Juli Durante on Conversion Rate Optimization a 2020 Marketing Strategy

In this 15-Minute Strategy Podcast episode, we talk with Juli Durante from impulsecreative.com about how to use conversion rate optimization in 2020 for your marketing strategy.

Juli Durante shares what CRO is and what it is not.

She also talks about some tools that will help you with conversion rate optimization for your own marketing efforts.

She shares some hurdles, myths, and more during this amazing episode of the 15-Minute Strategy podcast.

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About the Expert

Juli Durante

Juli Durante is an always-curious marketer interested in the big picture of marketing and sales to help companies drive big revenue. A HubSpot user since 2011, Juli’s deep understanding of inbound marketing campaigns furthers Impulse Creative’s mission of helping businesses grow better.

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Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire need strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations build with your strategy goals. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy pod rocket tears. It's your boy George B. Thomas. And we're back with another 15 minute strategy podcast where well, in 15 minutes we try to give you a piece of strategy that you can implement in sales service marketing somewhere to help your business grow today. I'm super excited and you know, that's the running joke. I'm always excited. Well, I might not be excited when I'm asleep. I don't know. But I am excited today because I have a friend, a co worker and a great Rate topic, but we're not going to go into the deep end of the pool yet. Julie, why don't you let the sprocket tears The viewers, the listeners know who you are, what you do and where you do it,

Juli Durante 1:09
for sure. Thanks, George. I'm super excited to be here. Thank you for inviting me on the 15 minute strategy podcast. So I'm Julie duranty. I am the director of inbound impulse creative. I've been a HubSpot user since 2011. And I have used HubSpot in a few different small and midsize businesses as an in house marketer, as well as on the agency side for a whole host of different kinds of organizations in all different industries from Tech to senior living and healthcare, professional services. And more. So as the director of inbound at impulse, it's my role to provide the inbound team with strategic support, work with our clients and make sure everyone has what they need to be successful. So it is a joy and a blessing to be part of that team and to be here today.

George Thomas 1:53
Ding ding ding Did you hear that sprocket tears 2011. That means Julie has been doing inbound before. bounders cool heck she's been doing in battle before George B. Thomas. Alright, so let's go ahead and get into the deep end of the pool. And today we're going to talk about CR O, or as normal human beings would probably call it conversion rate optimization. So, Julie, so that the sprockets here's the viewers, listeners, and really myself can kind of go into this conversation with you. What are the foundational pieces that we need to know or understand about conversion rate optimization to carry on the conversation?

Juli Durante 2:28
Absolutely. So I'm going to go ahead and say if you haven't watched the previous sprocket talk, what is video on TRL? Go ahead and pause this right now. And go watch that and take a listen to that on the YouTube channel because that'll help give you some foundational knowledge. But basically, conversion rate optimization is all about taking the most out of what you have today and helping it perform better. So that might mean if you're getting a lot of website traffic today, but you're not seeing a lot of leads, how can we optimize your web pages for conversions so that you can get more leads from the traffic you have At the same time, you might see conversion rate optimization efforts that are geared around things like taking your existing lead database and making more marketing or sales qualified leads, or taking zero principles and say how do we get these mq ELLs and SQL to the opportunities and customers. So it's all about finding the points in the customer journey where we can make things work more effectively.

George Thomas 3:21
Now, Julie, before I jump into my next question for those sprocket tears, those listeners, those viewers that might not know what an SQL and an SQL are, why don't you explain those real quick?

Juli Durante 3:32
Absolutely. So I love an acronym. So definitely call me out on those as I use them so and qL is a marketing qualified leads. So the people who we have qualified as marketers to continue receiving marketing messages and a sales qualified lead as an SQL. So that's someone who we think, Hey, this is a good candidate to talk to the sales team.

George Thomas 3:51
So Julie, we have a listeners who might not know anything about marketing automation might just be getting into this like generating leads. Starting coming. Conversations online, what are some things that they have to fundamentally have in place to be able to even start thinking about, like optimizing those conversions that they might be getting?

Juli Durante 4:12
Sure. So the first thing you need is traffic, right? If you have not completed this part of the inbound marketing journey, where you're effectively attracting visitors focusing on optimizing conversions might not be right for you yet. So traffic is first. And then the second piece of it is you need to have some opportunities for those folks to convert. So if I don't have any landing pages with forms, any type of gated content or partially gated content, I should build that out first before I think about optimizing conversion, so you need the pieces on both sides before you can figure out that reason.

George Thomas 4:46
Awesome. So Julie, you talked about creating this offer or what we call in the industry, a lead magnet, maybe a landing page, you're gonna have a form on there. What are some things that you can think about when you're building that form or that landing page or if you are somebody who has already been doing this, and you're here for the optimization side of this, that they can start to focus in or think about.

Juli Durante 5:08
Yeah, so I would say there are a number of things that make sense to look at. So let's say you have traffic coming in, you know which pages of your website, it's starting at home and you have offers, and you have your landing pages maybe linked really well from blogs. I would think about where is your traffic coming in, and where is it going next. And there are a few different ways to look at this. One of the ways you might think about is using some visitor tracking software, something like hot jar or Lucky Orange or Crazy Egg, all good options. I like Lucky Orange particularly because it does have this active heat mapping capability so you can really see how people are using navigation and things like that. It also is a great HubSpot integration. And it also does really good visitor recordings and you can filter the traffic. I could go on and on and on about it and the HubSpot integration I won't do that here. But you can do it through visitor tracking software and get very granular and see where people are clicking watch some of those recordings and things like that. The other place, you can look at something like behavior flows in Google Analytics. And you can filter that down by traffic sources and use the landing pages to on Google Analytics, which is a little bit different than the landing pages tool and HubSpot. landing pages in Google Analytics are entrance pages in HubSpot. And I also recommend in that traffic analytics tool, looking at pageviews by entrance is when you're doing some CRM as well. But you really want to see, are people viewing the content? I think they should view to become a conversion. So sometimes that means are they viewing enough pages of your website so that they can encounter a conversion opportunity? Sometimes it also means have I put a call to action at the bottom of the page or the bottom of a blog post? And if I have, how many people are scrolling down that far, and are they even seeing the ability to convert? So there are some really just basic How are people using your website questions that if you look at answer first the conversion opportunities come out.

George Thomas 7:08
So if you are interested in learning more about Lucky Orange you can head again over to the YouTube channel and we did an interview with Danny from Lucky Orange talking about the platform. We do love us some Lucky Orange a cuz it's cool to be lucky and hey, Orange is the color of all colors, just throwing that out there. So Julie, um, I'm super curious if when people go down this journey of conversion rate optimization is about getting the people that are coming to convert more often by paying attention to we've mentioned forms and things like that. But I want to get into maybe a little bit of an area where I think for some people, it might be difficult and that are the words the words that they use on the page or around the offers. What are some things that you can think of look at do with the copy or the words to help optimize that conversion rate area?

Juli Durante 7:58
Yeah, George disagree. point, I think so often, when you hear conversion rate optimization, or zero or AV testing, you hear things like, Oh, we tested a green versus a red button. And we think color design, user experience first. And all of those things are important and can prove fruitful when you have CRL. And you're looking for results. But language is really important. So a great example of this might be if I have a page of my website, that's about black four slice toasters. And I have a call to action for a consultation about finding the right black or slice toaster for you. And that's a button on that website page. And then I click through, and I go to a landing page. That's a really general contact us landing page. I've established a misalignment between the original site page viewed, the call to action clicked and the ultimate landing page with the form, right because I'm no longer talking about Blackboard slice toasters. And I've already identify that the person who clicked that button wants to talk to someone about blackforest lace toasters. So from a link standpoint, instead of a general contact us language, I want to lean into this black four slice toaster. situation. I'm going to talk to one of our experts to find the right four slice toaster for you. I probably want to include some imagery of the toasters on that page. But ultimately, I want to use actionable language. They want to be aligned with a starting point in order to facilitate the most conversions.

George Thomas 9:23
Hey, I gotta give you another ding ding ding as Rocketeers, did you hear that? That's the rewind point of this show. You've got to rewind, you've got to listen to that section again. Because it's super powerful in how Julie just painted the importance of consistency of the messaging that you're using across to the entire process. So Julie, super curious, really want to dig into that beautiful brand that you have and know if there's any hacks, tips, tricks, that when you go into a conversion rate optimization project that you're like, who I can't wait to do this?

Juli Durante 9:58
Sure. So then Number One thing I would say is something I actually said earlier, you have to make sure people are actually seeing your calls to action and can find your conversion opportunities. I've seen so many websites and so many times where there's a great website, there's great content, the blog is amazing. Those lead magnets are there, the information is authentic and unique and helpful. And they vary the call to action in the footer of the website page. And sometimes that can be really effective. And other times, it just means no one sees it. So we need to do one of two things, right? We need to either say incentivize the visitor to scroll all the way down and see that CTA or find an opportunity to put that call to action higher on the page. So you can balance that but that's the number one right are people seeing your CTAs and you can look at the call to action tool in HubSpot to get a number of views. But keep in mind that does not necessarily indicate that the visitor on that page has physically seen the CTA it just means the CTA is low. On that page, so if I have 300 page views, the CTA tool will show me 300 CTA tools they're about CTA views they're about. But if I have the CTA at the bottom of the page, and only a quarter of my visitors are scrolling that far down, and I've observed that and Lucky Orange, then I know that only a quarter of those 300 views are relevant to my data analysis. So that's the number one thing. The other thing I would say is just make it as easy as possible to convert. So if you have an ebook with a really long form with all of these fields, it's probably too much. So I often say, what do you need to know about someone to make them a marketing qualified lead, right? Okay, so maybe that's four things. Often it's some persona information, name, email, and maybe industry. So maybe I can make a form with four or five fields that lets me identify if my leads are marketing qualified, and that's a great fit. And awareness are top of the funnel ebook. It's to make someone marketing qualified and need to know 75 things about them, we should probably have a different conversation. But make it easy even having a form that when you click a call to action on the page opens in a modal or a pop up window, and you can convert right there and get your content can be really effective depending on what the conversion is for.

George Thomas 12:22
I love that getting the information over time versus trying to get it all on the first date people that never works. It's never a good idea. Just gonna throw that out there. So Julie, are there some myths that we need to debunk right now, when people hear the word CR o or conversion rate optimisation that you think might come to mind that you're like, no, that's not really what it is. But it maybe is this instead?

Juli Durante 12:45
Yeah. So I would say that CRM is not simply a B testing, right? You can run a B tests and not be conversion minded, necessarily. Not the optimization minded. You're really just kind of playing around a little bit. That's okay, it's a good way to get your feet wet and start thinking about the data analysis. But if you're looking for really huge results to come from those tests, it's not just a B testing. The other thing I would say is, with sorrow, when you are testing, you're going to have a lot of flat tests. So there's this misconception that you should always have a winner, or you should always have this definitive, just statistically significant result, and you might not get it. So that's okay. That's okay. Because even in those flat tests, and that's how we refer to it, right, a test that doesn't have a significant result is generally flat. Even in those flat tests. You can say, well, it didn't not work. So maybe we can riff on this a little bit more. It didn't hurt our data to do this this way. And sometimes not hurting your data is the when in and of itself. So an example of that to go back to your point about messaging. I've run a test where we shifted language on a landing page to be a little bit outside of what we think To the best practices, but we wanted it to be more aligned with the brand and the brand message and their overall sentiment. So it was a contact page. And we changed the language to be something a little bit softer that contact us, which is very direct and action oriented you We're here to help. And there are a couple things about that, that I said, ooh, this is a risk, right? Instead of making it about the user, we're making it about us, we're here to help. We're not telling someone or asking someone to do something. We're just saying, Hey, we're here and implying that we need to fill out this form. And so often when we think about convergence, we try to be as explicit as possible, not implicit. But I said, Let's test it. I don't want to just take this change live, but I want to AV test it. And what we found was that we had a flat result. What that meant was we could break the best practice, be more on brand with the overall sentiment of our language, and not hurt performance. So sometimes a flat test is

George Thomas 14:56
a win. Love that love. Yeah, I mean and the thing is, you can Gotta disregard any fear or the thought of failure when you're doing this testing as well. It really has to free your mind. Julie, I know that you've been doing this since 2011. Because we said that in the intro, are there some potholes or hurdles when you first started doing conversion rate optimization that you faced or maybe that you're afraid the sprocket tears we'll face as they dive into this that we can kind of warn them and be like, ah, watch out, like, don't fall in there.

Juli Durante 15:28
Yeah, so I think that when I'm thinking about getting started for me, it sort of happened to accidentally one of the biggest potholes or pitfalls is fear of failure, but also a fear of getting started. When I grew up in the HubSpot world and started learning inbound back when the methodology was a website page. It actually would be a great pillar page or skyscraper page now, but the methodology was just written content on website page, and HubSpot Academy with content camp. They talked a lot about How to Build landing pages and how to write that content really well. And what you might do if your landing pages weren't working effectively. And they still talk about those things now and talk about how to use actionable language and all of those pieces and all of the parts of inbound we know. So well, that's conversion rate optimisation. Right, this idea of I wrote a blog about blackforest. Place toasters, I had a general call to action at the bottom about, you know, learn more about kitchen appliances. Then I wrote an ebook about toaster specifically. So I'm going to swap in that ebook call to action in my blog post instead of the general kitchen appliances. That's conversion rate optimization. That's all it is. It doesn't have to be a huge thing to get yourself rolling. It just has to be thinking about what does someone want to do next, and how can I best serve that to them, so it's easy for them to convert and get the information that they need? And that's beneficial to me too.

George Thomas 16:57
So Julie, as we close out this 15 minute Strategy podcasts because, gosh, I should have named it the 35 minute or the 55 minute strategy podcast, but we're getting close to that 15 minute mark. I'm curious if there's anything else that you feel the sprockets ears need to know about csro getting started getting the best out of it that we haven't covered thus far today.

Juli Durante 17:19
I think the best tip I can give about zero is just get rolling, try some things. And as you are learning more, there are so many great resources out there about running tests measuring test, can conversion Excel. See Excel is one of my very favorite sera resources, they have great courses themselves. And I know here at sprocket talk, we have a lot of content that can help folks as well. And there's just a ton out there. So don't be afraid of that. And remember that some of the very best marketing and conversion center campaigns that I've seen and run and had success for clients with have come from a problem solving. mindset. So if you can solve a problem with marketing, there's a good chance you'll be successful.

George Thomas 18:05
Well, it's rocket tears. I don't know what else to tell you other than focus on solving problems focus on optimizing the conversions to solve those problems. And I don't know if you're like me, but right now I want to go Google that toaster will be here waiting for you on the next episode. Did you enjoy this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket talk comm sign up for your free membership and in that membership area, you can find bundled episodes where we combine like strategies to help you grow better make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George B. Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just to talk about your favorite Marvel superhero. Go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. And we'll see you on the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast.