14 Top-Notch Resources to Help You Become a CRO Expert
Even those considered to be CRO (conversion rate optimization) experts had to start somewhere. Nobody knows right away how to optimize websites as soon as they walk into the digital marketing world; we've all had to learn some aspects.
Thankfully, mastering the art of CRO is considerably easier now than it was several years ago, and for a very good reason: more learning resources are now available online.
Over the past few years in particular, we've seen an explosion in the number of CRO guides and tutorials. Many of them are helpful, while others were created by inexperienced CROs claiming to be veterans just trying to make a fast buck.
To help you know which ones are helpful and which ones aren't, we've collected a list of 14 CRO resources that are sure to help you become a conversion rate expert. Study up on a few of these, and you'll be up to speed with the rest of the industry in no time at all.
1. The Beginner's Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (Qualaroo)
This lengthy 12-chapter monster is a great guide to kick off our list. Qualaroo, a premium vendor of a CRO tool that's been used by Yahoo, Vimeo, and Intuit, provides a basic yet comprehensive overview of what CRO is really all about.
In the early chapters, you'll get definitions for some CRO jargon (if you haven't yet figured out what MVT, CTA, or A/B testing means). Chapter 4 – my personal favorite – teaches you how to create an optimization plan.
At the end of each chapter, you're also given links to 3-5 complementary blog posts on other websites that are sure to help you as well.
2. Conversion Rate Experts Blog
The resoundingly obvious domain name aside, Conversion Rate Experts is one of the top CRO service providers. Work with them, and you'll be working with the guys who helped Apple, Google, Sony, and Facebook increase their website revenue.
Their blog, although infrequently updated, has numerous advanced conversion rate tips and case studies, besides more general digital marketing advice.
KISSmetrics and CRE teamed up to create this infographic on nine steps to better conversions. The graphic itself nearly merits a sole spot on this list. You can't go wrong about checking out the resources available from Conversion Rate Experts.
3. ConversionXL Blog
Two and a half years ago, Peep Laja started blogging about practical conversion advice. But his blog was different from almost every other "mainstream" digital marketing blogs. Peep gave specific instruction and direction for marketers and CROs, backed up by both his own testing experiences and the results of his extensive research.
Today, Peep is one of the most respected bloggers in the industry. On his YouTube channel, Peep does detailed reviews of the optimization levels of his readers' websites every week. Advice from an experienced consultant for 100 percent free? Sign us up for that.
4. The Definitive Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (QuickSprout)
If there's one thing Neil Patel's QuickSprout blog is known for, it's the series of 30,000+ word guides he produces on a regular basis. Neil's already covered SEO, content marketing, growth hacking, and consumer psychology – one of his more recent guides is on CRO.
Neil and I teamed up to create a thorough, eight-chapter guide to increasing conversions. It's one of the most thorough out there, but I'll let you be the judge of how helpful it is since I'm obviously biased.
Not only is the content helpful, but the format is also aesthetically pleasing, with tons of visuals and custom graphics to help you digest the info.
5. Which Test Won
Which Test Won releases a summary of an A/B test every week. On the homepage, readers can test their conversion optimization knowledge by voting on whether the control or the variable had a better performance.
For an additional $25/90 days, you can get access to their library of 453 conversion case studies.
6. Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (SEO Gadget)
SEO Gadget created a beautiful infographic detailing both the good way and the bad way to get started with conversion optimization.
The infographic can currently only be viewed on Moz, as SEO Gadget is rebranding to Built Visible and hasn't yet had an opportunity to post the infographic on their website.
7. The Small Business Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation (Simply Business)
This Simply Business resource presents a step-by-step guide to CRO in unique fashion. Tailored for small businesses, the guide provides an in-depth introduction to the technical aspects of optimization testing: the basic tools required, and how to use them.
8. 100 Conversion Optimization Case Studies (KISSmetrics)
They say that the best way to learn is by example. While that isn't always true in conversion optimization (you need to test everything before blindly applying the tactics that worked for one website to your website in a different industry), there is a good deal of information to be gleaned from CRO case studies.
In this KISSmetrics blog post, 100 case studies (yes, that many) are listed with accompanying pictures and key takeaways for each.
9. Visual Website Optimizer Case Studies
One of the most popular A/B and multivariate testing tools around, Visual Website Optimizer has a huge archive of case studies run by VWO customers.
What's more, the case studies listed can be filtered by the business's industry and the element that was tested, so you can get advice tailored to your business.
10. Unbounce Blog
Unbounce is a popular distributor of landing page optimization software. Their blog is a priceless resource, with literally hundreds of CRO-specific posts that help you boost your digital marketing ROI.
One of my favorite blog posts on Unbounce is their curation of 666 conversion rate optimization tips. Oli Gardner, the brain behind the post, went out of his way to read each tip listed. What's more, you can be sure that the advice is relevant to you today, as almost all of the curated posts were written within the last year.
11. WiderFunnel Blog
WiderFunnel is a popular marketing optimization service provider. And they know what they're doing.
Their blog – although very rarely updated (think less than once a month) – is a must read for anyone serious about CRO. The blogger, Chris Goward, brings a wealth of digital marketing expertise to the table and has done landing page optimization for several Fortune 500 companies.
Whenever they publish a new post, rest assured that you'll be hanging onto every word.
12. Content Verve
The Content Verve blog is especially helpful for learning how to write better-optimized copy. Again, posts are few and far between, but each is so well-written that you won't be able to refrain from signing up for email updates.
13. LeadPages Blog
LeadPages is a provider of landing page templates of all varieties: you can pick up sales pages, launching soon pages, squeeze pages, upsell pages, and much more.
Their blog is consistently updated with split testing case studies for their customers.
14. Optimizely Blog
Optimizely's blog is one of the greats in the A/B testing and CRO niches. Between blog posts written by the guy who made Obama $60 million in the 2007 elections (Dan Siroker) and controversial items that spark extended comment threads, you'll fall in love with the "conversion rate optimism blog you'll actually read."
Two metrics ultimately define your marketing success: the cost to deliver visitors to your website, or cost per click (CPC), and your conversion rate. Improving these metrics will obviously improve sales, cost per acquisition, cost per lead, and most KPIs that matter to marketers and business owners. You don't always have control over the CPC, but you're 100 percent responsible for your conversion rate.
Bottom line: it's becoming increasingly expensive to drive traffic to your website. The only way to maintain or improve results is to increase your conversion rate. There is a huge opportunity to help companies improve conversion rates and position yourself as a CRO expert.