This may surprise you, but the title isn’t entirely accurate. It's well under the actual numbers.
With this growth strategy, I expect CartHook to make over $6.4 million a year with their latest price increase.
There’s also $217,500/year I estimate CartHook will gain by creating a content hub. And another $413,250/year by creating landing pages for their product keywords.
Related Article: The best landing page builders for startups
That said, I do not like to over-promise. So if I can show you this growth strategy will help CartHook grow $217,500/year, I think you'll agree that this piece is worth a few minutes to read.
If you’ve read previous growth strategy audit’s I’ve written, you know I do not estimate every strategy. That’s because it’s not easy to do so without looking at what’s happening behind-the-scenes.
Needless to say, you’re in for a treat with this growth strategy teardown.
CartHook is fanatical about price testing from day 1. And it’s one reason they’ve experienced such explosive growth.
CartHook first launched on ProductHunt with a price point of $49/month. The most upvoted comment felt the price was too high:
But that did not stop CartHook from charging more as they increased their value. Soon after their ProductHunt launch, CartHook had three pricing plans:
There is also a higher-priced enterprise plan.
Does this price sound crazy to you? Yet as demand surged, Gal eventually tripled CartHook’s price.
But clever co-founders might notice something more important.
Gal did more than test his price point. He also experimented with how CartHook charged customers.
Around June 2019, CartHook announced yet another new pricing change. The old pricing model was $300/month + $100 for every $100,000 they processed. At some point, Gal switched to a subscription plus commission-based revenue model. (Source)
According to their website, they processed over $612 million.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume CartHook processed $300 million using the new pricing model. That’s an extra $300,000 by adding a transaction fee!
But if you read the announcement, the new price is now at $500/month + 0.5% on all revenue processed.
At their new price-point, CartHook’s revenue may increase an extra $6.4 million or more per year.
Here’s how I arrived at that number:
$4.5 million + $1.9 million = $6.4 million = A lot of extra money for one brave change.
While these are rough numbers, you can see why optimizing your price makes a huge difference.
Naturally, you cannot increase your prices without adding substantial value to your customers. And reading CartHook’s announcement, that’s their goal.
Because CartHook is in the middle of a pricing change, there isn’t much more to do. Their number one priority is to add more value so more current customers pay the new price.
Here is the first headline you see when you visit CartHook’s website:
“Maximize Conversion Rate and Grow Average Order Value Today” is a solid benefit to the customer. What e-commerce store owner doesn’t want more conversions and increase their order value?
That said, this statement doesn’t communicate why someone would choose CartHook over their competitors.
From my analysis, this isn’t a terrible position because CartHook’s market is newer. As a result, all you need to do is communicate a clear benefit to get people to buy.
For example, do you remember RedBull’s advertisement slogan when they first came to the United States?
“Red Bull gives you wings.”
It’s a solid benefit statement but does little to share their brand’s position. Red Bull could do this because the energy drink market was new in the US.
By 2009, an estimated 956 energy-drink brands had launched in the US. With an evolved market came an evolved brand strategy.
During this rapid growth, Red Bull sponsored extreme sports athletes and created their own extreme events and stunts. As a result, they became associated with this high-intensity lifestyle.
CartHook has the upper-hand now because they had the first-mover advantage. If CartHook wants to take a proactive approach, they should establish their position now while they have a solid lead. Then as the market continues to grow, it will become that much harder for a competitor to upset them.
As a minimum, CartHook should keep an eye on their competitors. More competitors create more confusion and lost sales without a compelling position.
One of CartHook’s major growth channels early-on was to integrate with other tools. CartHook would then get new customers as the partner announced the integration to their customers.
Shopify is one of CartHook’s biggest integration partners. Yet after a quick search, CartHook does not appear in Shopify’s app store:
If you recall from my interview with Jay Myers, this integration was massive for Bold Commerce’s growth.
I’m also surprised CartHook is focusing solely on Shopify. Gal mentioned in his interview CartHook was first built for Volusion, Magento, and Shopify owners.
It’s possible they are niching smaller to strengthen their position.
Keeping up with many integrations is expensive and time-consuming. That said since one customer pays $500/month + 0.5% of revenue processed, I doubt money is an issue.
While the value of being an early adopter is not there, CartHook should invest time into getting on the Shopify market. Once on the store, they can ask their customers to give them an honest review to increase social proof and traffic to their app.
If CartHook isn’t niching to a smaller market, they should integrate with bigger e-commerce platforms.
Content marketing is a powerful tool for your belt. When done right, it will:
Unfortunately for CartHook, a lot of these elements are missing.
First, there isn’t any united theme to their blog. Look at CartHook’s blog and you’ll see their content is all over the board. (Source)
If I were to bet dollars-to-doughnuts, this is because they need a full content strategy. Further, I would double down the reason for this is they are taking a PPC-first approach to their content. I’ll explain more about this in a moment.
Some of CartHook’s content is around e-commerce landing pages. Other articles share the latest company news and integrations. For someone visiting CartHook for the first time, this may cause confusion. Not to mention it will make their blog look self-serving.
Like a company, an effective blog should also have a clear position in the customer’s mind. If you want loyal readers to convert to loyal customers, you should know why someone will read the articles on your website. The same goes for video, podcasts, or any other content.
Second, almost all of CartHook’s titles could use some polish to get more people to read. The only exception is their case studies, which give a strong financial benefit. (Source)
Take a look at these titles from their blog:
These titles lack specific examples, there are very little power words to captivate a reader, and they’re filled with exaggerations.
Here are the questions I have that prevent me from clicking these titles:
Here are some headline suggestions:
The content will need to back up each claim in the title. Even if they removed the data points, the title would be more compelling.
Third, CartHook should consider building a content hub.
A content hub is a collection of articles related to a single main topic.
For example, let’s say I wrote an article on “branding positioning.” I could then write articles on “brand positioning examples,” “brand positioning strategy,” and “brand positioning map.”
Content hubs add massive value to your business because:
Once you’ve built a content hub, there are many ways you can repurpose the content.
This allows you to get more traffic for very little extra effort. For example:
Here’s a potential funnel for CartHook:
This content hub may be worth $217,500/year.
Here’s how I came to that estimate:
This added revenue does not account for any book sales, speaking fees, or added traffic by repurposing the content on other platforms.
First, CartHook should create a full content strategy that answers these questions:
Second, CartHook should consider investing in a copy-focused editor. They have in-depth content. But I’d bet they are missing on a lot of engaged readers because the titles are lacking pizazz.
Third, unless it’s used for PR, I would keep announcements only for the customer and blog email list. If they do use the announcements for PR, I would put the content in a separate section of their website to increase their blog’s positioning.
Finally, I’d invest in building a content hub. That’s potentially $217,500/year left on the table. Once all the content is live, the possibilities for growth only go up from there.
And once CartHook created their first content hub, they could do the same with another content hub.
SEO is the gift that keeps on giving.
While it often takes longer to get results than PPC, you don’t need to keep spending money to enjoy the benefits of SEO.
Here are some major changes I’d make to CartHook’s SEO strategy.
From what I observe, CartHook offers three major solutions to store owners:
Building these product keyword pages may be worth $413,250/year.
Here’s how I came to that estimate:
$413,250/year is a lot of cash-money.
I would create pages that dive deeper into each part of their product. Further, I would write educational articles for the blog to get people who need more education before buying.
As I stated earlier, I believe CartHook’s content strategy is PPC-first, rather than SEO-first. Take a look at their Facebook ads:
These ads all drive traffic to their blog content. This is a good approach if you don’t have someone focused on content promotion or SEO. As I’ve written on the Growth Ramp blog, PPC is one of the five inherently scalable channels.
But unless you want to keep paying Zuckerberg, you need an SEO-first strategy.
Look at this article: Your Product Page Sucks – Here’s Why (and What You Should Do About It)
As an aside: While the title grabs my attention, I’m not a fan of titles which devalue the reader and make them feel worthless. Low clickthrough rates will also decrease a page’s average rank in Google.
Unless CartHook wants to rank for “product page,” there is no clear keyword phrase that will bring in organic traffic.
You can figure out what keyword phrase an article targets by seeing if the phrase appears in key parts of an article. This is known as on-page SEO.
The meta title is the title that appears when you search in Google. The meta title for this page is, “Your Product Page Sucks – Here’s Why (and What You Should Do About It) - Carthook.”
Here’s what it looks like in Google:
Ideally, the meta title should have the keyword phrase in the title.
If possible, it should be near the beginning of the title. It’s also best to have no words between the phrase, or very few extra words.
“Product page” fits this pattern, but the keyword phrase is difficult to rank in Google.
“Product page sucks” also fits this pattern, but there is no search volume when I checked Keywords Everywhere or Ahrefs.
It’s considered “best practice” to not have the title cut off.
I have never seen a compelling test to explain this practice. But it seems logical to do so because the reader cannot finish the thought without clicking the article.
The H1 is almost the same as the meta title: “Your Product Page Sucks – Here’s Why (and What You Should Do About It).”
This tactic is common for many bloggers.
There’s nothing to add to the first point other than saying this also affects SEO.
Each page should have only one H1. But you can use many different H2s to help break up the article and help rank in Google.
The H2s for this article are:
Do you see “product page” in the H2’s? Me neither.
That said, Google is smart. It knows that “landing pages” is similar to the phrase “product page.” But it isn’t the same keyword phrase.
I take a customer-centered approach to SEO. This means:
If CartHook had a higher domain authority, using similar phrases in H2s can help you rank better for those keyword phrases. But CartHook isn’t in this stage yet. (Source)
Different SEO experts have different takes on the importance of using the exact phrase compared to a similar phrase. So take my advice with a grain of salt.
Below the meta title is your meta description. It looks like this:
I’m not aware of an easy way to check the meta description. Further, it’s not uncommon for Google to choose a meta description for you.
Here is what I found when I Google’d “SEO pricing”:
This text came straight from the article’s introduction. If you notice, the phrase “SEO pricing” appears in this meta description.
And here is what I found when I Google’d “SEO pricing packages”:
The second example is what I told Google to use.
It’s better to have your keyword phrase in the meta description than not at all. If not, including the phrase in the article is valuable too.
The page URL should also include the keyword phrase or a shorter version of it.
This article’s URL is, “https://carthook.com/blog/your-product-page-sucks-heres-why-and-what-you-should-do-about-it/”.
This page has the keyword phrase “product page.” But it’s too long.
It is rarely worth re-creating this page on a new URL and redirecting traffic to it. That said, it’s worth keeping this in mind for future articles.
This also signals the content strategy isn’t focusing on SEO.
Google’s bot will also look at the full article to see if it is relevant to the keyword phrase.
Assuming you are writing in-depth articles, I wouldn’t worry about this point beyond using the keyword phrase in the introduction. Even adding the phrase may not make a difference to sweat the detail.
Like what I said about their content strategy, CartHook should improve the on-page SEO for their home page.
Right now, the meta title is “Carthook - Carthook”.
At least no one will outrank them for their branded keyword anytime soon…
CartHook should use the meta title to target a relevant keyword phrase (or two) or establish their brand’s positioning. Ideally, the meta title does both.
The keyword phrase should also be in the H1.
CartHook should hire a content strategist or an SEO expert to improve their on-page SEO. A quality SEO expert should get more organic traffic in 2-4 weeks. From there, its full potential should peak in 6-12 months.
The SEO expert should make sure every page targets a specific keyword phrase, especially the home page. A couple of relevant keywords I found are “product page design” and “Shopify product pages.”
The last phrase is especially valuable if CartHook is niching to serve Shopify customers only.
Even if you do not have a software product, there are a lot of opportunities you can apply to your business.
For example, after creating a content hub for Growth Ramp, I turned those articles into a free business course.
After running a growth test from this article, you can always check another article in our growth strategy series. Keep testing ideas until you’ve created a scalable startup.
This growth audit is a sample of our full Growth Ramp Gap Analysis™. Click here to learn about our Gap Analysis Procedure™.