In 2015, a conversion rate optimization investment is no longer optional for successful online businesses, it’s absolute necessity. Also known as CRO, conversion rate optimization is a systematic process of finding and fixing website issues using traffic analysis software that are suppressing online sales, such as:
- Direct Response Copywriting
- Layout and Placement of Web Content and UI Features
- Website Programming like Dead Links, Slow Load Times, etc.
- Improper Configuration of Word Press or CMS Platform
- Shopping Cart/Order Fulfillment Problems
- Inconsistencies in Sales Funnel
Every site is unique so they will not all suffer from the same conversion problems nor have sales suppressed to the same extent. But in the end, most websites have issues that are suppressing online conversions by up to 40% or more.
However, CRO is not an optional investment in the same way that SEO, SMM, PPC, or content marketing are optional investments. In other words, you definitely have to generate traffic to your site but you don’t necessarily have to invest in SEO to do so. You could opt for banner ads, ppc, etc. The point is, you may need traffic but your business has the option of deciding which traffic source or sources are best for your site.
3 Reasons Why Conversion Rate Optimization Investment is Not Optional
#1. Large Corporations Going “All-In” with Their Online Business Units
There was a time just a few short years ago when most large traditional companies like GM, GE, and even Home Depot really just dabbled online. Don’t get me wrong, there have always been large online players like Yahoo, Google, and Amazon or Ebay. But for the most part, many traditional businesses created websites but didn’t invest too much effort in them since they pulled in less than 5% of total revenue.
Now, that’s all changed which is driving conversion rate optimization investment in most niches to help counter the fact that large corporations are investing big to grow their online revenue streams and leverage their online presence to full potential. You can see the growing influence of corporations in three major trends that only appear to be getting worse:
1. Online Marketing Costs Have Soared: The massive explosion of content marketing and social media have helped propel a continued spike in marketing costs. I don’t care if you are talking about articles, PPC, or social media campaigns, costs have skyrocketed.
2. Conversion Rates Have Plummeted: Peaking about 2008 in most niches, the average conversion rates have never fully recovered and are once again headed downward in most niches (source: Adwords Performance Grader).
3. Rising Cost to Legitimately Enter and Compete in Most Niches: Between the insane competition, rising marketing costs, falling conversion rates and razor thin margins in most niches, you need a lot more start-up capital to enter most niches these days. As in, if you are starting with less than $10k in marketing budget, it could take forever to get up enough momentum to get the site profitable.
#2: Large Corporations Are Already Hiring CRO Firms
To maximize their online revenue streams, large corporations are increasingly turning to outside conversion rate optimization experts to optimize their online businesses. Just a short list of some major players who have made a conversion rate optimization investment recently:
- Crazy Egg
Every one of these companies already employs loads of website experts and yet they have still opted to make a conversion rate optimization investment for 3 simple reasons:
1. Internal Staff Are Not Trained to Optimize a Website
Most people are trained and know how to “do” one or more specific functions, like web design or copywriting. However, none of these very technical experts have been trained to optimize their work for maximum conversions. Even SEO experts may know how to drive traffic but not necessarily convert that traffic into buyers or customers.
2. External Conversion Rate Optimization Experts Don’t Worry About Politics
Brutal honesty: The very same people who created many of the conversion problems in the first place are still on staff. Now, you think people really want to help optimize a website that they helped create when doing so would expose and highlight every mistake they ever made? To actually fix the problems and avoid politics, many companies just make the conversion rate optimization investment and hire an outside firm. Freed politics or worrying who created what issues, outside CRO experts can just focus on fixing the problems and maximizing conversion rate.
3. Conversion Rate Optimization is Very Complex and Challenging to Execute Correctly
A single conversion rate optimization investment or project may require the close coordination and hard work from a large number of highly skilled website pros, including:
- SEO/Social Media Experts
- Web Designers & Developers
- Web Traffic Analysts
- Heat Mapping Experts
- Shopping Cart/Order Processing Experts (like for Infusionsoft and more complex platforms)
- Word Press/Joomla/Drupal/CMS Experts
- Web Programmers
- CRO Architects
Typically, these experts are trained to work independently on their own respective functions without a lot of coordination or emphasis on conversions which is exactly why most websites are underperforming by 50% or more. So rather than retrain their entire staff, it is easier for most larger firms to just make the conversion rate optimization investment in a 3rd party firm and hold them accountable for results.
#3: CRO Makes All Future Investments in SEO, PPC, SMM, etc. More Profitable
Say you were investing $10,000 a month in PPC ads on Facebook to generate $30,000 a month in revenues. Now imagine that you optimized your site and that same $10,000 investment now generates $42,000 in revenues, or an increase of 40%. That’s $12,000 in additional sales with zero increase in your marketing budget. And the same is true for SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, or even most email marketing campaigns that redirect prospects back to the site.
The point is: A conversion rate optimization investment is a one-time thing that continues to generate higher conversions for future investments in PPC, SEO, content marketing, SMM, or any traffic generating investment. This is because conversion rate optimization experts permanently fix the copywriting, design, and programming problems that were suppressing conversions. Once fixed, all future traffic should convert higher though obviously some channels will convert higher than others, same as before. However, without major disruptions in the market, the higher conversions should roll in for months, potentially years, after the project is completed.
For online success, conversion rate optimization investment is no longer optional. With larger corporations flooding into most niches and driving up marketing costs and depressing conversion rates, online profit margins are razor thin. A conversion rate optimization investment can quickly tip the scales back in your favor by eliminating the problems that are alienating visitors and killing your online conversions. CRO experts permanently fix these issues so your site generates up to 50% or more higher conversions with no increase in marketing spend. Once the conversion rate optimization project is complete, all future investments in SEO, PPC, SMM, etc, will be more profitable making CRO absolutely vital to online success moving forward.