I have been working in digital marketing for the last 10 years and I have come to recognize when and how to choose a CRO (conversion rate optimization) expert or an agency.
It normally goes down to a combination of two things:
- The agencies/ experts walking the talk
- A proven process for generating more conversions
Before we detail each of the points above, let me give you some background.
Realizing when you need a CRO agency
In some cases, companies have large budgets and a structured team of acquisition specialists that generate enough traffic to hit – and exceed – all of their sales and revenue targets.
Some need more money to spend on acquisition, while others see SEO as the solution to all their revenues challenges. That’s why companies often think about hiring SEO agencies before moving into CRO.
Which makes sense, you will have huge challenges doing CRO without steady and large traffic. The reason is that you need a good amount of traffic to make your AB experiment statistically relevant.
One thing is to generate 1,000 visitors a month, while another is to generate 50,000/month. The second case will have more statistical significance than the first.
Why is low traffic a challenge?
When your goal is to measure the successful completion of a form or an order placement, then you need to have enough visits on your website to determine which variation of the page is the winner.
But if you only have a few hundred visits you got two problems:
- It will take you a long time to determine the winner with confidence
- You can’t implement A/B/C or multivariate tests
I am not saying that you can’t do CRO on your website, but you can certainly work on your CRO to find the right things to test.
It’s quite hard to recognize when you actually need a CRO specialist.
How should you approach a CRO specialist?
If you are in doubt because your traffic is low or because of any other reason, I would advise getting in touch with a CRO agency to determine if any CRO work can be done on your website, or if you still need to generate more traffic, before you hire a conversion specialist.
Often, agencies offer a free consultation to discuss exactly that point and many others
- How many visitors your landing pages generate
- How many different traffic channels you get traffic from
- What is your share of online revenue vs the offline counterpart
- What CRO strategies have you used in the past
These points will put you and the CRO specialist in the position to realize if there is a good fit.
Now let’s assume you have determined you need CRO, how do you even choose the right experts?
You can hire a CRO consultant or an entire agency, depending on what your specific in-house skills are. In both cases you should look at these following aspects:
1. Experts walking the talk
There is a very effective and easy way to find a good conversion rate expert online and it’s the look of their website.
I have hired one of the best conversion rate agencies around and my initial impressions about how good they are, six months later, proved true because our conversion rate grew exponentially.
These factors helped me choose the right agency
- Are they transparent in terms of case studies? Normally if they have lots of clients speaking for them, it’s a good sign that this agency or expert will probably bring you good results. It’s important their case studies are not biased, so videos come handy when evaluating this aspect.
- Which companies have they worked with? If you see companies within your industry that you recognize, they are probably a good fit for you. Especially if they have worked with your competitors and gained good results, you can trust they will be the right agency to hire.
- Are they generous with the content they publish? Often the most successful experts, including CRO experts, share lots of content to learn from because they use an inbound approach in lead generation. I tend to subscribe to companies that I find useful and eventually I become their client, sooner or later.
This is what walking the talk means.
At the end of the day, if you have subscribed to their blog or newsletter it means they know how to convert you from visitor to lead.
2. A proven process for generating more conversions
After you have determined this agency is a good fit, another tip is to check in which industries they mostly operate and which process do they use.
Conversion rate is almost a scientific approach to increasing the number of goals and for this, every expert has their own proven and tested process.
Which is also the main benefit of hiring an expert.
I have seen a lot of advice around the web on how to A/B test button colors, or form submission copy for the sake of it, but generally this is made up writing.
It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever testing different color variations if you don’t have a hypothesis to test in the first place. How do you even know it’s the right thing to test?
That’s when the process comes to help because it identifies a number of things
- What are the objections of your users, in other words, you want to find out what is wrong with your website conversion rate
- How can you overcome objections? This is when you formulate the hypothesis.
- What tests do you need to run and how technically difficult can they become?
In every one of the points above, the CRO experts can help you, they have a team and the skills in place. These would include account managers, developers, designers, web analytics experts, and other specialist skills that can help you customize your own CRO strategy.
Regardless if you hire a consultant, an agency or both, the added value of a CRO expertise for your own in-house team is enormous. Trying to work out whether you need to introduce CRO in your company is not difficult, use the free consultations to find out and then check whether there is a good fit.