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How to hire a conversion rate optimization consultant

I prefer to hire agency experts instead of training an in-house expert. I lean this way because a conversion optimization consultant likely has more than one client. This gives them a unique perspective and focused expertise.

There are so many CRO experts out there, but I prefer to work with a small agency or expert that only does that one thing. This singular focus and multi-client perspective typically mean a better CRO process and better results.

If the e-commerce consultant offers conversion rate optimisation, Facebook Ads, Email, Search Engine Optimization, and website design. They probably aren't a true expert at any of those things. In my own e-commerce business, I have siloed out my agency experts in the following categories:

My agency experts by category:

1 - Paid traffic (Facebook ads and Google ads)

2 - Email Marketing and SMS (Klaviyo and Postscript)

3 - Conversation Rate Optimization

4 - SEO

5 - Customer Service (After hours support)

These are the agency experts that do continuous work in my business on a monthly basis. This siloed expertise model provides my online store with the best results possible and reduces my fixed overhead costs.

How do you know if CRO specialists are actually experts? (test them!)

There are so many expert CRO consultants out there that will promise great results. Because the barrier of entry to becoming a CRO "Expert" is so low, it is up to you to find the best one. I use a simple method for hiring any new expert. I have them show me.

I know it's so simple it may work. If a conversion rate optimization agency is interested in earning business, I will test them. I will ask them to do a one-hour screen share to show me exactly what they will do.

The ultimate goal here is to learn more about CRO myself and to vet if the expert is truly that. If feasible, I will ask the CRO agency to set up a test in that one hour and then see how the results are.

I always try to do a learning session before signing a retainer or hiring them to do a bigger project. This method saves me time, energy, and a lot of frustration. Plus, I may learn something in the process. If I can learn more about CROs, I can also do a better job hiring and firing them.

The best CRO consultants focus on one thing (Revenue per visitor)

If your conversion process includes optimizing for button colors or for add-to carts you may not have the right expert. My CRO expert only focuses on revenue per visitor, nothing else. Any other metric for eCommerce sites is a distraction. This singular focus on revenue per visitor is what I found to be the best optimization strategy. Simple is usually better.

A higher conversion rate may not mean higher revenue per visitor.

The hard way to do CRO is to change button colors and design elements and hope for an increase in revenue per visitor.

I get it, we all want our website to look great. It is your brand, you want it to look sleek, clean, and professional. The bigger levers come from answering questions that our customers have before they ask them. Copywriting and messaging can be extremely powerful for increasing revenue per visitor if you know what your customer wants.

A great conversion rate optimization expert will ask your customers questions.

Whether your website visitors come through Facebook ads, Google search,es or emails, they always have questions in their minds.

Here is a list of questions your potential customers may have.

“Is this brand legit?”

“How is this better than what I have?”

“Why is it so cheap?”

“Why is it so expensive?”

And on…

These questions create friction!

Every unanswered question is a reason for them NOT to buy. More unanswered questions = More friction. The better you can answer those questions on your homepage and product pages, the less friction there is.

This is the part where most CROs works miss the mark.

When you optimize your conversion rate, make sure you look at both the friction in your store and the friction in your customer’s mind.

Here’s how to reduce friction in your customer’s mind.

Step 1 - Find out what questions they have

Before you can answer their questions, you need to know what their questions are! Dig deeper to find out the common objections your customers have BEFORE they buy.

You can always find great insights by going through reviews. If you have a Facebook group, you can even ask them to see what other concerns they have.

Step 2 - Find the best way to answer them

Once you have an idea of what questions they have in mind, then it’s time to find the right message to answer them.

Don’t just limit yourself to the FAQ section or product description! Be creative about how you get your message across. The store is yours! My CRO agency and I have tested so many ways that increase conversions, from adding messages in the buy box to adding an intro banner at the top of the product page.

When should you hire a CRO expert and what Conversion rate optimization services should they provide?

If you have low traffic to your online business, it will take so long to truly increase your website conversion rate. You need high traffic to make to see CRO results valid in a reasonable amount of time.

I think once you are doing $100k a month for your eCommerce store, is a good time to start thinking about hiring a conversion rate optimization company. It may be difficult to see measurable improvements if your revenue per month is lower than that.

At the end of the day, profit is the name of the game. Each agency needs to bring a ROI that makes it profitable and improves the business. Dial in your paid traffic and email marketing before jumping into hiring a CRO expert.

The basic services a CRO agency may offer are:

  • AB Testing

  • Copywriting tests on product pages

  • Copywriting tests on product pages

  • Adding new pages to your navigation

  • Home Page testing

I don't have my CRO agency test new designs. How it looks should not be a CRO service. The copywriting, messaging and elements on the page are more important than design changes. I know how hard this is to resist! Just tweaking button colors is so fun. Ha.

Ask your CRO expert the following questions:

  • What is your optimization checklist?

  • How do you view the customer experience?

  • How do you define success? Is it only higher conversion rates?

  • How many case studies do you have?

  • What test results are you aiming for?

  • Do you test home pages?

  • What key questions do you want to ask me about my business?

  • Bottom line, what will the ROI of your service be for my ecommerce store?

Hiring a conversion consultant can be easy if you know what questions to ask and if they are willing to share their knowledge with you. I would be weary of hiring anyone that isn't willing to spend that time with you. I always offer to pay for that time (that is up to you though!)

Do you focus on Conversion Rate Optimization with your online business?

Let me know in the comments below. If you want to talk to the CRO agency I use in my own eCommerce store. Message me and I will introduce you.

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