Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): Why You Need It

By Haley Carpenter | CRO Coordinator at Hanapin Marketing |

It’s a question that sometimes gets asked, and I would love to talk about three common types of pushback we frequently encounter to explain its importance. In short, it’s safe to say that every account needs CRO somewhere in the master plan.

Missing ingredient

But First, the Driving Forces of My Perspective

First, I’ll give a quick recap of our program to provide context for my perspective.

At a high level, our CRO team’s work can be divided into two main categories: analysis and testing. We do several analyses that fuel our testing queues and we do a lot of testing to guide analyses. Both produce results and key takeaways.

Ideally, we would be doing both types of work on a regular basis for an account.

A few of our bigger picture goals for every account are to:

  • Positively impact performance of digital marketing efforts, landing pages, and websites.
  • Help clients convert as many users as possible and avoid losing them to things like poor user experience (UX) and a lack of collaboration between PPC and CRO.
  • Provide valuable knowledge about target audiences to help clients make informed, data-driven decisions.

Now, keeping all of this in mind, why do you need it?

Why You Need CRO

Here are three types of pushback we frequently hear against CRO (slightly dramatized for emphasis) along with my general response for consideration.

Pushback #1: What the h**k is CRO? I’m not sure if that would be valuable for our account, but thanks for asking.

Familiarity and experience with CRO widely vary, and that can be related to a number of different factors. If you’ve never heard of CRO or don’t know much about it, don’t worry! But also, don’t shy away from it.

At a broad level, most people can relate to wanting performance improvements. So, without getting too deep into the specifics, that’s a great reason to start considering CRO. If you’re spending money for digital marketing—and PPC specifically—CRO will help to turn more of that traffic into conversions and revenue.

Pushback #2: We’re looking for huge, strategic initiatives only, not something like a headline change. Also, we know who our target audience is and don’t need a person in CRO to tell us that.

It’s a common thought that small changes on a landing page or website won’t produce impactful results. That’s simply not the case. I see improved performance from these types of changes all the time. A huge reason for that is because these changes and tests aren’t random. CRO involves areas such as psychology and sociology, and a lot of time is spent studying target audiences and user behavior. All of the research and analysis that’s done helps to guide informed decisions.

CRO also encompasses initiatives typically viewed as “larger” or more complex, and it can all work together in harmony. This could be something like building landing pages or redesigns.

Lastly, it’s common to assume that you can only know so much about your target audience. This is a fair perspective. However, there are a multitude of platforms to use and several sets of data we can gather to provide new insights. We work with teams to figure out what they already know and what new information could be valuable. And, we can almost always provide a new perspective or dig deeper into something done previously.

Pushback #3: Our site doesn’t get enough traffic for testing, so CRO can’t help us.

There’s definitely a minimal level of traffic required for testing. This is an area where PPC efforts are key. If traffic is truly too low for testing at any point, that part of CRO isn’t going to be an option. However, if your CRO and PPC teams collaborate, they can work together to boost traffic, and a good option is to focus only on analyses in the meantime.

While you’re working to increase traffic, you can still learn more about your users and target audience. That way, when more users start getting to your landing pages or website, you’ve already been focusing on maximizing conversions and revenue. There are so many things you can analyze even if you can’t test—potential purchasing paths, the conversion funnel, and functionality are a few examples.

Bottom Line

So, what’s the bottom line? Conversion rate optimization is important!

If you’ve tried CRO in the past but didn’t see the value, I encourage you to figure out why and what needed to be different. Also, if you’ve struggled with convincing your team that you need CRO, don’t give up.

Reach out if you’d like to talk with us!

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