D&C Episode 45 – Podcast Episode Feature Image (WP Featured Image)

Drive and Convert (Ep. 045): Why Brands Don’t Invest In CRO (And What It’s Costing Them)

In this episode, Ryan and Jon talk about the most common reasons that ecommerce brands don't invest in CRO and explain why it's likely holding them back from hitting their goals.

Listen to this episode:

About This Episode:

Fill a room with 100 ecommerce managers and ask them where they are investing their time, energy, and resources to try and hit their growth goals. Chances are, most of them will check the box for Paid Ads, Influencer Marketing, or SEO…but far fewer will have a strategy for conversion rate optimization.

In this episode, Ryan and Jon review the most common reasons why ecommerce brands don’t invest in CRO, and why that might be holding them back from reaching their potential. If you’re directing most of your spend toward acquisition and ignoring conversion or retention, you may want to listen in to get an outside perspective from two industry experts.

Listen to the full episode if you want to learn:

  1. Why most brands fail to invest in CRO
  2. What information gaps or misconceptions hold them back
  3. What a reasonable testing and optimization budget looks like
  4. Why more traffic doesn’t always equal more revenue
  5. Realistic expectations around cost, timing, and impact for a CRO program

If you have questions, ideas, or feedback to share, hit us up on Twitter. We’re @jonmacdonald and @ryangarrow.

Subscribe To The Show:

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] Jon MacDonald: You’re listening to driving convert a podcast about helping online brands to build a better e-commerce growth engine with Jon MacDonald and Ryan Garrow.

[00:00:16] Ryan Garrow: John, a few months ago, you posted an article about why brands don’t invest in CRO. I love that article. There’s some great points in there. And this is, I guess, any e-commerce person out there listening to this. I’m guessing you have to be e-commerce to find this podcast valuable. Otherwise you just listen to some great voices.

[00:00:37] Put this podcast I’ll pause and go subscribe to John’s email list@thegood.com. It’s really cool articles come out. I think you do something weekly. I don’t know how you have the time, but I think something weekly comes out. It’s kind of disgusting how often you are able to put content out. I said, sometimes I actually get, I get logical position clients emailing me asking for meetings because they’re reading your articles.

[00:01:03] Like, Hey, I want to talk about, in fact I have one later today, somebody wants to talk about discounting cause he read your discounting article and then listened to our podcast. He’s like, Ryan, I really want to get a call on the, on the books about discounting. Of course,

[00:01:15] Jon MacDonald: of course, hopefully I’m not getting you in trouble.

[00:01:17] How’s that? No,

[00:01:18] Ryan Garrow: no, it’s fun because I get to talk strategy. I don’t have to execute it because the team gets to do that part. So my job is easy. So for me, it’s fun. But all that to say, we know brands are not investing enough in CRO. I mean, that’s a pretty easy stat for me to, without even knowing all the data behind it to state that.

[00:01:37] And so today I’m excited because I get to hear from the horse’s mouth. On the eight reasons that you’ve come up with are basically boil it down to eight reasons that you see day in and day out. Why brands are not investing appropriately in CRO or commercial optimization. Lots of people are aware of CRO and lots of people are skeptical about you.

[00:01:55] Snake oil salespeople, CRO guys, why is that happening? And what are you hearing from brands you’re talking to about their skepticism or their, their nervousness around. Putting money into regular commercial rate optimization with an expert like yourself.

[00:02:12] Jon MacDonald: Look, I think that there are eight reasons that we’ve come up with that folks don’t typically do CRO.

[00:02:21] So we can just break those down and talk about each of those today. Let’s just dive right in with the first one. Uh, that is a lack of understanding around what conversion rate optimization is. So I think this is almost a given, but it’s most important to mention that because look, the definition of CRO or conversion rate optimization.

[00:02:42] It’s different based on who you talk to. If they’re a traffic generation agency, a focus CRO agency, a web development shop. And so almost everybody I talked to who comes to us has somewhat of a skewed perception of what conversion rate optimization is, especially compared to what I and the team here at the goods.

[00:03:07] And hopefully you as well since we’ve been talking for quite some time on this podcast, et cetera, but I think this is due in part because a ton of full service and I’ll, I’ll, can’t see about it. I would put that in air quotes, um, marketing agencies claim that they do C R O and you know, I don’t think there’s any mal-intent.

[00:03:27] I just feel like a lot of them list this as a bullet point on their website as a way to kind of bolster their service offerings or because they hear about it in sales conversations, they’re saying, Hey, you know, we can drive more traffic. And the client says, yeah, that’s great. But I also want to optimize the site to be able to convert higher.

[00:03:46] And so maybe they list that as a bullet point on their side of something that they do, but they rarely are doing anything close to what real or full conversion optimization. What is. So, what does that mean? Well, a true optimization program is going to resolve around data back decision-making and it’s going to be done in an iterative manner.

[00:04:07] It’s really clear to say that there’s no list of best practices that you’re just going to apply overnight, and it’s going to solve everything instead. It’s really all about how businesses understand how their customer see, engage and navigate. With a website. And so that’s really the key here, right. Is, is, is increasing the percentage of website visitors that convert into customers.

[00:04:30] And that’s all that matters is getting them to take a desired action that you want on your website. So like any scientific process here, there really should be no guessing involved. And that means you can’t really. Simply apply a list of best practices and move on. And unfortunately that’s what a lot of brands think that CRO is.

[00:04:52] Ryan Garrow: Um, I’m pretty confident logical position has lost a few deals because we haven’t seen. Oh, we do CRO because I’ll get RFPs or I’ll get brands I’m talking to, and they’ll say, yeah, we want to talk about paid search and SEO and oh, by the way, do you manage our Insta page or some other variant of that to help increase, optimize for conversions?

[00:05:14] And I was like, oh my God, I can’t even go into that conversation necessarily. But I just could tell that like simply like Insta page or a variant, that can be helpful tools, but they are. CRO that is not CRO, that is trying to fix a terrible website with a JavaScript

[00:05:31] Jon MacDonald: overlay. Well, yeah, and it’s, uh, you know, a lot of these are third-party tools that aren’t solving the onsite issues.

[00:05:39] Right. And so that, that leads me to my second point, which is that lack of understanding around what conversion optimization even involved. Right. So, so many brands are interested in optimizing their site, but they’ve read these best practice articles and they don’t understand what goes into a successful program.

[00:05:56] So reading these articles gives them a misrepresentation of how conversion rate optimization is actually done so many things to check. It cannot be boiled down to a checklist. Unfortunately, you think about launching a rocket ship, right? When you’re launching a rocket ship. Yeah. You need the checklist to understand that you’ve touched on everything, but if you don’t know what that checklist means and how to even put the checklist together, then the rocket’s not going anywhere.

[00:06:23] Right. And it’s the same thing with conversion optimization. You know, you can look online and see all of these checklists, but if you don’t understand how that applies to your site or should it even apply to you. You know, there’s a few of these that I’ve noticed, right? The first is optimization as a single person’s role.

[00:06:41] And what I mean by that is so many of these larger marketing generalist firms, the challenge that they have is they listed as a bullet point. And then they say, yeah, you know, we have someone who does optimization is CRO is such a complex multi-faceted process that you really need collaboration between.

[00:06:59] Lots of different specialists and that’s the teams that we formed here at the good, because we realized this is not a one and one person job, right? So you need data scientists to collect and make sense of all the clicks and movements on your site, user researchers, they help identify and solve the problems from that data.

[00:07:18] You ask strategists that develop solutions for all the problems that get found and even web developers just to. Implement and build the tests and all the testing platforms. So that’s just, you know, not even talking about having an understanding from copywriting or design or even project management, this is not a simple project management, right?

[00:07:38] You got to keep lots of things moving and really have an understanding of the data side of things. So it’s perfectly fine to optimize a website based on best practices, but not concrete data. That that’s the last one I hear all the time. Uh, best practice articles provide great ideas. It’s a good starting spot, but it’s important to remember that just one of these tactics may have worked for somebody else.

[00:08:02] It doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. I always like to say that there’s a reason race horses wear blinders. If they’re looking. To the side or behind them all the time. They’re just going to be chasing somebody all the time and they’re never going to be out front leading. And if they really want to lead, then you need to be paying attention to your customers and optimizing based on what works for you and for them.

[00:08:26] So I think in summary here, there’s, there’s a certain amount of guests. That’s involved in conversion optimization, and I think that’s just flatly wrong. I think a specialist will tell you that every test that gets implemented should always be backed by prior research to support. Uh, scientific methodology, like the

[00:08:44] Ryan Garrow: hypothesis research on that site, which would be important.

[00:08:47] Yeah. Not research in general, like, oh, I did research and found out that this page should look like this. Like, no, no, it’s what, it’s your site till

[00:08:53] Jon MacDonald: you even, I heard of research so many brands come to us and say, well, you know, love your conversion growth program. Want to move forward? It does, you know, I didn’t hear you talk about competitive research and we really need competitive research.

[00:09:04] And then I go into a, get on my soap box for 30 minutes and tell them why they should be chasing their competitors and how they don’t even know if they’re being opted into a test or if it’s working for them. And unfortunately, some folks don’t want to hear that. They just want to chase their competition.

[00:09:20] Ryan Garrow: Or it’s a line item that was directed to them. Like, Hey, we need some competitor research this year. Here’s a hundred grand go, come, go research competitors. Right. And I, I find it interesting. Like if I was able to summarize it kind of from my I’m not the CRO expert, but if you’ve got somebody that is coming to you with quote unquote CRM, I’m using my air quote fingers.

[00:09:40] Um, and they’re starting with a hypothesis other than your conversion rate could be higher. Like they’re saying, oh, well, our pathologists is, if you move this year, it’s going to do better. Uh, already that would raise red flags for me because your team doesn’t go and win saying, this is where you’re going to see the increase.

[00:09:57] It’s like, let’s go look at the data first. Then we go test. There is no hypothesis around. What’s gonna increase conversion rate. It’s. Right. Exactly. All the hypothesis is we’re getting increased conversion rates and that’s not even a hypothesis. That’s just the fact

[00:10:11] Jon MacDonald: that we’re going to do. Yeah, definitely.

[00:10:13] Well, I think, you know, there’s a lot of things to be thinking about here. I think budget is a big one, too. We hear all the time.

[00:10:20] Ryan Garrow: Yeah, this is, this is my favorite point that you have

[00:10:22] Jon MacDonald: here. I don’t want to steal your thunder. Go ahead and say the point

[00:10:26] Ryan Garrow: it blows me because obviously I’m on the traffic side.

[00:10:29] And so I obviously advocate constantly for more traffic and pay for the right traffic. But the stat that you called out in your article for every $92 spent acquiring customers, only a dollar is spent in increasing the conversion rate or getting them to convert. I mean, That’s an astronomical difference.

[00:10:49] That doesn’t make any sense because if you’re paying for traffic, that’s only a small piece of the overall traffic. Probably some smaller brands spend more problems, but if you increase the conversion. It’s on all of the traffic, not direct email, organic, like things that maybe don’t have a direct cost for acquisition.

[00:11:09] It just is stupid to me, but nothing surprises me anymore, nurse in our spaces. So it’s just a crazy number.

[00:11:17] Jon MacDonald: Yeah. I think that that’s really interesting, right. Categorizing CRO as an expense rather than an investment. And so, but it’s something that has a measurable ROI, right? It’s a misconception that unfortunately I see so frequently and that that’s really what, what bugs me about this, right?

[00:11:34] If I could make you 92 to one returns. Wouldn’t you like that? I mean, I it’s, it’s so huge that just, you know, I mean, I guess this is where logical position is 92 times bigger than the good, right. And that’s why, that’s how I look at this. Uh, but you know, Hey, I’m here to fight the good fight I’m with you on this.

[00:11:56] But I think at the same point, it really pains me to see this happen because the truth is CRO can have the greatest return on investment compared to almost any other marketing strategy. Can you continually spend on CRO for years and do you have to, no, I don’t think you do. I think that you need to get your site to a great point and then you can dial it back a little bit, perhaps.

[00:12:20] Right. But the reality here is that so many brands focus only on traffic generation, that they’re leaving a lot of money on that. That’s a big challenge. You’re listening to driving convert the podcast focused on e-commerce growth. Your hosts are John MacDonald, founder of the good conversion rate optimization agency that works with e-commerce brands to help convert more of their visitors into buyers.

[00:12:46] Ryan Guerro of logical position, digital marketing agency offering pay-per-click management search engine optimization and website design services to brands of all sizes. If you find this podcast helpful, please help us out by leaving a review on apple podcasts and sharing it with a friend or colleague.

[00:13:05] Thank you.

[00:13:08] Ryan Garrow: Now, do you kind of see in the CRO space, he kind of like increase plateau, stop CRO then a year later spend on CRO plateau and then like that stepping stone or is it generally the large brands are continuing to spend and.

[00:13:22] Jon MacDonald: That’s a great question. I think generally we have brands we’ve worked with for 6, 7, 8 years, you know, and we’re consistently moving around their site.

[00:13:33] You know, here’s the reality is that the internet is always changing. Consumer preferences are always changing. Devices are always changing, right. It just keeps going. So there’s so many. Changes in the industry with technology and just e-commerce in general look like the whole Facebook issues happening right now.

[00:13:50] And the iOS issues coming out with the iOS 15, coming out with apples, uh, you know, killing email stats. There’s so many reasons that things change on a regular basis that you really need to be considering. And the one thing that really doesn’t change as much as the fact that you can get a ton of data from your website and that people have.

[00:14:11] And so I think that that is really key, uh, on a lot of these items. I think, you know, that’s really, we go to traffic over optimization in these brands, you know, in terms of the budget, where does that budget go? Well, they’re spending a lot of money to generate traffic. And they think that that’s going to translate into immediate revenue gains.

[00:14:30] And on a lot of times I hear even a higher conversion rate, but I think, you know, there reaches a point and correct me if I’m wrong. Cause you’re the traffic guy here for sure. There reaches a point where you’ve, you’ve saturated all of the Hyatt. Keywords. And now you’re spending money going after unbranded keywords that are more generic, which means you’re going to get more generic traffic, not necessarily a bad thing, because you still get them to your site.

[00:14:52] You still have an opportunity to convince them and do everything else, but generally they’re going to convert. And so the more you spend eventually that’s going to plateau for sure. And then you look at it and you say, okay, that’s when, while your ad spend can continue to go up and you reach a larger audience, but your conversion rates starts to plateau.

[00:15:13] That’s when you bring in some. To optimize your site. And then it becomes like adding fuel to a fire because you’re getting your conversion rate on your site back up. And that traffic you’re spending is showing that much better of a return on that ad spend. I’m having

[00:15:28] Ryan Garrow: a lot of conversations, ACL bring in a great.

[00:15:31] Term or platform right now that I’m hearing so much about and Tik TOK, we’re getting introductions to lots of brands. We don’t manage tick talk yet. It’s too new. And we haven’t been able to see that there’s a way to, to optimize it or really generate enough direct response for e-comm brands that we focus on.

[00:15:48] But everybody wants to get on it. Cause there’s like this big FOMO kind of like Pinterest is still a big buzzy one. That’s just has garbage returns so far. But when I paint the picture of the. Like you have to build from the foundation up. Like if you’re not capturing the bottom of the funnel or brand brand plus terms, or just high quality non-brand terms that convert well, why would you be dumping a bunch of money at the top of that funnel?

[00:16:14] Because you’re building it for your competitors. And so when you jumped to a Tik TOK or Pinterest is more about branding. Blasting money. So I think this funnel for me, as I’m focusing on traffic, there probably needs to be a spot where CRO plays into that. Like most brands should be doing CRO, but when you’re explaining this conceptually to a lot of companies that want to invest on Tik TOK, like, well, why are you going to go spend 50 grand on Tik TOK?

[00:16:37] That’s going to generate maybe $5,000 in revenue, maybe. That $50,000 should be earmarked in theory for CRO, at least because then everything below the funnel is going to be converting much better and you’re going to get a higher return on all of that stuff. And then that makes the next layer of non-brand shopping traffic do better.

[00:17:02] And then you maybe you’re ready for something like a tick talk to start filling that so you can convert it. I mean, it’s just, it’s too much chicken for the egg, but flashy things like Tik TOK come up. Really that that’s your answer right now to increasing site revenue is tick tock. It’s not going to work,

[00:17:19] Jon MacDonald: but that just goes to show you how desperate that I think maybe that’s, that’s too harsh of a word, but I think we’re coming up on a holiday.

[00:17:28] And, you know, everybody’s still having an issue with Facebook and now Apple’s releasing stuff right before the prime holiday season. I think there’s just a lot of compounding effects here that are all pointing to optimize what you can control and focus on that. And the biggest part is your website. And yet very few people do it.

[00:17:52] This leads me to my next point, Ryan, which is. Uh, concern that a lot of e-commerce managers are going to look like they failed. And so they don’t want to have someone come in and criticize their website and all the effort they’ve put in on it. And they’ve gone to bat for apps they’ve installed, they’ve gone to bat for a bunch of different things.

[00:18:09] And, and so, Hey, if we bring someone in to tear apart our site and scrutinize everything that they feel like that might look bad in the end. And so I think the reality is how we get around that at the good is we focus on. The consumer making the consumer’s shopping experiences frictionless as possible.

[00:18:28] And in that, by focusing on them, we’re never criticizing what the econ manager did. We’re always saying, this is what consumers prefer. Let’s take a look at X, Y, and Z. I often say that it’s really hard to read the label from inside the jar. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing that from me. Now, the reality is it’s still true to this day that.

[00:18:50] It’s just, you’re so close to your website, that it’s really hard to understand what it’s like for a new to file customer darn near impossible. And I struggle with this even on the good.com, like every day I’m having consumer conversations. And I still struggle when someone says, Hey, I don’t know where to find your case studies.

[00:19:06] And it’s like, but I put results. It says results in the main navigation, where else would you go? Right. But to them, they’re like, I’m looking for the case studies button. So you think about things like that. And it’s like, yeah, it makes sense to them. I should pay attention to what they’re saying. Right.

[00:19:21] It’s still hard for me to see the label from inside the jar on what I’m doing. So I definitely have empathy for folks there, but again, I think if you bring someone in to just flat out, tear down your website and leave it at that. Yeah. It’s not going to look good, but if you bring someone in with the approach of helping you see what consumers see that.

[00:19:40] I think that that has more of an empathy approach to it. Yeah. Nobody likes

[00:19:44] Ryan Garrow: being told they have an ugly baby and websites said e-commerce is camera’s manager, but at the end of the day, it’s like, well, do you want to win? Or do you want to have, you know, the pride of either you built that site, I’d prefer, meaning you got gotta let egos get checked up.

[00:19:58] Don’t you start hiring experts like I do. Yeah, I know Google ads better than most. And if they’re managing and I’m gonna, I’m going to tell them they’re not doing a great job, but we can make it look better. And if you want more revenue and a better strategy kind of work with us. Yeah.

[00:20:13] Jon MacDonald: Well, and I think one, one way to kind of sidestep this ego, if you’re an econ manager is to be thinking about, uh, why it makes sense to hire a specialist and just to say, I’m not a specialist in.

[00:20:24] I know enough to be dangerous as people say, but I think that this is the next thing is that a lot of brands just don’t understand why hiring a specialist makes a difference. Right? So many e-commerce businesses believe that they can just hire their traffic or marketing agency to do CRO because they’ve been pitched on it so many times.

[00:20:44] And it’s an upsell from their current plan with that, that agency. But think about it this way right now, if you were getting. Uh, knee surgery. You probably wouldn’t go to your general practitioner doctor, right? You should go to a knee surgeon who knows the knees inside and out has done it a million times.

[00:21:02] You just won’t get the same results from a nonspecialist as you would with somebody who this is all they focus on. And yeah, I, as I’m saying it, maybe that sounds a little self-serving, but the reality is it’s also a great way to be, um, letting your team internally know. Okay. We’re going to bring someone in and yes, they’re going to change things about our site and yes, they’re going to point out flaws and issues, but let’s be honest.

[00:21:28] We’re not experts at. And that’s okay. Um, and that usually takes a lot of stress out of that.

[00:21:34] Ryan Garrow: Yeah. I mean, you’re, you’re a king of analogies constantly. You do a great job with that when you’re speaking. And so your analogies resonate with people, but I think the, the medical one is a good one because if we rewind five years ago, Our industry was still young enough that there was a lot of general practitioners and that was good enough for most people.

[00:21:55] But now as we’ve matured as an, as an online marketing industry, e-commerce industries. And there are experts in certain fields now and you, and you could probably see in universities, there’s not just digital marketing degree, but there’s maybe specialties of driving traffic convert, or there should be, if there’s not yet, we need to talk to some of those universities, but I feel like we are at a spot where we’ve got a lot of experts that can, are really, really good.

[00:22:22] Like. If you’re a small business and you general practitioners probably going to be okay for right now, but if you really want to grow or really want to get into what you, your vision is where you really want to get healthy, you’re going to have an expert that takes care of your knees and expert that takes care of your ear, nose, throat, all of these things, to make sure that your entire self or your entire business is doing what it can or should be.

[00:22:45] That’s why I don’t ever talk CRO I’m like,

[00:22:49] Jon MacDonald: well, but I think you made a good point. You made a good point there, Ryan, like I think based on our conversation, do you know enough to help a brand who is at the stage where it doesn’t make sense to invest in, in a full CRO specialist? Right. And so I think this is the next point is.

[00:23:08] A lot of brains, don’t meet the traffic requirements, right. They’re below that level where it makes sense. And so what do I mean by that? Well, you have to have enough traffic to be able to turn data into insights. If you don’t have enough data, you don’t have enough visitors, then you’re not really going to be able to find the right insights and move forward from there.

[00:23:26] So this is one of the most common barriers I see is that in order to carry out proper testing on a site, you really need to have enough traffic. And if you don’t, you should really look at finding that individual that can help you, or if they good, we’ve come out with some small and medium business services, as well as our one-time audit that we can do.

[00:23:50] And I think we specifically did that because we get so many inquiries from brands who need help, but can’t afford a true optimization service and a per ongoing program that is. Yeah, it would move the needle for a bigger brand, but if they’re too small and they don’t have enough traffic, we can’t show them a return on investment.

[00:24:09] So really at that point, you’re looking at perhaps working with an individual who can do this or working with our team, but doing it on a bit smaller scale. And that’s, you know, where we thought we should be helping these. We get that request so much

[00:24:26] Ryan Garrow: traffic is important and the right traffic, you can go buy cheap display traffic and maybe hit the requirements.

[00:24:33] Yeah, that’s true. It’s not going to be there. It’s got there’s there’s stepping stones to size to make CRO work, but even be an appropriate line item because it’s not. In generally I’m forgive me. If I’m generalizing, like spend the 10 grand a month on CRO and next month you are making a hundred thousand dollars more revenue because of that 10 grand.

[00:24:54] That’s it. You’ve got to make sure your business is making appropriate decisions.

[00:24:58] Jon MacDonald: Sure. I think at the same time, a lot of brands come to us and say, Hey, you know, I’m just going to take money away from. Traffic generation and, and, and do optimization. I’m always like, no, no, no, no. You need the drive. The same amount of traffic.

[00:25:10] Uh, you can’t just cut that budget because then we’re not going to have the traffic to test with. So when I hear that, I always push back and say, no, no, this has to be an investment you make on top of your traffic generation. This is not in replacement of, so for people that don’t

[00:25:24] Ryan Garrow: know you enough, what’s that traffic threshold.

[00:25:27] Like

[00:25:27] Jon MacDonald: I want to see. Around 50,000 unique sessions per month for our flagship programs to conversion growth, site-wide

[00:25:36] Ryan Garrow: organic direct.

[00:25:37] Jon MacDonald: It is sessions just site-wide sessions. Um, it doesn’t, I don’t care where that traffic’s coming from for the most part. Again, I don’t want it to be crap traffic. Right. I want, I don’t want them to be just sending 50,000 people.

[00:25:51] The site was improper expectations. I want them to be, to be as quality traffic as they would want to be able to convert. Now, if you have less than that, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It just means, Hey, we probably shouldn’t be doing AB testing on your site. So what are some other options, right? While we could still do user tests.

[00:26:09] Right. We could still do eye-tracking studies. We could still do a heuristic evaluation of your site based on our experiences. You know, we could still do customer service interviews. There’s a lot of other data points that are out there that aren’t AB testing. And so I think that’s an important for folks to understand.

[00:26:30] Ryan Garrow: Good. All right. I think we have, if I’m counting correctly, one more point.

[00:26:34] Jon MacDonald: Yes. Yeah. Uh, that it takes too long or sometimes it’s just really hard to get started. The onboarding challenges. I get it. Like if you’re investing in this, you want to start seeing results as soon as possible to know you’re getting back your investment.

[00:26:50] But I think it’s important to call out that if. An agency offering immediate results. That that should be a massive red flag. I like to tell folks that you should be budgeting for at least six months. If you can’t do optimization for six months, then you’re not ready for, it really does not mean you wouldn’t see results sooner.

[00:27:10] It’s very common. I mean, we just ran a test for a $50 million brand. Uh, last week it was our first test for them in month one. And we earned. Another $1.6 million from that one test. So in the first month we’ve paid for working with us for years. I mean, we should be charging way more. Uh, but the reality is that, you know, is that happen every month?

[00:27:34] No, it doesn’t happen every single time. We’re kicking off a new client. We will show results and it will show that yes, there’s there’s revenue to be had here. And, but, you know, it’s six months, these changes we’ve made, we’ve worked our way around the site. We’re starting to get to the point where we’re, we’re doing much smaller tests, but it’s also at the point where it’s more sustainable.

[00:27:56] So that’s all really, really helpful there. Lastly, I, you know, I think it’s, it’s just hitting on that point that it’s an iterative process, right. Really focus on the onboarding aspect of what’s happening upfront. Are they setting up the data correctly? Are you analyzing all the consumer interactions?

[00:28:13] You’re doing user testing. There’s a lot of those type of items that really need to come into play. So I think that’s a really, the last point is just the. Some folks think it takes too long and some folks have challenges getting started because they don’t have the right data or they’re not ready to be data-driven.

[00:28:31] And so if you can get over those two things, then, then I think you’d be a great candidate for CRO.

[00:28:36] Ryan Garrow: Nice. Okay. So that man, there’s a lot to unpack. Some people listen to this might have to listen to it a couple of times to really get every. Out of this, because this is again, one of John’s I think more meaty articles.

[00:28:48] It just had so much to chew on, to work through when it comes to CRO, but there’s a lot of things that keep a company from spending on CRO. Uh, one is not understanding what CRO even is. It’s not just changing button colors and, you know, making some guesses and seeing what happens and a lack of understanding around what it involves.

[00:29:06] So CRO is, is not simple. It’s complex. It involves a lot of. It’s not one person just going off and playing on the website to try to see if they can make it work better to CRO does work better because there’s experts. Do the data tests, budget. They gotta know that you’re investing, uh, for traffic, you need to be investing in making a work better.

[00:29:27] And many companies will try to move budget from the traffic to converting, but it’s, it’s an, it’s an, and like traffic and converting and improving conversion rates. The egos that come into play, that’s a big one. Can’t ignore the fact that some econ managers are, are nervous about making their website look bad or making them look as if they.

[00:29:46] Bad decisions on the apps they put on, but real CRO should be looking at the customer journey, not the site itself. And that’s, we’re helping customers, not necessarily making the site look bad or what’s happening in the site. And then there is a misunderstanding around. And this in our industries, like there are experts for certain things, and there’s a lot of value to having the best of the best, and then putting it under the veil of kind of like the medical field, where there are specific experts, brain surgery requires a neurosurgeon, not an MD.

[00:30:14] So make sure that you’re understanding that CRO is a, is a specialty, not a bolt to your social agency. Paid search agency and some companies just don’t have the traffic yet. So they’re not, they’re not there for true CRO, you know, and the number you use as kind of a baseline is 50,000 unique sessions a month before real true CRO can be donor making.

[00:30:38] Uh, for the brand. And then there’s a, a lot of companies have this idea that it takes too long to get to for CRO to pencil. So they can’t start now because they need to show quick ROI and where it’s going to take too long to onboard. And they, again, they’ve gotta be able to be in it for at least six months.

[00:30:54] I set the same expectation for SEO. Like if you’re doing SEO six months out, so that I think that expectation’s already there for sure. Pieces of the online space, I think for CRO just needs to be reiterated that because of all the actual data, you just, you can’t just spend a dollar an hour and get $10 tomorrow.

[00:31:12] Like I’d love for that to be the fact of all kinds of things, but it’s not the case. If it was, I would go to all these sites and say, I will pay for your CRO. If you give me the upside down. Oh, there you go. It doesn’t work. And I still have, you know, that dollar in my, in my John, any, any last points or things that you really want to hammer home, uh, on this, when it comes

[00:31:35] Jon MacDonald: to, that was an amazing recap.

[00:31:37] I think that’s a great note to end on and I appreciate you. Putting up with me on this episode to, to hit on all eight of these topics is this is a very meaty article and, uh, that this was based on it. And I think it’s super important though, to, to touch base on all this. So you’re allowing us to time.

[00:31:55] Ryan Garrow: Yeah, I am now a smarter person when it comes to Sierra yet. Again,

[00:32:00] Jon MacDonald: that’s the goal. Thanks, John.

Thanks for listening to Drive and Convert with Jon MacDonald and Ryan Garrow. To keep up to date with new episodes, you could subscribe at www.driveandconvert.com.

About the Author

James Sowers

James Sowers is the former Director of The Good Ventures. He has more than a decade of experience helping software and ecommerce companies accelerate their growth and improve their customer experience.