I remember when I moved from SEO to CRO seven years ago, I found the subject of CRO interesting and exciting but I came up against a brick wall trying to explain to clients and businesses why it’s important. To an extent I still do, but at least I don’t have to explain what CRO stands for so much these days!
More companies are investing in CRO now, seeing it as a way of getting more out of their budget and investment into all traffic acquisition services like paid search and SEO. Improve your conversion rate and everything gets a lift, right?
These are the main reasons for both, commercially and user-based, and why it’s becoming more and more important to invest in CRO as a way to boost revenue and ROI:
Paid advertising is getting ever more expensive
SEO is more competitive and unpredictable with algorithm updates
If your competitors are doing CRO, you could be falling behind
Paid advertising is becoming more expensive
Paying for the top spots on Google and Bing is an expensive game and it’s not getting any cheaper. It’s only getting more competitive year on year with more companies using this method of acquisition than ever and Google making it more and more competitive in terms of bidding. For example, here is an account where the CPC has risen by 61% year on year!
In the tech refurbishment industry we have seen a huge increase with some keywords CPCs:
A huge 404% increase for ’Refurbished Laptops’. There are plenty of examples.
With the costs increasing, having a good conversion rate is becoming more important to get the benefit of investing so much budget. CRO is a way of maximising that budget by creating a site and web experience for users that makes it compelling, attractive and easy to convert.
With Google wanting to make the most profit out of paid search, the organic ranking landscape has been shrinking over the years with less page one real estate available. To get good levels of traffic from organic rankings, a business needs to make the top three spots, which is very competitive.
Google loves a good algorithm update, which can also make SEO unpredictable. The constant movement of optimisation goal posts and months of work and investment can be undone overnight.
CRO can help by providing a tried and tested positive user experience, improving your website load speed, bounce rates and generating positive metrics that count towards SEO, mitigating the risk of dropped rankings and improving them.
CRO can be used as a way to get ahead of your competitors. By continually researching your users’ behaviour and needs, you can create a better web experience making it more compelling and easier for them to convert. New versions of your site’s pages can be tested safely to 50% or less of your site’s traffic. If successful, the new changes can be deployed to 100% of your traffic knowing they will be a positive change.
This CRO methodology creates a new way of developing websites iteratively, making constant improvements and gains to get ahead of the competition and stay there. By increasing your conversion rate, you will gain market share stopping users shopping with your competitors.
Areas for growing are always limited, so if you’re not applying CRO yet, it is an area you can exploit to achieve market growth into 2021. With CRO being website optimisation based, any improvements made should benefit your traffic acquisition campaigns ROI as well. Conversion rate goes up and all channels get an ROI benefit.
By gaining extra profit from your existing user base, that profit can then be funnelled back into paid search or SEO to gain traffic from untapped keywords and bid higher on keywords that are very competitive terms. Again this will help to expand your market share.
Become more customer-centric
It’s very easy to be internally focused – we are always thinking about the company we work for and the products or services we sell. We become biased – I still see so much web copy written from that company perspective and not positioned for the users. CRO will help change the thought process by using techniques such as user polling and user testing, almost forcing a new customer or user-first thought process.
The benefit of thinking this way is you can better solve the issues that your users have difficulty with on-site. In addition, you also ensure all marketing messaging and web copy is pitched ’user-first’ to help convince them it’s a good product or service to invest in. In CRO, this is called friction reduction, making it more persuasive and easier for users to convert.
By investing in CRO you can get better ROI on your traffic acquisition campaigns, give your users a better experience and reinvest to achieve further growth. All sounds great, but to achieve this a change in mindset can be required. Businesses will have to move from completely changing a site every three to five years to the methodology of constant testing and iterative evolution. It requires a user-centric and testing approach to growth, marketing and web development.
Change is always a tricky hurdle as no one really likes it if they are comfortable with their current process and workflows, but growth does not happen by being comfy. It requires some disruption, reminding us of the old saying: ’You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs!’