CRO: To Go In-House or Go Agency?

Published January 8, 2020

 

 

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, has become an essential part of every business’s website. As ecommerce shopping increases in popularity, it becomes glaringly obvious that it is necessary to provide a good user experience on your site, or at least one better than your competitors.

If you’re not already optimizing, you have a competitor who is, and they are finding new and improved ways to resonate with your target audience.

Finding Your Dream Team

The largest cost concern usually lies in hiring the right team. Hiring new employees is expensive, and if you’re hiring someone to begin a new program at your company, you should expect to spend quite a lot of money for the right person. This is where a marketing agency can have greater appeal because you can quickly find a CRO expert and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting and how much it costs.

However, as appealing as it may be to quickly jump into consulting with an agency, you should first look inward at the resources available to you already. Is there someone on your team who is well-versed in site user interfaces (UI) and user experience (UX), and can they shift their focus to CRO?

Optimize Faster!

As the old adage says, “Wasted time means wasted money.” It could be concerning to think about ramping up an internal team when that time could be spent analyzing and improving your website. It is important to stay ahead of the industry rather than catching up to everyone else, making speed a pivotal factor in your CRO program.

In this regard, an agency might be the better alternative since they could get to work on your site quickly. Your optimization program could start building steam right away, while your internal expert is forced to split time between their many other position-specific objectives. Obviously if you are able to free up or create an entire role, that can alleviate this concern as long as the person filling the role is qualified and experience in CRO.

You will have to determine which time is more valuable to your business. Would you rather start a CRO program ASAP and see those wins sooner or take more time getting someone in-house to meet those needs? Hint: there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on your specific brand and the goals and timelines you set.

Test Anything and Everything

A/B testing is the aspect of CRO that stands out the most. A testing program allows you to match data to the changes you make and ensure that the changes are having a positive impact.

When it comes to split testing, there is an advantage in having prior experience from seasoned professionals. You’ll have added insights from hypotheses that have worked well in the past and the types of tests that are capable of producing big wins. When you hire an agency, you suddenly have a repertoire of testing ideas and optimization recommendations in your belt, which is a huge jump from no testing program.

But of course, it is never quite that simple. Once again, you’ll have to consider your internal resources. When recommendations are made to you, will you have the development resources to implement the changes? Does your site receive enough traffic to do testing or will you have to find ways to compromise with conventional A/B testing? Whether choosing the in-house route or going with an agency, getting answers to these questions is essential before implementing a CRO program.

Conclusion

All in all, the factors always come down to looking inward first. What resources do you already have to work with? You may find that you have all the elements to begin a CRO program today, or you may find that you need the additional help of an agency to get things started.

Even businesses with long-standing testing programs may find that their tests just aren’t winning like they used to and it may be time to hire some fresh eyes for a little while. Having your CRO program in-house or with an agency depends on the conditions within your business, but you are guaranteed to need an optimization program in this digital age.

Looking for even more CRO insights? Check out some of these additional resources:

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