I have the privilege of meeting a variety of business owners in a casual, unobtrusive environment I think of as my own personal research vault. I delve into their current and working knowledge of CRO (conversion rate optimization) by asking them unassuming questions. We discuss their jobs, favorite sports teams, experience with travel, and their pets. Eventually they ask me,“What is it you do?”
“CRO, or conversion rate optimization. I help websites get more conversions – let’s say sales, newsletter signups or white paper downloads – by analyzing the site’s data and figuring out how to best deliver to the website’s visitors in order to make the big bucks for the owner of the website.” (We know it is more complex than this, but my test subjects are not interested in complexity just yet.)
“Oh! So like SEO. I have a company that does that for me, named SEO Marketing Specialist, you heard of them?”
Tell me you haven’t heard that same response.
It’s horrifying. All of our work integrating design, psychology and data and we still haven’t made a name for ourselves in the hearts of people we are here to help! It is time CRO becomes a household name and this is our responsibility. We need to learn to set ourselves apart from SEO and make sure people understand exactly what we do.
I always feel a bit elated, in tandem with my disappointment, when I find out another website owner doesn’t even know that they have the option of optimizing their site. They are still blind to using data analysis tools and strategies like persuasion architecture to improve the value of their online marketing strategy. It is exciting because we are participating in a relatively new and dynamic industry with huge potential for growth, change and learning. When we introduce people to CRO, it really feels as though we are giving them a precious gem of information. We alone can help them make the bucks and have greater awareness of their online marketing!
Bryan Eisenberg writes that over 50% of people are not optimizing with analytics because they are too arrogant or because they do not know how. I agree with his hypothesis and also have to argue for a third point: people don’t see conversion rate optimization as a standard online marketing practice. This could be for a variety of reasons:
These reasons are the sacred responsibility of all of us. I have personally started to tell people that conversion rate optimization is like health insurance for their website. It makes sure the site’s teeth are cleaned every six months. If any uncomfortable symptoms arise in the data, website optimization programs like FutureNow’s OnTarget subscriptions show them how they can relieve the symptoms. CRO experts will diagnose the site’s problems and offer a cure. If they are a very ill company, laying on their death bed, CRO might not be able to help them. Or, it might just breathe the life back into their marketing strategy. If companies pay a little every month, the health and happiness of their website can see unlimited potential.
How do you propose we get people talking about CRO? What are you doing to make it a household name? How do you respond when people who should be practicing web analytics (not just collecting it) and optimization are only focus on increasing gross traffic?