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Welcome Happy Readers! During this week’s PPCChat session, host Julie F Bacchini sought PPCers views on CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) for PPC, do they have experience in CRO, is CRO a part of their regular practice to review landing pages, and more.

Q1: What, if anything, does the term CRO mean to you?

Conversion Rate Optimization is the term to me. What that means to me is looking critically and objectively at the website experience for a potential customer and making it be the best it can be. It can also involve testing on the landing pages. @NeptuneMoon

Conversion Rate Optimisation. In all seriousness though – I think it’s an essential part of the Marketing activity. Without CRO we shall send traffic to a site and a lot of the clicks won’t convert properly. CRO and PPC should work as partners.  @TheMarketingAnu

On-going, on-page optimization to help make every visit count. @marketingsoph

It is all the hard work after someone clicks on the ad. We need to understand the customer journey (sorry for the bingo card buzzword). What page they land on, how they interact with the site are all very important. @lchasse

To me, it means improving the likelihood of post-click success. A lot about paid media is optimizing pre-click engagement but if your ultimate objective is form fills, you’ll need to focus on post-click too like the landing page experience. @timmhalloran

CRO must be done from the perspective of a potential customer too and not the company/advertiser’s perspective. This is a big deal because it really is not focused truly on customer perspective in a lot of cases, at least in my experience. @NeptuneMoon

To me, CRO relates to testing and improving website elements to enhance the customer experience on the site to influence users likelihood of making a purchase. @dylanppc

CRO = Looking at the data and user experience analytically to help build a better user experience, eventually boosting CVR. @sonofgorkhali

Conversion Rate Optimization means identifying points of friction in the flow of an experience leading to a desired outcome. “If it doesn’t contribute to conversion, it’s friction.” @tonyzara

We look at it from two lens: A. Increasing the conversion rate of a site is the common answers. B. Increase the AOV of people buying on the site Both can happen together or one and not the other. @duanebrown

Cool Rookies Only…or chief revenue officer. @JonKagan

For me, Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of giving your users/customers everything they may need to make a frictionless conversion on your site. This ranges from making your ad copy relevant to the landing page to providing an easy conversion process. @C_J_Ridley

Q2: Do you have any experience in CRO (conversion rate optimization) and/or have you worked on or with the teams who are responsible for the website/landing page experience?

Yes, I have worked doing surveys, user studies, etc… They take time, but they are well worth the effort. @lchasse

Yes, I love improving CRO, it’s fun to me. With internal teams, external teams, multiple stakeholders, compliance arms of orgs, or just me noodling around in G Optimize or Optimizely or Unbounce trying new reccos or ideas I’ve had. Depends on software & processes too @timmhalloran

My background, before PPC, is in web design with a general marketing focus before that. So yes, I ALWAYS have thoughts on what might make the web experience better and convert more. I always share those thoughts and sometimes get to work on the landing pages. @NeptuneMoon

Yeah. I’m 7:0 against Conversion Rate Experts. @stevegibsonppc

I know a few things about CRO but am not CRO trained. I actively work with our design and CRO team to create a seamless experience for users. @sonofgorkhali

CRO has been around since the first direct response ads. Retailers used to use mail in coupons to gauge response rates to different copy or calls to action. I’ve personally worked on CRO from everything from nationwide infomercial upsells to B2B checkouts. @tonyzara

Not yet, which is a shame and one of out biggest issues. The silos – and client not realising the need of a new team for this. In an interview for a PPC role, I was asked questions about optimizing the LP. I responded – you will need a CRO for this. @TheMarketingAnu

Not enough hands on, practical experience through the whole process but I’ve worked with teams and made my suggestions on what I feel would do well I’m certain instances. I am currently working closely with a client who’s just moved to Shopify on their CRO. @dylanppc

No surprise – I didn’t hear back. No regrets either. It’s two different roles and both should be given equal importance. @TheMarketingAnu

Spend 2 years working at @unbounce. Spent time before that working on sites and landing pages for brands like @ASOS and @JackWills to improve our paid acquisition numbers. Got started in lead gen and working with SMBs in Australia. Which is all LPs all the time.. @duanebrown

Yep, it is the first step in saying I am about to annoy the living daylights out of the UX and PM team. @JonKagan

In B2B, conversion optimization can be a red herring to a certain degree. It can be easy to get lots of very low-value, poorly qualified conversions. Within the last few quarters, we’re taking fewer conversions for more intent/revenue. @tunadonut

Oh hey, CRO is my jam. I’ve found that it dovetails really nicely with inclusion and accessibility work, and the measurement aspect is integral to my work with finding privacy-safe analytics solutions. @ferkungamaboobo

Q3: Is it part of your regular practice to review landing pages and/or websites when either pitching or working on PPC accounts? Why or why not?

YES!!! I review the potential client’s site and landing pages and I also look at their top competitors. I want to know what I’m up against, both with their properties and what the experience is like for potential customers on other advertisers’ sites. @NeptuneMoon

Yes, but honestly it is way to reactionary. @JonKagan

It depends on the client. Some want the feedback and others do not. I always provide some insight for ads I am running though no matter what. I feel like doing PPC without doing any CRO is like installing cabinets, but no doors. It is only half the job. @lchasse

We have had ad strategies fail because of UX problems. When we point to the UX after the campaigns are launched it looks like we are trying to shift blame for poor performance. CRO is now part of our onboarding. @tonyzara

Not for pitching (have hardly been in that process) but definitely when it’s my responsibility to put keywords + ad copy together. I have actually once been asked to do that before the LP was ready. I said NO! @TheMarketingAnu

You are doomed if you don’t review LP and message from a potential buyer’s POV. As a marketer, I review LP, review messaging, understand the audience visiting those pages and the medium they arrived from, CTA & Goals. @sonofgorkhali

Yes! And it’s a constant battle with our clients to get their PPC landing pages optimized. @marketingsoph

It depends on what I’m being asked to do. If I’m in charge of increasing the profits, then that’s going to be the most important lever. But, if they’ve got their own people who are doing a good job, I’ll usually leave it alone. @stevegibsonppc

Yes, specifically for B2B (but also in general). If you have a goal of X % increase in leads in a specific time period and I review your LP and see that it’s bad, I won’t recommend pumping money into ads till that is at a minimum, adequate. @timmhalloran

The first thing I do for new clients or pitching is reviewing the LPs and their competitors. Although while working on existing clients, I have been guilty of keeping my head too stuck in the GAds account that I don’t go back and review the site when performance drops. @dylanppc

Yes, to a point. We review LPs and make suggestions, but do not make the optimizations unless scoped. @beyondthepaid

Yes, it is for clients: retainer and those who hired us for a one-off audit. Many things happen outside of the ad account. @duanebrown

Yes, on-page content is a crucial part of PPC. We have turned down prospects before whose websites were so bad we didn’t think we had a chance at winning with their ads account. @PPCKirk

Always always always! PPC as a practice is almost always WAY more than just optimizing media spend. CRO starts with ad copy, but it can’t be effective if the copy and design of your landing page aren’t gonna convert. @ferkungamaboobo

Q4: Do your clients or stakeholders view the post-click experience to be part of your responsibility? How do you address post-click issues with them when you find them?

Most of our clients understand that the post-click experience is on them, although we can help consult and make recos. Again – unless we are scoped for CRO. @beyondthepaid

Sometimes depending on the client, but most of the time no. When I worked in-house it was 100% my team’s responsibility. @lchasse

They don’t before coming to us as many agencies don’t do CRO work or think/talk about that post-click experience. Many agencies are so focused on the ad account they miss the forest of opportunity. Plus many don’t know any better I bet too. @duanebrown

Typically, on-page stuff is not in the scope of an initial project. If my help is desired, it gets added. I am very straightforward when there are site issues. Sugarcoating it doesn’t help – even if they are in love with their site. Be respectful, but truthful. @NeptuneMoon

In my experience, it’s less of them thinking it’s our responsibility & more of them just not seeing the importance in it or putting resources to rectify issues. @marketingsoph

There is a delicate balance between a post-click experience being the responsibility of the marketing, design & CRO team. Educating stakeholders on how this works helps. @sonofgorkhali

Yes and no. Not from the implementation side of things, but for advice and suggestions. The problem is that they usually aren’t willing to pay for the changes to be implemented. @dylanppc

Depends what we negotiate. If we negotiate that it’s my responsibility, then we start talking about what that looks like – including how many split-tests/landing pages I’m getting. @stevegibsonppc

CR is literally a multiplier for ads. We have to take an interest if we want to be good stewards of client money. It’s amazing to me how blind clients are to their own checkout flow. Our first diagnostic for performance dips: order a product and screenshot friction. @tonyzara

It depends on the client if they view it as part of the agency’s role. Sometimes, there’s other stakeholders and teams in charge. But really, any time that the PPC agency can’t control the whole experience, I’ve seen results drop off significantly! @ferkungamaboobo

Case by case. Some don’t want to hear it from me, some need it and want it. @JonKagan

Original comment was too long so pasted it instead. Tldr: every pro/con factor in the CX needs to be made known if it is known. I believe that part is MY responsibility. Whether that means I/my team do it or some1 else is a contract and not a performance convo. @timmhalloran

Q5: What is the biggest hindrance, post-click, that you have encountered for the accounts you have worked on? Were you able to do anything about it?

Where do I start? Overly long forms. Popovers that you can’t figure out how to close. Silly intrusive chat functions interrupting the conversion process. Hiding the conversion button/form. @beyondthepaid

Improper tracking and the battle of beauty vs function vs purpose on a page. @JonKagan

Two big ones actually. (1) checkout process and (2) site speed. Some companies ask for a way too much or make the checkout process very difficult. Site speed is also always a killer. People will leave if the site is slow. @lchasse

Client was extremely niche. Web site purchase flow had significant usability issues, which we noted from go. Referral traffic from an amazing source produced abysmal conversions. It should have been easily 80% from this source. Was less than 10%. @NeptuneMoon

Figuring out what the call to action is. I need to know that because it’s important for an ad. If it’s not clear on the page – or there are multiple, I get confused and annoyed! @TheMarketingAnu

Clients rely too much on tech and tend to over-optimize rather than focusing on customer value. Simple and clear is always better. Looking at you, Spin2Win. @tonyzara

I had one client – a £multi-million company – whose onboarding was… how should I put this?…On the spectrum. I walked them through it and showed them it was killing their PPC ROAS. It didn’t get fixed. They accused me of making excuses and fired me. LOL. @stevegibsonppc

EVERY MONTH we brought this up. They never changed anything but complained about low conversion rates EVERY MONTH. Don’t work with them anymore. You can’t make people make better decisions. Even if it is SO OBVIOUS what the issue is! @NeptuneMoon

BTW, they agreed with my breakdown of the onboarding. They still accused me of “making excuses.” I laughed on my way out the door.  @stevegibsonppc

Landing pages which completely fail at providing information about the product/service, specifications or USPs. Completely overestimating the visitors experience or knowledge of the brand. @marketingsoph

The biggest thing I’ve seen is copy. I feel a naive understanding of CRO leads to obsession with the SaaS squeeze page layout, ignoring that people still need to be sold after the click! Long copy is good! Sell the product! Get those differentiators in! @ferkungamaboobo

When the client’s developers added their cookie pop-up, they added a box for marketing cookies that was automatically unchecked. So users often opted out of any marketing tracking, so purch. & rev. wasn’t tracked in GA for a week. @dylanppc

It is always convincing people to try something new or different than what they think things should look like. Change is hard. @duanebrown

Disconnect between ad experience & page experience. The ad should peak interest (like the back back of a book), the LP should continue the story, the header should be like the exposition at the start of a chapter etc. That…and long forms. @timmhalloran

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