What is Conversion Rate Optimization? Complete Beginner’s Guide

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According to Moz, The CRO process involves understanding how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what’s stopping them from completing your goals.

Every business wants to make more money and increase their profits. For most online businesses, the primary method of doing this is through website optimization and increasing the amount of conversions the site receives. It sounds easy – if you receive a higher number of conversions, then your business will make more money – but it’s not always as simple as that.

Although it may sound simple on paper, conversion rate optimization can be a challenging process. There are many things that can influence the number of conversions you receive. The primary ways to increase website conversions are A/B tests, heat.

What are the benefits of conversion rate optimization?

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Your store must focus on your customers. While increasing sales is good for your business, it is equally important that the traffic is turned into pay clients. During each stage of the customer’s buying experience, you can offer new possibilities to reduce time and simplify their journeys. Using standardized tests you can optimize your website and help you reach more customers. It is known as conversion rate optimization (CRO).

What is conversion rate optimization, or CRO?

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Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving your landing pages and websites to convert more of your existing website visitors to buyers (or for service-providers, maybe they book a call, opt-in to a freebie, join a mailing list etc.) No matter your desired action of the landing page, we want your existing website visitors to be more profitable.

End goal: as many conversion as possible.

There are proven activities and steps that all conversion rate experts start with. However, we always want to keep the user experience in mind so while most optimization efforts will apply to you it’s still important to analyze what makes sense for your business.

A successful conversion rate campaign should be approached just like any other marketing task: with planning, split testing, and analysis.

What are the benefits of conversion rate optimization?

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The goal of CRO is to increase the percentage of visitors who become customers, leads or opt-ins, thus increasing revenue for your company. There are also other benefits that come with increased customer conversions including: reduced cost per lead, improved team morale, and increased marketing power. And if you’re managing a B2C website, a higher conversion rate will result in increased sales and a stronger brand.

B2B? Well, then your same ad spend will result in more booked calls.

What are the goals of CRO?

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There are three main goals to CRO: increase lead volume, improve lead quality, and optimize revenue per visitor. The first two goals show that your site is optimized for conversion. The last goal shows that your leads are qualified leads, meaning they are more likely to become customers. A lead who sits on your list is inevitable but getting more leads moving through your buying journey without increasing ad spend… that’s the gold in CRO.

Why Should You Care About Conversion Rate Optimization?

Basic math: for every 100 people who visit your site, only 2% take action and buy from you. That means 98 people leave and don’t come back. With conversion rate optimization, you can double (or more) your conversion rates with simple changes to your website.

Conversion rate optimization is a complex field that involves many tactics to find what converts best, but conversion experts always start with five steps:

1. Analytics review – conversion rate optimization experts start by taking a look at what already exists on the site. This is where they will get all of their conversion data and test ideas from.

2. Competitor research – conversion rate optimization experts will often spend some time looking at what competitors are doing in order to get fresh ideas on how to better convert visitors into buyers.

3. Test ideas – conversion rate optimization experts will then generate at least five conversion test ideas based on their analytics review and competitor research.

4. Prioritize tests – conversion rate optimization experts prioritize the best conversion tests by making sure each test can be done quickly to maximize conversion optimization results. This is where conversion rate optimization tools come in to play.

5. Test conversion paths – conversion rate optimization experts will then create A/B tests to compare conversion paths. Once all conversion path testing is complete, they will run statistical significance tests on the results of each conversion test and choose the winning conversion paths. Those winning conversion paths become what conversion rate optimization experts promote as their best converting pages.

How Conversion Rate Optimization Can Help You

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Conversion rate optimization is all about helping your conversion rates go up, and this will help you in multiple ways (that’s why conversion rate optimization improves customer satisfaction!):

1) Higher conversion rates mean more money for you; conversion rate optimization means free traffic.

2) Increasing revenue per visitor lowers your customer acquisition cost.

3) A big conversion rate improvement also means good conversion rate optimization company reviews, which will increase your conversion rates even further.

What is the conversion rate optimization process?

Here’s an overview of the CRO process:

1. Define your goals, metrics, and KPIs—Start simple by defining your goals; what do you want to accomplish, and which metrics will prove that you’ve done so? For example, lead quality is a better metric than total leads.

2. Create your customer avatar—Create a detailed profile of your perfect customer. This will help guide all the decisions you make during CRO activity.

3. Conduct competitive research—Learn what your closest competitors are doing.

4. Perform conversion audits—Analyze your existing site by looking at CTAs, page layout, information architecture (IA), etc. Find out if you’re highlighting the right content and whether it’s easy to find.

5. Create a hypothesis-driven testing plan—For each element that needs to be improved, come up with at least two testable hypotheses.

6. Test—Execute your plan and analyze the results before coming up with new hypothesis for testing. If you don’t get valid data from a test, assume that it didn’t work and end it early instead of wasting time running something that is broken. If you do get results from a test, come up with a follow-up hypothesis.

7. Repeat steps five through seven until you hit defined goals or run out of ideas to try—Conversion optimization is an ongoing process.

How To Calculate Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate Formula

Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions (desired actions taken) by the total number of visitors and multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage.

For example, if your web page had 18 sales and 450 visitors last month, your conversion rate is 18 divided by 450 (0.04), multiplied by 100 = 4%.

The Analytics Method

This method, also known as quantitative data analysis, gives you hard numbers behind how people actually behave on your site. Start with a solid web analytics platform, such as Google Analytics. Next, add tracking for your conversions.

Using analytics-based CRO can answer important questions about how users engage with your site. Quantitative analysis provides information like:

  • Where people enter your site, i.e., which webpage they land on first
  • Which features they engage with, i.e., where on a page or within your site do they spend their time
  • What channel and referrer brought them in, i.e., where they found and clicked on a link to your site
  • What devices and browsers they use
  • Who your customers are (age, demographic, and interest)
  • Where users abandon your conversion funnel, i.e., where or during what activity do users leave your site

This information will let you know where to focus your efforts. By putting your effort into the pages most engaged with and valuable to your users, you’ll see the largest impact.

Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

There are seven ultimate conversion rate optimization strategies that marketers must consider when developing their digital marketing plans. These seven CRO tactics can lead to higher online conversions and increased ROI even in the most competitive markets .

Increases Google rankings – The number one reason why businesses invest in conversion rate optimization is because it is proven to increase search engine rankings. When a company’s website is designed with the customer in mind and contains elements that compel visitors to take action, they are more likely to rank higher on Google.

Increases leads and sales – According to research from the Aberdeen Group, companies who use CRO tactics experience an over 300% increase in organic traffic, a 500% increase in leads, and an over 500% increase in sales. This proves that digital strategies that focus on conversion rate optimization are more likely to lead to higher online conversions .

Decreases costs – According to research from the Conversion Rate Experts, companies who optimize their websites for better usability experience a 30-40% decrease in cost per conversion . These savings come from less wasted marketing dollars that would have otherwise be spent on ads that drive traffic to non-converting pages.

Increases customer satisfaction – Some companies use social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to encourage customer feedback to improve the usability of their digital properties. While this may not be an actual tactic related to conversion optimization, it does show how CRO helps companies gain insight into the customer’s mindset so they can develop strategies for improving overall satisfaction.

Improves search engine rankings – By constantly measuring and testing web pages, marketers are able to determine the optimal way to use keywords, meta-tags , meta descriptions, headings, UX design elements , and more in order to increase traffic without sacrificing conversions.

Increases traffic – HubSpot found that companies who utilize landing page optimization generated 25% more website traffic from organic search results . These findings prove that using CRO is an essential digital strategy for businesses looking to increase the number of visitors to their websites with little effort.

Makes it easy for customers find what they’re looking for – The main goal of every website should be to make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. Companies who use conversion rate optimization web design tactics are able to identify user intent , determine which keywords convert best, and structure content in a way that makes it easy for visitors to navigate the site.


Companies who want to rank higher in Google, increase leads and sales, decrease costs, increase customer satisfaction, improve search engine rankings , increase traffic, make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for, and see higher conversions should consider using conversion rate optimization strategies.


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