Website Optimization For Beginners: 2019 Edition

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December 4, 2018 7:02 pm Published by

cro beginner pack

cro beginner pack

Ever found yourself figuring out Q1 goals and strategy for your team – midway through Q1? Well, the new year is fast approaching, and there’s no better time than now to start planning 2019 (before it begins!)

That’s why I joined Drift’s upcoming virtual Unconference as a guest speaker; to help digital marketers like you get a jump on your marketing roadmap — particularly when it comes to website optimization.

My talk (accessible on-demand on December 13th) will center around avoiding the pitfalls many companies fall into when they are focused on raising their conversion rates, and sharing effective strategies that folks new to CRO can incorporate into their schedules.

We’re talking a mere 30 minutes a week dedicated to analyzing visitor behavior and making UX adjustments accordingly — for a lifetime of positive lift in revenue and customer insights that you can share across your company!

I cap off my presentation with some recommended reading, and I thought I’d provide you all with advance access (plus a few extras) as a thank you for visiting our blog.

If you’re looking to get into CRO in 2019, here’s a “starter pack” from Crazy Egg to help you on your way.



Conversion rate optimization requires just a few skills; chiefly among them, curiosity and empathy. If the thought of getting to know your leads and customers better by observing their behavior excites you, and you want to make the user experience better for everyone who visits your website, you’ll be a natural!

Building a muscle for writing down what you notice – and taking action on those observations – takes time, but it’s well worth the effort when making people happy (and boosting your bottom line in the process) is the end result.

This handy reference and illustrated guide will put you on the right path from day one, walk you through the website optimization process from start to finish, and provide you with many examples and points of inspiration to draw from if you get stuck.

Recipe for website optimization success

Recipe for website optimization success

As you will learn from my talk at Drift’s Unconference (and the guide I mentioned above), the cornerstone of CRO is observing user behavior. To do that, you need a few tools!

The most common ones used by UX designers, growth marketers, and small business owners alike are heatmaps, scrollmaps, and recordings.

If you’re not quite sure where to get started connecting the dots between what you see your visitors doing on your site and what that means you should change or test design-wise, this step by step guide is the resource for you.

It contains screenshots, GIFs, and a real-world example so you can play along as we explore the world of user behavior analysis.

Time Blocking Tips

Time Blocking Tips

The other thing you will need is a little bit of time every week to devote to watching what people are doing on your site, and making adjustments based on what you think would make their experience better (remember: you want them to take an action as quickly and painlessly as possible so that everyone’s happy).

I recently experimented with adding time blocking to my calendar as a way to knock out my smaller marketing projects in chunks, devote bigger chunks of time to strategy, and make sure observation and optimization were baked in to my weekly activities.

Here’s my advice on how to incorporate this approach into you work schedule. I find it’s helpful across the board if you are responsible for a lot of pieces of the marketing pie (like team leadership, editorial, social media, email, co-marketing, partnerships, etc).

crazy egg analysis tips

crazy egg analysis tips

One of the major reasons Crazy Egg exists is that it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by data. Our aim was to make it super easy to boil reams of information down to the essence of what’s going on behind the scenes of your website, using visual reports rather than massive lists, or charts.

Our tools are self-service, but there’s always bound to be questions around strategy! To that end, we sat down with a CRO professional and had him answer a bunch of frequently asked questions from customers, including:

  • How much data should I gather before I analyze my user behavior reports?
  • What should I do if my traffic is too low?
  • How do I reduce my bounce rates and/or increase my sales?

You can tune in for his sage advice here.

CRO Heroes

CRO Heroes

Speaking of sage advice — do I have the interview for you! In a past life I led a content team at a real estate marketing company, and their Director of Growth Marketing was one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with.

I somehow managed to convince Sam Clarke to sit for an interview, and his insights were incredibly valuable. In the course of our discussion, Sam shares:

  • How he identifies a growth opportunity, implements his idea, and analyzes the outcome
  • A common CRO challenges he’s overcome
  • And an A/B test with really surprising results!

Sam’s got a lot of great nuggets of wisdom to share, so definitely check this spotlight out if you want to see what a dedicated focus on CRO looks like in action.



Have you ever admired a SaaS company’s website for its great navigation or helpful content? Have you ever gone through any super-easy checkout processes on an ecommerce site that left you wondering why every site isn’t like that one?

Odds are these companies have dedicated a lot of thought to the user experience, and honed their website design over time with user behavior analysis and A/B testing.

Since Crazy Egg is a suite of tools designed to help businesses maximize website traffic and reach marketing goals faster, naturally we’ve used our own product on our website! We’ve spent the last 10+ years honing our homepage to strike the right balance of “Hey, sign up for our free trial!” and “Need to learn more? Here are just a few features and benefits before you sign up.”

Our friend Wes Bush over at was curious about what designs we’d tested over the years, and what the outcome was on signups, so I wrote a post about the thought process. You can take a gander here.

ab testing for ecommerce

ab testing for ecommerce

As you’re diving into the world of website optimization, I want to remind you to keep going if you do see an increase in conversion rates! It’s tempting to stop when you have a win, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t keep testing out new ways to make your customers happy and hit your goals faster.

Case in point:  We had an ecommerce company called WallMonkeys who wanted to optimize their homepage. They tested a variant on their featured image and saw a 27% increase in conversion rates. Anyone would be satisfied with that outcome, but they kept going.

That win inspired them to keep testing elements on the page. When they did a little more digging into user behavior, they noticed their nav and search bar could use some work, too. With a few small tweaks they saw a 550% increase in conversions.

Good thing they didn’t just stop at 27%, right?

To see the adjustments WallMonkeys made to their homepage, you can check out the whole case study here.


I hope these glimpses into CRO have gotten you excited about looking at your own website visitor behavior and running a few small tests to see if you can improve the user experience (and your bottom line).

I look forward to sharing my insights and enthusiasm with you at Drift’s Unconference, where I’ll be joined by a slew of amazing marketers.

If you’re looking for tips on video, SEO, ABM, customer marketing, content marketing, and much more, make sure you register to get access to all the videos on December 13th.

See you then!

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