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How to Develop a Winning CRO Testing Roadmap

If you are reading this post, then you already know that CRO (“Conversion Rate Optimization”) can help you increase revenue and create a better customer experience.

Now the problem is: how will you decide what to test?

Successful testing is almost always strategic in nature. You simply cannot fire your test equipment, plug in a couple of page variations and expect to meet your business goals – at least not consistently.

This is, in essence, the test roadmap. And when done right, it will help you save time and better employ your resources.

In this post, I am going to show you why you need a test roadmap and how to create one for your business.

Why you need a CRO test roadmap

As I like to tell customers, “Hope is not a marketing strategy”.

Still, I am amazed at the number of businesses that do a little bit of testing and expect to see results.

Consider an example: Suppose you want to increase your email opt-in.

As far as conversion goals are concerned, it is quite clear. However, to reach this goal, you have to test several variables:

Opt-in form placement
Opt-in form design
CTA (“Call to Action”) color and copy
Opt-in form copy
Opt-in bribe (or lead magnet)
Without a test roadmap, you would have to test each of these variables without any thought to how they might affect the final result.

The test in this way is reactionary and completely strategic.

Broadly, there are 5 reasons why you should use the test roadmap:

1. Prioritize Testing

Consider a simple product page

macys checkout
image Source

Add UGC (“user generated content”) of product images
Add “hover to zoom” feature
Adding size / fit ratings like on Amazon
Increasing the size and adding an icon makes the CTA even more prominent
Without a test roadmap, you have no real way of prioritizing these tests. You have to go by “feeling”, which is not really a way to approach something as analytical as testing.

2. Better resource planning

When should you hire a copywriter to jazz up a copy of your landing page?

Should you find a full-time designer or find a freelancer to redo your product page?

These are questions that you will have to answer throughout the testing process.

A roadmap helps you know when to put resources together for maximum impact.

For example, if your roadmap shows that you have not checked the copy for the next 3 months, you can prevent the copywriter from being hired.

This can protect you from over-hiring and under-hiring, which can improve results and your bottom line.

3. Focus on business goals, not strategic goals

This is because “increasing CTR” is a strategic goal, not a strategic business goal. This improves a specific, discrete metric (CTR) without taking into account long-term goals.

A test roadmap essentially frames these strategic goals in perspective. You know how short-term, strategic goals tie into long-term strategic goals.

4. Run more complex tests

The simple test – changing the color of a button or turning a title – is fairly easy to pull off. You can probably make changes yourself with a few lines of code.

However, more complex testing – changing the design of the checkout page to focus on free shipping or pricing table price points – requires multiple resources that work together to run the test.

In large businesses, you need several people to sign-off to a complex exam before running it.

With a test roadmap, you will know exactly which test you have to bring to greenlight.

For example, if you need a sales team to sign-off on a price increase test, you can ship them at the appropriate time.

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