#HeroConf 2015: CRO Is Coming

HeroConf PortlandAnother year, another great HeroConf event! The city of Portland delivered on expectations with beautiful weather, Voodoo Doughnuts and lots of fun after hours activities. The Trailblazers even found a way to win with all of these PPC people in town. But the real hero was the amazing PPC content being shared.

The Year of CRO

If you’re not familiar with the term, CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization. It involves activities around the consistent testing and improvement of websites, landing pages, etc. in order to improve the online experience and increase conversions on your website.

CRO (pronounced see-are-oh) is important to online and offline stakeholders, yet many times resides in its own silo or doesn’t get done at all. Since PPC professionals are heavily reliant on conversion metrics for optimization efforts, it makes sense for PPC to lead the charge on this effort and HeroConf had several speakers sounding the call to arms. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Tim Ash – The closing keynote on Monday, Tim literally wrote the book on Landing Page Optimization. He spoke extensively about the psychological underpinnings of the conversion process, including how users are lazy and don’t want to think if they don’t have to. For example, include a high-priced option on your website as an “anchor” so that all the other prices are comparatively more affordable and valuable.
  • Chris Goward – The “website redesign” has to die and it needs to be replaced with constant testing and updating of the website. Think about it, when was the last time Amazon did a site redesign? Also, don’t blindly accept a best practice and implement. Turn best practices into tested practices!
  • Brian Massey – Why would you ever send paid traffic to the homepage? Use the information you already know about them to determine a better page or create a better page. An LP should do 2 things: deliver on the promise of the ad they clicked and then get them to take action. If anything is getting in the way of these 2 things you need to get rid of it.
  • Lance Loveday – He had so many great points, but the point that spoke to me was that you’re not done until the cash register rings. You can be generating leads like a boss, but what is the quality like? Are they closing? You’ve got to get this solved or all the hard work can be ruined by premature celebration.
  • Oli Gardner – NSACWADLP meant “never start a campaign without a dedicated landing page” and it’s a great piece of advice. You need to line up the visual elements and the copy to deliver on the expectation set by the ad. And remember to keep your attention ratio low for best results. (The number of things someone CAN do on the page divided by the number or things they SHOULD do, which should be 1.)


Get Started

While the idea of CRO can be intimidating to many, just start. Start with a single landing page for a single ad group. Use a simple hypothesis and test it. Then take those results and run another test. Let the wins give you encouragement to continue. Just know that CRO is coming!