Introduction to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Your business can only thrive online if your website visitors are turning into customers. SEO, PPC, and many other online marketing channels are meant to get more of your target market to visit your website. With the result of more traffic to your website, the chances of increased sales are much higher. However, many of these website visitors will drop off at some point in their conversion process. Some may drop off after a couple minutes of looking around while others may make it all the way to the checkout page and then suddenly drop off. So, what can you do to help more of these website visitors make it all the way through your conversion funnel? The answer is Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO.

CRO is the process of testing various aspects of your business’s website to find what will help it convert more visitors and eliminate the website elements that are impeding them from converting into customers. You may not think changing a few colors, rewriting some content, or moving a call to action to another part of the page would make a big difference in conversions and revenue; but with many companies it has been known to dramatically increase sales and improve the overall user experience of the site. 


Conversion Rate Optimization Process

Conversion Rate Optimization is a testing process. The success of your CRO campaign depends on how deep your testing goes and the strict adherence to the analytical data. Many business owners or marketers still make important decisions based on hunches or personal preferences without regards to the actual data of what works for their customers. The process usually goes something like this:

  1. Ask a question- After deciding on an area to test, asking the right questions will help you form a solid hypothesis. Examples of questions can be: “Will there be an increase in conversions if I change this button to a color that stands out more?” or “Will there be an increase in conversions if I take down this pop-up ad?”
  2. Form a hypothesis- Then, based on your question and the test you will be doing, form a hypothesis. An example for this could be: “ By taking down this pop-up ad, there will be fewer distractions, and more people will convert.”
  3. Test- The next step is to test your hypothesis. There are many different kinds of tests, but A/B testing is the most common way to find the difference between different options and your results are the actions of your website visitors.
  4. Analyze- After your testing period, analyze the results of your test to see what changes were successful and what didn’t work.
  5. Repeat- Not only should you repeat this process with different aspects of your website pages, but continue to test the successful results from previous tests. For example, if you’re testing a “contact us” button call to action and choose the most successful one, then the next step is to test what happens after that call to action is completed. You could test the results of what happens if it brings you to a different page, a pop-up appears, etc. CRO may be a slow or tedious process, but the results will have many more of your website visitors becoming your customers.


Conversion Rate Optimization Testing

The smallest detail can make the biggest difference in your website’s conversion funnel. You may end up testing multiple parts of a single website page, but knowing where to start is what will get you better results sooner. Testing improvements in your site’s written content, Calls to Action (CTAs), and visual elements (pictures, colors, etc.) that play an active role in your website’s conversion funnel will be the most likely to lead to an increase in conversions. The most commonly-used CRO tests are:

  • A/B Testing- this form of testing shows half of your website visitors the current version of your page and shows the other half the changed version. This allows you to directly compare the success or failure of your changes to the existing version.
  • Multivariate Testing- this form of testing usually requires a fair amount of traffic on your website to be effective. Multivariate testing will test multiple changes to a page with different combinations of changes to find the best possible combination.
  • Heat maps- Heat maps are more of a tool used to discover how your website users behave on your site. Different heat maps tools allow you to track what parts of your page your site visitors are clicking on the most, their mouse movement, and even where they’ll spend the most time while scrolling.

Conversion Rate Optimization Objectives

Your CRO campaign’s success can be achieved by ensuring the completion of the following four objectives:

  1. Provide a clear value proposition- Your website is the ultimate ad for your business. After performing your CRO tests it should be able to clearly outline what makes your business valuable and unique to its customers.
  2. Quality Content- CRO Testing should be able to help you find what kinds of content your customers actually like to see. Your content should match your ideal customers by answering the kinds of questions they’d have and showing them what they’d want to see to become convinced.
  3. Get rid of conversion barriers- Another important way to improve conversions is to get rid of distractions that might cause your website visitors to leave the conversion funnel or your site. Slow page load times, hard to find check-out buttons, confusing or long product descriptions, etc. are all examples of these barriers.
  4. Visitor safety- Your website needs to look and actually be a safe place for visitors. Lots of ads and pop-ups can not only distract visitors but also make them feel less safe. If your company has an e-commerce site, having a secure checkout on your site will help your customers know it’s a safe place to enter their information.


Not only does Conversion Rate Optimization increase the amount of conversions/sales your website will make, but it can also help improve your SEO as well. If your conversion process is running smoothly, and more and more customers are coming to your site and converting, this tells search engines like Google that your website is valuable and therefore should rank better. If you have any other questions about the benefits of CRO and how it can be applied to your business’s website, please feel free to contact us here at Grow Team.