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Research and Testing by Peep Laja Summary

This review is only for 1 course in CXL's growth marketing minidegree. For all the others please head over to the index here


Ok, so this is going to be a super super long post. I’m going to be as concise as possible but there is just so much content that I can’t help but make this article really long. You are free to skip any section that is irrelevant to you. Latka style, taking this from the top. Conversion Rate Optimisation is all the buzz lately, but how many marketers fully understand the concepts? CRO is a systematic approach to making it easier for customers to find solutions to their pain points.

Why optimisation?

  1. The obvious one—CRO gets you more customers, free

  2. Your profit is even more sensitive to your conversion rate than your revenue is: When you double your conversion rate, all your costs don’t double.

  3. Compound growth: it adds up over time.

​ ​ What is good optimisation?

  1. Test, really.

  2. Make effective changes

  3. Reduce the duration and cost of optimisation

  4. Increase the speed of experimentation.

  5. Start with best practices but don’t stop there.

  6. Don’t copy competitors. They don’t know what they are doing.


  1. Identify where are the problems.

  2. Where are the problems?

  3. Why is this or that a problem?

  4. Turn known issues into test hypotheses

  5. Prioritizing tests and instant fixes

How to identify where are the problems?

  • Whose problem are we solving?

  • What do they need?

  • What do they think they want?

  • Why?

  • How are they choosing/making a decision?

  • Why?

  • What are they thinking when they see our offer?

  • How is what well sell clearly different?

  • Where is the site leaking money?

  • What is the problem?

  • What are they doing or not on the website?

  • What leads more people to do X? ​

Where are the problems?

#1: Technical analysis • Is shit broken?

• Where?

• Which browsers?

• Which devices?

• Which pages are slow? ​

#2: Heuristic analysis • Relevancy? • Clarity? • Motivation? • Friction? People convert when the ability to do something and motivation are in sync. If motivation is high enough and the site is tricky to navigate, the triggers would work. But if both are at the bottom, it’s bad for business.

#3: Web Analysis analytics • Where are the leaks? • Which segments? • What are users doing? • Which actions correlate with higher conversions? #4: Mouse tracking & form analytics • Where do they click? • How far down they scroll? • Differences between devices? • Session replays

Why is this or that a problem?

#5: Qualitative surveys • Buyer groups • Which problem are they solving? • How are they deciding? • What’s holding them back? • What else do they want to know? ​ Open questions will eventually convert to closed questions. Start by asking:

What was your biggest challenge, frustration, or problem in finding the product?

What doubts and hesitations did you have before completing the product.

What is the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?

Once you have enough answers, convert them to MCQ format and let users quickly answer. #6: User testing • What’s difficult to understand? • What’s difficult to do? • What goes wrong?

Tools needed for this section:

Tag Manager or Hotjar or Mouseflow Qualtrics ​

Turn known issues into test hypotheses ​

Prioritizing tests and instant fixes. Now that you know what is a problem and have a few hypotheses about why it happens, the next step is to test it or implement it without testing. Note: You don’t have to test everything. Some things can be implemented without testing. Make a list of the test hypothesis and prioritise them using the CXL framework. ​ ​

Run ABn tests with enough sample size, run over multiple business cycles (~4weeks), and the test has reached statistical significance. <for more information about ab testing, check out the course review for ab test>

A few testing mistakes to avoid:

  • Precious time wasted on stupid tests

  • You think you know what will work

  • You copy other people’s tests

  • Your sample size is too low

  • You run tests on pages with very little traffic

  • Your tests don’t run long enough

  • You don’t test full weeks at a time

  • Test data is not sent to third-party analytics

  • You give up after your first test for a hypothesis fails.

  • You’re not aware of validity threats such as the History effect, Instrumentation effect, & Selection effect

  • You’re ignoring small gains- compound growth, remember? A 5% monthly increase in your conversion rate will result in an 80% uplift for the year.

  • You’re not running tests at all times

Metrics of a testing program:

  • Number of variants tested

  • Win rate

  • Avg uplift per successful experiment

Great advice — a compilation:

  • Test on mobile and desktop separately

  • Have a comparision page to help people compare your product with the others.

  • Live chat with customers. Use a link to let people directly WhatsApp you with a prefilled message.

  • Images need to be relevant and help with conversions. A picture speaks a thousand words remember? So use that to your advantage, especially so if you are a SaaS product.

  • Use Optimizely and Tag Manager to Personalise Landing page

  • Find a way to have social proof on the website + photos.

  • Should videos be on your homepage?

  • Increase relevancy, clarity, and value. Reduce friction and distraction.

  • Use psychology: Understand what System 1 and 2 are and know which one to lean more heavily towards. More on persuasive biases here

  • Start With Where and What, Then Move on to Why

  • Use high contrast buttons

Quick win: Start closest to the place where the money is. Optimise that stage of the funnel ​ More on this available here There is no such thing as a perfect website – there is always the opportunity to test, learn, and improve. Conversion Rate Optimisation is the process of finding out what does and doesn't work and helps understand visitor engagement. ​

CRO is not limited to websites only. You can take this process and implement it in on your social media campaigns, creatives, and emails. All inbound and outbound marketing communications must be continuously optimised. One question to rule them all: Is your <website> annoying the customer? P.S for ethical marketers only.

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