November 10, 2015 – It was a sold-out evening at this month’s SEMpdx event.  WebRanking’s James Svoboda – a former Portlandian – joined us and shared his expertise on conversion rate optimization, where he began with his 10-Point Guide to CRO:

  1. Conversions are everyone’s business.  It drives business metrics.
  2. Don’t rely on designers and developers for CRO.
  3. CRO is situational, not absolute. So test everything!
  4. CRO struggles with other digital marketing. Fortunately, analytics is available to put a value on things.
  5. Compromise, but never concede.
  6. CRO loves UX because usability is helpful.  So, “cozy up” to the UX team and work with them on changes that need to be made.
  7. Aim for personal and tangible. In the case of Obama’s social media presidential campaigns, visitors were more likely to convert if they could visualize winning the contest.
  8. Social proof fights the fear of being alone. Utilize testimonials, reviews, awards and social mentions.
  9. Mobile, tablet and desktop have unique audiences.
  10. Consider affinity by proximity. This plays a big role in optimization, so look at your Google Analytics geo location reports, income targeting considerations and negative targeting considerations, to name a few.

James spent the rest of the evening digging deeper into CRO best practices.  For example, he talked about conversational and transitional message match, emphasizing the importance of carrying your calls-to-action along the conversion path.  (Think e-commerce and the often long purchase process.)  He also discussed visual CRO.  Many homepages fail because there is too much going on.  Prevent that by focusing your attention on “big, front and center”.  Another tip to think about: unavoidable prompts generally help conversions.

Lastly, your site must be authentic and relatable.  Find out who your audience is and what will resonate with them.  Connecting on an emotional need will go a long way in winning conversions.

Sarah Hinds
Sarah is a search marketing consultant, helping clients improve ROI through paid search, SEO and social media initiatives. She is also the Official SEMpdx Event Blogger and can be found at all of the monthly events.
Sarah Hinds
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