What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Madhurima Chatterjee

Have you been experiencing high website traffic, but it hasn't really impacted the revenue generated by your business? This indicates that while your visitors are stepping into your sales funnel as leads—they are not being enticed by your offer and promptly choosing to disappear. What a nightmare!

As a marketer, you must consider that your ideal website visitors have many options. Your competitors may sell the same product or service, with additional features, at lower rates or in several different ways. Therefore, attracting ideal prospects isn't enough—you need to focus on converting the ones you gather in your sales funnel. And how can you do that?

Using conversion rate optimization, of course!

But what is it? And how can you use it to boost customer conversions and skyrocket growth and revenue for your business? In this blog, I will tell you all about conversion rate optimization (CRO) and its benefits. I will also explain how to calculate it and introduce you to the best CRO methods. 

Let's get started.

What is a conversion?

In simple terms, a conversion is when a website visitor completes a certain goal on your website that leads them further down the sales funnel.

Conversions can be macro or micro, depending on the desired action's impact on your business. Let's understand this with an example. 

When a potential customer signs up for your email list, it can be considered a micro-conversion. The goal this satisfies is that now, you can enlighten one of your prospective buyers about the problems your product or service solves and keep them in the loop about new launches and offers. 

Here are some other examples of micro-conversions:

  • Adding a product to a cart
  • Subscribing to your newsletter
  • Creating an account
  • Downloading an e-Book

A macro-conversion is more of a direct revenue-generating activity, like a lead paying for your offer and converting into a customer.

Here are some examples of macro-conversions:

  • Purchasing a product
  • Subscribing to a service
  • Requesting a quote
  • Paying for access to an industry report

What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion rate optimization is the systematic process of raising the proportion of website visitors who complete a desired site action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase, known as conversion rate optimization (CRO). Understanding how visitors navigate your site, what actions they take, and what keeps them from achieving your goals are all part of the CRO process.

Let's put it in a more customer-centric way. In that case, conversion rate optimization focuses on what motivates, repels, and persuades your consumers so that you can provide them with the optimal user experience—which will ultimately increase your website's conversion rate.

Why is CRO important?

Getting high traffic to your website doesn't necessarily mean you will be making more sales. This is where conversion rate optimization becomes imperative to your business. 

By extracting more value from the visitors and users you already have, conversion rate optimization enables you to reduce your customer acquisition expenditures. You can, thereby, boost revenue per visitor, attract more clients, and expand your business by optimizing your conversion rate.

In the next section, let's check out the benefits of conversion rate optimization.

Benefits of conversion rate optimization

There are two major benefits:

1. Maximizing your marketing ROI:

An effective CRO strategy built on solid analysis can significantly increase the return on all of your marketing initiatives by:

  • Enhancing the quality and speed of experiments conducted on your website: CRO enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of your site by conducting A/B tests and seeking out the best variants that promise conversions. By trying various features, you may verify the regions of your landing pages that are producing the best results. You can also utilize the data you collect as a vital benchmark for your subsequent round of testing and experiments.
  • Ensuring increased income from the same amount of traffic (incremental business gains): One of the main advantages of running a CRO campaign is that any adjustment you make to your website that leads to an increase in conversions is a win for your company. When you measure your conversion rates on a daily basis, you will realize that even a 5% increment in sales can mean hundreds and thousands of dollars for your business in the long run.

2. Delivering a better user experience:

A CRO program worth its weight aims to deliver a better user experience throughout a visitor's lifecycle, whether they are a first-time visitor or a buyer, through:

  • Customizing the online experience for site visitors: You barely have a couple of seconds to catch your website visitor's attention. They will be looking at your competitor's website pronto unless you provide them with a good website experience, i.e., easily navigable with a few clicks that make their search process seamless. You can make your website even more relevant to the visitors by assisting them in customizing elements of it based on their location, device, local time, or prior online browsing behavior.
  • A better understanding of visitor behavior by analyzing data: This is accomplished using heatmaps and click maps. These tools reveal which parts of your website users spend the most time on. 
  • Other CRO technologies, like user session replays and user session recordings, also help understand the user experience as a whole. They provide light on the precise path visitors follow to complete a specific task on your website and even point out the friction points that led visitors to give up and leave. 

In the meantime, website surveys and form analytics also aid in understanding a visitor's overall experience while on the site. Such qualitative information is sufficient to design an effective user experience and, further, prep your visitors to convert into paying customers.

Deciding conversion metrics for your industry

Conversion metrics vary depending on the industry your product or service is catering to. It is very important to determine what you will deem the success metrics of your website or mobile app to be—since knowing this can help you optimize your conversion rates.

Here are a few common conversion metrics pertaining to specific industries:

  • B2B: leads generated, sales closed
  • B2C: products purchased, email list signups, add-to-cart rates, etc.
  • Media: impressions, engagements, subscriptions, etc.

Optimizing website areas based on metrics

The information you gain from analyzing your conversion metrics allows you to know which specific parts of your conversion funnel you must optimize.

This mostly includes parts of your website that show the greatest engagement, i.e., the pages or areas where your target audience hangs out! This includes your landing pages or pages that need to perform at par with other pages on your website. Improving these areas can have the best immediate impact on your conversion rates. 

How to calculate conversion rates?

To determine the conversion rate, divide the total number of conversions by the total number of visitors, then multiply that result by 100 to get a percentage. Let's understand this with an example.

conversion rate formula

Let's say you have an opt-in newsletter form on each page of your website and that you define a conversion as a new email signup. To obtain your conversion rate, you would have to divide the total number of newsletter form submissions by the total number of website visitors and multiply it by 100. Therefore, your monthly conversion rate would be 2% if you had 100 submissions and 5,000 website visitors in a month.

This procedure can be repeated for each chance for conversion on your website. To determine your e-Book offer's conversion rate, you will have to divide the total number of downloads by the number of visitors to the website page where the e-Book offer is displayed.

As an alternative, you may get the overall monthly or quarterly conversion rate of your website by dividing the sum of conversions for all of your website's conversion opportunities by the total number of website visitors in a month or a financial quarter.

How to successfully optimize your conversion rates?

Data is the foundation of your CRO strategy. You need to know where, what, and who your website should be optimized for. Let's check out the two methods you can use to do that.

1. The analytics method

This is also known as quantitative data analysis and provides specific statistics about user behavior on your website. You can study your data using reliable online analytics software like Google Analytics. Once you put it in place, you can add conversion tracking to your website.

Based on analytics, CRO can provide vital insights into how users interact with your website. The quantitative analysis offers data such as:

  • Where visitors initially land on your site, or which page they visit first;
  • Which features do they use, i.e., where do they spend their time on a page or on your website;
  • What source were they referred from, or where they found and click on a link that got them to your site;
  • What hardware and browsers do they employ;
  • Who your ideal customers are, based on age, demographic, and interest; and,
  • Where users exit your conversion funnel or when they leave your site, i.e., where they go or what they do next.

The more information you gather that answers these questions, the more impact you can create with your conversion rate optimization efforts.

2. The people method

Quantitative analysis is beneficial if you have a versatile website catering to a diverse spectrum of audiences because it enables you to prioritize your efforts from a statistics viewpoint. But following that, it is important to know the reason behind those numbers.

The qualitative data analysis method, which focuses on individuals, is more arbitrary. You will need the quantitative data covered above to decide who you should ask. But with this method, you can focus more on your target audience, i.e., the people you know will want to buy from you. Now, how do you get your hands on this data?

Using localized surveys, customer reviews, and user research, of course. 

By offering details about users like:

  • What made them interact? Why did they initially choose to go to your website or select a certain page? What about the product or website piqued their interest?
  • What do they believe your website offers that sets you apart from rivals? Does there exist a feature or service that your business provides that improves the experience of buying from you?
  • What terminology do they use to describe your goods and services and the problems they resolve? What would they tell a friend about your good or service? How do they describe what you do?

The quantitative and qualitative analysis combined can help you reap the best benefits of your conversion rate optimization efforts and help you skyrocket sales and, consequently, growth for your business.

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