tip - Focus on one key element of a page at a time to create easily testable hypotheses.

7. Prioritization & Timeline

Organize the list of hypotheses by priority and impact on conversion rates. Develop a timeline to implement and test each hypothesis, keeping in mind your available resources and the potential benefits.

Tip - Use the PIE framework (Potential, Importance, and Ease) to prioritize hypotheses.

8. Putting together a proposal

Develop a comprehensive proposal outlining the insights from the audit, data-backed hypotheses, and the prioritized plan to test each hypothesis. Share this proposal with stakeholders and get their buy-in before commencing the testing phase.

9. Learning & Further A/B testing proposals

Leverage A/B testing to validate your hypotheses by testing various designs or content variations. Continuously learn from the outcomes, refine your proposal, and iterate the process to improve conversion rates progressively.

Tip - Ensure that the sample size for A/B testing is sufficient to retain statistical significance.

Wrapping Up!

By now, you should have a clearer idea of what CRO is and why your business needs one. With these adjustments in place, you should expect to see an increase in conversions and leads. However, having the best optimization strategy isn't enough. You need to ensure that all those leads don't go wasted by providing fast booking, scheduling meetings, and qualifying leads.

With great conversions comes great responsibility for customer relations. By combining the power of CRO auditing with RevenueHero for efficient lead management, your business will be well-positioned to maximize its potential. Book a demo today to manage all the hassles involved with managing customer interactions so that you can focus on what matters most - increasing conversion rates.

Aju Neeraj
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