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What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

By Chris Clark July 17, 2019 Conversion rate optimisation

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of improving a website or mobile app to increase the percentage of visitors converting into customers. CRO involves developing a strategy for these improvements, and validating hypotheses using user research, A/B testing and multivariate testing.

It matters because websites have natural expiration dates. CRO allows you to regularly update, to lower customer acquisition costs and to continue providing value to customers. By optimising your conversion rate, you increase your revenue per visitor, reach out to more customers and thus grow your business.

For instance, say you have a landing page with a conversion rate of 5% from a monthly readership of 2,000 - your page will be generating 100 conversions per month. If, however, your conversion rate were improved to 10% by making small changes to how the page works and appears, the number of monthly conversions doubles to 200. 

Conversion rate optimisation formula

What makes understanding CRO important is that there’s always something to change, meaning the businesses with the strongest websites will have a clearly defined CRO strategy that focuses on enhancing the experiences for their readers in order to boost conversions.

Discover More: Read our full guide becoming a conversion rate optimisation hero

How can you measure conversions?

Before diving into making changes to your website, you need to identify what your site’s conversion goals are. Of course, this will depend on what business you’re in, and what your overall business goals are. A business that sells a service, for instance, will be interested in having a landing page that generates leads, either from a newsletter sign up or a white paper download form. The page’s goal will therefore be to point the reader towards that form, which involves finding the right balance between sales, written content, branding and design to capture the reader’s attention and convince them they want more.

Once you’ve established the conversion metrics you need, you can begin improving and optimising your customer experience.

What do you optimise first?

It’s tempting to make changes left, right and centre, especially if you haven’t touched the look of your website in a while, have a burst of creative energy and want to give your digital presence a much needed polish.

But it’s important to prioritise, and you’d typically begin with the pages that receive the greatest amount of traffic, or the ones that generate the largest number of leads. This will help you focus on increasing existing business, rather than optimising pages that might not necessarily need it.

Other areas to look at are your high value pages, or pages that underperform compared to the rest of your website. 

Improving all these will have an immediate impact on your conversion rate as visitors will find it easier to navigate to call to actions.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing, or ‘split testing’, tests a landing page variant to explore whether changing an element on a page will trigger more customers to convert. It’s an experiment that can teach you something really important about user behaviour. HubSpot ran an experiment on a performable landing page which investigated the effectiveness of changing the colour of a call to action button from green to red - a simple change which had a dramatic impact.

Once each page reached 2,000 visitors, HubSpot analysed the data and found the red version outperformed the green by a whopping 21%. It led to two big conclusions: the people visiting the page engaged more with the colour red, and instead of increasing traffic, they managed to boost business by enhancing the page’s appeal.

So next time you look at your website, have a think about which elements can be improved. Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and imagine landing on your site for the first time. If you’d like to find out more, we’ve built an in-depth guide into CRO that you might find useful:

As always, if you’d like to chat about any of the above or would like to know more about what we do, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

Chris is a copywriter at ClientsFirst. He likes cars and travelling - often combining the two interests together. His favourite breakfast is an avocado on a slice of toast. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person... can you tell?

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