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10 blog posts by the most influential CRO experts

A/B Testing
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I’ve brought the top conversion rate optimisers’ top posts together in one place. Discover the best advice that each of these experts can offer in a blog post.

Find out the origins of this list of influencers at the end of the post.

What Every Marketer Needs to Know about Conversion Optimization

Neil Patel, co-founder of CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics and founder of Quicksprout, @neilpatel

Neil Patel is a prolific blog writer, so there was lots to choose from. This post has been shared far and wide but, if you haven’t read it yet, it really is a great article.

It covers three lessons:

  1. Friction could be your worst conversion enemy
  2. User anxiety can derail a high percentage of potential conversions
  3. What you remove is just as important as what you add

“What we often overlook is that behind every A/B test, copy change, color enhancement, and image improvement lurk the complex variables of human cognition and psychological responses.”

This post as useful for seasoned optimisers and newbies; Patel reminds us of the most important factors affecting conversions.

Beyond Web Analytics: 5 Types of Online Data You Should Be Tracking

Joanna Lord, VP of Marketing at Porch, @joannalord

Most businesses with an online presence use web analytics. 67% of Fortune 500 companies use Google Analytics. Utilising web analytics is now standard. Lord’s blog post aims to help marketeers get to the next level by highlighting other areas to work on.

Get ahead of the competition by going beyond just web analytics to understand your customer flow, behaviour, pain points and lifecycle. Discover tools for gathering quantitative and qualitative data for 5 optimisation areas beyond web analytics.

6 Things I Do to My Landing Pages When My Conversion Rates Suck

Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce, @oligardner

This post offers insight into exactly what Oli would do for himself if his conversion rate was bad (as if). You know that if Oli does it this way you should too.

This article prompts you to look at your landing page critically and then sets you on the path to correcting the problems. What’s great about Oli’s advice is that he continues to reign you in. When you think “yeah, I’ve done that”, he makes you look again, really look.

“Focus on the task at hand and on making it the simplest experience it can possibly be.

If you have any extra links on your page, cut them down with a giant scythe.”

The post is also filled with plenty of examples to illustrate the points. After reading this you’ll be ready to whip your underperforming landing page into shape.

Avoiding SEO Pitfalls During Conversion Rate Optimization

Janet Driscoll Miller, founder of Marketing Mojo, @janetdmiller

Janet offers practical, technical solutions to marketing problems. This is a short post that tackles a specific problem, accidentally damaging your SEO when optimising your site.

Optimising your website is beneficial for SEO. What’s good for your users is also good for search engine ranking. However, it’s possible that little mistakes during site changes could see your site plunge down the search results.

Find out about the simple solution to avoiding any damaging effects of conversion optimisation.

Personas: The Magic behind the Mirror

Bryan Eisenberg, co-founder of IdealSpot, @TheGrok

Bryan Eisenberg and his brother Jeffrey wrote Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide. Their approach to optimisation revolves around “using storytelling and narratives to lift sales and communicate directives and values for [] clients.

They teach that you must understand your customers first, in order to effectively sell to them. This requires profiling your customers into personas, figures that represent your typical demographics. Details include age, education, typical day to day activities and pecking order in their workplace.

This post explains what personas are, why they’re so useful, how to create them and, last but not least, how to ensure that you put your personas to use.

Color Usability: 4 Keys to Clockwork Conversion

Angie Schottmuller, optimisation strategist, @aschottmuller

Talking about colour and conversions has gone somewhat out of vogue recently. There’s conflicting chatter out there on CRO and marketing blogs, some saying button colour doesn’t affect conversions, other reporting huge increases in click-through by changing the shade of blue.

“You don’t just want an obvious CTA on the page; you want the user’s eye to seek it out!”

Schottmuller writes that she has found a “pattern that consistently lead[s] to better user experience and conversion rates”. And what’s more, it’s scientific, rather than subjective.

Get ready to be fascinated by the clockwork colour conversion model.

Ideas for Creating Landing Pages for Ecommerce

Alex Harris, web designer and optimiser of Alex Designs, host of marketingoptimization.tv, @alexdesigns

Alex Harris spoke at Conversion World this year, delivering a presentation on how to Triple Your Ecommerce Conversions In Under 6 Months. Almost as exciting and memorable was his chair dance.

Alex’s experience of ecommerce websites has led him to start creating landing pages for specific products. This, he says, provides shoppers searching the web with an “easy to understand landing page that gives them results that are relevant to their query”. This help avoids frustration and speeds up the discovery process.

There’s guidance on creating facebook landing pages, product detail pages and special offer sales pages, in total 14 different kinds of ecommerce landing page.

The Anatomy of a Conversion Path

Anna Talerico, founder of Ion Interactive, @annatalerico

User experience and conversion rates go hand in hand, Talerico explains why segmenting website visitors into different conversion paths improves their experience and generates more conversions.

A segmentation page should be utterly simple, with just a couple of choices. This is the page that is going to take the somewhat anonymous respondents from paid media and segment them based on who they are or what they’re looking for.

Talerico produces very short posts, no fluff or guff, just bursts of insight that will lead you off on a journey to better optimisation strategy.

Qualitative Questions That Lead to Great A/B Tests

Hiten Shah, co-founder of CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics, @hnshah

This post flies under the radar a bit, it’s not hosted on Hiten’s own site and hasn’t been shared much. I love it though. It’s a clear guide to gathering qualitative data in order to come up with solid testing hypotheses. Testing the right things is the key to better A/B tests and this post will give you plenty of ideas on where to look for things to test.

Figure out what’s missing from the page to help the customer make a decision.

Find out how to uncover insights from information you already have to hand and what tools are available to shed new light on user behaviour.

Explained and Demonstrated: How to Find Your Messages in Reviews on Amazon and TripAdvisor

Joanna Wiebe, co-founder of Copy Hackers, @copyhackers

One of Joanna Wiebe’s big tips is to look for your copy in the words that your customers are using. In this post she explains exactly how to use Amazon and TripAdvisor reviews to first eavesdrop on your customers and then create copy from their words.

This isn’t about looking at the reviews of your own product or service, it’s about looking for the reviews that your prospective customers are leaving about the products they’re currently using. It’s not even only applicable to ecommerce, this methodology can be adopted by any business.

Your copy is in the heads of your prospects.

How I chose these Influencers

Last year PPC Hero published two lists on the most influential figures in conversion rate optimisation (CRO). They ranked these experts using five factors:

  1. speaking engagements
  2. blog posting
  3. book publishing
  4. twitter impact
  5. public votes

The second list shone the spotlight on all the great women working in CRO. I’ve chosen the top men and women from the first list and added another woman to round up to an equal number of each.

I recommend adding all these influencers to your Twitter network straight away. Following their tweets will help you quickly build your knowledge of optimisation.