Creating a Mellifluous Optimization Process for Boosted Conversion Rates

March 2, 2022

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The dot-com boom was an epoch in the 20th century for the internet. Conversion Optimization was born in the early 2000s from the need for e-commerce stores to improve their online performance.

In the years that followed, competition in the marketplace grew fast and many e-commerce businesses faced challenging conversion rates as a result of this market saturation.

Since then, many companies have implemented conversion strategies to get ahead of their competitors. Just like with SEO and acutely targeted awareness campaigns, Conversion Optimization is an ongoing process that should never be switched off.

man hiking in the woods

So what is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

As described in Ayman Albarbary’s Jumpstory CRO article, Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of users or website visitors to take the desired action. Initially, this might seem like a fairly simple task but as you venture further down the rabbit hole you realize just how ineffable it actually is. From User Experience (UX) and landing page design to neuromarketing and persuasive psychology, it’s clear that CRO is not an exact science.

To consistently improve conversion rates it’s imperative to build a CRO process with a musical rhythm that works for you, but most importantly for your clients.

marching drummers

Where do I even begin?

A great place to start is figuring out exactly what you’re trying to achieve from running CRO.

Sometimes this is simple; increase in online sign-ups or phone calls to your sales team. Sometimes it’s more complex; leaks in your digital sales funnel and behavior tracking on your website.

However, before getting into the complex chords of CRO we first need to understand the competition & the user.

Appealing to an audience

A detailed and extensive heuristic analysis will position you to best approach your target audience. Create a competitive analysis template to compare competitors and study how they approach the market vs. what messaging they’re using on their website & landing pages. List emotive themes and score each competitor out of 5 or 10.

From these scores, you can pull the averages to determine which emotive themes shine through and which competitor is singing in tune. Emotive theme examples include credibility, trust, security, excitement, etc.

team of people

Once you have a better understanding of what your competitors are doing in this space, you can utilize persuasive messaging and storytelling to improve the tone of your website and structure your landing pages to entice the most amount of visitors to sign up!

This is where things get really interesting. Use Google Tag Manager (GTM) and tools like Crazegg and Hotjar to set up user & behavior tracking. Once your GTM tags are firing and your behavior tracking recordings are running you can start collecting data that will assist you with the testing phase.

Creating the chorus

This is the fun part of the process, watching all of your research slowly come together into something tangible. Always start with a basic wireframe. It’s crucial to map out the structure and flow of your landing page before you dive into the design. Once you know where to place all of the call-to-action (CTA) buttons and how the page will scroll, you’ll have clearer inspiration for the design. Your CTA button color needs to pop and draw attention each time the visitor scrolls.

woman playing the guitar

Happy harmony

The design and copy work together to influence and persuade your audience. Be sure to draw copy inspiration from your search campaign and lean on keywords and emotive themes in the headlines.

Observing your click-through rates (CTRs) across your search campaigns will give new impetus to understanding your customers. It helps you to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Pre-suasion is the ability to read your target audience to receive your message that is yet to come.

Compare the CTRs across the ad copy, ad position, & CTAs to see which is performing best. Ensure that your pre-suasion techniques are delivering a persuasive and consistent melody throughout your ad copy.

man writing

Testing tones

A massive part of CRO is testing. Knowing what to test is the difficult part, but this is where heat-mapping and click-mapping are so useful. These behavior tracking recordings will show you exactly how your users are interacting with your site so you’ll know how many rages clicks increase your bounce rate and which elements on your pages are causing the most friction.

Be sure to study these recordings and list the points of friction in a test prioritization matrix. This will allow you to develop a hypothesis for each friction point and prioritize each test from most impactful to least.

After working with loads of clients and running daily A/B tests, one of the most common questions we still hear is, “Where do I begin?”

testing different strategies

Try to spend a lot of time with Google Tag Manager and Google Optimize. These free-to-use tools will become your best friends when dropping tags onto your static pages to set up testing and personalization.

In an episode of My Product Tested, Marc Gregory – CEO & founder of Ollie Health says, “You call it a test, but our first launch was more of an experiment.” The sooner you launch, the sooner you can start testing and collecting data that drives results, which ultimately drives your decision-making.

Launch the ‘experiment’ first, then start testing.

Pitch perfect

Pricing is definitely one of the most polarizing topics in the CRO market. How does a company bill for its services while accommodating the needs of the client? Performance-based pricing is easiest to sell, but potentially incredibly risky if external factors outside of your control impact your results. Here are some quick tips to building a good pricing model:

        1. Billing hourly

  • This might seem like one of the most obvious solutions, but it requires the company to keep a timesheet which ends up being more work
  • Clients have the power to micromanage your team and query every hour that is billed
  • CRO is focused on achieving the desired objective – if that goal is met then timesheets become redundant

team of people

         2. Once-off fees

  • Once-off fees are great for projects that have an endpoint (landing page wireframe & design, sales funnel audit, user & persona research)
  • However, CRO is an ongoing process, and conversion rates can always be improved even by the slightest of margins

          3. Performance-based pricing

  • Definitely, the easiest to sell – the fewer leads you to generate, the cheaper it is. The more leads you generate, the happier the client is to pay you more.
  • Very risky when performance drops and the client starts asking questions

man running

          4. Retainer model

  • Charge the client monthly to look after their full optimization process for better conversions from the market research & analysis to the search campaign go-live & landing page publishing all to continuous optimization and A/B testing
  • A challenge you might face is to prove constant value from one month to the next while still charging the same price

Ultimately, consider the retainer model or a hybrid of the retainer and performance model. A monthly retainer is sonorous and useful when reporting a boosted conversion rate and increased revenue for your client.

About the author

Miles Hoogwerf is a conversion scientist, optimization artist, thought leader & content creator. He has over 5 years of digital conversion optimization experience across SaaS, telecoms, service & construction, proptech, and finance & banking. Miles is obsessed about growing revenue from boosted conversion rates and finely tuned digital sales funnels. 

Miles works closely with SMEs & large corporate clients to patch up leaks in their digital sales funnel and make them more money. Check out Miles on the Hyped Podcast.

Miles Hoogwerf

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