When you start a job at a new place, it being either in-house or agency side, you ask for the brand guidelines and tone of voice document. Rarely do you ask for the conversion rate optimisation (CRO) strategy. And if you did, I bet my last pound, one doesn’t exist.
In every role I’ve been in, there’s been focus on conversion. In email campaigns, this happens as a matter of course. It’s easy to test and measure – move the CTA up there, change the label, let’s do an MVT based on social proofing and the ubiquitous subject line testing. But what about on a website or app?
The way I describe it to my team is; where SEO leaves off, CRO picks up.
Once SEO has bought people to the page, then what? What do we want them to do? How do we then meet our business objectives? I know what you’re thinking, don’t we do this as standard anyway? We should, but how many of us – hand on heart – do that at all. Normally, we’re under the cosh from a marketing team to write an article or talk about a product/service without thinking about the journey or how we want to influence behaviour.
In every job I’ve been in over the last 14 years, it’s always followed that path. To write something marketing or product want, that’s butchered by others involved in the approvals process. And let’s face it, a lot of this based on subjective opinion, keenness to talk about the technicality of the product/service and the legals. Never about moving people down the sales funnel.
Putting together a CRO strategy in a sexy PowerPoint, communicating it across the business and making sure your writers adhere to it could make all the difference. And it empowers your copywriters/content designers to create content they want to without being dictated to by other teams. So make sure in your strategy to think about:
- Writing headlines
- Improving CTAs (copy and positioning)
- Rotating imagery
- Organising and structuring content
- Looking at formats
- AB testing “radical” ideas (as Jo Wiebe puts it, ‘breakthrough or bust’)
Although all this stuff is something we routinely think about, it’s rarely thought about or fought for during approval rounds. Enshrining it in a strategy means your copywriters can fix these.
But don’t just leave your strategy there. There’s still loads of scope for stakeholders/clients to challenge it, thinking they know better. To sidestep that particular landmine, include:
- Governance – frequency of checking the performance of the priority pages, centralised place to collate findings and quality assurance.
- Measurement – set up targets (stretch and realistic), define what you’re measuring (sales, lead capture, NPS, etc.)
- Guidelines – add some guidelines about how it should be done, people always listen to guidelines.
- Communication – although your team might be accountable for the content, you’re not responsible for the product, so make sure you keep the relevant teams involved with all the changes you’re making.