Conversion-rate optimization (CRO) can be intimidating.
For many marketers just starting out in this area, one of the hardest things to find can be clear advice on how to avoid common pitfalls, generate strong ideas, and run tests that get real results.
With his new book, Website Optimization: An Hour a Day, author and optimization consultant Rich Page lays out a framework that nearly all marketers can use to improve their conversion rates.
I asked him to elaborate on a few key areas of the book, and he responded with some excellent insights in our Q&A.
Hunter Boyle: Your book cites studies by Forrester and eMarketer showing that for every $80 spent on driving online traffic only $1 is spent on converting that traffic (Chapter 1). What are some reasons for that disparity?
Rich Page: I think it's because, traditionally, the easiest and quickest method of increasing online revenue is by throwing huge sums of marketing dollars to drive more traffic to your website. Think of the grandiose excesses of the dot-com boom era, like how wasteful those sock puppet ads were!
Fast-forward to today, and conversion rate optimization enters like a knight in shining armor to save the day. Unfortunately, it hasn't made a big enough impact on this ratio yet because it's still a relatively new field, with many online businesses not understanding its true ROI or best-practices, like investing in the right tools and resources to ensure success. And when they don't get great results from their CRO efforts (no surprise there), companies simply revert to spending huge dollars on marketing to increase online revenue. That hasn't been helped by sexier and cooler methods of driving traffic, like social media!
HB: What are some of the biggest obstacles that keep marketers from testing more? How can they get past those obstacles?