Boost your website conversions with this trick
Is your website struggling to convert visitors into paying customers? Providing an exceptional customer experience is critical for any business—because 86% of customers are willing to pay more for it.
Conducting a customer-centric conversion rate optimization (CRO) audit is a reliable way to identify areas of improvement and optimize conversions, helping you address customer issues and align with your goals while your profits soar.
But an audit is only effective if it involves gaining a profound understanding of users and devising solutions that address their needs—you can’t implement superficial changes to boost conversions without enhancing the user experience (UX).
A CRO audit should
Evaluate your website’s overall UX
Identify factors impacting conversion rates
Help you prioritize improvements
Ready to try it for yourself? Here's a repeatable nine-step process to conduct a thorough, customer-centric CRO audit to shape your CRO program.
Step 1: define key conversion actions
Before you get started, take a moment to assess the conversions that truly matter for your business and set some clear goals.
Conversions are any actions that nudge users closer to becoming paying customers. In ecommerce, conversions usually refer to the percentage of users who actually make a purchase. For SaaS, trial signups and other metrics that indicate goal completion—like signing up for a lead magnet or registering for a webinar—are considered conversions.
To understand what conversions mean across your organization, consult with stakeholders. Alongside the big-picture conversions like purchases, subscriptions, and signups, decide on the smaller but still important interactions to track throughout the customer journey. These could include actions like adding a product to the cart or watching a demo video.
Step 2: focus on priority pages
For quick CRO audit results, take a close look at the web pages with the highest potential to impact your conversions. (You may want to focus less on top-of-the-funnel or TOFU content, though, as this type of content doesn't directly lead to conversions.)
Consider things like traffic volume and the user journey to narrow down your list of priority pages and ensure you’re analyzing conversion-oriented pages with a healthy amount of user activity that are key touchpoints in the customer journey.
That means focusing on landing pages designed for conversions, as well as dedicated pages for demos, whitepaper downloads, or ebooks. Because these pages have a bigger impact on your bottom line, they’re more critical for your audit.
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Step 3: understand user behavior
Now, it’s time to analyze real user behavior to grasp site engagement and conversion insights. Use goal conversions in Google Analytics, enable event tracking, and analyze key conversion actions like purchases, newsletter signups, and webinar registrations. During this step, a behavior analytics strategy becomes invaluable.
A multi-product behavior analytics platform like Hotjar gives you a wealth of qualitative and quantitative information about your users. Heatmaps—visual representations of user behavior on key pages in the form of ‘hot’ spots (lots of interaction) and ‘cold’ spots (minimal interaction)—show you where users click, move, and scroll to pinpoint attention on conversion elements. For example, your scroll heatmap might reveal very few users scroll far enough to see your CTA. And your click heatmap may show that the users who do get far enough don’t click your CTA anyway.
Additionally, Hotjar’s session recordings give you insights into user interactions, drop-offs, frustrations, and conversion failures by showing video-like renderings of real users navigating your website.
Combining Hotjar Heatmaps and Recordings gives you a comprehensive view of user behavior and uncovers key insights on web pages and elements driving or hindering conversions.
Step 4: gather voice-of-the-customer (VoC) insights
Go beyond user data in your CRO audit to understand what users want and need—in their own words. Use customer interviews and other user feedback methods to discover motivations and barriers to conversion. Besides heatmaps and recordings, Hotjar provides additional qualitative user insights to elevate your CRO audit: Hotjar Engage lets you run virtual interviews with customers and prospects, while the Hotjar Surveys tool lets you gather feedback on different site elements and learn more about your customers and their experience on your site.
Why do users abandon their carts at checkout? Ask them with a targeted cart abandonment survey! Use these insights to improve navigation design or search filters—or offer faster shipping based on their feedback—to increase conversions.
Step 5: find easy fixes
Track user behavior and collect VoC insights for a nuanced understanding of user satisfaction and concerns. Uncover conversion blockers and implement 'quick wins' to remove friction points.
For instance, if you drive paid traffic to a downloadable resource like an ebook, minimize form fields and simplify the process. Ecommerce managers should also focus on streamlining checkout and identifying bugs, blockers, and optimization opportunities.
Step 6: create (and test) a conversion hypothesis
Focus on optimizing specific pages and site elements based on user and product research. For example, if average time on page is low and bounce rates are high on a landing page, investigate why and create a hypothesis:
If we include more relevant use cases, the conversion rate will improve by 2%.
Use these hypotheses as the basis for your A/B tests, which leads us to the next step.
Step 7: run A/B tests
Once you've identified clear hypotheses, launch A/B tests to evaluate their success and make data-informed CRO decisions.
Set clear outcomes and goals to measure test outcomes. Use an A/B testing tool (like Optimizely or Omniconvert) to set up effective experiments, and split traffic between test and control versions until enough data is collected. Several A/B testing tools, including the two mentioned above, seamlessly integrate with Hotjar, helping you gather valuable data on your page variants to pick a winner with confidence.
Step 8: put your learnings into practice
Implement insights from your A/B testing, page audits, and user behavior analytics. Roll out changes with confidence—but if your confidence is still lacking, go back and gather more data to form new hypotheses.
At this stage, share your CRO audit learnings with your team to align focus. If you gathered user behavior insights using Hotjar’s tools for heatmaps and session recordings (see step 3), capture highlights of your most fascinating findings and group them in a collection to share with internal stakeholders, so they can see it for themselves.
Step 9: rinse and repeat!
A CRO audit isn’t one-and-done—your business and industry are ever-changing. Regular CRO audits are crucial for evolving companies and websites, so make them part of your workflow. By staying on top of internal updates and changes in the external environment, you’ll improve user experience, understand your customers better, and identify new conversion opportunities.