What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Digital Marketing
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Article by Szabolcs Szecsei
Last Updated: May 02, 2024

Most marketing teams and business owners use every trick up their sleeves to drive traffic toward their website with the hope of converting them into qualified leads so that the sales reps can take over. However, that’s only half the battle.

This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes into play. What is conversion rate optimization, you ask? In short, it’s the process of getting more value out of your existing leads and traffic to achieve sustainable growth. If this piques your interest, we take a deep dive into the topic below.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

CRO or conversion rate optimization is a process that involves the implementation of several tactics to increase the number of SEO-generated visitors who take a specific type of direct action on your website. In this sense, a conversion can cover several things, depending on what you are looking to achieve. For instance, conversions may be:

  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Making a purchase
  • Singing up for a free trial
  • Booking a demo
  • Creating an account

CRO optimization can have a direct positive impact on your bottom line and can yield results almost immediately, especially if you partner with the right CRO experts.

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Calculating Conversion Rates

You can calculate your conversion rates for your entire website or for a particular page. You just need to divide the number of conversions that took place on your site/page by the total number of visitors your site/page had in a predefined period. To get a percentage, just multiply the number by 100.

Now, you have a number, but you aren’t sure whether it’s good or bad. The advised approach is to look up industry benchmark figures to see how your performance holds up. For instance, a baseline eCommerce conversion rate hovers between 2.5% and 3%, but it was 3.32% in January 2024. In B2B eCommerce, this rate B2B eCommerce is 1.8%, with the highest conversion rates occurring in legal services (7%).

Conversion Rate Optimization Benefits

Optimizing conversion rates can have a positive effect on your entire sales process and marketing. More specifically, a good CRO strategy can help:

  • Lower cost per acquisition (CAP): With optimized conversion rates, you don’t have to cover as many marketing channels and strategies to drive conversions.
  • Understanding your customers better: You can’t optimize your conversions unless you spend time understanding your audience to learn what motivates them to perform an action on your site.
  • Increased revenue and sales: More conversions can ultimately mean more sales and revenue.
  • Increased competitiveness: Site content optimized for conversions can give you a tactical advantage over your competitor’s non-optimized pages.
  • Less effort: CRO strategies use your existing content to boost conversions, so you don’t have to revamp your entire site.

Tried and Tested CRO Strategies

Below are some of the most effective tactics that can help you convert more site visitors.

Focus on Addressing Your Audience

In other words, tailor your messaging to meet their preferences. As mentioned earlier, understanding your audience is imperative for CRO, as it will allow you to understand their inclinations and pain points.

Let’s say that you’ve done your research and the data revealed that your audience is between 35 and 45 years old, holding down full-time jobs, and mostly living in a four-member household. In this case, chances are that your messaging should address the needs of working adults/parents.

You can conduct your research in several ways, including surveying your existing customers, who can provide immediate feedback. On that note, it’s important to also optimize the survey, so more of your customers are enticed to take it. Make it short, simple, and highlight that it truly will only take a few minutes.

Test Things Out

A/B page testing

Split or A/B page testing can help you identify the things that help improve conversions on your website. A/B testing compares two different webpage variants that usually differ by only one element like a CTA (call to action), headline, form placement, images, or even copy.

Align Site Content with User Expectations

If you want your visitors to convert, your pages need to line up with their needs and preferences. For instance, if they click an ad, they will probably want to see a landing page that aligns with the content of the ad. If your ad promises a 50% discount, then your landing page should also make that clear.

In the case of webpages, focus on search intent, or the motivation behind typing a query into the search bar. Why does that matter? Google and other search engines strive to give users the most useful and relevant results. If you tweak your content to match the search intent of your target audience, you can increase your traffic, rankings, and ultimately, generate more conversions.

Use Different CTAs

Ensure that you have several different forms of calls to action on your pages, as they may increase the chances of conversions.

For instance, a lot of blog posts have a CTA in the final paragraphs. While this is a great way to encourage the visitors who read the post until the end, it might not work for someone who just scanned the article. In that sense, it is advisable to break up your post into smaller/larger chunks with CTAs between them.

CTA banners may also be effective but sometimes, people scroll through them believing they are ads. As such, your best bet would be to implement several CTA buttons, banners, and in-text CTAs to cover more ground.

Improve Loading Speeds

Fast-loading pages are a must if you want to improve your site’s user experience. Good UX will also increase dwell time, which can lead to more conversions. As, such, strive to have pages that load your main content within 2.5 seconds.

Speeding up loading times may require a bit more technical prowess from you, but several relatively easy tactics can help:

  • Compress your images to reduce their size
  • Reduce page elements (including images)
  • Add caching features so browsers can store resources locally
  • Use lazy loading

Reassess Your Subheadings and Headlines

Headlines and subheadings convey key information and call to action while also structuring content to make it easier to skim.

To make your headings stronger, consider using action words like “increase,” “drive,” and “improve,” while also using relevant keywords to show the key benefits your service or product has to offer. Good questions and catchy titles can also help you garner more interest.

Eliminate Distractions

We’ve talked about using diversified CTAs on your site. Now, while they are a good idea, be more conservative with your calls to action. The best approach that increases your chances of converting is to incorporate one main CTA.

You can also focus on achieving the same action with two or three CTAs on one page. In other words, if you want your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter on a given page, every CTA should focus on that action. Lastly, avoid overlinking your content and navigation bar, as that may have a distracting effect on visitors.

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Analyze Your High-Converting Pages

Take a more thorough look at the pages that have generated the most conversions and try to determine what encouraged them to take action in the past. After pinpointing these strengths, try to implement them on your other pages.

You can do this with Google Analytics by simply clicking on “Reports,” then “Engagement”. Find “Life cycle” and then click on “Pages and screens” under it. This will showcase how your pages drive conversions. You might learn that a specific page type was successful with, let’s say, demo booking.

Examine the page and try to determine the elements that could have driven the conversions and assess how they can be applied to your other product/service pages. For instance, that page may have compelling visuals, or a solid copy with clear messaging, good CTA placement, no distractions, actionable advice, and clear language that simply gets across.

CRO Tools to Succeed

Now let’s explore some of the best tools that can help you optimize your processes and then measure the success of your efforts.

Plerdy

Plerdy is an all-in-one solution that comes with A/B, SEO, and CRO testing to enhance user experience and optimize site performance.

The comprehensive suite offers unlimited A/B Testing, scroll deep tracing, traffic source analysis, it highlights usability issues, and offers dynamic heatmaps that can capture real-time user interactions and behaviors with features such as text selection, scroll depth, and cursor hover.

Plerdy also offers Pop-up forms and NPS features with over 25 customization options. You can create conversion funnels, analyze different drop-off points, and even have the option of recording user navigation patterns which you can segment by device and traffic channels.

Lastly, Plerdy also offers an automated SEO checker and comprehensive eCommerce tracking to help you analyze product interactions.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Startup: $32/month
  • Scale: $64/month
  • Thrive: $108/month

Pros:

  • Useful free version
  • Comprehensive toolkit
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • For some, the platform may have a steeper learning curve
  • Possible setup difficulties
  • Poor tutorials

Landing Page Builder

As the name suggests, Landing Page Builder enables you to create landing pages in bulk with the help of a convenient drag-and-drop interface. It also comes with A/B testing features to help you fine-tune your conversions.

The tool offers over 400 templates that can cover almost every use case in the book, and the Smart Sections feature which enables you to use elements across every page you create without having to start from scratch.

Pricing:

  • $49/month

Pros:

  • No coding required
  • Rich template gallery
  • Smart Sections feature

Cons:

  • In-app purchases
  • Only a seven-day free trial
  • No free version

HelloBar

Made by Neil Patel, HelloBar is a trustworthy platform used by a community of over 500,000 users. With nearly a decade of dedicated effort in perfecting pop-up strategies, Hello Bar emerges as the industry's stalwart, offering unparalleled reliability and ease of use.

Crafted by marketers for marketers, its intuitive interface allows users to craft customized pop-ups in mere minutes, seamlessly integrating with a multitude of apps without any hassle. HelloBar also enables you to quickly deploy display pop-ups, and static banner full-page takeovers, and turn your site traffic into paying customers. The software is straightforward to install on your website, so you should have no problem getting started.

Pricing:

  • Starter: Free
  • Growth: $29/month
  • Premium: $49/month
  • Elite: 99/month

Pros:

  • A great tool that gets better tanks to constant feedback
  • Several lead capture options
  • Great and simple user interface

Cons:

  • Poor support regarding technical problems
  • Some may consider it pricey
  • Slight integration issues with other tools

Do CRO the Right Way

Almost every site visit has the potential to result in a conversion, it’s only a matter of implementing the right CRO tactics to see that action take form. Hopefully, the tips and tools we’ve talked about above will be helpful in your own journey of optimizing your conversion rates.

However, if all of this sounds handy but overwhelming, you can always reach out to specialized CRO agencies to help you tackle any obstacles in your conversion funnels.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization FAQs

Is CRO more important than SEO?

Conversion rate optimization helps you get the most out of your search engine optimization efforts, by optimizing every aspect of your page that may lead to a visitor performing a desired action on your page/site.

That said, CRO undoubtedly enhances SEO and should be conducted concurrently to maximize the benefits of both.

Will CRO bring immediate results?

If you already clearly understand the needs and preferences of your target audience, then yes, even with a few tweaks in your copy and CTAs, you may be able to generate more conversions. Still, you must have the necessary visitor data to create the right messaging.

How does A/B testing contribute to conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a crucial technique in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). It involves comparing two versions of a webpage or app element to determine which one performs better in terms of conversions.

By testing variations of headlines, images, call-to-action buttons, layouts, and other elements, businesses can gather data on user preferences and behaviors to identify what resonates best with their audience. A/B testing allows for data-driven decision-making, enabling iterative improvements to be made that ultimately lead to higher conversion rates and better user experiences.

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