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Tips & Best Practices for Solid Conversion Rate Optimization [CRO Chat Streamcap]

CRO Chat - Tips and Best Practices for Solid Conversion Rate OptimizationCROchat is here once again! Justin Rondeau (@Jtrondeau) and myself, kicked it off with a topic and question set titled “Tips & Best Practices for Solid CRO.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: How do you approach Planning and Strategy for your CRO efforts? What considerations do you take into account?

  • For me, CRO is first considered for the whole environment we’ll be working; Website, Landing Page or Section, Email Template. Primarily to clear any conversion roadblocks and add Calls-To-Action. After that, it’s addressed at the campaign level.
    James Svoboda (@Realicity)         
  • First step we take is identifying deep funnel conversion oriented pages that can give us the best return with CRO.
    WhichTestWon (@WhichTestWon)         
    • Existing deep pages or mapping out new ones?
      James Svoboda         
      • We identify existing deep funnel pages and start work from there.
  • From source to Goal completion with everything in between, every phase can be tested and refined
    Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)         
  • Discovery is essential to planning & developing CRO strategy.
    IonInteractive (@ioninteractive)         
  • Each phase is an ingredient, so planning different recipes by changing ingredients can give you the best dish.
    Chris Kostecki         
  • For any Top Funnel tests we run we also make sure we have a plan to measure the initial Clicks all the way through the funnel.
  • Identify unique traffic streams, target audience, specific goals & objectives prior to developing strategy.
  • First, I’d start to define which indicators you’d like to improve. Whether it is CR, time to conv. or $/order.
    Bart Schuijt (@BartSchuijt)         

Q2: What Tips and Best Practices do you have for Pre-Click Targeting?

  • Identifying the conversion audience is key. Usually a combination of demographic, location, ad marketplace, and/or keywords.
    James Svoboda         
  • We poll our audience and are constantly evaluating our analytics to come up with the best plan. We normally poll our existing newletter subscribers using Formstack. Not the most refined method but it works.
  • Only target the audience that has a chance to convert. Constantly tweaking targeting options in adwords and adcenter.
    Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)         
  • Recognize 3 audiences: Discovery, Influence & Repeat, then work towards those goals.
    Chris Kostecki         

Q3: How do you handle CRO on the Pre-Click side for Text & Display ads, and Email Subject lines? Or does this fall somewhere else?

  • Creating and testing different offers & calls-to-action is an ongoing CRO process for us on the Pre-Click side.
    James Svoboda         
  • Ad copy should tell them you want them to convert. Set an expectation of actions for post-click.
    Michelle Morgan         
  • At a certain point, just put a message out there and see how it performs. It’s key to always be listening for new opportunities.
    Chris Kostecki         
  • Specifically on paid ads I like to put the price in the ad, may get less clicks but they are far more qualified.
  • Qualifying practices are great. Cuts down on traffic but saves $ in the long run.
    Michelle Morgan         
  • CRO is like telling a story, make it consistent throughout the funnel process and you will see positive results.
  • Sometimes conversion data is low based on volume. For these scenarios we look to engagement metrics to find CRO clues.
    James Svoboda         
  • Always amazed by the herd-like behavior of aggregate site traffic, tell them where to go and they will follow.
    Chris Kostecki         

Q4: What CRO elements are "must haves" for your landing pages? Any variations to consider by site or vertical?

  • Relevant photo & persuasive page copy with few distractions are musts. (L.I.F.T.) Also a contact form or a form 1-click away.
    James Svoboda         
  • Message match from pre- to post-click is critical for CRO. Think relevance, trust/credibility & delivering on promises.
    • Heavily agree, the message match is huge.
      Aaron Weiche (@AaronWeiche)         
  • Making sure our content is laid out properly, i.e., tells the eye were to go. Prominant displays and a single CTA help.
  • Form on the page, supportive copy, social proof, appealing design and photo.
    Michelle Morgan         
    • "Social Proof"… sometimes lowers sales/lead conversions today to build a stronger bond for tomorrow.
      James Svoboda         
  • Some people add a lead gen field in the footer below the fold on Click Through LPs, won’t take away from CTA but adds leads too.
  • Credibility (testimonials, certifications, etc.).
    Tracy Henry (@tracy_a_henry)         
  • Meet expectations built up from the source, followed by where to go to next & why.
    Chris Kostecki         
  • Great photos is mantodary. Furthermore the whole design must ve pursuasive. That’s important to the trust-factor.
    Bomann Mertz (@BomannMertz)         
    • Absolutely. Imagery can be make or break. Our favorite CRO element to MVT test for customers. For imagery, consider "context of use" (photos or videos of product/service being used by the TA).
  • Benefit-driven headline. Persuasive copy. Trust assurances (especially for e-commerce). Strong offer & CTA. And an Easy Form.
  • Variations would typically be based on lead gen. vs. ecom, w/ on-page forms a must for lead gen. This affects layout greatly.
    James Svoboda         
  • Test *very* different variations: colours, txt copies, deals, call to actions.
    Bart Schuijt         
  • Think past main answer/motivation of page. Provide secondary answers & trust builders. Today’s conversion needs more assurance.
    Aaron Weiche         

Q5: Are Single-Page & Multi-Page landing environments considerations in your CRO strategy? If so, how and why?

  • We do both depending on the state of the existing site, audience expectations, and conversion goals.
    James Svoboda         
  • Nope, we’re one-page all the way.
    Michelle Morgan         
  • I believe in building on the strength of the site nav, so multi-page is preferred since no LP exists in a void. My LP are usually meant to be an entrance, but not the end goal. An informed consumer is more loyal, so why not build this up as part of the conv path. (Tho, biz models vary).
    Chris Kostecki         
    • All LP are end points for the next step.
      Mukul Mehta (@MukulMehta)         
  • Love testing multi-step or progressive experiences, especially you can easily break up a long form into several small forms.
  • Don’t forget progress indicators with multi-step. We like to test numbers and "completion" gauges. I’d say numbers are the most common though.

Q6: What are a few of your Tips and Best Practices for testing different CRO elements?

  • Work from a solid foundation. Then test fewer elements at one time until confident in results. Volume will play a large role.
    James Svoboda         
  • MVT is faster, and more cost effective approach that can lead to valuable insights.
    Mukul Mehta         


More CRO Chats

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.

PPC Chat

Also, join us for #PPCchat on Tuessdays 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.

About the Host

SEO since 1999. WebRanking CEO. 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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