This article covers my first-week review of studying Conversion Optimization Minidegree at CXL Institute or Conversion XL Institute.
It was March 18 when I first came to know about the CXL Scholarship program for people affected by Covid-19 and are willing to skill up for better.
I can’t thank enough to Alyeda Solis (for creating the Discord group where I get to know about the CXL Scholarship program) and definitely to Peep Laja (CEO and Founder of CXL) for starting this program.
I know CXL blog for a while and most of the time I was consuming their blog articles for best practices in conversion optimization.
So CXL wasn’t new to me and I know this course can do really well as I wanted my SEO skills to partner up with Conversion Optimization.
Okay back to the course.
What is CXL Institute?
CXL Institute is a paid training program institute and it provides mini degrees and online certification courses in marketing. All the programs at CXL institute are taught by industry leaders and top marketers which makes this platform the best place to learn marketing.
They provide Minidegrees in 5 scopes of Digital Marketing and they are:
- Conversion Optimization
- Customer Acquisition
- Digital Analytics
- Digital Psychology and Persuasion
- Growth Marketing
They currently have 48 online courses divided in CRO & UX, Analytics and Marketing.
In this article and my coming articles, I’ll be purely focusing on one segment that I am currently learning and that is CRO Minidegree.
CXL Institute Conversion Optimization Foundation
I bet there are many people who feel so comfortable after reading a blog post on topics related to SEO or CRO and they implement those things only to realize that it doesn’t work for them.
If you haven’t nodded until yet, let me accept I’ve done that. A lot!
One thing you will learn while studying Conversion Optimization is all solutions are unique.
There are frameworks that help in finding a solution but there is no one solution fits all kind of stuff. At least not in conversion world.
I’m talking about Best Practices. We all may have heard this for long and have seen a ton of website producing content basically with titles “Best Practices”.
Well CXL Institute debunks this myth of best practices and how not be fell flat for all best practices available.
When we talk about best practices, we are generally speaking of someone’s solution to the problem they had.
Applying those best practices mean we are simply copying their solution to their problem which we may even don’t have it.
It doesn’t mean all best practices are BS, but it does mean at some context that all best practices are not BEST.
Rather, brands should focus on finding how to resonate with their audiences, how to write the way customers want to listen/read.
It’s eventually the relationship between the brand and the user where users feel good to use a brand because it helps them achieve a, b or c.
And that’s how CXL explains this:
Conversion optimization is about doing better marketing. And we need to approach it that way.
Some more foundations that I learned….
Conversion Optimization is like Lean Startup
The course talks about the Lean Startup methodology and how it’s similar to Conversion Optimization.
In a nutshell, Lean Startup methodology talks about creating an MVP or Minimum Viable Product starting out with:
It’s a cycle of on-going experiments to validate your idea by building a small product and doing constant experiments to learn and further build a better product for the users.
And so is the conversion cycle:
It starts with:
- Determining business objectives
- Business Questions
- Data gathering
- Insight phase
- Identify Problems
- Repeat: Learning and improving customer theory
I also learned that Conversion Optimization Never Ends. You may ask why?
So as we see in the above picture it’s a cycle of on-going works that repeat itself to get better or provide better product/services.
It’s not much different than SEO. A website who is getting millions of traffic in a month doesn’t mean they will stop spending or putting efforts for their SEO.
In fact, those websites spend more on SEO and keep improving their Technical aspects, on-page aspects as well as ranking for new pages and repeat the process.
What I feel about the mini degree until now?
I feel courses like this (CRO) should be compulsory for every marketer who wants to provide value and profit to any organization.
It’s such gold. Every single lesson is crafted and doesn’t contain any information that you want to just scroll through.
Even my attention span is very less, just like any other people. I was literally reading line by line and listening carefully to the videos as they are not just sayings, these are tested, experimented and then presented in nutshell for better consumption.
As more and more lessons, I’m going through, I’m starting to realize what mistakes I am/was doing with my own website.
Real Lesson Learned Just in the First Week
Wait, don’t judge me. I’m not being biased and I’ll be sharing exact thing that I’m learning and practising on my own website
What did I learn about Web Forms?
In two words, Remove Frictions. As simple as it sounds. Marketers are greedy we want so much information and you will agree with what I’m talking about to keep the CRM running, to re-target the audience and yada yada.
As explained by Peep, the less friction a form has it’s easier to complete and that directly means more conversion.
So in case if someone signs up for a free SaaS account for an SEO Software, there’s no need to have a form with 20 steps.
Again even marketer are people and people, in general, have less attention span.
So, in this case, asking only the questions that are crucial for the SaaS company to retain or further market is ideal and it could be just 3-4 steps.
Also, multi-forms should be leveraged for better usability and without making the user feel overwhelmed about the whole process/journey.
Not to mention, if sensitive information like Credit Card/Bank Information is asked, there must be badges like secured, SSL Encryption with a green padlock etc to make people feel comfortable sharing that information.
From this lesson, I’ll be also making huge changes to my own Form for SEO consultation as well as the SEO Audit.
What did I learn about optimizing Homepage?
The homepage is a common asset everyone optimize and I honestly I put information that does not deserve to be on Homepage.
So what needs to be there:
- Above the fold content: Can’t do better without optimizing this part
- Product/Services: Bulleted or small intro about the product going to a product landing page
- More content doesn’t mean everyone will scroll and read all the content
- Focus on prioritizing main content on the top folds
- Use heatmaps to analyze how people are actually consuming the website
This means a lot of changes are necessary for my homepage that, I’ll be doing this week and will update all the changes in the next week.
What did I learn about optimizing Web Copy?
CXL made it clear that conversion optimization is understanding what people need and how they need it and marketers need to write directly as it provides solutions to their problem.
Not just content that is good for Google Bot to index in order to outrank the organic competitor.
The latter will fall sooner or later as it may rank but will get lesser conversions.
I found most of my web copy is not pointing out direct solutions for my prospective clients and that’s one of the reasons why I’m getting “zero” leads and other agencies are winning clients every single day.
Obviously, there are other reasons like brand reputation, experience etc.
So what I’m gonna do next?
- Do changes on my Homepage
- Add heatmap via GTM
- Track my CTA buttons via GTM
- Change my form and make it simpler and easy to fill
- Create new landing pages for service pages
- Improve web copy
That’s all for this week and in case I 100% recommend CRO and other Digital courses at CXL Institute to anyone who wants to get better in marketing.
See you next week.