View All Blog Posts

Using CRO to Optimize Paid Media Performance

In this week’s episode, Jenny discusses conversion rate optimization (CRO) for paid media. CRO may benefit you if you are running a paid media campaign where results have stalled, you aren’t getting the conversions you expected, or you have campaigns that are underperforming.

Jenny brings up her time at Amazon and details the CRO Amazon employed to increase purchases. She then describes the 5 different types of CRO tests you can run to test the efficacy of your paid media. 

Five Types of CRO tests:

1. Credibility/Authority

  • Address trust and credibility issues of the business and site

2. User Experience

  • Alter layout, design, or other user interface and user experience issues

3. Social Proof

  • Build trust by showing others’ experiences

4. Value Proposition

  • Overall messaging and value proposition (pricing, shipping, business experience)

5. Risk Reversal

  • Warranties, guarantees, and other assurances of safety

It’s important to run CRO tests to figure out what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to paid media performance. You never know what types of optimizations will have the greatest impact on your campaigns until you put it to the test.

Connect with Jenny:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy,” a healthcare marketing podcast. My name is Jenny Bristow. I am the CEO and founder at Hedy and Hopp, a healthcare marketing agency, and I am your host. I’m very excited today to be on to talk a little bit about conversion rate optimization for your paid media programs. 

This is a topic I used to speak on quite often at healthcare marketing conferences, and I have really pivoted away from this topic just because there are so many other more timely and urgent topics, but I think it’s really worth revisiting. This will be relevant for you if you’re running a paid media program, and your results have stalled.

You’re not really getting the conversions that you expected, or perhaps some campaigns are underperforming than others. And so we talked a lot about developing paid media strategies, maybe service line or business line specific. There are other episodes on that, but whenever you [00:01:00] have your paid media campaign set up and running, and it’s actually driving people to a landing page or a page on your website, that’s where the fun begins.

So in a prior life before starting Hedy and Hopp, I actually worked at Amazon. It was an amazing roller coaster ride of an experience, but one of the things that was the most interesting to me is I got to see behind the scenes and really understand how they leveraged data. So, at Amazon, every single page had dozens of optimization tests running at any given time.

So there was either an A/B test or multivariate test. They were testing one variable or multiple variables at any given time, always with the objective of trying to get people to be more likely to check out, to add more items to their cart. So to increase that shopping value of that shopping trip for that individual.

And it was really interesting to me because at the time this was back in like 2012. At the [00:02:00] time, this practice wasn’t really standard in the digital marketing world. So whenever I started Hedy and Hopp, I was very passionate about bringing this knowledge and strategy and insight over into healthcare marketing and help people in healthcare really think about their marketing work as being more data driven.

Part of that work is really thinking about how to continuously improve the efficacy of your landing pages or the pages on your site that you’re sending people. So there are five different types of tests that you can run. [00:03:00] 

So let’s start from the top. So when we’re thinking about a conversion rate optimization program, what we’re really talking about is either doing an A/B. So you’re testing one variable or multivariate where you have have multiple components on your landing page changing at one time. We strongly recommend that you always have at least one test running on your landing pages.

Simply because there’s always opportunity for improvement. So you’ve designed what you believe is the perfect, let’s say service line specific landing page. Let’s say it is a pediatric urgent care landing page, and you have designed what you think is perfect. There’s always going to be variables you can change as far as messaging, user experience, et cetera.

So we recommend going through this process, and then using a tool to continuously test it. So one visitor receives one version, [00:04:00] the next visitor receives the next, and you see if it positively or negatively impacts their likelihood to convert. So. Let’s talk a little bit about the five different types of tests that you can run.

The first is any related to credibility or authority. So for example, if we’re going back to that pediatric urgent care example, perhaps this is a new company that has just launched and we didn’t really have much credibility. We’re a new brand in the market. So perhaps it could be something along the lines of “10,000 patients served.”

Something like that, some sort of number or language or some sort of messaging or visual that actually gives you additional credibility as an organization and makes the user feel more comfortable proceeding with that purchase. That’s number one. Number two is user experience. So this is altering the layout, design, or other user interface components to make it easier for the more streamlined for the individual to move forward. 

So for example, pediatric urgent care, perhaps we test the [00:05:00] location of a phone number to be able to call to be able to ask questions. Phone number is a terrible example for pediatric urgent care. So instead, perhaps it’s a form to be able to get in line virtually, testing the location of that form, or perhaps it’s a click to be able to get directions.

There’s a variety of different things that you can do from a user experience perspective that can help the user. Achieve their end goal faster, which is getting the care or whatever that they need. Number three is social proof. This is building trust by showing other people’s experiences. This is testimonials.

This could even be photos of people, real people. So it doesn’t look like stock imagery in your organization. If of course you have all the appropriate disclosures. But social proof is really helpful. Number four is value proposition. This is overall messaging and the value. So perhaps pricing like a flat

$150 fee for all urgent care visits, including imaging, or here’s the insurance plans [00:06:00] that we provide, or we are open these hours 24/7, whatever it may be, that’s a good value proposition message to test. And then five is risk reversal. So this is any sort of warranty guarantees or assurances of safety.

So perhaps this could be something along the lines of talking about a larger system that you’re associated with. It could there’s lots of different things that you could do from a healthcare organization. You just brainstorm something that’s relevant for you. So what we recommend is using these five types of tests.

And brainstorm all of the different kinds of things that you could test within each of these five categories. Rank them according to what’s most likely to drive a change. And then again, slowly begin testing and working through them. Some you will find actually do not have an impact on conversion at all.

Some you find may actually bump conversions up by a point or two. We find that by continuously having conversion rate optimization tests [00:07:00] running while campaigns are live, it allows you to fine tune and really understand what messaging is working, what user interface is working, and you can take those learnings from that service line.

You can begin testing them throughout your other marketing campaigns to see if the same lift appears. So again, just to kind of summarize, If you’re seeing stagnation in the performance of your paid media campaign, you’ve already looked at the campaign itself and everything looks fine. Take a minute and look at your landing page or the destination where you’re sending users.

Consider setting up a conversion rate optimization test. There’s lots of platforms out there that you can choose or not. I’m not even going to go into that because there’s just so many of them that are available to choose, but brainstorm and create different types of tests you can run that are based off of number one, credibility, authority to user experience.

Three social proof for value proposition and five risk reversal and begin testing. I’ve seen some really huge jumps for some things that we did not think would have that big of an impact. So it’s always [00:08:00] fun. But set your expectations where some tests were really met, not much of an improvement.

Some may actually have a negative improvement or like a negative impact on the results of your campaign. So monitor them quickly, set rules for how long those tests are going to be run within your organization, within your campaigns, and then you know, just keep on live at all times so you can continuously optimize the performance of those programs.

As always, thank you for tuning in today. I hope this gave you some food for thought. And hopefully you’ll go back and start revisiting your campaigns through the lens of continuous improvement. Please like, favorite, star, download, follow this podcast. And if you have any ideas for future episodes, give me a shout at

Until next time, have a great rest of your day and keep marketing happy. Take care.



About the Author

The Hedy & Hopp digital production team is the glue that keeps all activation work running. From auditing websites and tagging, to content strategy and CRM implementation, our digital production unicorns ensure the tiniest detail is reviewed and accurate before it gets to our clients. Their determination in finding solutions for any challenge makes this team marketing happy.

More from this author
Next Blog Post

By the Numbers: The Current State of Healthcare Marketing Tools

With updated HHS guidance rocking the healthcare marketing landscape, our analytics operations team conducted an…