What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Digital marketing

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the method of using analytics data and user feedback to improve the performance of your website. CRO can be used to improve any metric on your website that’s important to your business, often called key performance indicators (KPIs), but it’s often associated with acquiring new customers, registrations, downloads, etc. Put another way, it increases the percentage of website visitors that turns passive browsers into valuable conversions.

Higher Conversion Rate = Better ROI

You are most likely paying for traffic to your site in one way or another, and a high conversion rate means a better return on that investment (ROI). It’s also much more cost-effective to convert a higher percentage of the visitors you already have than to attract more visitors. In addition to improving your ROI, optimization helps to defend against the limited attention span of your average visitor by giving them what they want before they tire of looking for it and move on.

It’s important to understand, however, that optimization is about getting more of the right kind of customers—not just blindly optimizing the conversion rate of a given page or campaign. It won’t do you any good if the people you’re acquiring are the wrong fit for your business. It’s important to keep the focus on optimizing to find more customers who will love your product and help you grow by spreading the word.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Higher Conversion Rate = Better ROI
Andreas Bossen, Digital Marketing Specialist

The quantitative data analysis method

This method helps answer important questions about how users engage with your site and using Analytics data, user tracking, heatmaps and technical data gain 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.

The qualitative data analysis method

Now that you know how visitors interact with your site, you can look into the “why” behind their behavior. You can't optimize for all visitor so optimize for your ideal visitor, the user that's most important to have as a customer. You get this data by setting up On-site surveys, User testing and Personal interviews.

Qualitative analysis helps optimize for conversions by providing information on:

  • Why did they engage? Why did they originally decide to visit your site or navigate to a specific page? What about the page or product appealed to them?
  • What do they think your site offers that makes you different from competitors? Is there a feature or service offered by your company that makes buying from you a better experience?
  • What words they use to describe your products, services, and the pain points they address? How would they describe your product or service to a friend? In essence, how do they talk about what you do?

The poor decision method

This comes in many forms and is a well proved method for achieving just about nothing or less. Some not-so-effective CRO methods include:

  • Guesses, hunches, and gut feelings
  • Doing it because your competitor is doing it
  • Executing changes based on the highest paid person's opinion
An article by
Andreas Bossen
Share this article