A Conversion Conversation with Carlos del Rio [CRO Chat Streamcap]
To start, can you tell us a about yourself and your detailed history in online marketing?
I am Art-Teacher that fell into eCom->Agency->Consulting->Author->Dir.of Conversion Analysis. I started with Affiliate and PPC at a company called eMerchandise. Then moved on to Visible Technologies, and then stated my own business doing analytics, SEO, and CRO consulting.
And did you also work on post-click metrics at eMerchandise or was this mostly pre-click PPC?
We had a small marketing team, so we all had a hand in the entire process conversion was huge focus the las 6-mo there
So was this how you started in Conversion Optimization and if so, to what level?
Yes, trying to compete in SEO for T-shirt and realized that our conversion rate was more valuable than pushing our ranking. Technically I was the junior member, but there were only 3 of us, so I was always in the deep-end of the pool.
How do you strike a balance between pushing ranking vs. conversions? Any guidelines on how much traffic is enough? – Scott Dodge (@scott_dodge)
If you are getting a couple thousand visitors in a month I would be looking at CRO 1st
What about ~70-80 visits a day, with ~2 conversions per month? – Scott Dodge
I would be looking at traffic conversion there. You should have 1-2 conversions a day.
Unbounce is a tool for building, duplicating, and A/B testing landing pages. In a larger CRO campaign Unbounce is a good way to run a controlled test to plan site-wide changes.
Does Unbounce also handle MVT?
No, we keep it simple. There are a variety of tools, like WSO, that can be used to do MTV w/ your site & us.
I see that you hold a degree in Fine Arts from Reed College in Portland, Oregon (my former hometown). How do you think your degree has assisted your digital and conversion focused career?
Web design was a de facto “make $ w/ an Art Degree” choice. My Art degree gave me an obsession with visual communication. I have a Pictures 1st attitude.
That’s great! I’m a firm believer that CRO is 40% message match, 40% offer & 30% Visual? How do you describe CRO to someone new so that they actually “get it”?
Conversion rate optimization is about telling the right people about the thing you do for THEM. Conversion Optimization means being more attached to your customer than to your product.
What advice would you give to a NOOB just getting into Conversion Rate Optimization?
Read 50+ Awesome Posts on Conversions start looking at LOTS of photography. The better you are at choosing images the better you will do. I also like the @unbounce crash course: Clicking Me Softly: A 5-Day Crash Course in Conversion
Do you remember your first landing page? How did it convert?
No, and probably not
What do you think is the biggest reason that many web-based companies are slow to adopt CRO & Testing?
Time and fear are the biggest hurdles to CRO. Fear of SEO, fear of lost $, fear of additional work. The opportunity cost of inaction is huge on the web. You need to start testing today.
Sounds like the making of a great post… CRO Fears and Doubts. Have you ever run a test where the results completely surprised you? If so, how?
Yes, I am always surprised. I test a lot of stupid stuff, b/c I like to win or fail, I hate waiting. Oli Gardner (@oligardner) and I have some competitive pages up right now. One of mine is ridiculously bare bones.
And how is the bare bones one fairing in this early stage?
It is doing badly
What are your top 3 CRO elements that you regularly test?
I start my tests with Message, Image, & Action.
Do you have a favorite traffic source to test conversions on? If so, what do you like about it?
I test whichever channel is making money. I like it because it gets me paid.
What is the biggest conversion mishap that you have witnessed?
It’s a mistake to do everything on every page. To be good for everyone means you aren’t GREAT for anyone.
There are a multitude of Digital Marketing Conferences these days, Which one(s) do you look forward to the most?
I like Conversion Conference & #SMX Advanced. I look forward to any conference that wants me to speak.
Both great conferences. What are some of the blogs and authors that you follow?
I used to follow Oli Gardner, but he sits next to me now, so I try to avoid him when possible.
Are there any verticals or specific campaigns that you love the pure challenge of increasing conversion for?
For SEO I love @seo_theory. For conversion I Ux Booth and design blogs I use Stumble Upon to look at design. The coolest projects for me are the ones that are scalar (eg. cart), or complicated psychology (niche product).
Where do you foresee CRO going in the near future in regards to testing and technology?
The next few years are going to be about transferring to mobile. You need a better cart, point of sale, and speed to compete.
How does Unbounce work for ecommerce/product based sites?
One of the great things we do is create a good space for special campaigns. Things you want to turn on and off.
So that might include holiday and/or sale promotions?
Yes, holidays and promotions are perfect for the Unbounce platform.
More CRO Chats
We’ll be back to the normal Q&A style next week. Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #CROchat on Thursday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.
Also, join us for #PPCchat on Tuesdays 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK for a similar sessions revolving about everything PPC. Those streamcaps can be found on Matt Umbro’s PPCChat Blog
CRO Chat Participants
Check out the CRO Chat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.
- James Svoboda – Interviewer (@Realicity)
- Carlos del Rio – Interviewee (@inflatemouse)
- Paul Kragthorpe – Streamcapist (@PaulKragthorpe)
- Scott Dodge (@scott_dodge)
About the Host
SEO since 1999. WebRanking CEO. MnSEARCH.org Co-Founder. MarketingLand Contributor. #CROchat Host. #PPCchat Faithful. Husband & Father in Eden Prairie, MN. If you like this post and want to find others related to it, then you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter:
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