Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is key to any digital marketing program; and is especially critical for any done at a significant scale. It’s main characteristic is increasing the interaction rate at which a visiting or viewing customer stream takes some desired action. This can be downloading something, completing a form, etc. After all, getting people to your site is a necessary, but insufficient, step. Conversion is the ‘so what?’ step; the payoff to all that blind marketing.
CRO is a scientific method based on A/B split testing, audience testing, and response tracking. This is where you have to suspend your belief in your clever tag-lines, beautiful images, compelling copy, etc., so that you can test and learn what actually works. Due to the necessary statistical rigor and the need to be objective and removed from the biases of authorship, it is one of the prime marketing areas that are best served by an outside provider.
There are quite a few tools out there, besides Google Analytics, designed to help you with CRO such as: Optimizely, VWO, Convert Experiences, Ion, Unbounce, Crazy Egg, Hotjar, and on and on. Hint: you know the topic is crowded and confusing when you can find articles listing “the 50 Best CRO tools” and other light reading.
Why do I need it?
It’s natural, and indeed necessary, for a website to focus on growing traffic. Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing via your blog and white papers, banner ads and links to social media are all primarily focused on getting people to your site in the first place. Conversion Rate Optimization is about what they do once they are there and how to optimize that traffic into generating the greatest possible number of conversions.
Increasing traffic is vital ~ but unless you’re focused on selling ad space on your site/blog instead of your product or services, what you really want is customers, not visitors. Conversion Rate Optimization is the magic that converts eyeballs into wallets.
But, technically and conceptually, its not as easy as you might think. In addition to all the tools there are different techniques such as A/B testing, popups, exit intent tools, heat maps, etc.. And even more fundamentally there is the difference between reactive testing and proactive hypothesis-building and testing. We’ll discuss that below; but we’re confident that this is certainly an area where you can, and should, put your trust in SearchConversion.com to handle CRO (which we can do best) while you focus on generating content (which you can do best).
How can we help?
As we hinted above, A/B testing can be done in a simple, and common sense manner; but there are serious risks associated with treating such an important step in your customer acquisition process in a casual manner. For example, you can split your outgoing messages into two streams, each sending traffic to two different landing pages. In this way you can get a sense for which message had the better click-thru-rate and which landing page had the higher conversion rate.
This type of basic test/learn cycle is a major improvement over “build it and they will come”…but its not really enough. It takes too long, you might get sidetracked testing non-crucial parameters, or, worst of all, completely miss creating the content/tests that will attract your best and most profitable customers. It’s very easy for the human brain to leap to a conclusion based on a small blip in the data. The better approach is to pre-plan your CRO campaign, identify the multivariate data you need to test your theories about who will come and convert and buy on your site…and why. You need to build geographic, demographic, behavioral, frequency, and contextual variables into your CRO and test those. It’s not a question of “blue works better than orange” its more like: “my sweet spot are senior analytical types in major metro areas, and they require convincing amounts of evidence and social proof, long-form content, and en easy enrollment cycle”. In order to do all this you need coordination and statistical feedback influencing your content calendar, landing page design, opt-in or pop-up forms based on your CRO learnings.
That’s what the ‘optimization’ in CRO is all about. Doing it right is a big job, with dedicated focus, scientific rigor, and attention to detail. May I point out that this is our wheelhouse? Let us impress you with a plan on how we can do that.