UX and CRO can be considered two sides of the same coin for they go hand in hand even when they employ different approaches. This means that your UX efforts impact your CRO and vice versa.
While one must not interchange these two terms, it is important to consider the cause-effect relationship they have. Because of their complementary nature, it is crucial to make them walk towards a common goal.
But let us first understand what these terms actually mean.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
CRO is a process that focuses on increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a specific action.
It works by funneling your efforts into improving the user interaction by compelling them to take the intended action (like filling a form or taking a poll etc).
Here is how you can measure CRO:
CRO = Unique Purchase Orders/ Total sessions
Here, unique purchase orders signify user interaction that results in an action which is beneficial for the business and total sessions indicate the number of site interactions that happened. So a higher CRO value means that your CRO efforts are working effectively and creating more unique purchase orders per session.
What Is User Experience Design?
User Experience Design aims at easing user journey through a well-incorporated layout. In simple terms, UX is a reflection of how the user feels about your website. So when an interaction occurs between the user and your website, that interaction leads to an experience. Depending on the UX efforts you have put, this experience can be good or bad.
How CRO Complements UX
User experience design concentrates efforts on enhancing the experience of the visitor when they land on your website. And when you work on improving your user’s interaction with the website, it directly affects your Conversion Rate Optimisation. Because a customer is more likely to take the desired action when they have a good website experience.
Here is why user experience and conversion rate optimization must go hand in hand.
1. User experience is the key to understanding user behavior
And CRO is largely dependent on optimization of your strategy on the basis of your user preferences.
Since UX works on the ‘experience’ part of user interaction, it provides a clarity on what the user wants. By understanding user demands, you are in a better position to drive better conversions which boosts your CRO.
Think of UX as a requirement gathering stage. Once you take that step ahead, you are one step closer to your users since you are focusing on making the experience more meaningful to them. Use the information gathered to implement your CRO strategies to get better results.
2. UX provides meaningful data for CRO
CRO techniques usually rely on a random set of test values. But when UX is brought into the picture, these randomized experiments are thrown out of the picture and the results are much more accurate. Basing your CRO experiments on UX findings can help you in eliminating the guesswork and benefit your CRO efforts.
While UX lays down the foundation for user experience, CRO takes off from there by working on the aspects that need to be changed. So UX gives you concrete measurement points which you can use in your CRO techniques.
3. Focusing on UX helps you optimize design across different devices
And this is a crucial factor in boosting CRO.
For UX designers, the aim is to enhance the user experience across multiple devices. So UX designers can offer device insights to the CRO team.
The role of device optimization has become more crucial than ever. With mobile screens gaining a large set of audience, it makes sense to look beyond desktops. And that is exactly what UX focuses on. Plus when you translate this into CRO, you create a win-win situation.
4. CRO helps identify major design issues
When concentrating on UX design, minor changes around color and size may lead to some improvement. And when focusing on ‘conversions’, these changes can only bring fruitful results when UX is already taken care of.
Like when you take the e-commerce industry, you will find out that a lot of cart abandonment cases occur when UX is not brought into the picture. Sometimes, by simple changes like the personalization of CTA text can bring great results.
UX and CRO together, reduce the friction points of your website and make the purchase journey smoother. With UX data present, CRO team can focus on priority issues and eliminate them first.
5. Some CRO tools assist UX designers
Your CRO team relies on tools like heatmaps and visitor recordings which help them analyze user behavior and user behavior is a key input for UX design.
So it’s not just UX that acts as a supplement to CRO efforts but your CRO efforts also result in fruitful UX analysis.
Additionally, the A/B test results collected by the CRO team can enhance your UX strategies. A/B tests offer data and use case validations which assist you in focusing your efforts on strategies that are delivering better results and eliminate ones that are not working so effectively. These A/B tests reveal if you need larger images on your website, where you should place your landing page video etc. UX designers can then focus on enhancing interactions with these individual elements.
A/B tests based on UX inputs have a higher chance of delivering better results.
An optimized website is a result of CRO and UX going together. Without keeping one at the core while optimizing the other, there is a good chance that your efforts won’t produce the results that they should have. Only when you take UX and CRO hand in hand and make the UX and CRO team share their insights, you can create real end results.
UX puts a customer at the core and lays down the foundation of the user journey. CRO team knows the user’s touchpoints in this journey. In isolation, they still work well. Together, they give you an edge over your competitors.
About the author: this is a guest post by Sahil Kakkar, CEO and Founder of RankWatch, a platform that helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape.
Title image: VWO Blog
Read more about the difference between UX and UI, learn how to become a UX designer and check 10 tips how to make user interface easy-breezy
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