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How to Choose the Best CRO Agency: 7 Traits They Share

Choosing the right CRO agency can improve conversions and offers other digital marketing benefits, as well. Here's how to find the best one.

How to Choose the Best CRO Agency: 7 Traits They Share
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We tend to think of conversion rate optimization (CRO) — researching, testing, and optimizing elements of your website — as a tactic for increasing conversion volumes.

And it is definitely that. After all, good traffic can be wasted if you’re not converting your visitors into customers, members, subscribers, etc.

But CRO has additional benefits, as well; it can also lower CPAs, reduce bounce rates, and boost your lead-to-sale ratio.

If you lack the resources in-house to plan and execute a CRO strategy, you might choose to work with an agency that specializes in conversion optimization.

Use this guide on the traits and characteristics to look for when choosing a CRO agency to help find the best one for your business needs.

7 Traits the Best CRO Agencies Share

How do you find an agency that’s actually worth your time and money? Here are seven traits to watch for in the hiring process.

1. A Good Approach to Research

A rock-solid CRO process begins with good research.

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The best CRO agencies know the importance of experience, quantitative, and quantitative research.

These are the three major components of conversion research that can make a significant difference to achieving winning test percentages (20% is a good average benchmark for winning tests).

A strong research approach combines the major components of conversion research including methods such as site walkthroughs, heuristic analytics, online surveys, mouse tracking, web analytics, user testing, etc.

2. Uses a Strong Prioritization Method for Testing

There’s an infinite number of tests that you can run on your website. Since A/B tests are expensive and take time, knowing which tests to prioritize will have a significant impact on your conversion rates.

With that said, a CRO agency that knows what they’re doing has a strong test prioritization method.

For instance, one of the most common prioritization methods for testing is the ICE method, which stands for Impact, Confidence, and Effort.

The PIE method is another option based on Potential, Importance, and Ease. You can learn more about PIE in this Google resource.

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3. Owns the Technology and Development Resources to Deploy Complex Tests

Contrary to popular belief, not every test consists of a simple headline or CTA swap.

CRO is a complex process, so you want an agency that offers a data-driven approach using technology and resources for conducting complex tests.

At a minimum, a CRO agency must have the ability to deploy complex testing variants through HTML, JS, and CSS in their testing tool.

Inquire as to whether the agency uses an A/B testing tool that allows unlimited testing, is privacy compliant, and has minimal impact on the user experience (i.e., flicker-free, fast redirects).

4. Ensures Strategic Alignment

Working with an agency partner requires that both of you are always on the same page.

Choose an agency that demonstrates an understanding of your user and acquisition strategies. You want to be sure to avoid siloed or isolated tests that don’t align with your overall marketing efforts.

Of course, organizations must have a clear grasp of their marketing goals before asking for help. Be specific about what you want so you can partner with an agency that aligns with your strategies.

5. Uses a Data-Driven Reporting Approach and Embraces Transparency

Successful CRO companies base their decisions on data and analytics sourced from different testing methods. An effective CRO agency takes a data-driven approach to reports and values transparency above all else.

This means that the CRO agency must be able to:

  • Deliver results in real-time.
  • Accurately predict when confidence will be hit.
  • Keep stakeholders informed at all times.
  • Ensure testing velocity is as high as possible.
  • Inform with a high degree of certainty when a test concludes whether a new one is needed.

A transparent CRO partner helps you save time, identify potential roadblocks, and determine workflow bottlenecks.

6. Can Deploy Personalizations

Personalization is a CRO best practice that extends beyond conversion rate optimization into customer relationships.

If you want to focus on your product’s value proposition and tailor your content and messaging for specific audience segments, you need a CRO agency that can deploy personalization.

Personalization provides you with additional opportunities to boost conversion rates via 1:1 message matching between ads and landing pages.

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7. Acts Fast

Lastly, you need an agency partner that can quickly deploy winning variants at the same time while development teams work on a new page experience.

Make sure your agency of choice has the resources to execute on the strategies they recommend.

Tips for Choosing Your CRO Agency

Below are several final considerations before you hire a CRO agency.

Ask for Case Studies

Successful CRO campaigns always leave a trail of evidence. From the initial data to the tests to the results, everything must be documented.

Since CRO is data-driven, an effective CRO agency should be able to demonstrate that their methods work.

An agency that can’t present case studies and a winning track record is a huge red flag.

Choose a Company with Relevant Industry Experience

It’s vital to choose a CRO agency that has worked with companies like yours. Industry experience enables the agency to have a deeper understanding of your target market and customers.

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This will help them develop content and messaging that resonates with your target audience.

Focus on Results and Value

As you evaluate your CRO agency options, don’t focus on the price but the results and value that they can provide.

When you work with a results-driven CRO agency, you can be confident driving traffic to your site knowing that you can generate leads and sales.

Enhance Your Conversion Rates with a Data-Driven CRO Agency

Investing time to find a data-driven CRO agency is more than worth it in terms of achieving your conversion goals. Just make sure your goals are clear and that you can clearly communicate what you want to achieve in your campaign.

In addition, be sure to explain how CRO can support your overall marketing strategy to ensure alignment.

Using the tips outlined above, you should have a structured approach for choosing an agency that will help you attain your CRO goals.

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John McAlpin

John McAlpin leads the SEO strategy for Cardinal Digital Marketing, an Atlanta SEO agency that focuses on serving enterprise healthcare ... [Read full bio]

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