If you have a website, you’ve probably heard of SEO. Search Engine Optimization. This is how search engines like Google or Bing or Duck, Duck, Go find your site. The higher your SEO ranking – the higher the likelihood people will find you.
The fact that Search Engine Optimization is important – is old news.
The good news is, we’re not going to be talking about SEO today. Well, not exactly. We are going to be covering an often overlooked but related field. CRO. Sometimes pronounced like “Crow”. CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization.
Sounds pretty self-explanatory as a concept – but the truth is – the science behind CRO is so fascinating (and so important to getting conversions on your website) we’re going to be doing a 12-part series all about the power of Conversion Rate Optimization.
What if you had more website visitors coming to your site than you ever dreamed possible? You login to your Google Analytics Dashboard – and the dashboard lights up with millions of people from all over the world. You’re so excited – you crank up Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA, and start dancing around your office. You probably even call your best friend and your mom – to brag! But after a couple days of beyond belief traffic – you realize there might be a problem. Despite having the kind of web traffic most people would kill for – no one is signing up for your email list, or scheduling a discovery call, or registering for your courses, or buying your products.
Uh oh. Houston…we DEFINITELY have a problem.
ENTER Conversion Rate Optimization.
According to Moz.com, “Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action — be that filling out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise. The CRO process involves understanding how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what’s stopping them from completing your goals.”
While SEO is about optimizing your website so search engine algorithms can find you. CRO is about understanding human behavior so your site visitors will take the actions you want them to take. Conversion Rate Optimization is more about science, feelings, and emotions (backed by quantifiable data) – than algorithms.
We want to make sure our clients succeed. CRO is one of the tools in our toolbox. And, the folks who know CRO best – who live, eat, sleep, and breathe the concepts we’re going to take an aerial view of today – are the neuroscientists, psychologists, and user experience designers over at CXL Institute.
You know those “secret systems” self-proclaimed marketing gurus are always trying to sell you on landing pages that seem to scroll for days? The ones where they promise to triple your traffic overnight, 10X your sales, and make you a millionaire in 2 weeks – and all you have to spend is 5 minutes a day? Most of those guys are taking the science of CRO – and perverting it to scam people out of money.
CXL is different. Using a combination of data science, behavioral science, research, and applied scientific method – CXL can teach you how to fine tune the design and copy of your website to change user behavior, and get the results you’ve always dreamed of – like more calls, more sign-ups, and ultimately more sales.
When we utilize just a handful of these concepts for our clients – the ROI is staggering.
So let’s go over the first 3 basic principles of CRO.
IDEAS: This is an integral part of our discovery process. Early in our process, generally on one of the first calls we have with a new client – we begin the idea process. We gather ideas on your company, who you are, what you believe in, the products and services you offer – we also define your target audience. Then we brainstorm creative ideas we think might help attract the right people to your site. Together, we select the best ideas from the bunch. The best ideas are what some people describe as “low-hanging fruit”. The ideas with the lowest cost (in terms of money or effort) and the highest return (in terms of whatever ROI our client is hoping to obtain). These ideas become our hypothesis. Yup, just like in 6th grade science. We’re gonna utilize a process known as The Scientific Method.
TESTING: In the testing phase we, you guessed it, test our most promising hypothesis. Depending on the client, we do this through everything from A/B Test, Scroll Tests, Click Tests, etc. There are so many different kinds of tests – all with varying costs and requirements we could write a whole post just on testing methods. One of our favorites is called the 5 second test. With this test, we show site visitors your website for 5 seconds – then we ask them if they can recall certain details. Like, “what is the purpose of this website?”. You’d be surprised at how poorly the home page of most sites initially perform on this test. Usually, this is an indication we need to tweak the heading copy and layout – to draw users eyes to a focal point that is instantly recognizable. Maybe add a bold product graphic (the brain processes images more quickly than text) and use larger fonts for the heading.
STATISTICS: Once we test, we look at the data, and we determine whether a hypothesis is correct or not. Sometimes, a hypothesis is close – and maybe just needs a little fine tuning to be successful. Sometimes, we’re way off – and we cross that idea off our list. The ideas that work, the ones that prove our hypothesis – those are the ideas that get implemented for our clients. Those are the ideas that 9 times out of 10, get real world results.
When we say we make our clients unforgettable – we mean more than pretty pixels on a page, or well-crafted copy. We strategically tap into all kinds of disciplines, including the science of human behavior, to make sure your website, messaging, photos and videos resonant with your audience. We only work with mission-driven brands – clients with missions we believe in. When we take on a project, our goal is to hit it out of the park – EVERY TIME. Conversion Rate Optimization helps us do that.
Next week, we’ll be continuing our series on Conversion Rate Optimization. Until then, here’s a cute puppy video so you’ll remember us fondly.