Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a term that often gets used in digital marketing. However, it’s frequently thrown into the conversation without an understanding of what it really means for the business and how to ensure that you’re doing it in the right way. CRO is a key metric, especially if your business involves an element of ecommerce, as it will reveal the percentage of your site’s total traffic that is completing a specific goal – the higher this is, the better for your business. This is everything we think you need to know about doing CRO the right way.

What is CRO?

It’s the process of a visitor to your site completing a site goal. This is often a purchase but doesn’t have to be. A conversion could be something like creating an account or downloading a document or an app. Before you start looking at CRO you’ll need to make sure that you have identified your site goals so that you have something to measure this metric against.

Why is CRO important?

The objective for any website is likely to be getting the visitors to that site to achieve the goals that you’ve set for it. CRO is the best way to identify whether that is happening and, if it’s not, to turn the situation around. For example, you might be getting a lot of traffic to your website thanks to investment in paid search or a comprehensive content strategy. However, you might find that despite the high traffic you’re still not seeing the results that you had hoped for –that’s where CRO can be useful.

How to do CRO the right way

  • Start by calculating your conversion rate. This is very simple to do by dividing the number of conversions that take place on the site within a specific period of time by the total number of people who visited your site or landing page, multiplied by 100%.
  • Stop guessing. There are lots of different ways to improve your website’s conversion rate but one option that is guaranteed to fail is guesswork. Copying competitors, taking shots in the dark or guessing at what might work is a tried and tested way to waste money and is unlikely to improve results.
  • Be realistic. Most websites average around a 2% conversion rate – that’s two customers from every 100 visitors. If you hit that level then it’s a good baseline.
  • Try different techniques to find out what works for you. For example you could:
    • Use word of mouth marketing by adding testimonials and reviews to your website
    • Add a live chat function so that customers can get instant answers to their questions
    • Improve the copy on your website, especially with respect to CTA
    • A/B test your website headlines
    • Test out an upsell at the point of purchase
    • Try the customer journey yourself and remove any potential distractions that would lead a visitor away from a conversion point
    • Add a time-critical offer or countdown timer
    • Make it really easy for the conversion to take place

Improving CRO doesn’t take much effort but could have a huge impact right across the business.