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Conversion Rate Optimization Landing Page Optimization Testing & Optimization

How to calculate the ROI of your CRO program

CRO is an investment. Make sure it grows.

The objective of a conversion rate optimization (CRO) program is simple – get more value out of your existing audience.

For any business that invests resources in getting people to their website, this should be a critical piece of the strategy. Search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, blogging, SEO, and many other promotional efforts are intended to drive people to the same destination hub – your website.

Website is your destination hub

Because your website is the critical path for customer acquisition, a small increase in conversion rate has great scale, and therefore, great impact.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that when it comes time invest in CRO versus other marketing expenditures, like putting more money into PPC, we tend to lack an objective way to evaluate the decision. This lack of objectivity leads us to justify CRO without a clear or compelling KPI to back it up, and can lead to under-investment.

Let’s solve that problem.

In this post, I’m going to review how digital advertisers evaluate and justify their media budgets, show you a way to similarly calculate your return on CRO, and review some reasons why a CRO program may not always provide you with a positive return.

Ready? Let’s go.

ROAS, I LOVE YOU. ROAS, I HATE YOU.

To assess the value of advertising, marketing executives often look to a KPI called the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). At LinkedIn, where I last worked, ROAS was the KPI that the Digital Advertising Team and the executives that approved their media budget, used to make decisions. They measured ROAS, reported, reviewed, scrutinized and used it as the catalyst for determining how much they would be willing to invest in advertising.

Through all of this, I began noticing that by calculating, forecasting, and reporting ROAS, the Digital Advertising team was often able to successfully argue for additional budget. Of course, sometimes the ROAS wasn’t in their favor, and as a result the budget could be reduced or paused.

The thing that impressed me was their ability to gain consensus and influence leaders to make investment decisions quickly. And making decisions is the key to driving action and making progress.

LET’S CALCULATE YOUR RETURN ON CRO

I think we need a similar KPI to help make decisions on CRO investments. Therefore, we’re going to calculate something I call the ROCRO – Return on Conversion Rate Optimization.

To calculate this, we’ll need the following six data points:

  1. Average website sessions per day
  2. Existing website conversion rate
  3. Average order or lead value
  4. Average contribution margin ratio
  5. Estimated annual cost of CRO program
  6. Estimated conversion rate lift from CRO

Next, you can head over to this ROCRO calculator at Nabler.com to quickly calculate your estimated return on investment.

Nabler's CRO Program Calculator

Nabler’s CRO Program Calculator

 

You may be surprised to see that small improvements in conversion rate can offset your entire investment and modest improvements can have a big impact.

REASONS FOR A NEGATIVE ROCRO

If you don’t get a positive ROCRO, then it may be for one or some of the following reasons:

1. You don’t have enough visitors

This is the most likely reason why your ROCRO is not positive.

The impact you gain from conversion rate improvements is very dependent on audience size. The more people are exposed to your improvements, the more impactful they become. If your audience is too small, then you need a huge conversion rate improvement for the benefit to outweigh the cost.

Contrary to what some “experts” say, you shouldn’t test everything. Some things aren’t’ worth testing – literally. There are some tactics you can do to mitigate low visitor volume, such as testing boldly and/or extending your test duration, but those work best when testing high value, low volume pages.

If your ROCRO is negative because of low visitor volume, then you may want to focus on attracting more visitors to your website – at least for now. Demand generation activities such as SEO, PPC or advertising on social media can pump up your visitor volume. Then, once those channels start bringing in the volume, it’d be silly not to optimize the website that serves as the destination hub.

2. Your conversion rate improvement goals are too conservative

It’s usually a good idea to keep your expectations in check. However, being too conservative can cause you to pass up on a great opportunity to improve your business.

While it’s true that on average, 1 out of 7 A/B tests produce a winning experience, all you need is one big winner to make it all worth it. If you keep at it and test solid insights, you will find new experiences that have a big conversion rate impact. And the more you leverage good research and experiment design, the more likely you are to be successful.

If you’ve never done any CRO, then it’s okay to have aggressive expectations because there are probably plenty of opportunities to improve. On the other hand, if you’ve already addressed all the obvious opportunities on your website, then you may want to be a little more conservative because you’ll need to put more effort into finding insights and generating creative ideas.

3. Your CRO costs are too high

Sometimes you’re just investing too much and the return doesn’t make sense.

One place to look is to re-evaluate how much you’re paying for your optimization platform. I’m a big fan of Adobe Target and Optimizely as they have incredible capabilities, but not everyone needs to spend on the most advanced platforms if it will stretch their budget and all they need are basic capabilities. If you fall into this category, checkout lower cost options such as Google Optimize, Visual Website Optimizer or an interesting platform that recently got on my radar called Reactful.

TEST. LEARN. GROW.

CRO should be a profit center and the return on your investment should always be positive. So, check out our ROCRO calculator, make some reasonable assumptions, enter your data points, and generate your estimated return.

Use it to guide your investment decisions and make your case. And more importantly, switch the estimates with actual results at the end of the year to measure your own success.

Happy optimizing!

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Mobile App Analytics Mobile Apps

Why Firebase Analytics (and not Google Analytics) for your mobile app analytics?

Firebase Analytics

With shifting technology and user behavior, mobile apps are seeing a higher focus from businesses. As the investment in apps increases, there is also a swelling demand for detailed analytics for apps. Business stakeholders who approved the investment in the apps want to measure if they are closer to achieving the business objectives. Organizations want to understand the chain of events starting from “what leads to a user downloading the app” until the time they “make revenue of it”. As a Consulting Organization, we have seen a lot of tools developed over the years to try and address this need through various methods. Back in 2012, when Google came in with their app analytics solution, it was already late. In spite of the few success stories, it was always a tough uphill effort to catch up with established players. In 2014, they acquired Firebase which was much superior to Google Analytics for mobile apps. Even now, if your organization uses only mobile apps and has no near term plan of moving away from apps, Firebase Analytics is the go-to tool for you. Why you ask?

Firebase Analytics is user and event based while Google Analytics is best for a session and page based reality

There is a reason why a lot of app development companies invest on creating in-house analytical tools rather use vendor solutions. Most digital analytical tools including Google Analytics were created in a “pre-mobile app” era. A majority still cater primarily to website architectures. Mobile applications differ greatly from websites. Websites are click based. Other than forms where the text is typed, a click is supposed to change the page being viewed. Events like video view or document download are afterthoughts to the basic page based architecture. Apps, on the other hand, have several elements and types of interactions over one or multiple screens. Also, users can call various action by touching, swiping, pinch-in, pinch-out using multiple fingers in various ways. Users can thus interact with various elements that trigger content without changing the screen they are in. There are many apps out there whose interface is just a single screen. The traditional page of websites does not exist. Also, Firebase analytics has solved a big question Google Analytics is still struggling How to uniquely identify a user who may access the page from multiple devices/browsers/time gaps? For mobile apps, there is no need to force yourself to the website language of Google Analytics. Your analytics tool has to adapt to your business reality and not the other way around. Pure play app creators need a tool that understands users and events. Firebase Analytics is that solution.

Free unlimited event reporting in Firebase Analytics unlike Google Analytics

Another consequence of the page and session based tools like Google Analytics is that events are an afterthought for them. Thus there are limits to which one can go while analyzing events. Even paid solutions like Google Analytics premium have a limit on how many events you can report and analyze. Firebase, however, provides you with unlimited reporting for up to 500 distinct events. Did we mention that Firebase is also free?

Funnel analysis makes much more sense in Firebase Analytics than in Google Analytics

The traditional page flow analysis involves analyzing sequence of pages visited in a session prior to the desired outcome. This is not useful. This is because visitors don’t “follow” the path that we want them to follow. The correct way to analyze user behavior flow is to identify the critical actions taken at every step of the conversion process. Since Firebase is based on events and not on screen views, it allows you to create funnels based on events which give much more value than the page-view based funnels Google Analytics has.

You can connect Firebase Analytics to Google Analytics

Imagine tomorrow your organization decides to use websites in addition to the apps. Alternatively, let us say you still have stakeholders who understand only the language of Google Analytics. Firebase has a tight integration with Google Analytics. Connect your Firebase data to Google Analytics and see your Firebase analytics reports without leaving the Google Analytics user interface.

Unlike Google Analytics, Firebase Analytics is much more than an app analytics tool

Firstly, Firebase is a mobile and web application platform. Its original product was a real time database. Along with the famous Firebase Analytics, it also has services and infrastructure designed to help developers build high-quality apps. Firebase features can be mix-and-matched by developers to fit their needs. After Firebase was acquired by Google in October 2014, it has expanded to become a full suite for app development with many Google products like Admob also integrated into it. You can take a look at what Firebase has apart from Analytics here. Firebase as a backend service is one of the fast growing businesses in the Android market.

Unlike Google Analytics, Audiences can be used through the rest of the Firebase Analytics platform

Firebase audiences are like segments in Google Analytics. Additionally, Firebase enables audience-specific push notifications and app configuration changes to be sent out without having to collate that information separately. You can identify custom audiences in the Firebase console based on device data, custom events, or user properties. These audiences can be used with any of the other Firebase features mentioned above.

By investing in Firebase, you will be investing in many more tools from Google that helps in app development and monetization. With the purchase of Fabric developer platform from Twitter last month, Firebase has again come to the spotlight. Fabric’s reach of 580,000 developers will grow the user base of Firebase. If your digital strategy is app-driven, Firebase is the right analytics tool for you.

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Google Analytics – How To Use It To The Optimum?

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Google Analytics is one of those tools that every marketer or website owner has used at least once. It is such a versatile tool that it can be leveraged equally well for small, simple website as well as large, complex ones. Google Analytics will start generating useful insights and give out tracking details as soon as you implement it, but what about going a level deeper. What are some of the things that you can do with Google Analytics to get more out of it?

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Conversion Rate Optimization

5 Signs That It Is Time To Invest In Conversion Rate Optimization

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Companies operating in today’s dynamic and the highly competitive digital world should ideally understand the digital body language of their users and create world-class experiences to optimize conversions. These conversions could be form submissions, newsletter subscriptions, content downloads, products/service purchases, etc. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a continuous method of improvement which can help convert passive website visitors into active users and accomplish your online business goals. Based on your website performance (gauged through quantitative data using analytics) and user feedback (qualitative data acquired from customer reviews, surveys, social sentiments, etc.), figuring out what your visitors are looking for when they come to any of your digital platforms (desktop site, mobile site or mobile apps) and create a frictionless experience, is the main objective of this initiative. In simple words, conversion rate optimization is finding WHY your visitors are not converting and fixing it for the optimum results.

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Digital marketers often find themselves utilizing all sorts of marketing techniques available to them in order to increase clicks, visits, and conversions. However, the more they try new channels, the more convoluted the performance reports become. At times, it becomes hard to clearly understand the complex customer journey or path to purchase and accurately point out which engagement tactics, messages, or touch-points drove maximum conversions. It is also important to study that out of those conversions, which channels resulted in the most high-value customers.

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Gartner estimates that $26 billion dollars in revenue were generated from 102 billion mobile app downloads in 2013, and we may be seeing over 268 billion downloads per year by 2017 (or around $68 billion dollars in revenue). The amount of potential payoff that mobile apps can generate for businesses is very high and thus mandates the need for effective mobile app testing and optimization. Moreover, the consumers are no more satisfied with simple apps. They are looking for feature-rich and intuitive apps that perform well. This can only be made possible through efficient testing of the apps.

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As a website owner, you must have tried your hand at building landing pages for various marketing activities or for specific online needs.  Landing pages offer tremendous control over what the visitors see on your website.  They provide better content relevance as compared to your website homepage. For instance, you advertise on a paid medium and give a link to your homepage in that ad. The visitors come to your homepage, do not find what they are looking for and bounce. But if you give a link to the landing page that has relevant information only about that topic, then the bounce rate will decrease and visitors might be enticed to move forward. 

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Digital Analytics – The Best Practices Ready Reckoner

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A digital analytics tool can provide enterprises with several custom or standard reports and dashboards today. But the real relevance of that data lies in teams being able to find the right answers at the right time. Because of the sheer amount of data that is being produced by companies, it has become difficult for business users to locate the relevant metrics that contain the insights they need for decision-making. This problem is further compounded by the fact that data is spread out over multiple tools. The outcome of this situation is usually an inadequate solution to a business problem, or worse still, a wrong one that eventually leads to undesired business outcomes and a colossal waste of time and resources.

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5 Key Goals Ecommerce Players Can Accomplish Using Conversion Rate Optimization

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If people visited my online store all day long and left without buying anything, my immediate concern as a store owner would be “why are there no purchases being made?” My next immediate priority would be to figure out what can be done to influence my visitors to make that purchase. As on online business owner, just spending money to drive traffic is not going to help. In order to see success in a store’s conversion rate, ecommerce players have to understand customers better, reduce friction, improve the layout of their online store and address the bottlenecks in a visitor’s shopping experience. And this is where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) steps in.

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