25 Must Read Conversion Rate Optimisation Articles

Mr Boombastic wants to know what CRO posts to readWith Conversion Rate Optimisation being one of the “buzz” topics of the last few years, we all know it is something we should be paying more attention to. However, trawling your way through the unlimited vastness of articles available on the web can often leave you scratching your head thinking “I don’t have time for this! What should I be reading?”

To help save you a little time and preserve your sanity, I have put together a collection of the best 25 Conversion Rate Optimisation Articles I have read recently… Enjoy!

  1. 15 Conversion Rate Optimisation Tips for Contact Pages
    Dean at Koozai put together these 15 really useful tips for optimising your contact pages. These pages are pivotal to generating leads, so it is really important to get them the best you can.
  2. Google Analytics Content Experiments (formerly Google Website Optimizer) 101—A quick-start guide to conversion rate optimization
    This is probably one of the most comprehensive overviews of CRO, which also includes 108 CRO Tips. This is definitely worth a read regardless of what level your understanding is.
  3. The product page 2012: 7 Must-test elements
    I cannot emphasise enough how good this article is if you have an ecommerce offering. Bryan Eisenberg has been at the forefront of Conversion Rate Optimisation for a number of years now and in my eyes is the best out there.
  4. Your Call to Action is Lame! Here are 10 Ways to make it Convert Better
    You can tell Angela and Oli are passionate about CRO in this one. There are some great points in this and they clearly know their stuff.
  5. Checkout Optimisation Tips – A friendly letter from one marketer to another
    It is amazing how even well-known big brands can get the fundamentals so wrong. Kiril does not mention who the brand is in the article, but I am very curious to know. If you have any ideas as to who it is, leave a comment below!
  6. Conversion Rate Optimisation: A 9 step Process
    Dave Chaffey interviews Ben Jesson & Karl Blanks from Conversion Rate Experts in this 9 step process article.
  7. Illustrated guide to web experiments
    This great illustrated guide I found on SEOmoz’s daily blog goes beyond A/B and multivariate testing.  I really like the idea of testing test conditions in A/A testing, and Fractional Factorial just makes sense.

SEOmoz uses pictures to explain A/B vs multivariate testing

Confused by split testing? Let SEOmoz explain – with pictures!

  1. Determining, tracking and calculating your site goals
    Whitney Wilding underlines the importance of laying out clearly defined, tangible goals, before looking at the performance of your site. It’s all very well wanting to change things, but what are you hoping to achieve? What will define these efforts as a success?
  2. Why the Best Time to Start Conversion Rate Optimisation is NOW
    With the landscape of SEO changing all the time the gap between search engine success and UX is getting ever smaller. The guys at Distilled ask if you can afford not to be giving CRO urgent attention.
  3. Information Architecture: Information What?!
    When I started to look at the redesign of the Boom Website, I decided we were going to build it from the bottom up and that meant looking at the structure of the content. I realised just how important it was to consider the flow of information in the sales funnel.
  4. Just a reminder: Conversion Rate Optimisation isn’t all about numbers
    Short but sweet, this one reminds us not to forget about the creative.
  5. 4 Steps to Optimize Your Ecommerce Landing Pages
    I am a big fan of Oli Gardner’s work and this is no exception to the rule. This must read guide has some particularly good points about making your copy as compelling as possible.

cat gets stuck when there are too many steps - don't let this be your customers!

Just like cats, customers get confused by too many steps

  1. When is a Conversion Rate Optimisation test over?
    Richard Cotton of Distilled asks us to consider how long we run split tests for.
  2. Word Choice in Calls to Action
    This article fascinates me. Here you have some very successful big name brands, who all embrace testing, yet all have different variations of the “add to basket” CTA.
  3. 3 Reasons why people don’t buy from a website
    This is the second of my articles in the list (hey it’s my list!). There are a number of fundamental reasons why people do not buy from a website, here are the 3 most common.
  4. Use traditional conversion tracking for detailed social media analytics
    I like this concept of using what we have learnt about conversion rate optimisation to measure the success of social media. Just like any other campaign, social media needs to be measurable.
  5. 12 conversion boo-boos that make your website stink
    Many of the articles of the articles we read tell what we should be doing and how to make things better. Not many however, give us an insight as to what we might be doing wrong. We can make all the positive changes in the world but there may be still things we are doing that can do us harm.

Overcrowded website layout with too much text

Would you buy from this site?

  1. 5 Conversion Rate Improvements You Can Do In Under 5 Minutes
    These 5 simple changes really can make a huge difference to conversion rates. If you are not doing these already, you should be!
  2. Effective Selling From your Non Ecommerce Product Page
    Number 3 on my list was an article by Bryan Eisenberg about optimising ecommerce product pages. This follow up one looks at non ecommerce product pages
  3. Call Tracking: Closing The Online Conversion Loop
    Boom’s very own Ian Lockwood looks at how call tracking can be the final piece in the conversion jigsaw. It’s all well and good having conversion tracking on your site, but how can you measure how well your website is really doing if a large portion of your sales comes over the phone?
  4. The Top 10 User Feedback Tools For Improving Conversion
    A large portion of Conversion Rate Optimisation is about enhancing the user experience (UX). Get this right and your site will convert better. What better way to improve that experience than to get feedback from the user?
  5. 6 Essential PPC landing page optimisations
    Another one from the SEOmoz Archives, this post is by no means dated and has some fantastic points. The points about Eye Contact and Pre-Populate Curser were particularly good.
  6. A straight forward guide to optimizing your funnels for maximum conversions
    This one does exactly what it says on the tin. There are some great tips in this article, the guys at Kiss Metrics are very much near the top of the CRO ladder.
Ask your mum to test your site usability
Want more conversions? Ask your mum to test your site.
  1. What Makes a World Class Conversion Optimization Organization
    There are some really key points here that identify what makes the world leaders stand out from the crowd.
  2. How to Increase Repeat Orders: 4 Easy Steps to Improve Customer Retention
    I finish off with an article I wrote very recently about increasing repeat orders. It is all to easy to forget about the post order process. Paying attention to your post order marketing process and optimising it can result in huge increases in repeat customers. After all, it is much easier to sell to an existing customer, than a new one!

I am assuming that you have not just sat and read all 25 articles at once, if you have, then very good going indeed. I hope you find this list useful and if you have any must read CRO articles you would like to share, please leave a comment.

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