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8 Conversion Rate Optimization Case Studies: Challenges, Solutions + Results


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Mar 19, 2024
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Conversion rate optimization case studies show the steps a CRO agency took to overcome a business website’s low conversion rate. We share 8 CRO case studies showing our process and results for various business types and sizes.

Here, you’ll find:

Want to ensure your landing page, homepage, email marketing campaigns, and ad copy get the most conversions possible?

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, uses data to ensure your content perfectly aligns with the needs of your target audience.

At HawkSEM, we carry out conversion rate optimization for clients across a wide range of industries, from education and manufacturing to ecommerce and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

We’ve put together 8 conversion rate optimization case studies to show how to use CRO to your advantage. We’ll introduce you to our clients, the issues they faced, and how we used conversion rate optimization to get them the results they deserve.

What are conversion rate optimization case studies?​

Conversion optimization case studies showcase a company’s problem, the steps taken by a CRO agency to solve them, and showcase the end results.

CRO case studies help businesses and digital marketing professionals understand the conversion rate optimization process, inspiring new approaches and strategies.

They also help organizations looking to outsource their conversion rate optimization to find an agency that shares their brand values and can tackle their unique challenges.

In these case studies we’ll talk about:

  • The problem the organization faced and the CRO goal it wanted to achieve
  • The solution we put in place and the thought process behind it
  • The tangible results the organization experienced

Ready for more leads, opportunities, and sales? Keep scrolling to see 8 amazing CRO case studies.

Looking for help with your paid ads? Check out how we helped 12 companies with their PPC strategies.

8 conversion rate optimization case studies to inspire your CRO strategy​

Implementing a high-quality CRO strategy can be challenging. You must gather data accurately and without bias, analyze the metrics, and test the changes to ensure you get the right results.

These organizations came to us wanting to make significant, data-driven changes to their online marketing. Here’s how we helped them boost their conversions and get ahead of their competitors.

  1. Wyndham Capital Mortgage: 250% more conversions in a tightly regulated marketplace
  2. California State University: 50% more leads with data-driven analysis
  3. Datadog: a 75% increase in sales demos with highly-optimized landing pages
  4. AppDynamics: over 200 A/B tested landing pages leading to 20% more conversions
  5. Happy Ears Hearing Center: small tweaks to increase local conversions by 44%
  6. CDL Consultants: testing headlines to increase conversion volume by 124%
  7. Easly: Combining CRO and SEO to boost conversions and search engine presence
  8. Sierra Nevada University: CRO-optimized landing pages resulting in a 309% conversion boost

1. Wyndham Capital Mortgage: 250% more conversions in a tightly regulated marketplace​

Wyndham Capital Mortgage (now part of SoFi) was a US-based mortgage provider. Founded in 2001, the company specialized in residential loans, offering paperless lending online.

The problem​

The mortgage market is a highly competitive one, with an estimated 4,334 institutions all across the country. This makes it important to offer a great first impression and clearly demonstrate your value proposition to existing customers.

Wyndham Capital Mortgage wanted to increase the number of high-quality leads it received through its website. It also needed to do this in line with strict federal trade commission (FTC) advertising guidelines. It was imperative that any claims made were genuine, accurate, and not misleading.

The solution​

Wyndham Capital Mortgage had seen success in the past using Google Ads to drive traffic to landing pages, so we kept this model and optimized it.

We started with the company’s Google Ads account, creating more targeted campaigns and ad groups to encourage higher-quality traffic. The ads were CRO tested to identify which ad copy, assets, and call to action (CTA) customers preferred.

While we didn’t test for these for Wyndham Capital Mortgage, you can also use CRO testing to see which testimonials and social proof (for example, names of existing clients) work well in your ads too.

Our team of CRO experts also created custom landing pages, carrying out A/B testing to determine the copy that resulted in the most leads. The additional benefit of this was that the improved landing pages led to an increased Google Ads Quality Score, resulting in a lower cost per click (CPC).

The results​

By analyzing the entire customer journey from beginning to end, Wyndham Capital Mortgage increased conversions by 250% and reduced the average cost per lead by 45%.

The work we did didn’t just result in more leads, but better quality leads too. We helped Wyndham Capital Mortgage develop a lead qualifier tool so it could easily identify potential customers that were ready to apply for a mortgage.

2. California State University: 50% more leads with data-driven analysis​

California State University (CSUN) is a public university in Los Angeles, California. It’s one of the largest universities in the state, offering over 125 bachelor programs and 70 master’s degrees.

California State University homepage

The problem​

The marketing team at CSUN wanted to increase enrollment on its most-undersubscribed education programs. It asked us to take charge of ten degree programs and increase the conversion rate of each using Google Ads.

Competition in the education sector is fierce, especially in fields like business, computer science, and engineering. It’s vital that institutions show off their credentials through strong copywriting, the right use of images, and accurate targeting.

The solution​

Before starting, we took time to understand the specifics of each degree program. Each degree program had a different target audience and keywords, and it was important to bear all this in mind when conducting testing.

We then continuously experimented on ad copy, making small changes until we discovered what drove the highest conversion rates. We only made modifications when the data (from tools like Google Analytics) gave us the green light to do so.

Conversion rate optimization isn’t the place for hunches or intuition — statistical significance is of the utmost importance!

The results​

The work we did led to a significant increase in landing page conversions – with 50% increased leads across the board in the space of three months. This was done at half the previous cost per acquisition (CPA).

CSUN was so impressed with the uplift it saw that the marketing team gave us control of its full catalog of programs.

3. Datadog: a 75% increase in sales demos with highly-optimized landing pages​

Datadog is a SaaS-based monitoring platform for infrastructure and operations teams, pulling together data from a wide range of tools. The company’s client list includes Zendesk, Citrix, Shopify, and Airbnb.

Datadog homepage

The problem​

Datadog identified a wide range of issues with its lead generation process, including poor-quality campaigns and landing pages with low conversion rates. The company wanted an agency to take control of the process and boost conversions, increasing budget and ad spend if needed.

The solution​

After cleaning up Datadog’s Google Ads account, including adding negative keywords and pausing expensive ad campaigns, we turned our attention to Datadog’s landing pages. Web design is critical to the CRO process and we wanted to ensure the redesigned landing pages enhanced the user experience rather than detract from it.

It was important that the landing pages were unobtrusive, simple to understand, and easy to convert on. A/B testing let us identify the right elements to use and the right placements, for example, if the CTA button should be placed above-the-fold or below-the-fold.

The results​

We increased budget and ad spend, but greatly increased the number of leads Datadog received. Our work led to a 75% increase in sales demos and a massive 400% reduction in CPA. The click through rate on Google Ads also went from below 1% to over 3%.

Alongside increasing leads through conversion rate optimization, we also integrated UTM parameters. This made it easier for Datadog to identify where leads came from, helping it with any future CRO.

4. AppDynamics: over 200 A/B tested landing pages leading to 20% more conversions​

AppDynamics specializes in helping large enterprises identify issues and bugs on their website and mobile apps, helping them provide an enhanced user experience.

AppDynamics homepage

The problem​

The AppDynamics marketing team wanted a conversion rate optimization agency to help them increase online sales. While the company already had 40 targeted landing pages, it was keen to create more web pages to attract and convert key audiences.

The solution​

When working on a conversion rate optimization audit, it’s critical to consider the entire process from start to finish. As part of the work with AppDynamics, we looked at both its paid advertising and landing pages.

Our PPC experts worked with AppDynamics to manage its paid ads, including A/B testing ad copy to drive the most clicks.
We then created over 200 landing pages and redesigned the existing ones to target customers. Studies show the more targeted landing pages a business has, the more leads it can expect.

All pages were strategically A/B tested to maximize the number of conversions received. Everything from the headlines to the number of social media buttons were taken into consideration.

The results​

We were able to increase AppDynamics overall conversion rate by 20%. While this might not sound like a lot compared to other conversion rate optimization case studies, it’s important to remember that AppDynamics sells enterprise software.

Through a combination of paid advertising and relevant landing pages, we also doubled the amount of traffic AppDynamics expected to receive.

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5. Happy Ears Hearing Center: small tweaks to increase local conversions by 44%​

Happy Ears Hearing Center is a Phoenix-based audiology practice, well-known as an industry expert not just regionally, but nationally.

Happy Ears Hearing Center homepage

The problem​

The Happy Ears Hearing Center content marketing team wanted to establish their web pages as the number one resource for information about hearing disorders.

Not only this, but they wanted to encourage local customers to book appointments.

The solution​

To increase website dwell time, lower the overall bounce rate, and enhance the user experience, we used conversion rate optimization to enhance page design. To start, we used heat maps to see what areas of a page got the attention of visitors, and what made them click away.

Our CRO experts and design team then made small adjustments to pages, including colors, pop-ups, headers, and CTAs. By repeating the heat mapping process, they could see if web visitors liked or disliked the new design.

The results​

The new version of pages led to a 396% increase in organic traffic, as well as a 44% increase in local conversions.
Happy Ears Hearing Center’s results were fantastic to see, and proof that all online businesses can benefit from conversion rate optimization, no matter how large or small.

6. CDL Consultants: testing headlines to increase conversion volume by 124%​

CDL Consultants helps companies across the US contest trucking tickets, citations and violations.

CDL Consultants homepage

The problem​

CDL Consultants used Google Ads to drive leads to its website, as well as encourage prospective customers to call. The issue: The company was receiving a lot of irrelevant leads, for example, in regions it didn’t offer support to.

The solution​

As well as adding negative keywords and using smart bidding to enhance the quality of prospective leads, we used CRO to test ad copy. Our team of CRO and PPC experts worked together to test multiple ad headlines to see which led to the most clicks and most importantly, the most quality conversions.

The results​

By auditing and making changes to CDL Consultants Google Ad accounts, we increased conversion volume by 124% and reduced CPA by nearly 22%. This meant more closed revenue for the business and less time chasing irrelevant leads.

7. Easly: Combining CRO and SEO to boost conversions and search engine presence​

Easly is a Canadian-based platform that provides advances on research and development refunds, helping startups get the money they need to grow without losing their equity.

Easly homepage

The problem​

Before reaching out to us, Easly didn’t have much of a search engine presence — only ranking for 20 keywords. It wanted our help to raise brand awareness and rank for the keywords potential customers used.

This was a challenging brief, as Easly’s niche and target audience is very limited. Therefore it was important for us to do everything we could to help the company rank in search engines like Google.

The solution​

User experience is essential for SEO — if people trust your site, search engines will trust it too. To provide Easly with an additional search engine boost, we used CRO to discover what elements were most likely to help customers convert, and encourage them to stay on the website. We could then redesign the pages to drive clicks and signups.

For example, through user testing, we found a range of different CTAs on the Easily homepage led to the most signups.

The results​

The SEO work we did led to a 16-fold increase in the number of keywords Easily ranked for, and a significant increase in on-site conversions.

8. Sierra Nevada University: CRO-optimized landing pages resulting in a 309% conversion boost​

Sierra Nevada University (now rebranded as the University of Nevada) is a private university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

The problem​

Sierra Nevada University used a combination of PPC ads and targeted landing pages to promote specific degree programs. However, it felt it wasn’t getting high-quality leads. The institution wanted a more focused approach that led to the right enrollments.

The solution​

As well as restructuring Sierra Nevada University’s PPC accounts to minimize wasted clicks, we also spent time building CRO-focused landing pages. These pages were designed to target specific students, highlighting the benefits of studying at the university.

Our CRO testing focused on form layouts and form conversions. We found that students responded best to forms at the top of the web page, above the fold. This was valuable information that the Sierra Nevada University marketing team could use in its marketing moving forward.

The results​

As a result of our work, Sierra Nevada University experienced a 309% increase in conversions, as well as a 43% decrease in the cost of conversions.

The takeaway​

Marketing expert Dan Zarella once said: “Marketing isn’t magic. There is a science to it.”
Conversion rate optimization is the most scientific of the marketing processes. By gathering data and analyzing the movements of your customers, you can test hypotheses that make a significant impact on the number and quality of leads you receive.

If you need inspiration, take these conversion optimization case studies. You can use them to boost leads, opportunities, and sales across your business. Whether you work in the B2B sector or offer ecommerce to B2C shoppers, you’ll be sure to reap the benefits of CRO!

CRO can feel daunting if you’re new to it, especially if you’re usually guided by intuition when making changes to your website. However, if you’re looking for a methodical CRO strategist, HawkSEM is here to help.

Our expert team will work with your business to understand your goals. From there, we’ll put together a conversion rate optimization strategy that delivers results.

We then use state-of-the-art testing tools, like our own Conversion IQ technology, to track, manage, and optimize conversions, meaning we can make data-driven changes to your marketing channels.

See how we can help you get a higher conversion rate — contact us today and let’s work together to drive your business forward.

The post 8 Conversion Rate Optimization Case Studies: Challenges, Solutions + Results appeared first on HawkSEM.
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