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CXL Conversion Rate Optimization: Conversion Research Review

Whoa, on my 7th week already! I’m so happy that I was able to pass the Landing Page Optimization quiz.

So, this week, I’m reviewing the Conversion Research course for CXL Institute’s Conversion Rate Optimization minidegree program. For this week, we’ll be tackling Conversion Research. 

After all, research is the foundation of high conversions. The more you know your customer, the better you’ll understand and meet his or her needs through your services and products. And eventually, you’ll get him or her buying from you. 


Conversion Research

As you might know, there’s a lot of data you need to gain important insights and improve conversions for your website. But how much data do we need? What kind of data do we need? 

In the first part of the conversion research course, CXL founder Peep Laja discussed the Research XL Model.

It has 6 steps which we’ll be talking about briefly:

  • Heuristic Analysis


If you’ve read my previous blog post on product messaging,  you’d know about the Heuristic formula that basically tells you which factors contribute to conversions.


But in this step, we’re talking more about assessing the site page by page based on the user experience. There are features that affect  the user experience and therefore conversions: clarity, friction,anxiety, and distraction.

First off, we have clarity. Clarity is asking if everything is clear and easily understood. Are the directions simple? Do you understand what the page is all about?


Friction is what’s preventing the user from going through the customer journey. Are the forms too detailed? Are some parts of the page not working right?


Next, anxiety is what’s bothering people. For instance, is there a guarantee that can lower the risk for them? 


Lastly, there’s distraction. If there’s too much going on, chances are, the user will feel too overwhelmed and stuck. He or she will probably leave the page.


  • Technical Analysis


Technical Analysis involves taking at the browsers, errors, bugs, and of course, site speed. Yes, the slower the site speed, the more likely people will bounce off your site.


  • Digital Analytics


In order to make most of your optimization efforts, you need to find out where the problems are. We don’t want to be leaking money, right?


To do this, you need to check your Google Analytics or whatever kind of digital analytics you have.


When you deep dive, take note of where exactly people are dropping off. Where is the friction point? 


Moreover, you want to understand and connect certain behaviors with outcomes. Like, if they are reading a lot of your blog posts, do they continue to buy after skimming through them? Do the people who use your filters actually convert?


Lastly, you need to make sure the measurements are reliable and verifiable. According to him 90% of the analytics configurations he’s seen are broken.


  • Qualitative Research


When it comes to gaining insight, he suggests 2 kinds of surveys. First, we have on-site polls. You first do it on a product page, like asking them what’s stopping them from buying a certain product. On the other hand, if it’s on a check out page, the concerns would be security and privacy.


Peep recommends that you do on-site polls for all your pages.


The second type of survey that’s useful for qualitative research is the post conversion survey. We want to ask the people who have recently bought from us about their shopping experience. You can send them a survey maybe a couple of hours after with 8-10 open ended questions.


  • User Testing


For this step you ask people to use your website and share their experiences as they’re completing specific tasks. For example, they need to find a certain product in your store. You gauge the time they take to do the task and if they encounter any difficulties or error messages.


  • Mouse Tracking Analysis


Take a look at where your users are tapping or clicking. Peep Laja, the hovering action is okay but not so useful.


What’s next after doing research?


After doing your research, you collect all your data and list problems you found. Next, you need to prioritize which issues to tackle first. CXL Founder Peep Laja suggests a five star rating/ scale wherein 5 means a major concern. For example when it comes to usability, if the issue impacts a lot of your visitors or customers then it’s a 5.


He also suggests categorizing the issues that you have. Then make testing programs to solve them.


His best advice is follow the money which means fix the parts that are leaking money right away. 


Lastly, he shared 3 key metrics that are crucial in determining the effectiveness of your testing program:

  1. Testing velocity

The quicker you test, the more you learn, the quicker you solve the issue and grow your business.

  1. Percentage of tests that provide a win

Of course, you need to make tests based on the issues your customers are already experiencing so that it can have a significant difference versus your previous situation. 

  1. Impact per successful experiment

 This depends on your current situation. If your site for example looks like it was from the 80s, then there’s a lot to do but it’s going to have a big impact on your site.


Final Thoughts For This Week


I must say I find the brief explanations about the 6 steps for ResearchXL pretty straightforward. Since most of the information is found in other courses in this minidegree, it’s more like a summary of the critical elements you need for conversion optimization.


What I really enjoyed is everything looks so simple. The importance of surveys, content reports, chat, and customer service were also tackled. 


Overall, the lessons were organized from an overview to a very detailed explanation. I just wish that there were slide decks for the lessons. That would make it easier for us students to summarize each section.


 I’m enjoying getting into the nitty gritty since research is something I’m very comfortable with. I think my biggest takeaway is not to based research on what you think your customers need but what they actually need. Looking forward to more insights.


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