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The Tortoise and the Hare: Lessons for CRO

Posted By Whitney Wilding On March 9, 2011 @ 11:04 am In Improving Conversion,Landing Page Optimization,Website Optimization,continuous-improvement,conversion optimization | 9 Comments

[1]You are probably familiar with the childhood story of the tortoise and the hare. As the story goes, the tortoise challenges the hare to a race after the hare’s continual bragging about his own speed. However, in the end, it’s the slow and steady tortoise that actually wins the race. It may seem unclear as to how this has anything to do with the topics that we typically cover on the Grok, but this fable has more bearing on conversion rate optimization and efforts to make your website better than most people realize.

In a competitive online marketing world, getting ahead of the competition can definitely be viewed as a race to the finish line. FutureNow strongly advocates testing as a customer-centric, data-driven way to make your website better.  But your attitude toward testing could make a fool or a champion of you.

Sure, we all love that one golden test in which the variation beats the original hands down and your conversion rate quadruples [2]! Looking back at our allegory, this is where our friend, the hare, would take a break to skip around the meadow, all the while tooting his horn at his success. But we all know how the story ends…he was congratulating himself before the race was actually completed! That brings us back to how our most successful clients [3] view testing and CRO for their sites. While our best clients certainly move quickly, like the hare, and don’t obsess over having a “perfect” solution before launching a test, they definitely don’t stop to gloat when a test is successful. They realize, like the tortoise, that stopping before the race is over is counter-productive… and they also come to realize, through months of continuous testing and gain-upon-gain, that the CRO race is never really over!

The beauty of this approach is that the numbers themselves speak very elegantly to the point. My colleague, Brendan Regan, did a fantastic job of illustrating this in his article, The Power of Compounding Conversion Rate Increases [4]. Let’s take a closer look at Brendan’s example.  Click to enlarge the image.


This chart shows two competitors who each ran an initial test with the same results (the data point just above Test 1). However, one company stopped testing (the red line), while the other continued testing, with smaller but continual gains (the blue line). The red line stays static after initially doubling the conversion rate, but the blue line more than doubles a second time! These results were achieved by pushing forward to make incremental gains with continuous testing.  So, which one would you rather be?  Although we all love to have the swiftness of the hare in our optimization efforts, sometimes, it’s the determination and steadiness of the tortoise that really affects our results.  Contact us to find out how we can help you [6] change your attitude toward testing and get results like these.


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URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2011/03/09/the-tortoise-and-the-hare-lessons-for-cro/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/the-tortoise-and-the-hare1.jpg

[2] conversion rate quadruples: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2010/04/02/conversion-rate-quadruples/

[3] our most successful clients: http://www.futurenowinc.com/client_success.htm?utm_source=grokdotcom&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=link&utm_campaign=tortoise_and_hare_9Mar2011

[4] The Power of Compounding Conversion Rate Increases: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2010/04/20/the-power-of-compounding-conversion-rate-increases/

[5] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/1CRcompounding.jpg

[6] find out how we can help you: http://www.futurenowinc.com/contactus.htm?utm_source=grokdotcom&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=link&utm_campaign=tortoise_and_hare_9Mar2011

[7] Image: http://twitter.com/home/?status=Who would win a battle of CRO, the tortoise or the hare? http://bit.ly/GROK-CROallegory (via @GrokDotCom)

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