Five killer steps to improving your lead gen CRO

By Chris Smith, Campaign Manager

The ongoing High Street crisis, which saw a record 5,855 shops close down in 2017 alone, is placing more importance than ever before on improving the traffic to your website. People are now able to get the goods and services they once had to trek into town for from the comfort of their home, and the competition online is heating up.

With that in mind, I find it astonishing that so many businesses still don’t have any form of strategy to capitalise on the potential traffic. You could have millions of people visiting your site, but still fail to reap any value from it. Simply put, if your website isn’t optimised to convert your traffic, your inbound marketing efforts are wasted.

This is where conversion rate optimisation (CRO) comes into play. Improving your CRO is vitally important to improving your lead generation, enhancing user experience, creating more leads and increasing revenue. Sounds great, right? But it’s not quite as easy as it sounds, and eight in ten businesses (78%) are still dissatisfied with their CRO performance.

Fear not, here are five easy CRO steps that will quickly help boost your lead conversions and improve your ROI. Next stop? World domination…

1. Build better landing pages

Landing pages are the holy grail of conversions. They are pages specifically built to capture marketing information by hosting content or offers. It goes without saying, then, that your first step to improving your CRO is improving your landing page performance.

A landing page that looks clunky and poorly designed is a major turn off, your prospects will simply click away in seconds. Remember, you want them to ‘want’ to give you their valuable data, so you need to put the effort in to get the conversion over the line.

After nice design, focus on ease of use. Nobody wants to spend more than a few seconds filling out a form. Make it simple and easy, but keep the essentials like name, email address and phone number (if required). Additionally, make sure the form is easy to spot. Too many landing pages have the form hidden at the bottom – you can’t expect your time-pressed prospects to hunt about for the form so don’t bury it.

Lastly, the content on your landing page needs to be short, concise and informative. If you want a conversion, tell them exactly why they should fill out the form. There are tools out there like Instapage, Unbounce and Leadpages that make it easy for you to create landing pages that convert well.

2. Convert in real-time

This is my favourite technique of them all. Is there a better way to boost your CRO than by converting in real-time? I don’t think so. And best of all, there are loads of tools readily available to help you do so, from HubSpot to Intercom to Drift.

My favourite is Drift, which allows you to have live chats with your web traffic via your mobile device – aptly named ‘conversational marketing’. You can solve customers’ pain points and specific challenges while they’re on your website and provide them with the content they need via live chat.

If you still aren’t convinced, live chat platforms can help you increase conversions by 4-8x. While ‘conversational marketing’ also enables you to ditch the need for forms, as you can capture conversions on the chat platform rather than ask prospects to give up their information.

3. Mobile first

Mobile traffic now counts for the vast chunk of traffic on your website, so failing to optimise for mobile is a major fail. You will lose visitors and see increased bounce rates (the number of visitors who immediately click off your page). Mobile users are expected to go beyond the five billion mark by 2019, and two-thirds of users (67%) are more likely to convert from a mobile-friendly site, so you should be taking this very seriously. If anything, today’s sites should be more mobile-friendly than desktop!

For a smooth mobile experience, make sure your pages are responsive, tailor your content offerings for mobile and make sure your pages load quickly.

4. Nail your CTAs

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are the action-orientated copy designed to make people proactively do what you want them to do, i.e. click a button to download a guide. If you get them wrong, it will put your visitors off.

Naturally, active words work best – ‘download now,’ ‘get your free guide,’ or ‘find out more,’ for example. You should also create a sense of urgency for particularly compelling offers, such as a one-off product deal or an upcoming webinar. Like your landing page forms, your CTAs should be highly visible (next to the form if on a landing page).

5. Bring them back with remarketing

The goal of remarketing is to bring back the 98% of website visitors that don’t convert the first time. It’s an essential lead generation technique to help grow your business.

Remarketing helps you save money, get more leads and conversions, see higher audience engagement and maximise your ROI. It’s all about re-engaging with those who have previously visited your website – as an added bonus, remarketing ads are also pretty cheap!

Go drive conversions

While the High Street may be fading in importance, online commerce is going nowhere, and you need to ensure your business is in the best position possible to capitalise.

These five steps to improving your CRO will help drive conversions and increase your lead gen ROI. The more conversions you make, the more sales you can make. In general, the websites with the best CRO rates are quick to load, easy on the eye, simple to navigate and optimised for search engines.

For more information on what CRO is and how important it can be, check out HubSpot’s blog here. Or contact us to see how we can help!


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After a motivational and inspirational day one at Inbound 2017, I had high hopes for day two. Particularly since it began with a keynote Q&A from Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama was everything I hoped she’d be: funny, inspirational, strong and emotive. However (and I will come back to her), from a business perspective, it was Bozoma Saint John (Uber’s Chief Brand Officer) and Larry Kim (Wordstream founder and Mobile Monkey CEO) who stole the show for me.

There’s been a common theme throughout the conference. Modern marketing must be emotive and original. Today was no different.

Here’s my Inbound 2017 day two highlights:

Brands are people. They have personalities, perspectives, feelings and a future’ – Bozoma Saint John, Uber

“I want to make sure that my existence here changes the course for the future of diversity and inclusion.” A strong start from the Chief Brand Officer of Uber! She’s at the top of the game. Her CV (including Apple and PepsiCo) speaks for itself. And her latest task is turning Uber into a brand that people love as much as Apple.

She says that she has begun that by starting with human emotion. ‘It’s what drives us to be our best selves’, she said. It’s what drives our decision-making. Brands that excel make us feel something, like empowerment or inspiration. She wants Uber to become the most dependable way to take customers home.

Her message is powerful but simple: ‘As a brand marketer, my goal is to feel a commonality with an audience.

‘98% of marketing efforts go nowhere’ – Larry Kim, Mobile Monkey

My second highlight was the session with Larry Kim, founder of Wordstream and current CEO of Mobile Monkey. His session was about getting great results across every marketing channel, or as he called it, ‘unicorn marketing’.

He began with a story about a test he did last year. He wrote 300 blog posts and then measured them. Only eight performed well (he called these ‘unicorns’), the others were ‘donkeys’. These eight stories generated over 60% of his overall traffic.

Larry Kim’s story had a purpose. He wanted to showcase that when you find a ‘unicorn’, you have to jump on board and row as fast as you can! Why? Because top performing content boosts engagement rates. Higher engagement rates mean lower cost per engagement on social channels (and improved visibility as social algorithms reward engaging content), more click-throughs and openings on email (which, in turn, positively effects spam filters), and better conversion rates. The message is clear – promote quality content.

So, what does he suggest? Find the top 3 campaigns and then rework them. If a piece of content did well on one medium, it would likely do well on another. Turn it into another piece of content on another channel (byline article, social post, video, infographic, etc.). Alternatively, do a follow-up story, which explores the topic in greater detail. Or, a webinar on the subject and, if the webinar goes well, rinse and repeat. His theory on ‘unicorn marketing’ is simple: less work, but better results.

As he said, ‘85% of the value of your marketing campaigns comes from 5% of the campaigns’.

‘A repeat of a winning campaign will always outperform a new campaign.’

People are exposed to adverts every 2.7 seconds they are awake’ – Jeff Rosenblum

Interruptive adverts no longer work the way they used to. People are exposed to ads every 2.7 seconds they are awake, and receive 5000 brand messages per day. It’s overload. Jeff Rosenblum spoke about the changing face of customer engagement. Spoiler alert – it’s been a common theme throughout this conference.

He discussed a neuroscience experiment called ‘repetition suppression’, which highlights how today’s audiences simply ‘turn off’ when repeatedly faced with a brand message. As the above stat shows, this is happening way too much.

What, then, is the solution? ‘Fighting friction is a better way’. This is when businesses focus on helping people fulfil their hopes, dreams and aspirations. ‘It’s about improving lives one small step at a time’. What he means is businesses shifting from transactional relationships to emotional ones.

He describes the benefits of this pretty nicely:

Emotional relationships are irrational in the most positive of ways. An emotional audience interacts with the brand like it’s their best friend, and this relationship produces the most irrational results.

This session hammered home, once more, the point about creating immersive stories. It isn’t about injecting products into the story. If you weren’t convinced and still think you should focus on ‘product, product and more product’:

‘Brands who focus on empowering people outperform the competition by 8x.

Here are a couple more quotes I related to:

People are numb to something that doesn’t break the rules’ – Brit Marling, actresses, writer and producer

‘Regular content marketing doesn’t always work. You need to learn how to stand out. Share what’s unique to your business’ – Garrett Moon, CoSchedule

‘Businesses who have lost their way communicate like zombies. What’s the most common zombie trait? Being indistinguishable from competitors and losing identity’ – Julie Lellis, Elon University

I’ll end my day two recap where I started: The incredible Michelle Obama.

I was so engrossed during her Q&A that I barely noticed the time. However, a few things stuck and I think us marketers can all learn some valuable lessons from her:

‘If you’re going to lead, lead with grace and compassion.’

‘Don’t embrace the future, charge into it.’

‘A dark time is probably the most important period of growth you’ll ever have.’

‘Understand that each failure and crushing blow only makes you stronger.’

‘Have exceptional empathy.’

‘Stop, breathe, think, and reflect.’

‘Be authentic and stay true to yourself.’

Stay tuned for day three tomorrow and check out our video recap for more highlights.




Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s CEO was quoted when speaking at Rise, Hong Kong in August (1), saying that “brands are business strategy brought to life”.

According to the Economist, brands are the most valuable assets many companies possess (2). To give you an example, think McDonald’s promoting happiness from the cradle to the grave by capturing children’s attention from a young age with Happy Meals. Or Nike championing the concept of the underdog that becomes the champion, a story everyone can relate to whatever your background.

As consumers of brands, we attach ourselves to the values they promote and how they relate to us. A brand must be purposeful and inspire loyalty. If we don’t relate to them, we don’t consume them and the brand will cease to exist.

However, applying the following points will help you to push your business forward by elevating your relationship with customers to a brand level rather than merely another service provider:

1. Understand what your brand is

What do you do and what values do you embody that characterise this. 

2. What differentiates you from the competition

What makes you special. Find your unique selling point to push your brand forward with confidence and purposefulness.

3. How does the brand interact and influence its environment

Labour made significant gains in the UK 2017 general election, propelled forward by millennials who voted for promoted values such as trust, community, and fairness. If this is what millennials believe, then it is important to take notice and model your brands on their outlook, as they are ultimately your customers too.

4. What does the future hold for the business and will the brand change

Understanding trends and the rising influence of technology to change the playing field is important. Keeping up-to-date with developments politically, economically and technologically will ensure the brand stays relevant against an ever-changing consumer landscape.

5. How it is perceived by its customers

People run brands. From customers experiencing them to the staff that works within. People are more likely to be involved in a brand if the brand has a strong sense of purpose. It encourages confidence in your brand and will mean people will continue to use it.


Thank you for reading – I hope that asking yourself these questions candidly will help you to reflect on how your brand is perceived by your customers, and find greater clarity on what you can do to win a place in your customers’ hearts. It’s this business strategy that can yield a long and prosperous future for your business.



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