#CroDay: How I Went from Oblivious to An Advocate in 2 Days

A few weeks ago after tweeting with Uberflip, I was encouraged to attend a #CRODay event at their offices. I signed up immediately, and after getting the Eventbrite confirmation, I thought, great. Now, what the heck is #CRODay?

I hit Google, naturally, and came to discover much like Inbound Marketing Week, it was an global marketing event surrounding a specific topic. In this instance, it was CRO or for newbies like me, conversion rate optimization.

What is conversion rate optimization? It is a method where user feedback and analytics are used to improve website performance. Sounds pretty straight forward, doesn’t it? I wanted to learn more, so I read Qualaroo’s amazing beginner guide. The methodologies and tips outlined only made me want to learn even more.  After “attending” (two of the events were online) three #CRODay events, here are some lessons I learned.

Bufferchat with Oli Gardner from Unbounce

via Buffer 

via Buffer 

Given Unbounce created the event having one of its CEO as the buffer chat guest was a clever move. I found Oli to be a no bs kind of marketer – something to aspire to be. He is a strong advocate for CRO and who can blame him? I’ve worked for many who have based crucial content decisions either on no data whatsoever or on the wrong metrics entirely. Of CRO Gardner says: “CRO is essential because it lets us separate the bullshit from the truth. Data-informed copywriting, design, and communication is the most important movement in the history of modern marketing.”

I found this chat from Buffer to be particularly accessible because the questions and answers were helpful to both beginners and experts alike. Here are some of the key takeaways from the chat.

Separate Myths from Reality

There is a lot of talk concerning conversion rate optimization and with that comes a lot of misinformation and mythology. One of the predominant myths, I came to discover, revolves around button colours. According to Gardiner, that’s bullshit. Another myth Gardner busts is that A/B testing is simple (it’s not). Ultimately, when it comes to CRO marketers must ensure that it is data that causes them to make changes, not widely believed assumptions.

Landing Pages are Important

While I imagine those versed in CRO are probably well aware of this, it hit home, particularly when thinking about my own website.  Having a landing page is so important, Gardner points to a fun acronym to help you remember this: The NSAMCWADLP Principle. It stands for Never. Start. A. Marketing. Campaign. Without. A. Dedicated. Landing. Page.

Genius.

Not only are landing pages important themselves, Gardner insists that you always have a defined campaign goal before even attempting a campaign. For more insights from Gardner and other buffer chatters, visit Buffer’s blog summary. To read even more insights from the CRO buffer chat, read the full recap here.

#CRODay Webinar with Hana Abaza from Uberflip

via Uberflip 

via Uberflip 

I kicked off #CRODay with a webinar from Uberflip called “How to Create Content That Converts.” Though I’m definitely interested in the technical and design focused aspects of CRO, content is my main area of interest. So, I was really excited to see what this webinar would be about and Uberflip did not disappoint.

Clarify Your Content Goals

The first great tip offered was to clarify why you’re creating content and what is your conversion goal. For instance, for me, as a freelancer, awareness is certainly one, but I’d also like to start focusing on creating leads for paid work.

Another nugget of wisdom within creating content that Abaza pointed to was that different content has different goals. Not every type of content will have the same conversion goal, and you should create content for the goals you are trying to meet.

Craft the Best Content

It is something that as a content marketer I read or hear over and over again, but what I loved about this point was they gave you an actionable checklist as well as a series of pointed questions to ask yourself after you’ve created your content but before publishing it. Is your content relevant? Trustworthy? Useful?

Building trust is the glue that will keep people coming back to your content, and if they continue to like your content, they may buy your products one day.

Create a Good Content User Experience

In some ways, this was an overview but I found their example of Ikea’s store maps to be particularly useful and interesting. Much like how Ikea guides its customers through their store, we must guide readers through our content. Abaza insists that we create an engagement path. Readers want to be guided and need to know where to go next.

via Uberflip 

via Uberflip 

Whether that’s through recommended blog posts or other related relevant content, show them where to discover even more useful content. This will keep them coming back.

International #CRODay Meetup at Uberflip

My final event took place at Uberflip headquarters where speakers Kent Fenwick (Tilt) and Karim El Rabiey (Checkout 51) talked about conversion rate optimization, and how to utilize tools and data to meet your conversion goals.

Think Big Picture

This lesson from Kent Fenwick reminded me a lot of the point Oli Gardner was trying to make. Fenwick argues that in getting caught up in the minutia of say, button colours, might distract you from more important battles worth waging.

He cites SEM vs SEO as an example of thinking small CRO vs thinking big CRO. Focusing on SEM will give you results certainly, but linear growth isn’t necessarily something to strive for. Big CRO, like focusing on SEO, will lead to better growth.

The Step Before is Just As Important

Karim’s point about steps in the process, funnel, whatever you want to call it, really hit the nail on the head to me. So many marketers focus on the last or most problematic step as the thing that needs to be better optimized. However, doesn’t that ignore the possibility of a breakdown before then?

He argues that context is key, and looking at the step before the next one, can help you address your conversion issues, and help you better optimize. In a way, it’s another kind of bigger picture, a panoramic way of seeing conversion issues, similar to Kent’s point.

Where to Go From Here?

Like me, you might have become really passionate about CRO but how do you keep the momentum up? By staying in the loop and attending CRO events. One event I’m interested in is Conversion World’s Conversion Optimization Conference. Completely online, it’s definitely a unique type of conference.

conversionworld.jpg

Running April 20-22, it has a whole host of interesting speakers including Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers and Peep Laja from Conversion XL. With three days of talks, I’m sure there’s still tons to learn.

Did you attend any #CRODay events? Share your highlights in the comments!