I spent some time with a CRO Specialist recently, and my eyes were opened. The chap was employed at a larger company, and was on a considerable wage (much more than me). What he taught me though was brilliant, so I began to think of a way that it can apply to blogs.
Wait, What the Hell is CRO?
CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation, and it generally is ignored compared to disciplines such as SEO or Social Media. CRO is all about optimising the traffic that’s currently on your site, rather than trying to get more traffic to the site. It’s important because – beyond spending money on a CRO Specialist or the time spent doing it yourself – it doesn’t actually cost that much. However the increase in revenue can be huge. Even if you increase a conversion rate by 1 or 2 percent (both of which are quite easy given the right people) can see an increase of tens, even hundreds of dollars. For large firms, a CRO Specialist can see an increase to justify it’s expenses three times over and trust me, CRO Specialists don’t come cheap.
What’s a Conversion For A Blog?
There are a few conversions for a blog. Examples include:-
- A sale of a product, such as an e-book.
- A subscription to a newsletter.
- A filling out of a contact form or an advertising enquiry form.
- A comment left.
There may be more, anything else you think it could be?
The Main Thing To Bear In Mind For CRO
The most important thing for CRO is to make things as easy as possible. If you confuse people with a variety of things to click on, then whilst you may impress some technically savvy people or confuse your way to conversions, but you’ll end up pissing a bunch of people off, who will leave your website. You’ll end up poor and unpopular.
The easiest way to make things easy as possible is to have a clear goal. Which means one goal per page. Examples will include:-
- A Product Sale – A purchase button
- A Newsletter Subscription – A subsription form
- A comment left – A comment form
Simple, isn’t it?
Two Examples of Good CRO’s
I’m going to share two examples of have to improve your CRO for a couple of aspects to your site. One’s very nice and a good way to do things, the other way is a bit naughty.
A Nice Way To CRO – Upsell
Upselling is the principle of selling things when you attempt another conversion after just achieving another. An example for this for your blog will be asking people to subscribe to your newsletter after they leave a comment.
I’ve implemented this recently on my blog using Comment Redirect. Create a page on your blog which will contain information on your upsell (for example, a newsletter subscription form – this works really well). Select this page as the page that is redirected to in the settings page of Comment Redirect, and then wait for comments.
What will happen will be when a comment is left, instead of being redirected to the post. As well as getting a few more email signups, you won’t confuse your commenters like some plugins can (the ones that put a checkbox in the comment form). Furthermore, you can also stop repeat comments on blog posts.
Try it on this blog post, see if it works :).
A Naughty Way To CRO – Wording To Stop Confusing Readers
This was a test that a friend did that worked nicely for him. Oddly, one of the limiting factors for conversion on product sales are coupon codes. The thinking behind this is that people click to buy, then scour the internet for a coupon code, before returning to the site to complete the order. Not everybody returns to complete the order.
If you can on your cart, change the “Coupon Code” field to “Gift Certificate”. If you’ve already got a Gift Certificate field, merge them into one. Inform genuine coupon code holders (rather than searchers of the internet) to place the code in the “Gift Certificate” field box.
It sounds counter productive, but it does work. If you have the resources to run A/B testing on this, do so. You’ll be surprised when it actually ruddy works.
What other CRO tips do you have?