What is a conversion rate expert?
The conversion rate optimization industry is exploding. CRO is quickly becoming as important as SEO in your online marketing strategy. While there are several SEO experts with years of experience, a true CRO specialist is hard to find. So what exactly makes up a CRO expert?
A conversion rate expert should have at least 100 hours of dedicated AB testing experience, with at least three (and preferably over ten) references of client success in AB testing. They should not only understand the theory of conversion rate optimization, but have the practical experience to back it up.
CRO Theory vs Practice
Conversion rate optimization and AB testing is easy in theory, but difficult in practice! Both Optimizely and VWO make it very easy for anyone with limited experience to begin conducting AB tests. What makes conversion rate optimization difficult is not the theory, but the implementation of winning tests that deliver statistically significant results. Finding winning test variations is the name of the game.
In practice, anyone who has design experience can go in, create another site design, and then perform a simple AB test to see if the conversion rate changes. What’s harder to do is generating insights and a strategic plan that will lead to double-digit improvements, as well as the type of conversion improvements that lead to sustained gains in conversion rate.
When finding a CRO expert, it’s very important to ask for references showing their track record of success. Similar to an SEO specialist, a CRO specialist should show you case studies, either specific or white labeled, that provide evidence that their process works and leads to sustained improvements. Furthermore, most qualified CROs will have long-term clients. If clients are churning and burning through, chances are the CRO doesn’t work.
Our recommended list
In addition to ourselves (self-promotion!), there are several other CRO experts that we admire and have great respect for:
Note: You shouldn’t get in touch with an expert at this level unless you are prepared to commit a significant in spend. Most top agencies will not work with you for less than $10K/mo. One of the main reasons we started was to offer CRO services to smaller website owners, who need CRO but may have as little as $750/mo to spend.
How to Get Started
Be clear on your objectives before contacting an agency. Be sure to check for references, and then set them up to be successful inside of your company. Also ensure that they have access to all the resources they need to make great decisions (GA access, company data, etc).