CRO (conversion-rate-optimisation) is a great way to get the most out of your existing website traffic. It’s important to integrate it with your paid search and SEO activity so that you can maximise the value of the traffic that you are already paying to acquire.
Information and data
In order for CROs to fix onsite issues they need data to create a/b test hypotheses from. A lot of useful data that a CRO team needs can be passed on from Paid Search and SEO traffic acquisition teams, whether agency or in house.
If you’re trying to get the best from your paid search and SEO investment, the teams or individuals handling that area of your strategy should be helping to supply performance data, highlighting any areas for concern. This data is useful for a CRO team so they can look into optimising your website. This approach requires collaboration and communication between teams and individuals.
For example, your paid search exec knows there is a low converting page and has tried to deal with it using paid search techniques, but the needle does not budge. If the information on that page can be passed to a CRO team, they can delve deeper and find out the core user issues and test different variations to help improve the conversion rate. The paid search team gets an improved campaign, everyone wins.
So what data should paid search teams supply to a CRO team?
- The worst performing landing pages (no brainer right)
- The best performing landing pages – why are these pages working well? Can anything be replicated to help the lower performing pages?
- Ad text used to land users – CROs should check this to ensure the click to landing journey is consistent
- Campaign updates – If testing is running on landing pages, the type of traffic must be consistent for it to be a fair and accurate test. Any changes to the traffic can affect results
- Highest spending keywords – CROs can better optimise a page if they know the users intent which can be derived from keywords users click through from.
- Bounce rates – Which pages are not keeping their traffic so well
- Where is the Paid Search traffic going across the site?
So what data should an SEO team supply to a CRO team?
- Highest ranking keywords – This also helps CRO teams to understand user intent although it is harder these days to know the precise landing page where organic traffic lands.
- Keywords increased in rank – If rank increases, traffic to certain pages will increase, these pages should be optimised for the new traffic
- What type of sites are referring traffic? – A CRO team can look at the types of sites referring traffic to build a picture of what users are looking for and if content can be adjusted to match
- Where is the SEO traffic going across the site?
This really is the key to successfully integrating CRO into your wider digital strategy. Because CRO is usually the last service to be undertaken to boost digital performance, it means change. CRO affects all other services if you’re testing across a website with all traffic.
Imagine you have teams and agencies bedded in, all working together effectively on your digital strategy and we introduce an element able to make website changes on the fly. If tests are not communicated it can be disruptive.
Communication is critical between departments and should flow both ways. CROs need to know acquisition campaign performance and strategy, acquisition teams need to know what tests are being undertaken on the website and results. You don’t want a scenario where an underperforming test affects paid search performance negatively and the paid search team makes changes to try to rectify that, or pulls back on spend.
One thing I have always found when CRO is undertaken for a business is, if something goes wrong somewhere, CRO testing gets the immediate blame.
“Oh it must be an a-b test running that’s causing the website issue/drop in performance/why it’s raining.”
It is easy to see why people’s first thought is to blame CRO with the ability to make onsite change through software so quickly.
In my experience around one in twenty or so times was an a/b test to blame.
A combined strategy
CRO can be the glue and solution to successfully integrating all your digital strategy elements so they perform more effectively as one. With a service that affects and depends on the performance of the acquisition channels, good communication between those teams is a requirement, not an option. This can bring about better collaboration and communication between teams benefiting the overall strategy.