I discovered CXL Institute’s Scholarship program where they have numerous minidegrees from Growth Marketing to Conversion Optimization. This is the first time I have encountered an institution who made it clear that they offer scholarships, which for a new business owner was extremely valuable.

I was given the opportunity to study the Conversion Optimization minidegree.

My first impressions

As with any other course platform, what is the first thing we all are looking for? User-friendliness, right? In fact, CXL Institute makes it easy to navigate with easy-to-understand summaries of each module and section with images of each individual presenting that lesson.

The only thing that got to me and broke my speed was that the second section was reading throughout instead of a video. As we all know, video is easier to follow and reading speed differs from person to person.

While typing this I am actually thinking that CXL might have been intentional with writing everything out, because we are all so used to watching videos the whole day that our reading capabilities went out the back door – Who knows?

I just wanted to take the time to thank Peep Laja, Founder at CXL, and the team behind him for the opportunity to study with your institute.

Modules I have completed

A week in, I tried putting away 2 hours each day to study towards completing this minidegree. I have already completed the introduction by Brian Massey and Best Practices conducted by the Founder himself, Peep Laja.

In the Best Practices, Peep discusses a diverse selection of topics, from web forms, call tracking, typography, home and pricing pages, website speed optimization, FAQ’s, and visual hierarchy to only name a few. This first module has already challenged a lot of the things I know about Conversion Optimization.  

Two things I appreciated about the minidegree

There are two aspects of this minidegree and the way CXL presents it that I value:

Case Studies

A lot of the knowledge, facts and opinions are supported by case studies not only conducted by CXL themselves but by reputable giants in our industries which we can all relate with.

Supplementary Articles 

CXL makes a lot of supplementary articles available before, during and after each lesson. So, take the time to read through these articles. You might initially opt to skip them, but they DO add additional value, take my word for it!

5 things (Amongst others) I learned

1. You cannot improve what you are not measuring

With free measuring tools like Google Analytics and many plugins made available amongst the platforms available to build websites, today (I primarily use WordPress), you do not have an excuse not to put measuring metrics in place. 

2. Know your audience

With each product or service, it is important to know who your ideal client or customer is. You cannot expect to make an impact when you market a product to the entire world and expect to make an impact. Make your ads relevant. Maybe if you were a brand who have already established their name and brand you could consider doing something in that line, but even a giant in the business has their ideal client identified. So, know who your ideal customer/client is; how old are they? How much are they earning? Are they married? Are they a CEO of a company? Know their culture – And the list goes on. 

In this minidegree, something I already knew, but what stood out is that you cannot just stay in your office the entire day and think you will figure out what your ideal customer/client wants to know. Go out and speak to people, ask the right questions; know what frustrates them, their objections, and any related question that could help you figure out what they would like and what would keep them from buying. Go out. Ask people. 

There is extensive psychology applicable in marketing. To such an extent that the colour white can be interpreted differently in different cultures and countries. So, you might be losing conversion due to colours on your website – You never know until you find out more about your audience and test the different colours. Remember; you cannot improve what you are not measuring.

3. A/B Testing is crucial

Yet again, CXL used case studies (More than one) to prove this. But once upon a time the industry believed that the BOB (Big Orange Button) was the answer to attract more visitors to click on their Call to Action buttons. But, in fact just the difference between a green and a red button; one would think that green would be the favourite, but in fact the red button in these applicable case studies worked better. What is also true, is that, yet again, this might not be a principle applicable to all industries, but you need to test it.

Another case study was also insightful, because they applied A/B testing to find out, but they found out that products ending on 99 ($99.99), sold more than products ending on 95 ($99.95). So, test these things out as far as it is possible for you.

4. Be intentional with your layout

Being intentional has always been something I focussed on in pretty much everything in my life, but spend time navigating your website, during and even after you’ve built your website, especially your landing page. Remember that first impressions last longer, sometimes much longer, than you think! Stuff like the size of your heading, use big, high-quality images; things that make a bigger impact than you might think. There are numerous resources out there on the internet where you can ask volunteers to review your website and navigate through it for you to see where people stop scrolling or clicking, heat-maps basically, which might just surprise you!

5. People don’t have a lot of time to figure things out

Make it easy for people to reach the product they are searching for. The golden rule I have always been trying to achieve is that a visitor needs to be on the page they would like to be within three clicks. Remember, that most people do not have a lot of time to still figure out how to navigate your website. If they get frustrated or do not get the first impression they had in mind, they will leave for your competition’s website in the blink of an eye. So, small things like having a search bar, having auto-complete enabled, filters, website loading speed and many more elements are low-hanging fruit (Small victories) you can deploy today.

To those who are still deciding if it’s worth enrolling

I have barely started with this minidegree and what I have learned on top of what I already know is worth more than the investment. So, I am speaking to those who are still on the fence about enrolling; do it – You will not be disappointed.

To the CXL team, I am excited to see how this will assist me to make an impact within my industry.