by John Egan
Tim Ash has a little secret for you: Some of you marketers out there are oblivious to a big development happening right now in conversion rate optimization (CRO).
What is that big development? So that we don’t keep you in suspense, here it is, straight from Ash himself: CRO, user experience and neuromarketing (the application of neuroscience to marketing research) “are kind of getting smashed together into one gigantic field.”
“What that means is that people with only copywriting skills, only UX skills or only split-testing skills are becoming somewhat less valuable to most organizations,” says Ash, President and CEO of SiteTuners, an online marketing agency that specializes in CRO.
“Pure specialists in one field cannot do what they used to be able to do, or at least not effectively,” he adds. “There’s plenty of room for specialists in each of those fields, but now they need to have a pretty good understanding of everything from behavioral economics and psychology to branding, market research and business analysis to do the job.”
In other words, if you’re a guru when it comes to CRO but you’re a neophyte when it comes to UX and neuromarketing, you risk being left in the marketing dust.
At LeadsCon Las Vegas 2017, Ash will lead a four-hour “crash course” in CRO. Ash is the author of “Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions.”
While Ash indicates CRO, UX and neuromarketing skills are being rolled into one big marketing ball, that doesn’t lessen the importance of CRO.
“Conversion rate optimization has always been important and will only increase in value,” Ash says. “You can’t compete by paying more for traffic. You have to continuously get better at making money off of it once it hits your website.”
Key in this, of course, is the sultan of search: Google.
Ash explains that Google is beginning to shift the way it looks at websites. The search engine giant is putting more emphasis on “outputs” — namely user behavior gauged by bounce rates — and less emphasis on “inputs” like the browser page title, he says. Therefore, if your website provides a poor on-site experience, Google will penalize both your paid and organic search campaigns, Ash says.
In terms of improving the on-site experience, Ash says too many marketing dollars are being spent on items such as Google AdWords and display campaigns, while too few marketing dollars are being funneled toward ensuring lead forms have been tested and the online shopping cart works “seamlessly.”
“For most companies, it’s much less costly to double the conversion rate than it is to double the traffic, but CRO practitioners are not making an effective business case for getting more resources,” Ash says.
Another slip-up Ash sees with some companies is that they wrongly believe CRO equates to split testing. Relying on that incorrect belief, these companies are lulled into the perception that once split tests are running and the testing cadence speeds up, they’re covered from a conversion standpoint.
“CRO is so much bigger than that, and this kind of thinking leads to a false sense of security, ultimately causing organizations to miss out on optimization opportunities,” Ash says. “Testing is just one tool in the arsenal, but it is inherently limited to what can easily be tested and where there is enough traffic to test.”
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2017.