CXL Institute CRO Minidegree Review

The course starts with an important message from Peep Laja, founder of the CXL Institute:
“CRO does not necessarily mean that you need to increase conversions”.
This is a very important message to start with, in this CRO mini degree, as its immediately opens your mind. It makes you listen carefully to what the professionals in this course teach you.
The goal of CRO is business growth, not conversion growth and this has immediately widened my perspective on how to use the myriad of tools I am getting from this course.

It makes you focus on the most important metric – business growth – and makes you forget the technicalities. The introductory section by Peep Laja is absolutely mind-opening and essential, as it sets the stage for the whole course. Sometimes, especially in Analytics, you get lost in the minutiae and forget the big picture: I’ve seen it with our web agency. Sometimes the team that follows us gets lost in the tactics of increasing traffic, without wondering if that traffic is qualified. It happens, when you focus on details.
This course is absolutely comprehensive and technical, and the introduction reminds you not to get lost in the minutiae of your work and remember the overall goals.

Another important element that Peep defines immediately is the process, that will be personalized during the course, but which shows you the necessary steps to a Conversion Rate Optimization method.

You start of course with goals, and then add another important element that shows the quality of the teaching and the perspective of the CRO Institute: think strategically, do not just follow a method on virtual paper. Indeed, the second step is to ask “business questions” to better analyze the pain points and the needs of the customer.
Another important element in the introduction, which makes you “feel” the depth of the training, is the explanation of “conversion” and the need to use this term in conjunction with other factors, like relevance of the offer, price, cost/value ratio, copywriting etc.
Together with hierarchy of conversions, you understand that an excellent CRO expert must really follow a very specific, in-depth methodology and should not skip any phases. The “persuasive” conversion tactics are the most useful, but they are the last to be employed. If we do not focus first on the functional element of our website, or landing page, or the accessibility and usability of the page, being persuasive will not help much.
The introduction alone was refreshing, as it immediately showed me that I was dealing with real professionals with real, in-depth content and not with the usual guru that tells you s/he has the 20 secret titles to make you double conversions.

Next I went to the Google Analytics session and a very nice surprise was awaiting me: a Google Analytics expert that is actually great at teaching! As we are planning a new online-based business, I needed to learn Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and all the other skills needed to measure and improve results. I have already taken a couple of courses online on Google Analytics, but of course, a good professional is not always a good teacher. Courses were ok, but the explanations were usually a list of all the attributes of the tools presented, without much clarity or strategic thinking. The Google Analytics course inside the CRO mini-degree is completely different. Explanations are clear and to-the-point, very practical and especially useful to understand how to best use the tool and not just to memorize all the elements of Google Tag Manager or Analytics.

I am now studying CRO Best practices and analyzing single elements of a web page: web forms, e-commerce product pages, CTAs etc. Something funny happened while I was studying web forms: I already knew the basics, but that single lesson was so comprehensive that I immediately found optimization possibilities while we were designing our new e-commerce and told the designers to change the form!

The best practice section is full of examples and case studies with images and explanations, very useful to start understanding first of all the very wide range of opportunities for CRO projects: you understand that even small elements can drive results and that CRO activities actually never end. I started looking at websites of competitors while studying the lessons and saw many mistakes – even low-hanging fruits, like images and product page texts. It was very motivating, as this course will allow us to have a great competitive advantage in terms of User Experience, Customer Experience and, of course, sales.

The first experience with the course was very interesting and motivating. You also feel a bit under pressure, as you understand that there will be a lot of ground to cover: indeed, the 72 hours of lessons in the mini-degree are packed with content. That is why I suggest those that want to enroll to open a word or pages document and write down a summary of the lessons, with the most important takeaways: it helps remember and put everything into perspective and it also helps you focus on what is important to you. Indeed, as second suggestion is to think immediately how you will use this course and start implementing immediately what you are learning: it is the best way not to get lost in a sea of data and tools and start immediately working as a CRO expert.

The lessons are hands-on and very practical; it would be a shame not to apply them. You immediately understand that you can improve everything, if you know how, and you can immediately measure the results That’s why I suggest to start with the Google Analytics course, even if it is presented as a later chapter, if you are not an expert: it will give you all the tools to use Google Analytics and make experiments while following the lessons of the course. You will immediately see results, even if small, on the conversion of forms, landing pages, e-commerce pages and product pages. It becomes fun, even if you know that the road is long and the course is very big.

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