It’s a tense setting at the Circle of Elrond. People are talking about conversion rate optimization when Boromir speaks up and says, “One does not simply become a great conversion marketer.” Or something like that.
The point is you don’t become a conversion marketer just by running a few A/B tests. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of conversion rate optimization. You start by understanding your customers and why they convert or don’t convert. Then you need to figure out how that translates into good design and copy.
That means a solid understanding of Web design and Web copy is needed before you can start running your tests and optimizing for conversions. In this post, we’ll have a look at the skills you need and Learnable courses you can take to become a great conversion marketer (or at least take your skills to the next level).
Design is key to conversion rate optimization. A well-crafted user experience guides visitors through the conversion funnel. Learning how to design such experiences will take a long way towards your goal of becoming a conversion marketer.
Start by delving into ‘The Principles of Beautiful Web Design.’ Learnable’s best-selling guide will take you through the process of creating designs that convert, even if you’ve never designed anything before.
It touches upon key concepts like applying color, creating responsive layouts, using whitespace effectively, and mastering typography. After going through this guide, you’ll understand why seemingly minor changes, like changing the color of a CTA, sometimes drastically increases conversion rates.
Augment your new Web design skills with this guide on ‘Killer UX Design.’ This book goes into more detail on understanding your visitors and creating experiences that will convert them better. It also shows you how to research visitors and transform that into new testing ideas.
Once you’ve got a grasp on the basics, it’s time to start putting that knowledge into action. ‘The Web Designer’s Roadmap’ will teach you how to establish a process when it comes to design. It takes you from the initial inspiration right through to creating wireframes to conceptualize your new design changes.
Alright, that’s a lot to take in and it’s not something you can learn just by reading. You need to put these concepts into practice on your site and learn by doing. To help you keep all these concepts in mind, have a look at ‘Deliver First-Class Websites: 101 Essential Checklists.’
The book helps you cover all your bases, from planning your design changes to implementing and testing them. The checkpoints have explanations and references for further reading. Keep it by your side when you work on your conversion projects.
It’s not enough to learn the principles of design. You also need to know how to translate that design into code on your website. From changing font sizes to page layouts, a basic understanding of code goes a long way. Yes, today you have tools that help you to drag and drop designs, but knowing how to code gives you way more control.
Start with this course on building your first HTML and CSS website. This is a practical course that will introduce you to the basics of HTML and CSS while teaching you how to create a website.
Next, it’s time to go a little deeper and learn a few tricks that will set you apart from regular conversion marketers. Learn HTML5 to become an expert in the language and experiment with its new features. Learn CSS3 for advanced concepts like creating backgrounds and gradients.
If you’re working on conversion rates for a WordPress site, you might want to give this Introduction to WordPress a go. It will give you a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the CMS so that you know what you can change and test.
With a broader understanding of code, you won’t be limiting yourself to drag and drop tools. You can explore more advanced designs that might give you bigger gains in conversions.
The other component of creating a persuasive and highly converting user experience is the website copy. Writing copy for the Web is a mix of art and science. It’s about weaving scientific persuasion tactics within prose and storytelling.
For proof of the power of good copy, look no further than the continued success of email marketing even as marketing as a whole has evolved. One well-written email can bring in sales at a conversion rate much higher than a well-optimized website.
This course on writing for the Web will teach you some basics and get you on your way to writing well online. It covers topics like understanding your audience and writing sales copy.
The key to writing well is to keep practicing. Look at other sites that have great copy. Look at persuasive landing pages and sales letters. And copy them. Understand why each word belongs there and the psychology behind it. Then, try to incorporate this in your own writing.
With a strong foundation in design and copy, you can now start A/B testing. Had you started earlier, you’d be running tests without a solid hypothesis. That leads to a lot of inconsequential tests and wasted time.
Guesswork is the bane of conversion rate optimization, so learn the scientific method behind A/B tests with this course. You’ll be able to strategically conduct tests and make site changes that have a bigger impact on conversion rates.
It’s important to remember that A/B testing is a tool in your conversion marketing kit. It takes time and effort to conduct tests, so you need to use them wisely. There are certain design changes that don’t warrant a test, like making your CTA stand out, while others are not so obvious and need testing. It’s important to be able to make the distinction.
As with any profession, it takes time to become a great conversion marketer. It starts with learning the basics and building a solid foundation.
If that’s your goal, Learnable offers the training you need. With their help, mastering website development and design is a breeze. You get an entire ebook library, quizzes and certifications that can help you fill the gaps and expand your skill set.
But courses and books can only take you so far. You need to practice what you’ve learnt and gain experience.
You’ll make mistakes along that way, but you’ll learn from them too. It’s important to keep honing your skills and to continue learning. Some of the best conversion marketers today still make mistakes, but they recognize and fix them before things go bad. Don’t be afraid to admit that you’ve made a mistake, and you’ll go a long way.
What other skills do you think are important for conversion marketers to learn? Share them with us in the comments.
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sid.