Black Friday: CRO InterviewWe spoke to Senior SEO Account Manager, Tom Hutchison, to discuss how CRO can benefit businesses on Black Friday and beyond.
If you're a small business owner preparing for Black Friday, watch this video to learn more about how CRO can form part of your long-term digital marketing strategy.
Alternatively, you can read the interview transcript below...
Want to drive sales? Just add people.
What is CRO? How can it help my business?
“CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. It’s all to do with how you are approaching the traffic that’s hitting your website.
In a nutshell, you could be running a digital marketing campaign across a paid search channel, like Google Ads for example, and you’re getting the traffic, but if you’re not thinking about what the users will be doing once they’re on your website, then how can you make the experience better for them?
Creating a better user experience increases the chances of conversions, leading to more revenue for your business.
Just for some context, for how we usually set up one of our CRO & Grow campaigns…
We speak to our customers right at the start about the biggest barriers that we identify that are stopping users from converting on their site.
If we can address those early on in the campaign then there will obviously be a benefit to the business short term.
However, it’s not as simple as a quick fix, it takes time to analyse and look at user behaviour from traffic landing on a website.
For example, I had one customer come to me and say, “I wish I started this way before Black Friday”, so they could have had the right strategy in place in the lead up to Black Friday – when obviously there are so many customers online and far more traffic coming through each digital marketing channel.”
How do you determine what changes to make on a website?
“I put it down to 4 pillars of CRO; Speed, Trust, Structure, and Journey.
Each of these pillars I can class as relatively weak in a client’s website, depending on what’s actually there, but every client is different, every website is different.
When I’m going through the Speed pillar, I’m looking at a site’s performance, is it very slow? Is this causing users to bounce? Because the website takes 8-10 seconds to load, for instance.
In terms of the Trust pillar, this is when I look at the trust indicators on a website, For example, if you’re running an eCommerce website, and you have loads of client reviews, product reviews, or great things about your business to shout about etc. but none of these can be found on your website, this is something we identify.
You want these trust signals to appear above the fold (area on the screen you can see before you start scrolling).
It’s such a crucial area for when your users land on your website, what are they seeing? What’s attracting them?
It’s all about installing that trust in the customer to actually make a purchase on your website.
With the Structure pillar, this is to do with asking if a website is displaying the right information on a given page.
For a home page, what is it you do as a business?
Is the information there for the customer as soon as they land on the website?
What information is available to them as they scroll down the page?
Is the content thin and need to be branched out?
All of these types of questions we consider.
The Journey pillar is all to do with looking at the customer journey.
For example, the navigation menu on a website. With eCommerce websites, we’ve seen so many examples where our clients haven’t matched the search intent of their users and it creates problems in the customer journey, stopping them from converting.
If they’ve got to take lots of extra steps, it’s just far more difficult for the user to make a conversion, so you can expect your conversion rates to be lower.”
How can you measure the effects of CRO work?
“One of the great things about our CRO & Grow campaign is that the right targeted CRO work (over a 3 month period for example) can get you a better return across all your digital marketing channels, whether that’s users landing through direct traffic, paid Shopping campaigns, social media campaigns, or organic traffic, and so on.”
Does Google look at how people interact with websites to determine organic rankings?
“It’s becoming more and more of a factor, year by year.
Google’s algorithm is updated – about 3 core updates each year. Each one makes the algorithm smarter, and smarter, and smarter.
This means they’ll be able to understand websites better and what determines an organic ranking factor.
So, over time, Google is able to measure user engagement and see that your users are interacting well with your website, essentially meaning that your website is useful to the user. If they can see this, you will be rewarded with higher rankings.
It’s a longer-term benefit that if you set up your website for conversions, not only are you going to directly impact your conversion rate across all your digital marketing channels, you’re going to end up actually ranking higher organically as well…
Killing two birds with one stone.”
SEO Vs. PPC
“A lot of customers ask me, ‘what’s better SEO or PPC?’, and I’ve had a lot of in-depth discussions with them about this.
With PPC, you invest in a Google Ads campaign and see the return straight away, immediately appearing in the advertising space (for certain keywords).
Obviously, that is not the case when you’re growing your organic traffic through a CRO or SEO campaign.
There is a longer-term investment needed, because we need to put the work in to look at factors such as content, technical (how Google understands your website), backlinks, etc.
That doesn’t happen overnight. We can’t click our fingers or press a few buttons to get a business ranking at the top of the search results.
But what it does bring, is a fantastic, long-term and sustainable strategy, that can continue to grow and bring value for years to come.”
What is your top tip for a small business owner wanting to implement CRO?
“First of all, in order to get your users converting as well as possible, you need a data-backed approach.
You need experts, like the team here at Add People, to take a look at your website, and find out what it is that you need and what barriers are stopping your users from converting.
That doesn’t happen by simply adding a banner at the top of your website, that says “20% off!” and just leaving it there, hoping that users will convert just because there’s a discount.
You need a data-led approach, there are far too many factors that are impacting your conversion rate.
A quick-win example could be that if you have no trust signals on your site, take a step back from your website and think about ‘what’s actually great about my business?’
e.g. excellent Trustpilot reviews, unique selling points (USPs), offer free delivery UK-wide, been established for over 30 years, etc.
If none of that information is there at the top level of your website, then you’re not installing the confidence and the trust in your users as well as you could be.
This could be a great place to start and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t have a benefit to your business.”