How long should it take to see results from a conversion rate optimization effort? And when will inbound marketing start yielding those same stronger conversions? It can be a touchy subject – but for companies waffling over whether or not to spend money on CRO and inbound, it’s an important one to address.
In response, the answer is that the speed with which you realize greater conversions is variable and depends on some key business factors:
1. Your Starting Point
Already got reams of incoming traffic and a well-established online presence? Then you’re in luck – you’ll likely wait less time to see tangible movements in your conversion numbers. For conversion rate optimization to work, tests need to yield statistically significant results. Without incoming data to evaluate changes and decisions, you risk making changes on a whim and getting stuck in neutral.
And because CRO is a process of data-driven testing and tweaking, you’ll be able to move through iterations much more quickly than a site that’s just getting off the ground and has only just begun to use inbound marketing to earn traffic.
2. The Length of Your Customer Buying Cycle
If you’re selling houses or installing pools, your customers’ buying cycle is a whole lot longer than someone selling engraved pens or foam fingers. Because there’s more consideration involved, conversions happen at a slower pace – quite naturally.
Keeping that in mind, it makes sense that when changes are made to your website or marketing plan – even if traffic gains are realized – it may be some time before you see that traffic turn into paying customers. Products with a relatively short buying cycle can expect to see the numbers moving earlier on.
3. The Magnitude of Your Inbound Campaign
There’s a direct relationship between how much quality content you’re creating and distributing, and how many leads and sales you can expect to see in return.
For example, HubSpot found that 82% companies who blog daily (which can be a very tall order for a small business) acquired a customer through their blogs, as opposed to 57% of those who blogged monthly (which is still a great result!). Tweet This
It also stands to reason that those who invest in SEO and increase their organic traffic have a greater pool of potential leads to draw from, delivering 14% of marketers total leads (on and offline) and above average conversion rates.
The more lines you have in the water – from e-mail marketing and SEO to social media and beyond – the greater the number of conversions you can expect to see – and more quickly, too. But as we mentioned in a previous blog post, if you’re just starting out, it will take time for these channels to bring in new leads.
How Long Does It Usually Take?
Reading the above, you may start to wonder about precisely how long the average time between implementation and realized conversions is – Weeks? Months? Years?
Is it a case of “Hurry up and wait?” Not quite.
Typically, when all the pieces are moving in the right direction and collaboration is a priority for your business, substantial returns will be realized within just 1 – 6 months.
For the most part, the idea that you can change the color of a few buttons and see an immediate explosion in conversions is a myth – but with a targeted, consistent and maintained process of attracting, persuading and guiding customers down the path to buying, the conversions will come!