What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and Why Is It Important?

Ayat Shukairy

Ayat Shukairy

My name is Ayat Shukairy, and I’m a co-founder and CCO at Invesp. Here’s a little more about me: At the very beginning of my career, I worked on countless high-profile e-commerce projects, helping diverse organizations optimize website copy. I realized, that although the copy was great and was generating more foot traffic, many of the sites performed poorly because of usability and design issues.
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO for short, is the process of increasing the percentage of site visitors who complete a website’s main goal. You can think of CRO as an ongoing effort that involves user research, data analysis, competitive analysis, heuristic evaluation, usability testing, and A/B testing to increase how often your site visitors buy your product, sign up for your service, or just complete the desired action you want them to complete on your site or app.   

What is Conversion Rate Optimization in Digital Marketing?

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired website action while visiting a website. Any valuable engagement your visitors make may be the desired action if it fulfills your webpage’s goal. Remember, every web page should have a primary goal.

Video Source – What is Conversion Rate Optimization? | In 7 Minutes!

You can choose to measure the number of visitors who:

  • purchase a product
  •  sign up for a newsletter
  •  subscribe to a software
  •  hire a service
  •  download a free e-book
  •  fill out a ‘Contact Us form
  •  answer a survey
  •  give a feedback
  •  take any action a page is designed to encourage.

By measuring conversion rates, you determine if your pages are persuading visitors to take the action you want them to take on the page or not. The higher the conversion rate is, the better your design and copy are at reaching out to and engaging with qualified prospects.

Related Articles: The Average Website Conversion Rate By Industry

A website can have many potential goals, so you may have multiple conversion rates on your site to measure and track. 

For example, if you are an e-commerce website, your website conversion rate is likely the number of monthly orders you receive divided by the number of visitors that come to your website.

At the same time, each page on your website has at least two conversion rates (if not more).

Let’s take your product pages on an e-commerce website; these pages aim to get visitors to click on “the add to cart” button. And, of course, the final goal is to get these visitors to place an order (convert on the website). Another important thing to note is every website has micro and macro conversion rates. 

Micro vs Macro Conversion Rates

Micro conversion rate:

This refers to smaller engagements that can happen on a site that usually lead up to the macro conversion. For example, a newsletter sign-up or clicking the “add to cart” button are good examples of micro-conversions on an e-commerce website. 

Macro conversion rate:

This is the primary goal of your site or the main action that you want your visitors to complete. For example, placing an order is the main macro-conversion of most e-commerce sites.

Important Conversion Rate Formula 

By understanding different conversion rate formulas, businesses can evaluate their online campaigns’ effectiveness, identify improvement areas, and make data-driven decisions about their marketing and website design.

Here are different conversion rate formulas:

Conversion Rate Formula: How to Calculate Conversion Rate 

To calculate the conversion rate, you must divide your number of conversions (or leads generated) by the number of visitors (or web traffic) and then multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage.

Leads Generated ÷ Website Traffic x 100 = Conversion Rate %

For instance, suppose you own an e-commerce website that sells merch for the Lord of the Rings.

In September, you had 75,000 site visitors, and you made a sale of 3,000 shirts.

Using the above formula – 3000/75,000 X 100

= your conversion rate will be 4%.

What is Conversion Testing?

Conversion Testing is the process of conducting an A/B or multivariate test to increase conversions on a website. It involves making changes to various elements of a website, such as headlines, images, call-to-action buttons, forms, and overall layout, to see how these changes impact the conversion rate. 

The goal of conversion testing is to identify which combination of elements leads to the highest conversion rate and, ultimately, more revenue for the business. 

Conversion testing is essential for businesses and website owners looking to improve their online performance, enhance user experience, and maximize their return on investment (ROI) from digital marketing efforts. Businesses can make data-driven decisions to optimize their websites and increase conversions by analyzing user behavior and preferences.

How to do conversion rate optimization?

The conversion rate optimization process can seem simple to some: change a few colors here and place more buttons there, and you’ll see more conversions. In reality, meaningful CRO results are achieved by adhering to research-driven testing processes that remove random chance from your results, leaving you with substantive data to act on when deciding how best to engage with your audience through your site or app. 

At a very high level, the conversion rate optimization process involves the following:

  1. Conducting a heuristic evaluation of the site
  2.  Doing qualitative research and user behavior analysis
  3.  Analyzing website analytics data
  4.  Conducting competitive analysis
  5.  Prioritizing problem areas on the site and creating a conversion roadmap for your website (what pages need to be fixed)
  6.  Analyze the page using the conversion framework
  7.  Prioritize problems on a page
  8.  Create a testing hypothesis
  9.  Create new designs based on the testing hypothesis
  10.  Conducting AB testing (or multivariate testing)
  11.  Conduct a post A/B test analysis.

Video Source – How to Run a Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Program by Invesp

Where Do I Start Conversion Rate Optimization? 

There are different areas and pages on your website, and all are meant to work together to get site visitors to purchase. On an e-commerce website, here are five areas where you can start implementing conversion optimization: 

1. Homepage

The homepage is a prime candidate for a CRO strategy. It’s the first touchpoint in many cases for first-time visitors to your site. When properly designed and optimized, the homepage can guide your site visitors to other essential pages.

Here is a list of elements you can optimize on an e-commerce homepage: 

2. Category pages

The category page bridges your site’s homepage and other pages, like the product pages. Category pages should be efficient and well-organized to ensure that your site visitors can easily navigate your site to find the products they need. With that in mind, testing these pages can be very valuable.

Here’s a list of elements you can optimize on e-commerce category pages: 

3. Product pages

A product page is the make or break point for any e-commerce site. The reason is that the product pages are where your site visitors decide if they want to buy your product or service, and in turn, they are where you make your money. An unoptimized product page is a revenue drain for any e-commerce business.

CRO offers numerous methods to enhance a product page’s performance and boost revenue:

  • Experimenting with diverse messages.
  • Trying out various layouts.
  • Testing different types of offers.
  • Comparing video vs. image product presentations, and more.

See this product page from Daily Harvest;

Daily harvest product page example

Not only can you see what the smoothie looks like, but hovering over the lefthand preview icon below the main image shows you the foods used to create this drink. Scroll down, and you’ll see e a simple description of each ingredient.

4. Cart Page

An e-commerce cart page is the place where all the items site visitors have shown interest in purchasing are piled up.

You can liken it to a physical shopping basket where you drop the items you’re interested in.

Sounds easy, yes? Of course, but the experience many shoppers have with cart pages can determine whether or not they buy everything they added to their proverbial basket or simply abandon it. 

Here are some common cart page complaints that you can optimize:  

  • Inability to find items in the cart.
  •  They can’t see and calculate the total order upfront.
  •  The site wants you to create an account.
  •  The return policy wasn’t satisfactory, etc.

5. Checkout page

The checkout page is any page shown to site visitors when they want to pay for their order. A checkout page is the online version of the physical checkout counter. If the checkout page is too cumbersome, unclear with important information, or just broken, you could be losing valuable business.

Here’s an example of an excellent checkout page from Allbirds

Checkout page example

Looking at the checkout page above, it is evident that it prioritizes a seamless and hassle-free online shopping experience for customers. This page offers the convenience of guest checkout, provides a wide range of payment options, ensures transparent pricing, and clearly outlines shipping details.

This page is critical to visitors completing their orders or abandoning their carts. Your product page might have been easy to use, but once users encounter friction and issues paying for their orders, they easily bounce.

Here are some issues that you can optimize on checkout pages;

  • A disorganized layout.
  •  A multi-step checkout requires creating an account with the e-commerce site.
  •  Using links as CTA instead of buttons.
  •  Not offering popular payment methods.
  •  Not allowing site visitors to save their payment information for further use.

Conversion Rate Optimization FAQs

1. Is Conversion Rate Optimization worth it?

Yes, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is worth it. It helps businesses improve their website or landing page performance, increase customer engagement, and ultimately boost conversions, leading to higher revenue and better ROI (Return on Investment).

2. What is an example of conversion optimization?

An example of conversion optimization can be simplifying the checkout process, improving website loading speed, optimizing call-to-action buttons, incorporating trust signals, personalizing user experience, and ensuring mobile-friendliness are common techniques.

3. Who needs conversion rate optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization is beneficial for any business or website owner looking to improve their online performance. It is especially crucial for e-commerce websites, online service providers, lead generation sites, and businesses with an online presence. These businesses can increase sales, acquire more leads, and enhance their online success by optimizing their conversion rates.

4. What is an example of a conversion rate?

A conversion rate is a percentage that indicates the number of users who completed a specific action on a website, divided by the total number of visitors to the site, and then multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. For instance, if a website had 500 visitors in a day and 50 of them made a purchase, the conversion rate for that day would be (50/500) * 100 = 10%.

5. How to calculate the SEO conversion rate? 

SEO conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors from organic search traffic who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. To calculate it, first, define your conversion goal and track the number of visitors who complete this action from organic search. Then, divide the number of conversions by the total organic traffic to your website and multiply by 100 to get the SEO conversion rate percentage. 

6. Does conversion rate affect SEO? 

Yes, the conversion rate does indirectly affect SEO. While search engines like Google do not use conversion rate as a direct ranking factor, they consider user experience metrics, such as bounce rate and dwell time, which are influenced by the conversion rate. A website with a high conversion rate often provides a better user experience, leading to lower bounce rates and longer dwell times. These positive user signals can indirectly contribute to higher search engine rankings.

7. What is the CRO framework? 

The Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) framework is a systematic approach used to improve a website’s performance in terms of conversions. It involves a series of steps, including data collection and analysis, understanding user behavior, identifying problem areas in the conversion funnel, generating hypotheses, conducting experiments (such as A/B testing), and analyzing the results. The CRO framework aims to optimize various elements of a website, such as headlines, images, forms, and buttons.

Resources You’ll Love

1. How To Convert Different Types of Visitors On Your Website

2. Post-purchase CRO: How to re-engage customers after they have purchased

3. Using Jobs to be Done Framework to Improve e-Commerce Conversions

4. CRO Low-Hanging Fruits That Will Give You An Immediate Win

5. What does it take to successfully execute a CRO Program?

Share This Article

Join 25,000+ Marketing Professionals!

Subscribe to Invesp’s blog feed for future articles delivered to receive weekly updates by email.

Ayat Shukairy

Ayat Shukairy

My name is Ayat Shukairy, and I’m a co-founder and CCO at Invesp. Here’s a little more about me: At the very beginning of my career, I worked on countless high-profile e-commerce projects, helping diverse organizations optimize website copy. I realized, that although the copy was great and was generating more foot traffic, many of the sites performed poorly because of usability and design issues.

Discover Similar Topics