Part I of II on how CRO is now a major player in the digital marketing mix.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that analytics and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) are no longer just the future of digital marketing, but the present as well.

Just a quick look at Econsultancy and Latitude UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report 2014 from Econsultancy is all it takes to see that this is the case.

Above all, the benchmark shows that businesses involved in the world of SEM are beginning to concentrate on more intelligent ways to drive revenue, beyond keyword management, looking towards the performance of their website.

I’ll run through a few of the key findings of the survey that should put a smile on the face of any CRO-evangelists and consider why this makes perfect sense.

On the up!

60% of companies plan on increasing their CRO budgets. That means that companies are more likely to be increasing their CRO budget than any other area of digital marketing!

This is obviously massively encouraging given how much benefit CRO can bring – making sure you get as much out of the traffic you’re acquiring and turning visitors into customers. Who doesn’t want a better website, with high quality user experience and improved conversion rates, right?

Viewing SEM from the website first of all and then working back out to the marketing effort is the way my mind works (being a conversion analyst and all), but it’s great to see that this is beginning to take hold with the industry at large.

Not provided and CRO

The need for an optimised website has undoubtedly grown with reduced visibility coming from the ‘not provided’ struggles we’ve all faced in the last year or so.

Even reclaiming as much of this lost data back as possible through clever use of filters in Google Analytics (find out more here) or squeezing as much as possible out of Google Webmaster Tools, this is still a major headache.

Indeed, the reduction in valuable keyword data coming from Google now ranks as the second largest obstacle to overcome for SEO success, only topped by the omnipresent lack of resource.

Of course, an easy to use, customer-friendly website that effectively converts visitors into sales is (I hope) the end goal of all site owners, but the fact that it is now harder to achieve a strong ranking on Google without this is certainly acting as a catalyst for more budget to flow into CRO.

Web design and conversion rate

Did you know that good webdesign can improve your conversion rate? Here’s a tasty infographic to get your teeth into (click below image to enlarge).

We’re only just scratching the surface, but I’m starting to get overexcited, so I’d better go for a cup of tea and lie down. Check back soon for more on CRO and analytics’ impact on the SEM benchmark in Part II!

Conversion rate infographic