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Guide To Conversion Rate Optimization: Everything You Need To Know

Simbar Dube

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Guides / CRO Guide

Have you ever felt frustrated when you spend a lot of effort and money driving traffic to your website only to find that few visitors buy or sign up? 

It’s like throwing a party and realizing too late that your guests aren’t enjoying themselves enough to stay. 

That’s where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) steps in as your strategic party planner. 

In this article, we’ll learn about the CRO process, how to implement it, and where to start. First, we’ll start with the basics: what is conversion rate optimization?

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. This desired action—aka conversion—can be anything from purchasing to signing up for a newsletter or downloading a white paper.

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

By measuring conversion rates, you determine if your pages are persuading visitors to take the action you want them to take. 

The higher the conversion rate is, the better your design and copy are at reaching and engaging potential customers.

The key metric in a CRO process is the conversion rate itself. 

The “conversion rate” is the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors expressed as a percentage. 

If you have 1,000 visitors to your website and 50 sign up for your email list, your conversion rate for email signups is 5%.

Additionally, a website can have many potential goals or the desired actions you want your customers to take, so you may have multiple conversion rates on your site to measure and track. 

You can also categorize your conversion rate goals into Micro and Macro Conversion Rates.

Micro vs. Macro Conversion Rates 

Micro vs. Macro Conversion Rates

Related Articles: The Average Website Conversion Rate By Industry

Critical Elements of Effective CRO Process

The overall CRO process isn’t just one plug-and-play technique. 

A typical CRO process entails several elements: 

  • A/B Testing: It’s the cornerstone of CRO. For instance, Google famously tested 41 shades of blue to determine which received the most clicks. This approach to testing different elements can massively increase conversion rates by revealing what resonates best with users.
  • User Feedback and Surveys: Understanding direct user feedback can help you uncover issues not visible through analytics alone. Tools like FigPii or SurveyMonkey can facilitate this feedback to optimize user experience.
  • Page Speed Optimization: Amazon found that every 100 ms of latency cost them 1% in sales. Speed enhancements improve user satisfaction and contribute directly to higher conversion rates.
  • Mobile Optimization: With over 50% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile-friendly websites are essential. Google’s shift to mobile-first indexing shows just how vital optimizing your site is for conversion optimization. 

These are just some elements you must consider for your CRO process. But that’s not all. 

To wow your customers and compel them to take the intended action, you must implement the CRO process with your customers in mind. 

That’s where the customer-centric CRO process comes into the picture. 

Adopting a Customer-Centric Approach for CRO

The customer-centric CRO approach differs slightly from the traditional CRO methods. 

While traditional CRO processes often focus more broadly on optimizing web pages to increase conversions, the customer-centric CRO approach always considers the audience user’s experience.

Here are some critical elements of a customer-centric CRO strategy:  

  • Personalization: Tailor the user experience based on individual behaviors, preferences, and data. For example, Amazon excels at recommending products based on past purchases and browsing history, significantly boosting their conversion rates.
  • User Feedback: Collect and analyze feedback to understand customer pain points. 

Segmentation: Divide your target audience into segments based on their behaviors, demographics, or purchase history to provide more targeted and relevant experiences. Netflix does this effectively by showing different shows and movies based on regional preferences and viewing habits.

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, divide your conversions (or leads generated) by the number of visitors (or web traffic) and then multiply that 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 average conversion rate will be 4%.

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 require 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:

Start by Conducting Research and Analysis:

This phase consists in understanding your website’s strengths and weaknesses. 

It includes:

  • Heuristic evaluation: Heuristic analysis involves expert inspectors reviewing your website like a user experience report card. Based on established design principles, they check how easy it is to use and highlight areas that might confuse or frustrate visitors.
  • Qualitative research: Conduct user interviews, surveys, and usability testing to understand user behavior and pain points. For more details, read our in-depth guide on qualitative research
  • Website analytics analysis: This involves a deep dive into data such as traffic sources, user journeys, and conversion rates to identify areas for improvement. Use tools like Google Analytics or CRO tools like FigPii to learn more about your website performance.
  • Competitive analysis: See what your competitors are doing well (and not so well) to get inspiration and identify potential differentiators.

Prioritization and Planning:

The next step is prioritizing and planning, which involves creating a conversion roadmap and problem analysis. 

Here’s a quick overview: 

  • Conversion roadmap: Based on research, prioritize problem areas and create a plan for what pages need attention. It could involve improving specific elements or overhauling entire sections.
  • Problem analysis: Use a conversion framework to analyze specific pages, pinpointing conversion roadblocks and opportunities.

Hypothesis, Design, and Testing:

  • Hypothesis creation: Based on the analysis, develop a clear hypothesis about what changes will lead to higher conversions.
  • Design iteration: Create new design variations based on the hypothesis.
  • A/B testing (or multivariate testing): Run controlled experiments (including A/B testing or multivariate testing) to compare the original page with your new variations and see which performs better.

Analysis and Iteration:

  • Post A/B test analysis: Analyze the test results to see if your hypothesis was correct.
  • Iteration: Based on the findings, refine your designs and test further variations until you improve significantly.

These are some of the indispensable conversion rate optimization steps. 

We cover this in more detail here: 

How to Run a Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Program by Invesp

Where Do I Start Conversion Rate Optimization? 

Your website has different areas and landing pages, all of which should work together to encourage visitors to purchase. 

On an ecommerce website, here are five areas where you can start implementing conversion optimization: 

1. Homepage

The homepage is a crucial web page of your site, making it a prime candidate for a CRO strategy. In many cases, it’s the first touchpoint for first-time visitors to your site. When properly designed and optimized, the homepage can guide your website 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 visitors can easily navigate your site to find the needed products. 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 key to any e-commerce site’s success. It is where website visitors decide whether to buy your product or service. Naturally, it’s 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.

Look at this product page from Daily Harvest, for instance:

You first see mouthwatering images of actual products showcasing their fresh ingredients. This instantly grabs your attention and makes you want to learn more.

Conversion Rate Optimization Example

It’s also easy to navigate. You’ll see clear CTA buttons and options to subscribe and learn more about the product’s ingredients and nutritional value.  Everything is user-friendly and encourages exploration.

4. Cart Page

On an e-commerce cart page, website visitors pile up all the items they intend to purchase. It’s like a physical shopping basket where you drop the desired items.

The experience many shoppers have with cart pages can determine whether or not they buy everything they added to their proverbial basket or abandon it. 

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

  • Difficulty finding 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. It is the online version of the physical checkout counter. You could lose valuable business if the checkout page is too cumbersome, unclear with important information, or broken.

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

Checkout Page Optimization

What makes this checkout page so unique? 

This page offers the convenience of guest checkout, provides a wide range of payment options, ensures transparent pricing, and clearly outlines shipping details.

Even if your product page is easy to navigate, users might bounce once they encounter friction and issues paying for their orders.

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

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 boost conversions, leading to higher revenue and better ROI (Return on Investment).

What is an example of conversion optimization?

Some prominent use cases and examples of conversion optimization can be: 

  • Simplifying the checkout process
  • Improving website loading speed
  • Optimizing call-to-action buttons
  • Incorporating trust signals
  • Personalizing user experience
  • Optimizing your website for mobile device

Who needs conversion rate optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization benefits any business or website owner looking to improve online performance. It is especially crucial for e-commerce websites, online service providers, lead generation sites, and companies with an online presence. 

These businesses can increase sales, acquire more leads, and enhance their online success by optimizing their conversion rates.

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. It is 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 made a purchase, the conversion rate for that day would be (50/500) * 100 = 10%.

How do you 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 conversions by the organic traffic to your website and multiply by 100 to get the SEO conversion rate percentage. 

Does conversion rate affect SEO? 

Yes, the conversion rate does indirectly affect SEO. Search engines like Google do not use conversion rate as a direct ranking factor. However, they consider user experience metrics influenced by the conversion rate, including bounce rate and dwell time.

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.

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 split testing)
  • Analyzing the results. 

The CRO framework optimizes website elements like headlines, images, forms, and buttons.

Conclusion: Streamlining Success with the CRO Process

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) isn’t just about boosting sales—it’s about enhancing the overall user experience to convert visitors into loyal customers. 

Implement analysis and creative testing to discover what truly resonates with your audience. Whether tweaking your site layout, refining content, or integrating user feedback, every step is essential to optimize your site and provide your customers with the best user experience. These steps will also help you make the most out of your conversion rate optimization efforts.

Remember to take assistance from analytics and conversion optimization tools like Google Analytics, FigPii, and more.

Investing in the CRO process will improve your site’s conversion rate while paving the way for sustainable growth and stronger customer connections.