Before we get to selection criteria, let’s start with what a conversion rate optimization company actually does. At it’s core, conversion rate optimization (or CRO) increases conversions or online sales without any increase in marketing expenditures. In other words, an optimized site will generate more sales with the same or even less traffic. Now for the average website owner, the advantages of hiring a conversion rate optimization company are quite impressive and include:
- Lower Customer Acquisition Costs
- Higher Conversions and/or Direct Sales
- Reduced Marketing Costs
- Higher Online Profits
- Higher ROI from Other Internet Marketing Investments Like SEO, PPC, or even Content Marketing
In the end, hiring a conversion rate optimization company can be a true game changer because it can boost overall online profits and deliver higher ROI than SEO, SMM, PPC, or even content marketing. Even massive tech firms like MOZ that has a staff filled with website and Internet Marketing experts has hired outside CRO firms and reportedly boosted overall site conversions by over 100%–and they are not alone.
But how does a conversion rate optimization firm or company possibly deliver such game-changing results? Basically, they employ advanced software and tools like heat mapping analysis to find and then fix conversion problems, such as:
- Weak Copywriting Tools and Ineffective Presentation Order for Main Sales Tools
- Confusing Website Design and/or Navigation
- Programming Issues that Lead to Glitches, Dead Links, and even Slow Load Times
- Bad Shopping Cart Configuration
- Flaws or Inconsistencies in Sales Funnel
- No Credibility Tools
Just imagine your website as a giant pocket that holds money and assume that it could potentially hold $100. Well, all of those conversion problems listed above are like holes in that pocket that let money fall out–those are your online profits slipping away due to small, but very costly, mistakes in your website. Of course, sometimes the problems are all confined to your sales pages, product descriptions, and primary “conversion content” where prospects actually decide to purchase/opt-in or not. But, in most cases, a site has a lot of small problems that add up to a big loss in conversions and/or sales.
Now when a conversion rate optimization company does their job correctly, it is a game-changer. In fact, conversion rate optimization services typically deliver more than double the ROI of competing Internet Marketing services like SEO, Content Marketing, etc. for 3 main reasons:
- CRO Services Continue to Generate Higher Conversions for Website Long After Project Complete
- Conversion Rate Optimization Boosts Online Sales with Zero Increase in Marketing Costs
- CRO Services Do NOT Require Ongoing Investment (unlike SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, etc.)
But just like every industry, there are some bad apples in the CRO industry that try to sell their services to companies that would be better served investing in traffic or upgrades to their sites. Making matters worse is that CRO services aren’t cheap and require a significant amount of time and dedication to complete–so you don’t want to be hiring a conversion rate optimization company that will promise the moon but leave your site worse off than before.
So to help you weed through the maze of CRO firms and select one that will truly be able to take your website to the next level, we humbly offer up:
The 3 Things to Look For When Hiring a Conversion Rate Optimization Company
No Flat Fee or Minimum Project Cost
Every conversion rate optimization company is looking to make a profit but some firms try assessing a Flat Fee or Standardized rate for their services which is ridiculous because no two optimization projects are the same. In other words, the work required to optimize for conversions will vary from site to site due to a number of factors, including:
- The Number and Severity of Conversion Problems Afflicting the Website
- The Size of the Website
- The Complexity of the Website (number of features, navigation structure, etc.)
- The Marketing Strategy (sites with a heavy seo emphasis will typically require more work than sites primarily relying on PPC, etc)
- The Number of Platforms that Power the Site (CMS, shopping cart, web traffic software, etc.)
As you can see, there are simply too many variables affecting the overall optimization to provide any flat fees or rates. So if a website optimization company insists on a $9,999.00 minimum fee or any pre-set rate, move on.
2. Conduct Thorough Website Evaluation Before Providing Quote for Optimization Services
First, let’s start with the most obvious: It is literally impossible to “eyeball” or estimate what will be needed to optimize a website without using advanced software to first evaluate the site. The reason why it is impossible for a conversion rate optimization company to estimate the cost of optimization is because there are a lot of conversion problems that can only be detected with advanced software, such as:
- Weak or Untargeted Traffic
- Ineffective Sales Funnel
- Website Programming Problems
- Improper CMS or Shopping Cart Configuration
Now even if a conversion rate optimization expert or firm could isolate the conversion rate problems to a landing page, sales page, or other conversion-oriented content: They would still be unable to pinpoint the specific issues suppressing sales with any certainty because they would not have any traffic analysis to pinpoint the exact problem. So without a thorough website evaluation using advanced web traffic analysis software, there is no realistic way to isolate the conversion problems which means: They are just guessing.
Do you honestly want to pay $1,000′s for guesses or do you want to hire a legitimate conversion rate optimization company that will actually use the right tools to get the job done properly and your site optimized correctly?
3. Provide a Detailed Optimization Blueprint or Plan
Once a conversion rate optimization company conducts a thorough website evaluation to identify the conversion problems, they then need to draw up the Optimization Blueprint to solve those problems. Now I know you might be thinking: “Why do I need some plan to fix my conversion problems–why don’t they just fix everything at once and be done with it?”
Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Your website is a “moving virtual machine” with 100′s or even 1,00o’s of components all working together to generate sales. In most cases, simply “fixing everything” would actually cause more problems than it solved and could literally bring the site crashing to a halt–seriously.
To keep everything organized and ensure the project generates the desired results, a conversion rate optimization company draws up a blueprint that includes the following:
- Prioritize Conversion Problems
- Identify Step-by-Step Plan to Fix Each Conversion Problem
- Itemized Plan to Isolate Test Data and Verify Results
Although a conversion rate optimization company can potentially generate 2-3 x’s the ROI of SEO, PPC, and other Internet Marketing investments, it can also derail and lead to massive loss of time and money if not executed properly. So when hiring a CRO firm, be sure to avoid companies with flat fees and look for those that conduct a thorough website evaluation and provide a concise blueprint of how they plan to fix your site.