In our recent Twitter chat, we invited experts from around the world to share their thoughts on CRO and marketing. The result was a compilation of tips and tricks that only experience can teach, so we thought we'd pull them together into one place and share them with you today.
Don't worry if you're still starting out or are working your way through the myriad of ebooks and blogs to understand marketing better—you can always use these evergreen insights from seasoned marketers. This is a marketing resource that you'll definitely want to bookmark.
Strike the right balance between instinct and insight
Today there are data scientists and business analysts in every marketing team—people solely dedicated to identifying patterns in visitor engagements. We've never been more invested in running statistics-backed tests to find the next best marketing maneuver. This is great considering the amount of time spent in trial-and-error methods has drastically reduced. However, the crux of marketing has always been understanding the core of a customer's wants and giving them the best solution—even if it's one they would never have envisioned. As Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
It's crucial that you don't just take data points at face value. Instead, translate them into inferences about visitor psychology. For example, say you run a split URL test and find that visitors bounce off a certain page but stick around longer on another page, even though it has similar content. You can group information from the test with insights from session recordings and heatmaps to find out what motivates them to spend more time on the latter. It's about finding the problem they're looking to solve at that stage in the conversion funnel.
Experiences like these—in which you learn how to derive sound insight from data—will develop your instinct over time. And eventually, you'll be able to arrive at the same conclusions, but faster.
To make the right marketing calls, you should learn to understand psychology so well that you know when to trust data and when not to.
Use CRO right from the start—and make sure it grows with the team
CRO is as important for a multi-billion dollar enterprise as it is for a small team that's tight on budget and resources. Of course, the requirement of each team changes—but so should your CRO usage.
When you start out with a handful of developers and one marketer, your optimization focus should be quantitative. Measuring website metrics is a great place to begin in this case. It will help you group pages in performance-based containers.
Pages that have the highest bounce rate
Pages with the highest dropoffs
Pages with a low visitor count but high conversions
Pages with the most visits
Next, you can analyze what you're doing right in the good performing pages and try to replicate that effect in the other container.
As your team plus visitor count grows, you can start using qualitative analysis CRO tools like Heatmaps, Session Recordings, and Polls to crack the visitor behavior code. These tools will help you tailor a marketing approach unique to each container.
When you have significant number of visitors on your website and a good conversion count, you can start running well-thought-out A/B and Split URL tests. Further, you can then focus on visitor-level personalization to maximize the chances of conversion at every stage in the conversion funnel.
You do not have to follow this approach to a T. As long as you're able to sustain the quality of the CRO process and make informed decisions at every stage of your company's growth, don't be afraid to mix things up a bit.
Regularly measure and improve site speed
A study found that a one-second delay in website loading reduced conversions by 25%. Measuring and improving site speed at regular intervals requires minimal effort and leads to a noticable boost in customer experience, conversion rates, and, in the long run, your sales revenue.
Even the byproducts of optimizing page load time, like a bump in SEO and ad rankings, have a positive impact on conversions. For a visitor, a faster page is a sign of good UX, so they stick around longer on the page, thus significantly reducing the page's bounce rate. Multiply this effect over the thousands of visitors that land on your site, and you'll see a bump in the page's SEO rankings.
A faster loading time will also increase your Google Ads quality score. A better score means you'll be paying less per ad click, and the ads will start ranking higher. That's low-hanging fruit you shouldn't miss.
With every iteration you make to your website—new images, a dynamic piece of content, a new tracking code—make sure that you measure and optimize its impact on the website's load time on both web and mobile platforms.
For landing pages, stay focused on the singular goal
The essence of every landing page is the same across all industries: sell a better life. And the mark of a good landing page? It sells you a better life using direct and persuasive messaging with relevant yet non-intrusive graphics.
Every landing page on your website should cater to this singular goal—how you do that depends on your industry type. For example, a SaaS business's landing page will highlight the benefits their product can give you. It will paint a picture of your business's revenue growing without too much hassle. On the other hand, the landing page of an e-commerce website might show you how simple your life will become with their same-day delivery service and end-of-season sales. The common denominator however, is always explaining how their service can solve the problems you might be facing.
Recalibrate your CRO goals
From the first website optimization cycle, make sure you set objective conversion goals for a certain period that matches the vision of your business. This way, your optimization efforts will be streamlined, giving you a greater chance of increasing conversions.
Take time to analyze the results of an optimization campaign before jumping to the next idea. Running several experiments at once without accounting for past insights can give you false positive results. It will also make your testing strategy more scattered and random. Build up an evidence-based approach over time to create a more robust and comprehensive testing strategy.
Writing for your audience is an SEO win
It seems as if every quarter brings with it a new set of SEO rules and best practices. One thing that remains constant is that an engaging and informative piece of content will pass the SEO test any day. Let's not forget the purpose of having a SEO strategy: helping visitors find the content they're seeking.
Search engines have gotten so much better over the years, and today quality trumps quantity. Yes, make a list of the keywords the page is targeting. But more importantly, understand the problem the searcher wants to solve. Next, create content that matches the searcher's intent. If your content fits the searcher's needs, they are more likely to spend significant time on the page and even engage with it. Search engines like Google value this engagement metric and want to rank more pages like these. The more valuable visitors find your content, the longer they'll stay on your web page and the higher their chances become to convert.
Ultimately, website optimization is about engineering a better experience for humans. Keep this in mind when you put together your next CRO-infused marketing strategy.
There you have it—five practices that will never fail you on your marketing journey. What are some CRO hacks you swear by? Let us know in the comments below!