Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a great service to compliment your design skills. Half of the process comes down to design anyway but running CRO campaigns gives you great insights into how your design choices impact a brand’s performance in the wild – and it can earn you a nice extra wedge of cash in the same process.
Conversion rate optimization means expanding on your existing skills but with today’s CRO tools, this is well within the reach of you as a web designer. here are eight conversion optimization tools to make you a better designer and earn more money.
Why offer conversion optimization as a web designer?
From a financial perspective, the best thing about conversion optimization is it gives you the opportunity to turn one client into a long-term earner. It’s also a service that businesses are screaming out for right now – and for good reason. After all, who can resist the promise of better website performance lifting the bottom line of their business?
There are numerous benefits to working this way for you as a designer:
- Long-term clients mean no dry spells without work
- You can charge more for your services
- You can target higher-profile clients
- It makes you a better designer
- Tools like WordPress don’t put you out of work
Those last two points are particularly important. You learn a lot from optimizing websites and these lessons will turn you into a better designer.
Google Analytics is the obvious choice for a conversion optimization tool but few people really make the most of it. This is because really getting the best out of Google’s analytics platform requires a few cunning hacks – certain events tracking and custom metrics, for example – which is a steep learning curve for most users.
All the more reason to make yourself a Google Analytics expert and charge for the privilege of optimizing your clients’ sites.
Okay, so Unbounce is a little like WordPress in the sense it automates much of the landing page design process. What it’s great for though is maintaining multiple landing pages in sync with AdWords and Google Analytics – something you’ll want to be doing if you’re optimizing for several sites at the same time.
VWO is about as good an A/B testing platform as you’ll come across, making it ridiculously easy to run tests on any page or design element. You also get analytics and reporting as part of the package but it’s the personalised content element that really makes VWO an invaluable tool.
You can target your clients’ users with personalised content, based on how they’ve interacted with the site so far, using targeted messages that drive them closer to converting. Powerful stuff.
Hotjar shows you what users get up to on a website with heatmaps for clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour. You can even record videos of user sessions to see the journey through their eyes. There’s also a Conversion Funnels feature that highlights where leads drop off, a form analysis tool and feedback options to get insights directly from users.
Pingdom gives you detailed insights into page loading times; essential stats for any conversion optimization campaign. It’s also a great tool for winning CRO work from sites that should be running faster because you can highlight problems instantly, for free.
Another handy tool for optimizing speed is Google’s mobile speed test, which helps pinpoint reasons why sites are running slow on mobile. It’s not the most scientific way diagnose speed issues but it’s a start – and, once again, it’s good for showing potential clients there are issues with their site.
Mixpanel brings a few really important features that make it a great addition to Google Analytics. Unlike GA, Mixpanel comes with a number of event tracking options for you to choose from right away. It also provides data in real-time, unlike Google Analytics.
It’s not as flexible or powerful as Google’s platform but it beats it in enough ways to make it a worthy addition.
Leadformly comes with a collection of optimized forms that are designed to get conversions from the get-go, plus analytics for you to measure performance and make improvements. Unlike most form optimization tools, Leadformly gets you started with forms that get results rather than simply letting you track results. The idea is your clients will lose fewer leads during the testing stage as they’ve already got solid performance from day one.
With these eight tools you can make a serious difference to the performance of websites, whether you’ve designed them yourself or not. Conversion optimization opens up a lot of new opportunities to become a better designer, learn new skills and earn more money for your efforts.
You don’t need to learn all eight of these tools at once or even bother using them at all. Take these tools one at a time and you’ll still have enough to offer prospective clients ongoing CRO services that get results.