I don’t partake in too many interviews on my blog, but as soon as I met Yaniv Navot, I knew I could extract some great answers from him which would benefit the readers of my website. Yaniv has a vast wealth of experience, especially in conversion rate optimisation (CRO). He is the Director of Performance Marketing at Dynamic Yield where he focuses on website optimisation and analytics. I hope you enjoy reading Yaniv’s thoughts just as much as I have enjoyed getting to know him.
Q. How did you get into digital marketing?
“I started out on this path by joining an SEM agency as a SEO and PPC optimizer. After trying my hand at about every service the agency had to offer, I managed to accumulate tons of practical experience on SEO, PPC, Web Analytics and A/B Testing. Over the years, I have deeply expanded my knowledge regarding the entire digital marketing industry, gaining valuable experience from hundreds of top-tier customers that I had consulted for. When the opportunity to move to a hyper-growth, super-interesting start-up presented itself, I stepped up to my current role as Director of Performance Marketing at Dynamic Yield.”
Q. What are the three things you consider to be the most important factors in CRO?
“That’s a very good question! The first and most important factor in any conversion optimization process is planning a solid optimization strategy and testing methodology. Without it, all that follows is both insignificant and inherently misleading. Personally, I use a simple 4-step process when crafting an optimization plan. I’ve written about it in detail here: The 4-step Conversion Optimization Model. The second most important factor is segmentation. Segmenting visitors using sophisticated behavioral-based conditions enables us to deliver the most relevant content in the right context. It also allows us to implement automated personalization solutions, deeply understand who our visitors are, find interesting new opportunities for optimization and run tests more efficiently. Lastly, I would say that CRO requires us to be patient. We usually set a course and steer towards growth, but the truth is that CRO is a never-ending process, and the destination is never really clear. With CRO, patience is a not just a virtue, it’s a requirement. So, to summarize my answer, the three most important factors in CRO are: (1) Planning, (2) Segmenting, (3) Being patient.”
Q. What are the biggest mistakes you see businesses making when attempting to optimize their site to increase conversions?
“There are two mistakes I keep seeing: First, I see marketers concluding the wrong insights based on limited data; many marketers jump to conclusions way too soon. Some tests simply need more time, and some may even need re-testing for additional validations. The second mistake is optimizing for the wrong KPIs. While increasing conversions is a great thing in itself, the ultimate target is to increase the bottom-line revenue. Revenue can be reflected in various KPIs, such as Customer’s Lifetime Value (LTV), online purchases, etc. Determining the right marketing optimization objective is crucial, and unfortunately, most marketers simply settle for directly optimizing conversions or conversion rate.”
Q. If you were to give website owners just one tip, what would it be?
“The cost of acquiring new traffic is always on the rise. Instead of spending your entire marketing budget on acquisition, invest a portion of it on optimization and reduce your acquisition costs for each customer. Conversion optimization will help you maximize your profits and improve your business bottom-line.”
Q. Which blogs are your favourites to read?
“Oh, there are so many! One of my favourite blogs right now is Simo Ahava’s Google Analytics blog. Another great one that I follow is Intercom’s blog. There’s also Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik and User Onboarding by Samuel Hulick. In addition, I recommend following stories on GrowthHackers.com and Inbound.org. These are all great resources for inspiring and educational content consumption.”
Q. What is your favourite CRO tool?
“Well, obviously I’m biased, as I work for a company that produces, in my humble opinion, the most sophisticated and powerful personalization and optimization solution available on the market today. That being said, if you’re looking for more research and analysis tools, I recommend UserTesting.com (there’s a free, limited version they offer called Peek), Qualaroo (brilliant for getting real feedback from customers) and recently, I’ve started working with CROmonitor.com by Yousaf Sekander (Director at RocketMill) to help with analyzing what some of our competitors might be experimenting with.”
Q. Do you see a growing trend of website owners realizing the importance of CRO?
“There’s definitely a change in focus on conversion optimization. Many marketers today acknowledge CRO to be a key pillar of their overall digital marketing strategy. In fact, for more than four in five companies, the internal focus on CRO has increased over the past year, according to the 2014 Conversion Rate Optimization Report by Econsultancy and RedEye (source). As more and more companies realize they can highly benefit from embracing CRO, I believe the focus on CRO will grow even more over time.”
It’s difficult to disagree with anything Yaniv says. He’s a nice guy with a plethora of knowledge in his field. It was my pleasure to conduct this interview post.