Becoming a Hybrid Marketer: Get the Most from Your Website Traffic with Conversion Rate Optimization

July 17, 2015

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Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series in 2015 in which we provide skillset development resources that can help B2B marketers advance their careers. In our last post, we compiled a list of sites that can help marketers improve their lead generation strategies. In this post, we provide resources to help you learn and master the art of conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Of all the cool things a hybrid marketer gets to do, conversion rate optimization (CRO) just might be the coolest. It combines creativity, behavioral science, and endless customization possibilities which directly impact how successful your B2B marketing efforts can be.

CRO is all about improving your connection with customers, one small change at a time, by working to synchronize their intent with your content. The end results of CRO done right are happier customers and a healthier bottom line.

How much of a difference can CRO make? In one standout case, changing a single button on a form led to $300 million in additional revenue

So awaken your inner (or outer) science nerd and dive into these resources. We’ll start with background and orientation before digging into some tried and true CRO tactics.

Get Started

There are, roughly speaking, a metric ton of introductions to conversion rate optimization. The four guides below each provide a solid background of what CRO is and why it’s important, but each has a different enough take on the subject to make them all worth reading.

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization Rich Page is a professional website optimization expert whose clients include Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. This guide is a brief overview of what CRO is and how to get started.
  1. The Definitive Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization Dive a little deeper into CRO strategies with this 30,000 word guide from two web data experts: Crazy Egg & KISSmetrics founder Neil Patel and iSpionage Director of Marketing Joe Putnam.
  1. The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization If you devoured the Definitive Guide and are still hungry for more, this intense 12-chapter guide from Qualaroo goes into even more detail on CRO techniques. It’s chock-full of stats, quotes, and takeaways.
    1. An Introduction to Conversion Rate Optimization, Landing Pages, and A/B Testing The first slide in this SlideShare from Unbounce Director of Marketing Georgiana Laudi reads, “Conversion Rate Optimization: Because It’s Effing Awesome.” Georgiana’s sense of humor and visual flair make the serious knowledge she’s supplying easy to absorb.

Get Tactical

Now that you have a solid CRO foundation, you can start building your own tactical toolkit. There are hundreds of possible CRO tactics. Some of them will be perfect for your organization; some of them might not fit your needs. We’ve tried to give you as wide a sample as possible, so you can choose which tactics make the most sense given your goals.

  1. Split-Testing 101: A Quick-start Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization Make sure to warm up your scroll-wheel finger before you get into this article from Conversion Rate Experts. A friendly tone and plenty of visual aids keep this collection of 108 CRO tactics compelling all the way to the end.
  1. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Techniques: The Complete List Backlinko.com founder Brian Dean presents another massive list of CRO tactics. This one has something extra, though: the ability to filter the list by what you’d like to optimize and the elements you want to test.
    1. 47 Conversion Optimization Tips Josh Patrice, Director of Online Marketing at Rhapsody International, digs into the psychology of customer behavior in this informative and amusing SlideShare.

  1. Conversion Optimization: An In-depth Guide to Forms If you’re feeling a little daunted after learning about hundreds of tactics, relax a little with this deeper look into how to optimize a single web page element. Whole Design Studios Director Giles Thomas provides tips on optimizing every conceivable aspect of web forms.                                                                                                                                                                            
  1. Which Test Won? This site is worth bookmarking for a weekly visit. It’s an ongoing object lesson in A/B testing. Each week whichtestwon.com presents a real-life A/B test and lets you guess which option was more effective. After you cast your vote, you will see a detailed case study that examines the results.

Go Your Own Way

One of the cool aspects of CRO is that what works best varies wildly from company to company. What worked great for one organization might flop for another. So it’s really about finding the combination of tactics that works best for you.

  1. Why You Should Question Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices If you search “CRO best practices,” you will get millions of results. KISSMetrics’ Neil Patel suggests taking all of that advice with a grain of salt (including his own Definitive Guide linked above). He presents case studies that show the dangers of blindly following CRO best practices, along with practical tips for creating your organization’s own unique set of best practices.

Conversion rate optimization is equal parts creativity, intuition, and science. It offers opportunities for endless customization and continual improvement, all aimed squarely at boosting your organization’s success. Now that you are armed with an arsenal of CRO tactics, you’re ready to start developing your own approach to CRO. So roll up your sleeves and start testing, hybrid marketer, and we hope you find your own $300 million button.

To optimize your LinkedIn marketing efforts over time, be sure to download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn for more tips and strategies.

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