Guides and Templates

Conversion Rate Optimization Briefing

A marketers guide to running structured AB and multivariate tests to boost results from websites

How will this guide to CRO help me and my business?

Our research shows that despite the tools available, the majority of businesses aren't active in running structured tests on their websites aimed at increasing leads and sales.

With this guide we’re looking to encourage more businesses to step up their testing activities and at higher capability levels, develop more sophisticated continuous optimisation programs.

What is CRO?

In the guide we define CRO as:

"The process of seeking to improve the commercial returns from websites using a series of structured tests and improvements"

We know that many dislike, even hate, the term 'CRO' since it's increasing revenue and profitability of a site that is the true focus, but marketers do use this term rather than the more accurate 'Structured Testing and Optimisation' so we will roll with this.

Who is the guide aimed at?

This guide is aimed at anybody looking to understand more about the process of structured testing and how to set up a process and select tools to run structured tests, or use it more effectively. It will help:

  • Marketing Heads and Directors that hold budgets and need to understand more about what’s involved and the business case
  • Managers responsible for getting better results from their website who want to learn how to set up a process
  • Designers and Information Architects who are looking to develop a data driven approach to web design

The structured testing approach recommended is widely applicable across business categories ranging from FMCG to B2B, e-commerce to not for profit.

What does the CRO guide  cover?

The guide includes:

  • A practical introduction to Split testing, which is the best way to get started with CRO for most businesses
  • A maturity model for you to assess website optimisation from Optimisation expert Craig Sullivan, covering Culture, Process, Testing and Analytics focus, Insight methods and mission
  • Setting up an optimisation process and the pitfalls to avoid
  • Running and managing tests
  • Recommendations on free and paid atnalysis tools for each step of the process with the focus on Google Analytics

Resource Details

  • Authors:  Hugh Gage, consultant at Engage Digital. Robert Jones has also added a User Experience section and checklist.
  • Last updated:  1st August 2016
  • Format: 10,000 word, 47 page A4 page PDF Ebook with examples and checklists
  • Related resource: Digital Marketing Optimization Guide – explains how to set up measurement programmes, Goals, Dashboards, KPIs and process to develop an insight-driven approach to improving results from digital marketing.

About the authors

Hugh Gage

Hugh Gage

Hugh Gage of Engage Digital is the Smart Insights Expert commentator on Digital Analytics. He is author of our Expert member guide to Tag management. Hugh has worked in digital communications since 1994, switching from roles in media where he was Head of Online Planning and Buying at Manning Gottlieb OMD, to senior analyst at Logan Tod now part of PwC. He was one of the first to hold the Google Analytics Individual Qualification and is also a DAA Certified Analyst. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

Robert Jones

Robert JonesRobert Jones is Research Analyst at Smart Insights, he works on member research, improving user experience of the Smart Insights site, he produces our partner research reports and manages the production of our member content. He is a member of the Market Research Society (MRS) and has over 5 years experience in Insight and UX.

Business Membership is required

Business members get full access to this and 6 other guides in the Digital Experience Management Toolkit.

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