What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) ?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an approach to increasing the percentage of users who take a specific action in a certain digital context.

Those users can be website visitors, app users, email readers, or online customers.

The desired action depends entirely on the context — it can be an email list opt-in, a product purchase, or simply a click-through.

The conversion rate is a percentage, derived from the total amount of traffic versus the number of conversions.

CRO aims to improve this rate as much as possible, via analysis and A/B split-testing.

Factors that can affect and improve conversion rates include:

  • Sales copy
  • Graphics and design
  • Placement of calls-to-action
  • Multimedia content or lack thereof
  • Form placement
  • Testimonials
  • Content consistency with previous steps in the funnel

These are just a few of the many testable elements that can impact conversion rates.

There is no one-size-fits-all method for improving CRO.

However, two approaches have been gaining traction in recent years:

  • The analytical approach
  • The audience-based approach

The first method seeks to understand the data behind behavior. Tests and optimization focus on split-testing the conversion point itself — experimenting with elements such as sales copy, graphics, button design, and so forth.

The second method begins with a detailed exploration of the target audience. After performing user research, testing, and profiling, a message is crafted based on that information. That information is then used as a lens when performing data-driven tests.

Regardless of the approach taken, CRO is a critical function for any digital funnel, whether it be sales funnel, product funnel, or customer journey.

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