Just like how the rotating gears of a clock mesh together in perfect synchronicity to give you the right time, well-planned CRO efforts will result in increased performance when it comes to your marketing efforts.
Here are the six basic steps to getting started with CRO:
Step 1: Pay Attention to the Data
Analyze the information coming into Google Analytics for your site. Determine which marketing channels are driving visitors to the page. If you want to take it a step further and get more granular info, you can set up Custom Dimensions.
Step 2: Identify Personas
When you start to understand where site visitors are arriving from, you can make educated guesses about the types of content, information, or products certain groups might be interested in. People coming to your sporting goods website from a surfing magazine are probably interested in checking out the surfboards you have in stock and are most likely not that interested in the big sale you're having on basketballs. Some of the data you find in Google Analytics could also assist in figuring out where certain groups may be in the conversion cycle.
Step 3: Keyword Clues
If you're actively using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and/or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you can also try to make a guess related to the specific keywords that are driving traffic to your page. Certain keywords or calls to action can be very telling about what you're visitor is looking for. Is the keyword in the ad focused on saving money or maybe getting more information? Knowing the ad that people are clicking on can be suggestive of their intent and where they are in the conversion process.
Step 4: Design Sense
The designers creating the landing pages for your site need to be given the information regarding the personas of the people arriving on the pages. From a content and call-to-action perspective, as well as design elements, each page should be aligned with what makes the most sense for each of the different groups coming to your site. For example, someone in the information harvesting phase should not be given a hard sales pitch because they aren't ready for it and will not respond favorably to that type of language/imagery. Instead, you could solicit their engagement with something more aligned to their information-gathering needs, like an e-book or downloadable guide.
Step 5: Nurture Leads
The type of visitor described above in Step 4 - the one in the information gathering phase - might be a good candidate for a drip marketing campaign. Drip marketing campaigns should be carefully built around each persona to ensure that the content they're seeking is provided and also to help guide them along the path to conversion in a natural way.
Step 6: Google Analytics Content Experiments API
Google Analytics Content Experiments provide a considerable opportunity to validate your CRO work. After all the effort put into constructing personas and matching them to appropriate landing pages and calls-to-action, you can A/B test different versions of landing pages to figure out which pages garner the most conversions.
A/B testing different landing pages on your site is a great way to refine your marketing efforts and better understand the types of content that visitors respond to along each stage in the conversion process.
An easy way to think of this CRO process is to imagine an assembly line in an automobile factory. The process of building a car is broken into hundreds of small tasks that are all completed in a specific order. Each step is vital in the completion of a fully functioning car and none of the steps are skipped. The car is nurtured through the factory, one step at a time, until it is completely built. It's the same process with CRO.
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