Welcome to this episode of Woman Powering E-Commerce. Join me every Tuesday and Thursday as I take you behind the scenes of my journey as a female e-commerce entrepreneur. Together we'll explore the highest, the lows, inspiring you to take action and achieve your own business goals. So let's get started.
If I asked you, "What is the often overlooked key to maximizing business growth?" I'm sure you would have a lot of answers, but for me it's conversion rate optimization, also known as CRO. That's probably the thing I've overlooked the most in the last couple of years. And as of today, we're actually working proactively to really focus on CRO. We've had a CRO audit on our website done, and now we're just going to plan out how we're going to do this and make sure that we do it on an ongoing basis from now on.
So actually, our initial focus this year was to prioritize traffic to our website. Of course, we've invested in paid ads as usual, but our main focus was to move away from the paid ads and really find a way to optimize traffic through SEO just because we have a little bit more control over that kind of organic traffic and we see a lot of good results on other websites, and we definitely want to do that for ourselves.
So that was our main focus this year. And honestly, we got good results, our traffic increased by a lot through the different methods we use to increase our traffic, but now we want to take that traffic and do something with it. And CRO is definitely the thing to do, and we always push that to the back burner just because we lack time. Time is probably something that we're always looking after as much as possible, and we just felt that other tasks were always more pressing.
So that's one thing, but thinking we could control our growth through traffic generation alone was maybe something we miscalculated this year. So we brought in a lot of traffic to realize maybe it didn't convert as much as we'd like to. And then we looked into our conversion rate metric and realized that, okay, it needed work, we needed to work on that. So what we had done is a CRO audit, and honestly, it was a revelation. We realized the untapped potential of CRO. I just realized that now. I knew it was good, but it feels like adapting that to our own website and specific needs made it more realistic. And I realized all the things that we can do from now on with that information that we didn't have before.
So I'm super excited to actually put our plan into action. We had someone that works with us in-house. He's our SEO specialist, and he's the one that did our CRO audit. He presented all the wonderful things we can actually do on our website, and it hit me. That's the one thing I realized that CRO is probably one of the best things you have control over on your website. We put so much effort, time and money into paid ads and even... SEO, it's great. We love it, we do it. We try to do as many articles and back linking as possible, but CRO is wonderful because you constantly AB test things and I saw that potential. In just the last year when we did our email marketing, 18% of our store revenue came from email marketing at the beginning of last year, approximately, and now it's more around the 40%. And that's because we stacked. We did a little bit of CRO in the end specific to email by AB testing, and the results just are awesome because they build up as you go.
So you just pile results on top of results, which is wonderful. So I'm super excited to do that with our website. And today, like I said, we had our CRO audit presented to us, my husband and I, and I just grabbed a few lessons that I thought I'd share that with you today. But there's definitely a difference between traffic and conversion. Of course there is, but what I mean is that driving traffic is half the battle. That's really what it is because converting that traffic effectively is where the real changes will happen. There's no point in bringing so much traffic and it not converting. So you want to make sure your traffic is one, of good quality, but two, you want to make sure your website is optimized to make sure that they go all the way down your sales funnel.
Now, another thing I realized is that CRO has several faces. It's not just about tweaking a landing page or your homepage. It really involves much more than that. It involves understanding user behavior, testing, iterating constantly, optimizing every single touch point on your website. So yeah, it's all of these things. And it's important to understand that because once you do, you realize again, like I did this morning, the potential that we have and that's just sleeping. So we'll definitely get started as soon as possible with that.
There's another thing I realized. Everything you put into paid ads, in SEO costs, your CRO helps optimize the return on investment. What I mean with that is that while we can control the budget for ads in our SEO efforts, every visitor that doesn't convert is potentially wasted money. So this is crucial.
All right, another point is user experience is king. A significant part of CRO is entering seamless, intuitive user experience and that will lead to higher customer satisfaction, and we're probably going to use this company called UserTesting. I definitely recommend that if you're looking to gain a little bit of knowledge on the UX, user experience side of things. It's a company that you can actually pay, usertesting.com, and you tell them what your industry is, your avatar.
So they'll find someone that really is your ideal customer as much as possible, and then you can ask them to test whatever you need tested on your website. So you can ask them to find a product, put it to the cart, how do they feel, what do they think about the page, what's missing? And then what the system will do is the software, the UserTesting software will record their screen, they will record the person's voice. I think now, it wasn't available when we did it a few years ago, but now they'll actually record the person's face, their reactions while they test the website and go through what you ask them to do. So you get their visual, which is amazing. And so yeah, that feedback is invaluable. You want to know what your customers are thinking and through that then you can optimize and really work on your CRO that way as well.
All right, also, data-driven decision-making, that's key. CRO emphasizes making decisions based on data, not just intuition. And that's important. That's very important. So this will lead to be more predictable and it will allow you to have a sustainable growth. So I'm loving it. Definitely, we want to make sure that our decisions are based on data and not just what we feel will work or not.
So maybe two other points. So second to last, and I spoke about that earlier about when I talked about email marketing, is the compounding effect of CRO. So even the smallest improvements in conversion rates can lead to huge increases in revenue over time. So that's the snowball effect, and we definitely want that for our e-commerce store. We cannot miss out on that and I have, we missed out on that potential for so long, but I don't want to do that anymore. I just really want to act on making sure we can AB test all the time and always stack our results with time.
And finally, adaptability. So e-commerce is definitely dynamic. So just regularly reviewing and optimizing conversion strategies is essential to stay ahead of competitors and on top of industry trends. I feel that sometimes we'll find a good recipe that works for us, it'll work for us for maybe a year or two, and then we might sit on it and forget that things are changing and that we might need to adapt and we cannot keep that same recipe forever. So I think personally, that's something I forget. So I need to remind myself that constantly.
So that's it. That really summarizes a little bit what I got out of our CRO audit this morning. I just wanted to share a few points with you today about that. And if you have any CRO tricks and tips you want to give out, then feel free. I'm always open to any tips and tricks. So that's it. This ends our episode for today. If you liked it, please rate, share, subscribe. This is really our way to support more women in the e-commerce space. So see you next time.
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