Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an essential element of your digital marketing and it will continue to be important for years to come. Our State of PPC survey confirms its importance every year. Whether you’re new to CRO or a veteran optimizer, here are four main thoughts for you to bear in mind as you contemplate your future marketing plan. They probably aren’t new to most marketers, but I think they should be reiterated.
The following will continue to become more important than ever before:
(1) Consider the bigger picture of your marketing efforts. Don’t put different channels, tactics, or departments into silos and make sure to share learnings across each of them.
Are you doing email marketing? Instagram? Facebook? Google Ads and Microsoft Ads? Billboards? Direct mail? Events? Podcasts? Blog posts? Do you have a website? The list goes on and on, and I’m willing to bet you’re doing at least a few of them. And if you are, don’t you want to get the most out of each? To explain this point, there’s one concept that always resonates best with me: marketing ecosystems.
Consider all of your tactics as efforts that are related to one another, and as Marketo describes, “The key characteristic of an ecosystem is interdependence where each component is dependent on each other component.” Use what you’re already doing to drive better performance. Share and connect data when possible. It might help you dig into or answer some of the following questions:
- What resonates best with your target audience?
- Are you missing keywords in your ads?
- Have there been any shifts in your industry?
- What motivates people to purchase?
- Can you drill down what makes you better than competitors?
- Is your messaging inconsistent and confusing?
And luckily for us, the opportunities to share and connect only continue to grow as technology evolves.
(2) Data, tracking, and attribution will need to be clean, clear, precise, and accurate. More platforms and technology equal more opportunities for inconclusive results and problems.
Remember how I just said that luckily, we’ll continue to have more opportunities to share and connect? There’s a small caveat to that. I only say luckily if you can keep everything straight. Here a few problematic scenarios to consider:
- If you have an increase in conversions, but you’re not sure which page was responsible, that’s a problem.
- If you can’t figure out how different devices are performing, that’s a problem.
- If you can’t figure out which channels are making or losing money, that’s a problem.
Striving for correctness and not saying, “well, it’s close enough” will only help you in the long run. No one likes wasting money or resources. Am I right?
(3) Work to understand your target audiences in ways that will allow your efforts to be more personalized and refined. Digital competition will only continue to grow, and it will become easier to get lost in the shuffle. Secondarily, this will help you ensure that you continue to meet and keep up with users’ expectations as trends and UX change.
It’s no secret the digital landscape is getting more competitive. Think about how many ads you’ve seen today. Yesterday. Last Week. Last Month. I’m guessing there hasn’t been a shortage of ads in your life, even if you weren’t consciously paying attention to most of them. Personalization and refinement will help you stand out in the sea of ads looking to grab people’s attention. Additionally, the increased competition can drive up marketing costs, so you want to maximize the traffic you already get, right? No one wants to lose out on business, especially when it’s standing right at the front door. On another note, keeping this top-of-mind will keep you in tune with what users expect, shifts in behavior, and trends so that you don’t fall behind or go down a wrong road in your optimizations in a fast-paced, quickly changing world.
(4) No matter how the elements of CRO evolve over time, don’t overcomplicate the fundamentals. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis or become too overwhelmed, which can be easy to do.
I’m not trying to oversimplify CRO here but rather encourage you not to forget the basics. The fundamentals. Sometimes, it’s easy to get overtaken by the details, too many new features, too many platforms, or too many blog posts on best practices. As elements of CRO evolve, don’t forget to take a step back every now and then to look at bigger pictures. It can be easy to get stuck in the weeds.
To wrap up, I’ll reiterate that I know these aren’t brand new ideas for your future marketing strategies. However, I encourage you to keep them top-of-mind as you’re thinking about next year and beyond. There’s always lots of new and exciting stuff happening in the digital realm, so just make sure that you’re always on a clear, efficient path to improved performance rather than a murky, siloed one.