I’d like to continue with the the topic I started to write a few months ago – a CRO Maturity Model. I’ve promised to write a separate blog post about every pillar. Due to Conversion Conference preparations and a great summer it took me more time to follow up on the previous article. But with autumn coming, there will be more time to write.
This time the focus I’d like to focus on CRO knowledge.
There are many disciplines you may learn and take advantage of within your daily CRO workload. However, as in other areas, there are a few underlying truths.
CRO consists of two main knowledge areas: Analytics and User Experience. Each uses a different hemisphere of your brain. Your left hemisphere is primarily the domain of math and logic, and thus, Analytics. The dominant functions of your right hemisphere are primarily visual imagery, spatial abilities and creativity, and thus, it is closer to User Experience.
As you’re no doubt familiar, some people have more analytical brains and some more creative. They’re inclined toward skills which focus on one of the two hemispheres. They have jobs which are tailored for them, with statisticians and scientists on one side, artists and designers on the other.
The challenge with CRO is that you simply need both – a focus on both numbers and creativity. And if you’re not a superhuman you likely can’t be a real expert of both disciplines. Therefore it’s a good idea to have a colleague who can help compensate for your weaker discipline. Find a soulmate in your company and start rocking!
You don’t necessarily need to be a visual or interaction designer, but you do need to have a feel for a great user experience. Absorb the basics of usability, interaction design, accessibility, visual design, copywriting, information architecture, and persuasion. Don’t underestimate the influence of cognitive science, psychology and motivations, either.
It is essential to make your website easy to understand, clear and persuasive so the customer feels your site is the best place to make their desired purchase. And all the above mentioned disciplines help you to create such a website.
There are some (in fact, many) very good books about those topics which can help you to become more knowledgeable. My favorites are:
In contrast to the User Experience, the world of Analytics is a domain of numbers, formulas and reports. As online sales are by far the best measured channel, it would be culpable not to be obsessed with data.
The measurement advantage gives you the ability to make data-driven decisions. You can abandon the realm of gut feeling decisions and let hard data guide your next steps.
On the other hand, it requires you to possess an analytical approach and solid math skills. As with the case of User Experience you don’t need to have a PhD in Statistics or Mathematics, but you definitely need to know the basics.
Become best friends with your digital analytics tool, MS Excel (or your favourite calculation tool), and pivot tables. Understand how web metrics work and exactly what they mean. Use the potential of controlled experiments, targeting, and A/B (MVT) testing. Learn about the importance of quantitative and qualitative research (which touches also upon the UX area).
Books that I would recommend in the analytics and testing realm are:
When it comes to Conversion Rate Optimization, Analytics and the User Experience are like yin & yang. They are both different, mutually complementary, and necessary.