Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices Lie

Conversion Rate Optimization has become one of the buzziest of buzzing buzzwords for internet marketing professionals over the last five-plus years. Here’s what most people know about it:

-       It’s super duper important.

-       We’re probably not doing enough of it.

-       There are numbers involved.

-       Yeah…

Despite the buzz, CRO is not the clearest or most accessible set of concepts or strategies. That means, there are loads of conversion optimization “experts” out there who are generously offering up their advice. And THAT means the internet is full to bursting with bad, wrong, useless and unproven advice surrounding conversion rate optimization, especially when it comes to so-called “best practices.”

So, let’s see if we can cut through a bit of the nonsense and start with some facts. Because facts make us feel all warm and fuzzy.

FACTS

1.)  Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.

Takeaway: Looks like “most people” were right! They probably aren’t doing enough conversion rate optimization. 22% is not a very high number of businesses that find their conversion rates to be good enough. Which means lots of room for improvement, and that’s what CRO is all about.

2.)  44% of companies use split testing software.

3.)  Companies whose conversion rates improved last year performed an average of 50% more tests.

Takeaway: Companies are doing more testing, and to greater effect, than they have been previously.

4.)  The average ROI on CRO tools is 223%.

Takeaway: That’s a huge ROI.

5.)  62% of marketers use CRO to boost lead generation on landing pages.

6.)  70% use CRO results to inform other marketing initiatives.

Takeaway: The advantages of conversion rate optimization are not isolated to a lone metric. They translate to real results and ripple across your marketing efforts.

The Problem

If you go looking for conversion rate optimization best practices, tips, methods, or rocket-powered-sure-fired-guaranteed-or-your-pizza-is-free strategies, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding them. But beware.

Part of the reason why CRO is confusing and there is so much misinformation out there, is that every single company’s CRO strategy is going to necessarily be different. So, what might work amazingly well and be a “best practice” for some companies, may have little to no benefit for other companies.

For one, every company is going to have a different audience. Some audiences may be bothered by long forms, others may not. Some audiences may be bothered by/attracted to a certain color of a Call-To-Action button, others not so much. The very notion of “best practices” implies that there are some magical set of guidelines that can lead you to CRO success, and the reality is that this just isn’t the case, and you should be wary of anybody who tells you otherwise.

The Slog

One of the reasons people are so attracted to the idea of best practices, is that they feel like a map. CRO is going to be uncharted territory for some, and when venturing into uncharted territory, it is always appealing to have some kind of guide. Methods that have been tried and proven and you can be fairly sure will work.

But the whole core of CRO is the process of testing itself. It doesn’t really matter if methods have been tested by a professional in some setting other than those that match the specifics of your company or your campaign. Running the tests for your company is kind of the point.

What makes this truly a pain, is that you can’t really just run the tests and then be done with it. Conversion rate optimization isn’t a task you perform. That’s why the magic list of stuff-to-try doesn’t exist or is bound to be wrong. Testing has to be something you are constantly doing. It is a continuous process with incremental results. You have to keep at it and be patient.

Most business owners simply don't have the time for these sorts of efforts. It is also not generally their area of expertise. This is why it is important to find the right marketing partners who you can trust to handle this for you, giving you the time to focus on the other tasks needed to keep your business running smoothly. Contact us to learn more about how we can help take your business to the next level.