The first-mover advantage: Why it’s imperative to focus on CRO now

Last updated: February 2018

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
—Chinese proverb.

In a previous article, we introduced “The Power Law of CRO”—and why it means conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the most important activity for your business. Here, we explain why it’s imperative to start now.

The first-mover advantage

Increase your conversion rate, and your profit increases disproportionately. Sometimes profoundly.

As long as you have a higher profit-per-visitor than your competitors do, then every day you’ll have a slight unfair economic advantage over them.

The wider you make that gap, the faster you accelerate ahead. That gap becomes a moat that makes your business robust against competitors’ attacks.

If your competitors aren’t focusing on CRO already, they will be soon, because the market will keep getting more competitive.

Every day you’re ahead, you have an unfair advantage—the wind is in your sails. Every day you are behind, you have an unfair disadvantage—you’re playing catch-up.

The difference depends on how soon you start, and how fast you move.

With iterative testing, your profits can only go up—because you keep only the winners.

Does your business depend on free traffic?

If your web business depends on free traffic from search engines or social media sites, you’ll get the following additional benefits:

1. Because CRO enables you to profitably advertise in different media, your business will become much more stable. You’ll no longer be hooked on free traffic and no longer at the whim of a search engine algorithm change.

Here’s an example from our work with

“Our increased conversion rate quickly led to an increase in traffic from our paid advertising, SEO, and email marketing. We were able to enter new markets that had previously been too expensive for us. We have also been able to expand into TV advertising.”

2. CRO will make your website customer-centric, so your customers will like you more and stay with you for longer. It also means other websites are more likely to link to yours.

Here’s an example from our work with Rand Fishkin and Moz

“I didn’t even realize how valuable CRO was…but I do now. I understand that CRO, at its best and broadest, is useful from both a product and a user experience perspective. It helps you understand your audience’s intent, behavior, and preferences.”

Learning CRO is a great career choice

In our experience, the best career strategy is to (1) Create more value. CRO allows you to reliably do this, and then (2) Prove you’ve done so. A/B testing allows you to do this.

As such, CRO makes for a fantastic career choice. There’s a serious shortage of people who have proof that they can grow businesses. Amazingly, most people’s résumés have no quantifiable evidence that they have ever created value. Thanks to CRO, many of our clients, followers, and team members have incredibly impressive success stories on their résumés.

Plus, if you’re anything like us, you’ll find it endlessly fascinating.

What you should do now

1. We have already grown companies just like yours. (We have helped to grow clients in 37 countries in 11 languages.) So wherever you are in the world, if you’d like us to work on your website—to dramatically increase its profits—then claim your FREE website strategy session. On this free phone consultation, one of our experts will discuss your conversion goals and suggest strategies to double your sales.

2. If you’d like to learn conversion for free, go to our “Learning Zone” page, where you can download templates of million-dollar winning pages. Or, if you’d like us to build your company’s in-house capabilities (not for free), then contact us and we’ll discuss your requirements.

3. If you’d like to work for us—or see why our team members love working for us—then see our “Careers” pages.

4. If you enjoyed this article, then so will your friends, so why not share it on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Email.

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