I have an insatiable itch — an unappeasable, uncontrollable curiosity itch.
I’ve found this itch to be common in marketers, especially those specializing in conversion rate optimization (CRO).
(RELATED: Leveraging Conversion Rate Optimization to Drive Growth)
And one of the best ways to scratch the old curiosity itch is to spend some quality time on the top CRO blogs to see the new tactics and processes agencies and brand-side marketers are implementing.
There are three categories of blogs I recommend staying in tune with:
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Analytics & Tag Manager
Today, I’m sharing what’s on my (and the Digital Marketer team’s) CRO reading list.
I’m even sharing the one email I look forward to daily that delivers these blogs and more straight to my inbox.
Bookmarks ready? Let’s get into it.
ConversionXL is currently the most dominant CRO blog. With the most in depth articles ranging across topics like testing, research, UX, design, and more; you’ll never run out of something worth reading.
Peep Laja, who is probably the most ‘in your face’ optimizer I’ve met, founded this blog. He has no problem telling you what’s broken in his articles so that he can get right to the point: advice surrounding clean optimization processes.
Post Frequency: ~1/week
Post Types: Mainly written blog posts, though Peep has started posting videos from ConversionXL Live 2014.
Favorite Post: How To Analyze Your A/B Tests with Google Analytics
This is a must read if you want to start really digging into your test data. Your testing tech data is merely reporting averages, get a better understanding of the true conversion rate by digging into segments, demographics, and more.
The Unbounce blog is perfect for anyone who wants to keep up on the latest landing page optimization tips. Oli Gardner, founder of Unbounce, has arguably seen more landing pages than anyone alive. He’s assembled a top-notch editorial team that pump out amazing content.
Post Frequency: 3-4/week
Post Types: Written blog posts with lots of images
Favorite Post: 29 Landing Page Reviews That Show Why Clarity is the Key to Conversions
There are several landing page review roundup posts on Unbounce, and if you see one written by Oli, it’s a must read. This post is one of my favorites because it stresses one of the most important factors on any page: clarity.
You’ll get some great tips from this post and a few laughs along the way. Enjoy.
Brian Masssey, the Conversion Scientist, is one of the ‘OG’ conversion rate optimization figures. He’s been in the business for a long time, and puts together some stellar content.
This blog mainly covers standard CRO topics like optimized design, landing page optimization, mobile design, testing, and more.
Brian and I had the pleasure of doing a landing page critique session on Digital Marketer’s Office Hours and you should check it out if you’re a DM Lab member.
Post Frequency: 3-4/week
Post Types: Written, video, and audio
Favorite Post: Your Rotating Headers Don’t Have To Kill Your Conversion Rate
Marketers universally hate sliders (myself included), but sometimes you just can’t get them removed from your site. This post explains how you can make your slider work for you.
Analytics & Tag Manager
Simo Ahava’s Blog
Simply put, this is the best Google Tag Manager blog today. If you use tag manager, read it.
Post Frequency: Sporadic frequent posts with some lulls.
Post Types: Written
Favorite Post: #GTMtips: Use The All Pages Trigger Correctly
So it’s tough to have a favorite post on this blog, mainly because I read this when I need further insight into a problem I’m having with GTM. I think this is a good example of Simo’s kind of posts, and is also very insightful.
Oh yeah, be sure to ALWAYS read through the comments – some of the best stuff comes from there!
No list would be complete without mentioning the man, the myth, the legend: Avinash Kaushik. Simply put, Avinash is an analytics genius and if you aren’t reading his posts you should. #nerdalert
Get ready; when you commit to a post take your time. Read through and maybe even take some notes. Avinash shares a lot of actionable tips to get better data. So don’t be a passive participant, take action and get control of your data!
Post Frequency: Unknown, posts are not dated.
Post Types: Written
Favorite Post: Digital Marketing & Analytics: Five Deadly Myths De-mythtified!
This is a great post where Avinash really digs into some of the digital marketing and analytics misconceptions. I’m a fan of myth posts, but simply pointing out the myth only does half of the job. After Avinash highlights these myths, he outlines what to do next.
Get Elastic Blog
Run by Linda Bustos, GetElastic is one of the most read ecommerce blogs. This high frequency blog, dedicated to everything ecommerce, is a great read. Linda does a great job putting actionable insights into relatively bite-sized pieces of information.
Unlike some of the analytics blogs, you won’t be spending an hour or more reading, you will get great ecommerce tips in the matter of minutes.
Post Frequency: 2-3/Week
Post Types: Written and Infographics
Favorite Post: A New Cart Cross-Selling Strategy
Increasing the average order value (AOV) is crucial for any ecommerce store, and the cross-sell is a great way to boost your AOV. This brief post outlines a new strategy to try out quickly and succinctly.
Cleverbridge Ecommerce Blog
This is another great ecommerce focused blog that covers more advanced ecommerce tactics. As a cart provider, cleverbridge is able to share insights from their own methods when working with clients.
What I really love about this blog is they have a ‘tl:dr’ section at the bottom of every post that they identify as a ‘Keystone’. The body of the content gives you in depth details, and the final section of the post shares the over all theme.
Post Frequency: 2-3/Week
Post Types: Written and infographics
Favorite Post: Localization 101 – The First Five Steps
Localization is one of my favorite ways to segment visitors for deeper insight. This post is an introduction to localization and shares why it’s useful and what to avoid.
Tommy Walker heads up the Shopify blog and he does an amazing job putting together stellar content. If you aren’t familiar with Tommy, he was previously the editor of Conversion XL and was a huge reason for that blog’s success.
This is a kind of jack of all trades blogs that shares case studies, analytics tips, tips for merchants, ecommerce strategies, and more.
Post Frequency: 2-3/week
Post Types: Written, case study, and video
Favorite Post: 6 Scientific Principles of Persuasion All Smart Ecommerce Founders Should Know
This post goes through Dr. Cialdini’s six points of persuasion and applies them to your ecommerce site. It’s really cool stuff that you should check out as soon as you finish reading his post!
Update: Shopify just launched Shopify Enterprise Ecommerce with Tommy Walker at the helm. This will definitely be a new addition to my reading list and is worth checking out.
Favorite post: Decoding Customer Lifetime Value and Designing Buyer Behavior
Whether you’re a start up or an enterprise company, this blog post will have something for you. Knowing your customer’s lifetime value is essential for your business’ success. Give this one a read – you won’t regret it.
All right, that’s a wrap!
Now I said I would share with you the one email I look forward to daily that gives me all of these blogs and more in one place…
If you’re not already a subscriber, go to Visitorcentric and join their email list. They send an email daily at 1 pm daily with the most recent posts from the blogs I mentioned above (and many more!) — saving you time and optimizing what you’re reading daily.
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