What Is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)?

Conversion rate optimisation, often abbreviated to CRO, is one of the most important metrics relevant to eCommerce and digital marketing. Although the term may sound complicated to begin with, having a basic understanding of the concept can play a crucial role in driving your business’ success in the digital market.

With this in mind, here’s everything you need to know about conversion rate optimisation.

What is CRO?

Although commercially-oriented websites come in many shapes and sizes, they are generally designed around one specific goal; acquiring customers. But whilst directing consumers towards the relevant website represents the first step in winning new business, the process doesn’t stop there.

Not all website visitors will result in a sale first-time round, as some will only make a purchase decision or take any action once they feel formally informed or at the right stage in their journey. However, those who do fulfill your desired action, are counted as a conversion and then compared against the total number of website visitors to work out the conversion rate.

In turn, conversion rate optimisation is the process aimed at increasing the percentage of web page visitors who interact with the website by taking actions. Although optimisation in this area may well be aimed at increasing the amount of purchases, the conversion rate can also apply to numerous other online activity, such as newsletter subscriptions, survey participation or the creation of an account. Whatever the action may be, businesses that engage in CRO are most likely to do so in an attempt to create more conversions.

How does it work?

A website’s conversion rate is generally calculated by dividing user conversions by your website’s overall traffic. In order to ascertain the conversion rate for individual users, this would be calculated by dividing a user’s conversions by their number of unique website visits.

For example, if a user takes a desired action (i.e. conversion) 5 times out of a total of 20 website visits, the relevant conversion rate would be 25%. Similarly, if a user engages in 1 action over the course of 2 website visits, the conversion rate would, in turn, be 50%.

How important is CRO marketing?

Conversion rate optimisation has grown significantly in importance over the past several years. In the fast-paced world of modern business, CRO is considered a valuable digital marketing tool – so it’s no surprise that it is one of the core digital marketing services offered by digital marketing agencies.

The development of an effective CRO strategy brings along a number of significant benefits. Firstly, CRO helps to provide valuable data useful for optimising specific websites, which in turn helps to increase leads and business performance. Marketers will also be afforded the opportunity to gain greater insight into their potential consumers, enabling them to tailor their websites and services around the needs of specific groups. CRO may also directly impact the creation of more revenue by helping to identify opportunities and increasing user engagement.

Another benefit of using CRO it that it aligns with your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts and helps to offer an all-round better online experience. Whilst a soundSEO strategyhelps to drive traffic to your website, CRO is there to ‘close the deal’ – making sure that web page visitors are converted into customers. So really, the two work hand-in-hand and form a perfect partnership for ensuring you get the most out of your website.

How Can I Improve my CRO Strategy?

Those looking to improve their website’s conversion rate may do so in a number of ways. Here are just a few examples of how to test and improve your current approach to CRO:

A/B Testing

The method of A/B testing is centred around comparing the performance of two different web pages in an attempt to ascertain which of the two performs better in terms of conversions. Different variations on design, sales copy and headings may produce equally varying results.

Unlike multi-variant testing, A/B is most impactful when you test one or a small number of elements on your web pages. Therefore, it is best to create two pages with either small or just one significant change and presenting them to your website visitors to see which performs best. The analysis of these results can provide a valuable decision-making tool for those attempting to strengthen conversion rates.

Customer Feedback

Perhaps unsurprisingly, customer feedback can play an important role in optimising conversion rates. Customer experience is a crucial consideration in determining their potential conversions, with negative experiences inhibiting their willingness to take the desired action.

Collecting customer feedback will help you to better understand and improve your website, affording you the opportunity to optimise conversion rates in the process. Surveys, live chats and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are all ways of gaining this valuable insight.

Understanding Customer Journey

In order to increase the amount of actions taken by website visitors, you must first understand customers’ current interaction with your webpage.

This browsing behaviour is often referred to as the ‘customer journey’ and provides valuable clues on your customers’ current preferences and habits. By taking steps such as digging down into your analytics data, you can better understand this process and use the information to increase conversion rates and drive future growth. In this, it is of crucial importance to gain an accurate impression of your customers’ online journey, combining data from several sources into a clear and representative picture of your target audience.

The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, with marketing professionals having to constantly adapt to new and exciting changes in their field. Although the concept of conversion rate optimisation is likely to be no exception, the process looks set to continue to play an important role for many years to come. Armed with an understanding of its essentials, you will have taken the first step towards using conversion rate marketing to your advantage.

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