25 May 2021

Do You Need a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Specialist?

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Creating a strong online presence and engaging marketing channels is very difficult, yet top priority for any company. In order to make your online appearance truly successful, diverse digital marketing tasks have to be completed - think about building a website, setting up social media channels or launching and maintaining online advertising. However, attracting website visitors is only the first step to online success. This is where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) comes into play.

No matter how well known your business might be or how many visitors your website might attract, it’s vital to convert those visitors into (recurring) customers or even coveted brand ambassadors, and to do it in the most efficient way possible. While a lot of companies focus on trying to acquire entirely new visitors, few realize the importance of getting more out of your existing traffic and leads. Enter: CRO experts. These key experts will take your business to the next level by making sure your visits turn into conversions.

What can a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) specialist do?

Leading traffic to your website is one thing, but getting visitors to actually enroll for your newsletter, fill in that oh-so-important contact form, or make a purchase in your webshop - that’s where you get your return on investment. Any marketeer tasked with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is aiming to do exactly that: increasing the percentage of website visitors performing a desired action - a so-called conversion - relative to the total website traffic.
The process a CRO expert goes through involves gaining a deep understanding of a website visitor’s behavior, the way they are navigating through the website and what is holding them back from completing conversions. With that knowledge, they work to eliminate obstacles, ease user flow, and well, optimize the conversion rate.

Since the business model of every company is different, so are the conversions and consequent goals a CRO specialist aims to achieve. Conversions can vary from rather trivial things--micro-conversions - such as newsletter signups or visits to certain webpages (which generally build up to and take place before the completion of primary goals), to actions that generate money for the business right away, such as checkout completions or subscription renewals - macro-conversions.

Now how do CRO experts exactly make your website more effective? In general, they mainly make use of quantitative methodologies to maximize your website performance. A large part of their job often revolves around A/B Testing - comparing two or more versions of a webpage against each other to determine which one converts better - using tools such as Google Optimize or Optimizely. In this quantitative approach, CRO specialists measure and aim to improve a wide array of website metrics, such as the number of page visitors, the duration of their stay, and the amount of web pages visitors look at per visit. Consequently CRO experts frequently work with quantitative (web analytics) tools such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Hotjar, Adobe Analytics and others.

Although this data-driven approach is very common among CRO experts, it is a best practice to also include qualitative research tools into their work to analyze and understand customers thoroughly. These qualitative instruments range from website surveys to session recordings and usability tests, available in tools such as Hotjar, Mouseflow, Mixpanel, Amplitude, UsabilityHub, Usabilla or GetFeedback.

What will a CRO Specialist contribute to your business?

Needless to say CRO Specialists are capable of bringing very tangible results to your business by increasing your product or service sales and bringing in new sales qualified leads. However, some of the advantages of hiring such a specialist might be harder to measure and take place in the background. Let’s have a look at four additional ways a CRO Specialist can contribute to your business.

Consistently improve user experience (UX) and brand perception

The most obvious way a CRO specialist can boost your business is - unsurprisingly - by improving your conversions consistently. Not only does this increase revenue directly, it also has a positive impact on the way customers perceive your brand, product or service. Ultimately, if users feel at ease on your website and stick around longer they will - in addition to completing conversions - remember you more easily, and be more likely to return. This improved user experience (UX) will make customers trust your brand more, leading them to share more personal information with your brand--maybe even turning customers into word-of-mouth marketing machines.

A standalone audit of your digital channels might improve their efficiency, however by hiring a CRO specialist and working with them on a regular basis you enable your company to consistently grow by continuously measuring and adapting to market trends, changes in user behavior and customer expectations.

Make use of your data and translate it into results

More often than not, companies are collecting large amounts of data, never to be actually used or analyzed. By having a CRO specialist at your disposal, you make sure that the available data is not only used, but used optimally, and that data-driven decisions are being made. By capitalizing on the available web data, CRO specialists can answer questions like on which web pages customers enter your website, what channel brought them there, where they are located, how old the users are or which browser they are using. Consequently this information can help the company to move forward and direct marketing and sales efforts towards the right audience in the right way. Since CRO is a subfield of ‘performance marketing’, it makes sense that CRO experts focus on performance and deliver results accordingly.

Understand your customers

Since CRO is mainly associated with data, numbers and spreadsheets, this approach tends to neglect the (potentially more important) side of the coin that data alone can’t tell you: the reasoning and motivations that drive website user behavior. Improving the user experience (UX) on your website by analyzing what specific elements make visitors leave or convince them to convert will be way more valuable in the long term than a one-off increase in your conversion rate based on data.

For example, in some cases increasing the size of your ‘buy now’ button or adding a clear call to action above the fold on your homepage can increase your conversion rate overnight by examining the data in isolation. However, often you’ll need to dig deeper and understand what is going on in your website visitor’s head: learn about their problems and desires, and address them accordingly, continuously improving your business.

Understanding your customers from a more qualitative perspective will help you to answer questions such as why customers visited your website, what makes your website attractive and why your website is better or worse than your competitors. Ultimately, by hiring a CRO specialist you will better understand your key customers and will be able to attract and engage them easier than ever!

By hiring a CRO specialist you will better understand your key customers and will be able to attract and engage them easier than ever.

Identify and achieve your business objectives

Because Conversion Rate Optimization revolves around data and KPIs, this contributes tremendously to the identification, tracking and reporting of business objectives and even the company goals. As CRO experts exactly know which metrics to track and improve to get your business ahead, they can easily translate this to more high-level business objectives, contributing to and aligning the company in general. Furthermore they constantly monitor these key metrics and take action when something is going wrong.

Not only does CRO help in the identification of business objectives, it also facilitates achieving them. Optimizing your conversion rates essentially means making the most of capital and increasing your return on investment. Since a CRO specialist is focused on enhancing the customer acquisition channels that are already in place (such as web pages or webshops), and are taking care of existing website visitors rather than attracting new ones, they will encourage gains in your company revenue without splashing out on expensive advertising campaigns or big-ticket projects. After all, nurturing and re-engaging your existing leads is almost always cheaper than attracting new ones, resulting in lower acquisition costs. By focusing on CRO you can boost your business in a short time without the high expenses that are typically associated with customer acquisition.

On top of that, although CRO is not focused on generating new leads, its solutions are infinitely scalable and thus perfect for both companies in stagnation phase and in full expansion. Even though it is best practice to keep A/B Testing your website continuously (because of evolving customer needs and technological advancements), in general the obtained insights from these tests can easily be applied to larger audiences as well, making CRO a budget- and growth-friendly approach.

Ready to add a CRO specialist to your team? We'll show you the way!