What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
What is CRO ?
CRO is the process of optimising and improving your conversion rate. You will hire a CRO expert when you need to improve your site conversion i.e get more people that arrive on the site completing the desired action, usually a sale or a lead.
How do I know if I need to hire a CRO expert ?
Your decision to hire a CRO expert can most obviously be determined by category benchmark data. Average conversion rates (for eCommerce brands) are about 2.5%. This means for every 100 people arriving on the site 2.5 convert to a sale. If you are an eCommerce brand and conversion rate is lower than that then you have work to do to improve your conversion rate. A really good conversion rate for eCommerce would be about 5% so, if you are lower than 5% a CRO expert could still have a meaningful impact. These numbers look different for different verticals and also B2B Vs B2C but the principle is the same. Use available data to understand if you need to hire a CRO expert.
What does a CRO expert do ?
Good CRO experts will usually combine the following techniques to identify opportunities, set up tests and then roll out solutions that improve conversion
👉🏽 Analyse site performance data to identify conversion issues
👉🏽 Develop and interpret surveys to provide qual and quant insight into opportunities
👉🏽 Set up and run tests using specialist test platforms like Optimizely or VWO
👉🏽 Analyse results and make recommendations for implementation
What makes a good CRO expert ?
CRO experts generally come in two flavours. There are those CRO experts who orientate themselves around a single CRO platform like Optimizely or VWO. These people will run the tests and make recommendations but it will be relatively narrow and focused.
In our experience the best CRO experts have a broader range of skills. The ones that add the most value often combine a knowledge of search engine optimisation, web analytics, survey research and UX, as well as the CRO platforms. The best are also well versed in how to talk to IT people/ developers as CRO often requires input and support from the team responsible for the site.
Meet a real life conversion rate optimisation expert
From client-side, to vendor-side, to agency-side, Matt has experienced virtually every element of the CRO experimentation world. He has worked in the discipline for 10 years, with hands-on experience in-house at Comparethemarket, BT & Betfair. He now has a small but perfectly formed and expert team to provide a full service CRO solution.
Matt gets excited about working with individuals & businesses who truly believe in the benefits of experimentation & testing - "Improve How You Improve" is a motto he uses. Matt helps his clients drive improvement by providing all of the skills necessary for effective experimentation; a dedicated optimisation resource to be the main point of contact, developers & QAs to build the new experiences you want to test with your customers.
He's helped some very well known and established enterprises including GoDaddy, Nando's & Sage. You can see more about Matt, and hire him here
Is it worth investing in CRO ?
You should take a very business like approach to this question and do some simple opportunity cost calculations before you make the decision. It's pretty simple to work out if CRO will provide you with a return on your investment.
Here's how to calculate the likely return on investment: take your site traffic and multiply it by the gap between your current conversion and the industry average for your vertical. Use that number to estimate the potential increase in the number sales /revenue and profit. You can then see if its worth investing in CRO pretty easily
Here's a worked example: an eCommerce site has traffic of 50,000 visitors and current conversion rate of 1.25% so they generate 625 sales. Let's assume each sale generates profit of £10 that means the site generates profits of £6,250. Now if we pay a CRO expert to improve conversion we should probably be aiming for the industry average about 2.5%. If the CRO expert can double the conversion rate (bringing that site in line with the average) they will generate an extra £6,250 in profit.
So if the cost of your CRO expert is more than £6,250, in this case, you will lose money but if the cost is less then you are getting a return for your CRO investment.
They key point here is that your site has to be of a certain scale to make CRO work for you. If the site traffic is too low then no amount of CRO work will make it a profitable endeavour in the short term. If you are of decent enough scale, CRO can be a total game changer, making every area of marketing work harder.