This is how you do CRO. The complete roadmap to earn more with the same number of visitors.

CRO, conversion rate optimization or conversion optimization. Whatever you call it, it’s currently hot. Very hot. Because who wouldn’t want to earn more with the same number of visitors? Conversion optimization is often approached incorrectly… In this article, I’ll show you how not to do it. But more importantly, how it must be done. Step by step.


CRO is not about button colors!

Do you recognize yourself? You read an article in which Company X increased its conversion rate by 50%, by changing the color of the call-to-action button from red to orange. You happen to have red buttons on your site as well. So you set up an A/B test to see whether orange buttons would work better for you. In the worst case, you don’t even do an A/B test and you just make all your buttons orange in a hurry. Let the money roll in!

But what happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No difference at all.

And so you decide: CRO doesn’t work! Wrong. CRO works ridiculously well. Only not that way.

How should you do it? Like this:


1. Research

Here’s where the example went wrong. The majority of conversion optimization efforts are not based on research. And thus not based on data. A data-driven approach to conversion optimization guarantees you the best results.


No good remedy without a good diagnosis

Often a conversion optimization attempt starts with 1 of the 2 following scenarios. And both scenarios are doomed to fail:

  • You read a case study and try to repeat the success from the case study to your site by testing exactly the same thing. That’s like going to the doctor with knee pain and asking for a certain painkiller because that helped the neighbor with his back pain. Every site is different. Different problems. Different solutions. You can only prescribe a remedy if you have made the correct diagnosis.
  • A so-called expert tells you immediately what you need to test. Yes, he has experience. And he will probably hit the nail on the head more often than someone without experience. But that’s like a doctor looking at your knee from a distance and deciding that you need a cast. The doctor might be right. But the chance is also great that he has prescribed the wrong remedy. He can only reach the correct diagnosis with some X-rays and other investigation. And then prescribe the proper remedy.

Without good research, you’re flying blind. You just do something. And that is a waste of time, money and traffic. You can better use your traffic for A/B tests that do have a chance of succeeding. Only in that way can you make it as clear as possible what works best for your visitors. And only in that way can you increase your turnover.

But how does such conversion research go exactly? Follow these 3 steps:

a. Correct data collection.

Make sure that you collect the data in the right way. Most likely, you have Google Analytics (GA) on your site. But is GA configured in the right way? Are your goals set correctly? The goal-directed steps? Your filters? Is event tracking set where needed? And so forth. Do a complete “health check” of your Google Analytics. Because if you bring in data wrong, you’ll draw conclusions on the basis of bad data. And that can have disastrous consequences.

b. Quantitative research

Is your data coming into GA correctly? Super! Then we can now dive into GA to see where it’s going wrong. A good conversion optimizer will need 1 to 2 days to draw ample information from your GA. Your optimizer will play with segments, reports, devices and browsers until finding out where things go wrong.

GA of course never tells the complete story. That’s why with quantitative research you also use mouse tracking tools such as SessionCam or Clicktale. With those, you make (among other things) heat maps, scroll maps and click maps that give you a clearer view of exactly what your visitors are doing on your site.

c. Qualitative research

Here is the focus of your research. The quantitative research will tell you WHERE things are going wrong. The qualitative research will tell you WHY.

Do the following:

  • Send a customer survey to recent customers. Try in that in particular to find out why they bought from you, or why not. Send the survey only to new customers who recently made a purchase for the first time. From them, you get the most valuable feedback: the purchase was recent, so they still remember the process. And in addition, they haven’t gotten used to using the site (like your loyal customers have) and thus you can better learn what the stumbling blocks were.
    Don’t waste any time and money on expensive tools for this. With a simple Google Forms document, I have often achieved fantastic results.
  • Do user testing. You will get very valuable feedback from it and can see live where your testers struggle, what they misunderstand or do wrong.
    Talk with the customer support division. Or if you have live chat on your site: go through all the transcripts from the live chat.
  • Web surveys: simple but insightful

    Web surveys: simple but insightful

    Add a web survey to your site. Qualaroo is one of the best tools for this.

  • Cross-browser testing. Test your own site in different browsers, on different machines and different operating systems. Test it completely. Yes, in principle your web agency should have already done that. But we all know that this is not always done thoroughly. Cross-browser testing takes some time. But it can be very useful. If you note that your checkout, for example, doesn’t work on IE9, while 20% of your visitors still use IE9, then it might be clear that you could earn a lot of extra conversions by handling this problem. A handy tool for this is, with which you can simulate all possible device-browser-operating system combinations.
  • Appeal to an expert for a heuristic analysis. A heuristic analysis is an analysis with which an expert makes use of frameworks and methodologies to evaluate your site. This will more quickly identify the potential flaws of your site. Take note: Everything that is found in a heuristic analysis must in principle be supported after the fact with data from the rest of the qualitative or quantitative research or confirmed (or ruled out) on the basis of A/B testing. Never limit yourself to just a heuristic analysis.
  • Do a usability analysis, or appeal to an expert to do this for you.


2. Customer theory


Your customer might not be who you thought he is

Now that you have collected all the data and gone through it, you begin to get a clear picture of who your customer really is. Not per se who you thought the customer was. But who the customer really is. Write down your customer theory. This is a description of your customer. You can do this in the form of one or more buyer personas. How detailed you are in this is up to you. As long as your customer theory is a handy working document that you can refer to later. With each decision that you make, you must keep your customer in mind, after all. And you must thus test your decision with your customer theory.

Your customer theory is not static information, but a dynamic document. With each split test that you carry out, you will learn more about your customer. And you add that to your customer theory. In that way, you can for example learn from a test that your customer is not sensitive to discounts, but is sensitive to free delivery. You add that insight to your customer theory. In that way, you get an ever-more-complete picture of your customer. If you understand your customer better, you will serve your customer better. And better service means earning more.


3. Action plan

The next thing you do is to set up an action plan for all the problems that you have discovered from the research. Some things are so obvious that you don’t have to test them, but can implement them immediately. Other things will not be completely clear and demand further research. And there will of course be a number of problems for which you have a hypothesis about why it’s going wrong. You’re going to test these hypotheses.


4. Test, learn, convert.

Only now is it finally time to start testing. In contrast to many others who have had no success with conversion optimization, you set up your test only when you have a clear hypothesis. A hypothesis that is based on your research. You no longer test randomly in the hope of finding a winner. No, you set up tests with a much higher chance of success because they stem from a better understanding of your customer.abtest

Always start with an A/B test. Only consider multivariate testing if you really have a lot of traffic (more than 100,000 visitors per month).

Granted, not every test will produce a clear winner, certainly not in the beginning. But that is not that bad in and of itself. As long as you learn something from the test. And in that way, you further expand your customer theory. The more clear your customer theory becomes, the better your next tests will be and the higher the chance of success for the next tests. As strange as it sounds: the ultimate goal of your test is to understand your customer better.
Because understanding your customer better = serving your customer better = earning more.

Tools that you can use for this include Visual Website Optimizer and Optimizely, the 2 most-used AB test tools.


5. Keep testing


Keep testing

Don’t stick with 1 version of a test. Even if there is a clear winner, who can say that it can’t be even better? Put the winner in a new test and compare it with another version that stems from the same hypothesis. From your first test, you learned something about your customer, for example that the customer responds better to free delivery than to a discount. The version with the free delivery is thus the winner. But what if you test that version again, against another version in which free delivery is advertised even more prominently? Maybe that will produce a few extra percent.

Keep testing constantly. You can always learn something more about your customer. And you can always further improve your conversion rate. Maybe you’ll get lucky and double your conversion rate with one or a few tests. But the chance is greater that you will need many tests, each of which delivers a few percent improvement. When you add them all up, you eventually get to a drastic increase in your conversion rate.


Hopefully, this article has given you some structure and guidance for your conversion optimization efforts. Conversion optimization is not simple, but if you follow this roadmap, you’ll go a long way. And remember: “There are no losers in the testing world. If you’re learning, you’re winning”. Good luck!


About the author:
Joris Bryon is a Conversion Optimization Consultant and the man behind YORRO. He is a ConversionXL Certified Optimizer and obsessed with conversion optimization. He helps e-commerce, lead generation and SaaS sites to maximize their revenue. Learn here how he does that.



Interview with Petworld founder, Denice Hagen

Denice Hagen, founder

Image source

For most 15 year old Norwegian girls, life is spent in the great outdoors and socializing with friends. But not Denice Hagen, founder of, an online pet store who at 15 years of age entered the Norwegian eCommerce market.

Now 19 years old, Denice is not only focusing on the growth of, but is also launching two new projects in the next 12 months.

This is a story of how passion, determination and an implement like hell attitude helped Denice create a 12+ million NOK per year online business.

For those who do not know you, can you briefly tell us about yourself?

My name is Denice Hagen, just turned 19 years old. Living in Tyristrand with my family, a small village in the countryside, approx one hour from Oslo. I am still going to school and this is my last year on high school.

How did you get started with

Since I was little girl I have always been dreaming about sales and marketing. I got this wish fulfilled when I was 15 years old. I told my dad that I wanted to start an online store and he just laughed at it. Finally he said: “yes, we can try”, but he didn’t believe too much at the idea.

We didn’t know what to sell but the only business dad had good contacts in was in the pet business. So then we decided to go for a pet store since we could get the goods we needed to sell from wholesalers dad knew from before. It was very short time from when I had the idea to we opened the store, approx. three months.

We had no idea at all about ecommerce and no contacts in this business from the beginning.

Since dad didn’t believe in this project from the beginning, we started out with only one small box with goods and an old computer in our living room. I designed our first online store putted in inventory (which we didn’t actually had in stock). I opened the store and suddenly we were selling a lot of things to pets.

How did you launch while still in school?

Before we started, we agreed that this should only be a hobby project since I was in junior high school and my dad had another job. It soon became clear that we did something right. We got a lot of orders, and dad had drive to the wholesalers almost everyday and picked up the goods we needed. And I was working on the campaigns, new products, Facebook and design in the evenings and the weekends. It was a lot of work, but funny and the store was growing fast and we worked day and night. After 5 months, dad had to quit his other job and starting full time in and he still do today.

In two months I will finish high school and also work full time in as well. And I can’t wait! The best is yet to come.

How do you promote the website?

We market in Facebook, newsletter, Google and some specialist magazines. In Facebook, we find channel to communicate with our customers and we like the idea of the customer can lead us feedback, ask the questions and sharing pictures of their beloved pets. I manage our Facebook page, which has over 12.000 followers, and I find it very exciting to work with. Facebook account

Which marketing channels are the most important?

Google is a very important sources of traffic to The organic search is of course the most important, and we work all the time to improve for the Google search engine. We are lucky to co-operate with a very good company who runs our paid Google AdWords. The ads we have on print in this specialist magazine is more for branding and with a long-term perspective.

Do you have any numbers you can share?

  • Website visitors are approx. 30-35.000 visitors per month
  • Marketing budget is approx. 70,000-90,000 NOK per month
  • We expect to sell for approx 12 million NOK ex. vat. this year has been growing quite good. We started out with approx. 20-30.000 NOK and a little box of goods and an old computer in our family living room. has no bank loans or investors and the inventory in our wearhouse is paid for.

For young marketers in Norway, what would you suggest they focus on first when launching a new website?

Love what you do, stay focused and work very hard – nothing comes for free. I has dropped many things that young people take for granted, such as. parties and hanging out with friends on Saturdays nights instead I have worked with my passion and I do not regret on taking these choices today. And if you love what you do, I am sure it easier to get success.

What trends do you foresee in eCommerce stores in Norway?

I think in general eCommerce will increase a lot in Norway in the future. The customers are getting more used to buy their stuff online. Norway is perfect for eCommerce because of long-distances to physical shops. I think when the consumers are getting even more used to online shopping, this will also put new demands on the web shops like even faster shipping, larger assortment, better custumer service and of course not to forget that more and more visitors to web shops are now using their mobile phones.

Hopefully we will see new and better ways to shop online with our phones soon.

What are the 3 biggest tips/ advice you can share with young entrepreneurs in Norway who want to launch their own business?

I would say having a good and clear concept, make a good research on your future competitors, find their strong- and weakness and try to do your business better. A lot of work will normally pay off, but remember you’re not going to millionaire tomorrow. Be patient!

What’s next for

We are continuing to do what we do today; expand the product range, offering super fast shipping and a good customer service which normally are open 7 days a week. We are launching a new and responsive site later this year and looking forward to make our shop even better to our customers. In the close future the customer will also find a wide assortment for horses, livestock and hobby farming.

Outside of, what else you do do?

Outside of Petworld, I have some projects underway. coming 2015, this store will be inspired by my Instagram account @interior123, which has nearly 400.000 followers. This account was created in January 2013 and it has grown fast. Beside project and, we will also launch a new online store this summer, This is an online store we bought a few months ago; the shop was in bad condition so we closed it the same day we bought it. We started to built right away and it soon finish.

Denice Hagen, Instagram


Launching a new business is not an easy feat and yet, at 15 years old Denice was determined enough to succeed.  It just goes to show what you can achieve when you stay focused. A big thank you to Denice for taking the time out to answer these questions. It’s been very inspiring.

For more information, you can connect with Denice on LinkedIn or visit

Norway´s 50 most important e-commerce stores

A jury consisting of five profiled Norwegian e-commerce experts have picked out what they believe are the 50 most important e-commerce stores in Norway.

The jury:

The Jury: Karl Philip Lund (t.v), Eric Sandtrø, Anne Murstad, Kenneth Dreyer and Ole Martin N. Evensmo

  • Karl Philip Lund: Leading online marketing and e-commerce expert. He´s an experienced speaker and he has worked with several successful companies (Enklere Liv,, og Hurtigruten).
  • Eric Sandtrø: Managing director of and co-owner of Jollyroom. Founded and managed, one of Norway´s largest e-commerce stores.
  • Anne Murstad: interaction designer that has worked with e-commerce and digital channels for nearly 10 years. Prior to this she worked in sales and customer service for companies such as British Airways, Eurocard and SEB. In 2005 she started the online store, which won the “Newcomer of the Year 2006“.  She works at the Norwegian Postal service and Bring as business developer and partner responsible for e-commerce.
  • Kenneth Dreyer Passionate about technology, marketing and design. Organizer of E-Commerce Day, partner at digital agency Inevo and part owner of a small shop.
  • Ole Martin N. Evensmo: Editor of Has experience with online shopping at several large and medium-sized eCommerce and multichannel companies.

Selection criteria

Defining Norway’s most important online stores is no easy affair and there is also no definitive answer. The criteria to get on the list has been an overall assessment where the jury looked at:

  • Revenue
  • Reputation
  • Ability to innovate
  • Ownership
  • Awards / honors
  • International focus
  • General impression

International online stores like are not on the list. The focus is  exclusively on stores that sell physical goods. Travel sites such as,, and are important sites, but they are not part of the list. Marketplaces like and have also been omitted. The focus is on the consumer market(B2C)

Here is the list of Norway’s 50 most important online shops

  • Apotek 1 is the first and largest pharmacy chain with a market share of about 45 percent , and todays pharmacies throughout the country . Opened Shop in 2011.
  • The bookstore chain ARK consists of more than 100 stores, the online shop and a  reading app . Owned 100 % of the listed company Gyldendal ASA. If you shop and choose their ” Click & Get ! ” Solution, so book you book and can then retrieve the selected store for an hour.
  • the largest pure online store in Norway in beauty and wellness. With effective marketing , good purchasing and selling prices , free shipping and great customer focus challenges the traditional physical cosmetics stores. Owned by Netthandelen Holding AS which owns and .
  • Founded in 2009 and quickly became a contender for the big sister . Owned by Komplett Group and investing heavily in Norway . Growing rapidly .
  • 1961 was Norway’s first book club started . Today the book club book clubs of 8 , 3 series , online shops and . It is the publishers Gyldendal , Aschehoug and Pax who own book club .
  • : Established in 2006 in Sweden , and established in Norway in 2008. Also present in Finland and Denmark. Brandos was autumn 2013 sold to powerful footway after struggling with bankruptcy ghost for a long time .
  • : Scandinavia’s largest online store for music , movies and books. Seller also many other things such as kjøkkenuststyr and toys. Owned by the Swedish listed company CDON Group.
  • : Launched in 2012 a new store in Norway and Sweden. Selling everything from copy paper to tools online.
  • has existed online since 1999. They aim to offer their customers the ” coolest, prettiest and most innovative gadgets in the market .
  • : Cosmetics shop Cover Brands not match perfectly turnover and , but is a strong contender.
  • / Dustin was founded in 1984. Started originally with mail order sales of colored disks. Have eventually evolved to become one of the largest online companies in electronics . Aim to be a complete supplier of IT products and services and has approximately 1,000 employees in Sweden , Denmark, Norway and Finland.
  • Elkjøp is one of the locomotives in the Norwegian retail and their online store is growing fast thanks to good interaction with the chain’s physical stores . Offering including customers to order online and pay and pick up in any store for two hours . One of the largest online stores. Owned by Elkjøp Nordic which is owned by British Dixons.
  • Good old Ellos was founded in Sweden in 1947 , and existed in Norway since 1983. Most famous for its mail order sales, but selling now increasingly online. The range can be found primarily clothing and textiles , but also some in electronics , wellness , film and games.
  • : Easier Life is a Norwegian-owned chain with more than 30 shops and shop in Norway . Bet now in Sweden with online store and 7 shops . Is also present in Denmark online store and one physical store .
  • Expert ‘ve had some difficult years , but now seems to have gotten a little bend on both their physical stores and its online store in the increasingly tough competition .
  • is a continuation of online store loyalty program Trumf and has over 10 years experience in online shopping. Selling everything from kitchenware to children’s clothing. owned by Norway’s largest trading house, Norway Group.
  • : Swedish footway Group is very big in Scandinavia shoes. Bought in April 2013 Heppo of CDON Group, incorporated in the footway and strengthened its position in the Nordic market. In addition, the owner footway Group having bought the popular online store in autumn 2013. Shoes Sale online is the tremendous growth and is expected to increase from the current 6% to perhaps up to 30 % within a few years , predicts the owners of the footway .
  • : Gmax must endure to live in the shadow of XXL. On the web they’ll encounter tough competition from several strong players . The jury nevertheless believes that Gmax with their physical stores will eventually become a major player on the network.
  • Finished dinner dishes where the ingredients and recipes supplied as a package , is becoming more popular amongst us busy Norwegians. Budgeting nearly 200 million in revenue in 2014 .
  • Gymgrossisten is the largest supplier of nutritional supplements ,health products , fitness apparel and training gear. Owned by the listed Swedish company CDON Group. Among the contenders we find .
  • Turnover amounted to about 130 million in 2013. Started physical store as early as 1929. In 1997 they opened for sale of book content online, the following year opened the online bookstore with full search and product range . In 2009 they chose to focus solely on net and was Norway’s first pure online bookstore. In 2013 was voted best online store in Norwegian Kundebarometer examination and the total ended in fourth place in the survey that measures customer satisfaction and loyalty among 186 Norwegian companies . The shop is located in Lviv in Møre og Romsdal and proves that it is possible to conduct commerce at smaller places in Norway .
  • : Norwegians love Hennes & Mauritz ! Named Shop of the Year Bring in 2009 but a lot has happened since then . Carnegie Bank calculates that the company sells online for approximately 7.5 billion Norwegian kroner worldwide , equivalent to 5.6 percent of their total sales.
  • : The Swedish giant launched online store in Norway in 2012. It will be exciting to see what Ikea can get online soon.
  • InkClub , including their mini – stores jerk club and battery club , is a leader in inkjet cartridges , toners , vacuum cleaner bags , batteries and similar supplies . Launched in the year 2000. Owned 100 % of the Swedish listed company Ica Group.
  • : In Norway consists Interflora of about 375 fagblomsterhandlere . They are members of Interflora Inc. , the world’s largest flower vendors.
  • : The shop Jolly Room sells children’s clothing and children’s equipment in Scandinavia. The company is based in Sweden , but with the complete- founders Eric Sandtrø , Jan Tore Kopperud and Ole Sauar owners. The latter is also the CEO of the company based in Gothenburg. Aiming for about 200 million in total revenues in 2014 and one billion revenue in the long term.
  • Started as late as fall 2013 , but the record created an enormous amount of attention paid to selling food online and their online store.
  • : Started selling online in 1995 and has since done very well . The largest online store with nearly 2 billion in revenue . Named Shop of the Year Bring in 2006 and 2007 . Owned by Complete Group.
  • : Since 1989 Kondomeriet been a leader in the sale of erotic articles in Norway . In addition to the online store, 10 physical stores in Norway . 2nd place award in the ” People’s online friends ” by Bring and Post in 2013 , where nearly 13,000 voted for their favorite store.
  • : owned by Elkjøp Nordic. Living in the shadow of big brother Elkjøp, but still manages well in a tough electronics market .
  • : Lekmer aims to become the market leader in Scandinavia selling toys online. Lekmer is headquartered in Stockholm and warehouse in Falkenberg , Sweden. Lekmer was founded in January 2006 and is currently owned by the Swedish listed company CDON Group.
  • Claims at least saying that they are the market leader in Norway in sales of contact lenses online, but the market is bewildering and includes a sea of ​​competitors who , , and .
  • : When you shop from order goes directly to your favorite store , which sends you the item directly. is rapidly growing with over 400 stores online and collect leading fashion environment in one place. Also available in Sweden , Denmark , the Netherlands and Spain.
  • : Clothing of the strangest shapes and colors . One of the few Norwegian companies with an international scope . Have both commerce and physical stores . Among other things named ” Company of the Year ” organized by Innovation Norway in 2013 .
  • : Owned by Complete Group and hence bad brother, but still one of the biggest online stores. Seller TVs , computers , photography , and much more in electronics .
  • : is currently one of the leading online stores for clothes for both women and men.
  • No advanced network solution , but has a simple and great mobile / tablet order which account for a large proportion of turnover. They opened the store first, then physical store . Also one of the few online stores that offer customers the ability to add multiple addresses to get the goods delivered either at work, cabin or home.
  • Voted Norway’s cheapest online store of summer of 2011 and the second cheapest in the spring of 2012. Named ” year net favorite” under the direction of Posten and Bring in 2013 . Supplier mostly electronics.
  • : started with its first auction in 2002. Prior to that time was a regular store. The company started in 1997 , but in 1999 became the domain registered. Owned by Netthandelen Holding AS which owns and .
  • : was originally started by ICA , but was eventually sold due to lack of profitability. Meetings increasingly tough competition from players such as , , , and
  • : SIBA is one of Sweden ‘s leading household electronics. In a test of online shops conducted by the Times in 2012 was voted best in test of 15 Norwegian online stores. Of the three companies that got dice 6 had SIBA best price, fastest delivery and the quickest return . Also voted ” Best Shop ” by its readers in 2013
  • : The old mail order company has managed the transition to the digital world in a good way . They still have their catalog , but increasingly opt for online shopping.
  • : StormBerg was named the year’s online store in 2010 and 2013 by Bring. Seller sports and Reducing use both online and through physical stores . Bet now also : owned by the Danish listed company Smart Guy. Among many foreign online shops selling clothes in Norway : selling appliances and home appliances online. Big player in Sweden , but currently relatively anonymous in Norway . Owned by the Swedish listed company CDON Group.
  • : Vinmonopolet has evolved to become a specialist chain that many believe is among the very best. Substantial resources have been put into the opening of new shops, and eventually a popular online store.
  • : the leading sports brand with both a popular online store and physical stores . Launched in 2012 also shop in Sweden. Challenged on the network of archenemy , but also a hundred other competitors , including , and .
  • Zalando was established by Robert Gentz ​​and David Schneider in 2008, and its headquarters are located in Berlin , Germany. Started in Norway in 2012 and has quickly established itself as the leading players in the category ” Clothing and footwear “.
  • : Zara is one of the largest international fashion companies. Owned by Inditex Group, one of the largest distribution groups worldwide. Opened its first store in Norway in 2006. The Norwegian online store was opened in 2011.
  • X – : Challenging the sports and fitness market . High turnover , creative marketing and skilled people.

Besides these 50 online shops , there are of course many others that are very important . Among online shops that did not reach all the way up , we find Adlibris , , , , , ,, , , ,, , Gina Tricot , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Rørkjø , , , , , Tilbords . com and to name a few.If you disagree with the 50 online stores jury selected ? Feel free to use the comments below and tell who you miss and preferably who should give way . Preferably with a brief explanation .

See the list of Norway´s 50 most important stores here

How I hacked my future


As long as I can remember, people kept asking me: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Deciding what you want to spend your time doing for the rest of your life is not something you do when you’re 16. Here in Norway, you have to make certain choices already in that age. I had no idea what I wanted to be. Perhaps a racedriver. Or a teacher, like my father? I flunked my senior year. So I had to retake a few subjects and take an entire year over again in high school.

I needed this time to think about what I wanted to be – or as I rather came to understand: what I wanted todo. As the nerd I am, I took a stroll down the aisles the last day in high school. “Marketing 101” by Philip Kotler caught my eye. I borrowed it and read it out in 3 days. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up – but I certainly knew what I wanted to do with my life.

I applied for several colleges, and got into Oslo School of Management. I started my first year with joy – August 2011. I loved it. The subjects, the teachers, and the students – this was it! But still, I felt I didn’t to enough. I got great grades, but still – something was missing.

I decided to take this into my own hands. I created a Twitter profile, registered a blog, and started building my competence within social-media marketing. I read dozens upon dozens of book ordered from Amazon, as well as several scholar articles on the internet. Now, I had always been fascinated by computers – my dad got me my first one back in 1997, when I was 6. Computers and technology was my life, so studying social media marketing was absolutely the right path for me.

I basically understood one principle. When you are going to enter the labour-market, you have two choices:

  1. You can get a high degree and get straight A’s.
  2. You can prove your competence through references and earlier work.

That’s what I wanted to do. I was doing great in school, but I was still missing that references-and-earlier-work-part. Damn. I have to get a job. I studied the art of job applications, and I think I cracked the code. I sent out 20 applications, and got accepted for a interview 20 times. But I had no earlier references or competence to show to – remember, I was still a student. I didn’t get any of the jobs. Hell – I have to do something. I haven’t got the time to sit back and wait for school to end.

I started blogging. I would spend hours reading up and researching several subjects I would blog about. I started a blog where I stated my opinions. And soon enough – I’d even dare saying I got noticed in the marketing-businesses in Norway/Oslo. I attended allt he conferences I could, to be able to build a network. I followed these on twitter, and started interacting in conversations on all the digital networking sites.

Now, at the age of 22, I work as a Marketing Designer for Fanbooster, one of Europe’s most emerging SaaS businesses with focus on Facebook. I absolutely love what I do. The catch? There are no catches. I am still a student – studying at Oslo School of Management, finishing my last semester. I have been working at Fanbooster for over a year now.

Heres my tips for future “go-getters”:

- Dare to challenge teachers and the industry.
– Be social. Go to events and lunches with interesting people.
– Don’t be afraid to brag. Stop being humble.
– Remember to give more in value than you take in payment.

The Small Business Owners SEO Bible

Small business SEO bible

During the last 18 months, I’ve completed more than 20 SEO audits for small businesses and global brands. I enjoy analyzing the data in Google Analytics and identifying areas for improvement to help businesses grow their organic search traffic. We’ve helped a lot of businesses grow during this period. It’s been fun.

Whether you sell products online or you want to generate leads via your website, our research has found that by not optimizing your site for search engines, e-commerce stores are losing up to $100,000 per year. That’s a lot of money, isn’t it?

So you have now launched your website and you want to increase organic traffic. Where do you start?

This post has been created to act as a bookmark for people like you who have just launched a new website and want to immediately fix your SEO issues. You can revisit this post time and time again, and the issues outlined can be fixed by yourself, without the need to invest in hiring agencies/ consultants.

The 10 points outlined below affect 90% of all websites I’ve audited. By fixing them you will not only have the SEO basics in place but, you will also start to see an increase in organic traffic and sales.

1. Avoid duplicate content by having one website

Type the full URL into your browser and hit search. In this example, we’ll use If the page loads (as it should), now do the same but do not include www. For example,

Most people think it’s the same webpage. It is, but not to Google. If the page loads, then you have site wide duplicate content and Google is indexing two versions of your website.  You will need to ask your IT team or web developer to redirect one version of the website to another using a 301 permanent redirect.

If you notice that when the browser loads it automatically redirects to (or vice verca, redirects to, then you do not need to implement the redirect. It doesn’t matter which URL you choose, just as long as you have only one.

Tip: It’s important to use a 301 redirect and not a 302 redirect. Check with your IT team to make sure you are using a 301.

2. Register with Google and Bing webmaster tools

In order to increase the process of being indexed by Google and other major search engines, you should register the new website with Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. You won’t be able to prepare for everything before you launch, but by registering the website you can find and track crawl errors and optimization issues quickly.

Webmaster tools is a great resource to identify problems and is offered by both Google and Bing for free. Both offer reports on errors and issues that are hurting your search engine performance and with Google recently hiding keyword information, webmaster tools remains the only place for where you can see what keywords people use that shows your website in the search results page.

Tip: You can verify your webmaster tools account by implementing the code into the <head> section of your website.

3. Write unique title tags and meta descriptions

For each page on your website you will have the opportunity to write unique text for title tags, meta descriptions and page headings (h1). Matt Cutts recently went on record by saying that missing information for all of these is not such as problem as Google will automatically pull text to show the user but, he did make it clear that the information should not be duplicate and the same for each page.

  • Title tag: Between 30-60 characters, and be a short sentence on what the page is about
  • Meta description: Between 70-150 characters, and a brief summary of what the page is about
  • H1/ heading: Between 20-40 characters, and is the topic of the page

Tip: If you have a website with more than 1,000 pages, it might be easier to let Google pull in the information automatically for 90% of your website but take the time to write unique text for your top 20-30 most visited pages.

4. Fix broken links and deleted pages

Enter your URL into the following website and fix any broken links that are reported:

Prioritize fixes based on 404 and 500 errors. A 404 error means the page is no longer found, and you will need to redirect the old page to the new page (again, use a 301 redirect) and a 500 error means there is a server error.

Tip: You can also monitor your webmaster tools accounts on a bi-weekly or monthly basis and continue to fix any new issues that are reported.

5. Create a sitemap for search engines

A sitemap is a page that lists and links to all the other major pages on your site.

An XML sitemap is a sitemap that is created specifically for search engines. It helps tell Google and Bing which pages you want to appear in the search results pages. You can create an XML sitemap using the XML sitemap generator. Once created, the sitemap should be uploaded to your website. Most sitemap URLs look like this:

Tip: Once the sitemap has been added to your website, you can add the sitemap to both Google and Bing webmaster tools accounts.

6. Create a sitemap for humans

Whereas XML sitemaps are specifically created for search engines, HTML sitemaps are specifically created for humans. However, there is an added benefit in that you can link to important pages on your website, which can boost the overall authority of your website.

A HTML sitemap can be automatically created within your content management system (CMS). If not, create a manual version and include a link on your home page (either in the header menu or the footer menu).

Tip: For examples on HTML sitemaps, click here and here.

7. Use search engine friendly URLs

It’s easy to remember simple URLs that include keywords. Which URL are you more likely to remember?

The first URL is known as a dynamic URL. The second is known as a keyword friendly URL. Having a keyword friendly URL makes it easy for search engines to navigate and crawl your website. It also helps your customer’s access pages quickly, instead of having to remember long URLs.

Tip: Use a 301 redirect to redirect dynamic URLs to keyword friendly URLs.

8. Write fresh and unique content

Each page on your website should be unique. Research has shown that content that is longer than 1,500 words ranks better than content that has fewer than 1,000 words. Longer content is usually well researched, and delivers more value, which in turn leads to more social shares and visits.

Focus on writing great content that website visitors love to read. If you are struggling to think of content to write about, start off by answering questions that customers ask you (you can use your customer service team).

Tip: Stuck for ideas? Use these 20 content marketing tips to help you get started.

9. Block pages that don’t add value

A robots.txt file specifically tells a search engine which pages you do not want shown in the search results. Similar to a sitemap, the robots.txt file should be uploaded to your website. The URL to view the robots.txt file is usually

If you see the line Disallow: / in your robots.txt file, remove it immediately as this means that your entire website has been blocked from search engines.

Tip: Pages to be included in the robots.txt file are login pages, checkout pages, and any pages that you feel will not add value to search engines.

10. Optimize your images

Images are important for your website. Search engines can only search text and not text in your images. Images should be no larger than 100kb, so each time you add a new image, make sure it’s not too big or it will slow down your website.

When it comes to naming your images, both the file name and ALT tag should be descriptive of what the image is. For example, most websites that have a picture of an old man wearing a pair of blue socks will have the file name and alt text as follows:

  • File name: 000023.jpg
  • ALT tag: socks

The best way to upload an image is would be:

  • File name: old-man-wearing-blue-socks.jpg
  • ALT tag: Old man wearing a pair of blue socks

Tip: To compress images and make them smaller, use tools like Compress Now or Image Optimizer.


Use these 10 tips to improve your organic search traffic and once you start to see an increase, focus on getting more business by optimizing for conversion, which you can do by signing up to our free conversion rate crash course.

Feel free to share this post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+, or leave your comments below.

2014 Online Marketing Tips From The Experts

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s helpful for online marketers to start to look ahead as to what 2014 will offer.

At the end of 2012, we asked 7 online marketing experts to share their best advice for 2013. In this post, we’ve gone one step further and gathered 12  experts to share their best tip for 2014 when it comes to online marketing.

In 2012, the expert tips were to focus on mobile, conversion optimization and content creation. And they were right, as these trends exploded. What’s interesting is that similar tips are shared for 2014.

If you missed out on last years tips, you won’t want to miss out on this years advice. We have authors, keynote speakers, founders and CEO’s and all of them are instantly recognizable.

12 online experts share best marketing tip for 2014


Rand Fishkin | Moz | @randfish

Surveys, interviews, usability tests, phone calls, and emails can all help, but there is no substitute for experiencing your audience’s pain yourself. If at all possible, I love to make myself and my team into real users of our product, trying to solve actual issues with our tools (or find information targeted by our content). That builds a personal experience from which you can project yourself into many other audience mindsets. The only caveat – be careful about over-extrapolating a single experience out to a wide market.


Bryan Eisenberg | Best Selling Author | @thegrok

The single biggest reason why people fail to convert on a website is that they could not get their buying questions answered. Most often this happens because they land in the wrong place and navigation (or internal search) makes it difficult or impossible for them to push their confidence levels high enough to purchase (or become a lead) and not feel any buyers remorse. This year it would be great if you started thinking about your business the way Jeff Bezos thinks about; they are not in the business of selling books but in the business of helping customers buy books. This is true customer centricity. A Bain survey recently shared that 80 percent of company executives believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. But when Bain asked the executive’s same customers about their own perceptions, only 8 percent of customers felt those companies were really delivering. Which camp will you fall into in 2014?


Neil Patel | Quicksprout | @neilpatel

My best marketing tip for 2014 is to create really detailed content. I do so on Quick Sprout through advanced guides that are 30,000 to 40,000 words and it is causing me to get hundreds of thousands of visitors.

It takes a lot of time and energy to create these guides, but the traffic is worth it.


Ben Jesson & Dr Karl Blanks | Conversion Rate Experts

Again and again, we observe that our most successful clients have great products (or services). A great product trumps everything.

  • So our tip for this year is: Do whatever you can to create a great product.
  • Once you have a great product, you’ll find it easy to create a great conversion funnel.
  • And once you have a great conversion funnel, you’ll find it easy to afford traffic.
  • A great product is like a firework. The marketer just needs to light the touchpaper.
  • A poor product is like a wet firework. It takes a lot of skill to light it, and you might wish that you hadn’t.
 Chris Goward

Chris Goward | Wider Funnel@chrisgoward

Stop worrying about your bounce rate!

If you’re improving the wrong goals for your web marketing, you could be moving very fast—in the wrong direction. If you’re not sure, start with how to improve the right website optimization goals. Once you’re focused on the right goals, the other decisions become easier.

Then, make a commitment to continuous A/B split testing and optimization in 2014.

 Brian Massey

Brian Massey | Customer Creation Equation | @bmassey

Look at your analytics as a fluffy snugly toy, the kind you take to bed with you every night when you kick off your bunny slippers. Marketers and business owners who can’t grasp some simple graphs and reports are sleeping alone in the cold night of the internet. You don’t have to be “mathy.” But you do have to be friends with data and understand some simple rules about it.

 Peep Laja

Peep Laja | Conversion XL | @peeplaja

Data-driven approach is the future, and if you’re not a master of analytics and testing, you will be left behind. In 2014, invest heavily in becoming really, really good at gathering and interpreting data into actionable steps, and validating your hypotheses through testing. You need to know *exactly* what’s happening on every page of your website. Learn to go from “I don’t know” to “I’ll find out”.

Linda Bustos

Linda Bustos | Get Elastic | @Roxyyo

My best marketing tip for 2014 is to experiment with Twitter Promoted Tweets. It can be tough to build your own audience on Twitter, but this new ad option enables you to reach followers of other users’ accounts and pin your promoted tweet to the top of their feeds for more exposure. It’s inexpensive to run a $100 test campaign to see how it performs, and you can promote individual tweets. So for example, if you are an ecommerce site that sells vintage style clothing, you could target followers of @asos, @nastygal and @modcloth (among others in the niche), and be sure to include images or Vines in your tweet to show off your wares for highest response. It’s a very targeted way to get your message out to new people for customer acquisition.


Stephen Pavlovich | Conversion Factory | @conversionfac

The opportunity in mobile conversion optimization is huge. Having a responsive site is a good start, but testing now will give you a huge advantage over the competition. (And if you don’t have a responsive or mobile site, pick one crucial page on your website and split-test it against a mobile version of just that single page – it’ll quickly show you the opportunity.)


Brad Geddes | Certified Knowledge | @bgtheory

In 2012 search marketing started to shift from keywords to audiences and this trend accelerated in 2013. Today, you must understand your target market beyond the keyword. What are your audiences, their demographics, their similarities, their differences, and their online behavior? While we won’t abandon keywords in 2014, if you want to stay on the cutting edge of marketing techniques, you must begin to switch your promotions away from just relying on keyword groupings and towards audience segmented offers.

 Chris Hexton

Chris Hexton | Vero | @chexton

2014 looks like it’s going to be about mobile, at least when it comes to email. There’s a lot of great data out there at the moment about increasing open rates on mobile devices so marketers need to make sure they’re optimizing for this!

Gerry McGovern

Gerry McGovern | Customer Carewords | @gerrymcgovern

Treat your existing customers as if they were prospects. Get to know them better by observing what they are doing online, not what they say they are doing. Recognize the shift in power and influence towards the customer. Always keep in mind that a current customer is a potential not-a-customer-anymore.

There you have it. 12 great tips from some of the best online marketers in the world, which covers mobile, content creation and data driven marketing. If you want to add to the list of marketing tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

What is your best marketing tip for 2014? Do you agree with the experts?

* Update: Gerry McGovern added to the list of experts on 19.12.2013

Speaker prep notes

According to world renowned speaker Guy Kawasaki, 99% of presentations suck. To help fight the epidemic of bad presentations, we´ve put together a set of speaker prep notes. Feel free to share.

  1. Read PresentationZen. Get the basics right: Show up on time, know your stuff, be yourself and more.
  2. Tell a story. If you want your presentation to be remembered – tell a story!
  3. Learn from the best. The 5 best presentations in the world – what makes them so special?
  4. Nail the first 60 seconds. If you want to captivate the audience – nail the first 60 seconds!
  5. Avoid the obvious mistakes. Watch this 2 minute video and NEVER make these mistakes again.
  6. Really BAD powerpoints. Avoid  powerpoint mistakes.

If you don´t have time to review the above sources, please at least make sure you avoid the basic mistakes in the world´s worst presentation! Feel free to add your best advice and share with conference organizers around the world. If you attend a boring presentation, feel free to share this post with the presenter. Don´t be rude, just help them become better presenters.