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What Is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Optimising and advertising your site on Google is an important way to gain traffic and visibility. But that’s just the beginning of an effective digital marketing campaign. Traffic doesn’t count for much if it doesn’t convert into conversions and sales. If a company or brand wants to gain an edge over their competitors, they should consider investing in Conversion Rate Optimisation (or CRO) to turn their website into a lead-generating machine.

Conversion Rate Optimisation is an important tool in today’s online marketing toolkit, one that can have a huge impact on revenue. It generates results that are effective, efficient and economical by converting traffic into leads and sales. CRO also helps companies better understand their website’s usability and credibility.

So what is CRO? In short, it is a handful of strategies (including hypothesis formulation, split landing page testing, analytics analysis, heatmap analysis and other advanced techniques) designed to ascertain how users are interacting with your site, and how to make that experience better. CRO helps build trust in your site by making it easier for users to interact with it. It also defends against the limited attention span of visitors. For example, users could be dropping off your site because it is unclear how they can proceed to the next stage of the conversion pathway and they don’t have the patience to figure it out.



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CRO often leads to higher conversion rates, and thus a better return on investment (ROI). By offering users a better experience, you will increase the chance that they will convert into customers and thus improve your bottom line. Simple things like optimising forms, changing the colour and size of a call-to-action button and removing unnecessary steps in the conversion pathway can have a huge impact on audience retention and sales.

There are three core areas that you should focus on when optimising your site for conversions:

  1. Segmentation: Understand the different segments that make up your target audience and create tailor-made conversion pathways for them. People who are in the Awareness stage of the buyer journey are more likely to discover your website through a generic landing page or blog post than a specific product page, so the conversion pathway for them may simply involve capturing their info in a basic form so that you can nurture them at a later date. People in the Decision stage are probably more interested in buying your product or service straight away so you should make sure that your product or service pages have appropriate calls-to-action or add-to-cart buttons to make this process as simple as possible.
  2. Content: Having the right words, pictures and videos on your pages is key to ensuring that you maintain your users’ attention and guide them to the right areas of your site. Optimised content is clear, concise and persuasive. It encourages customers to stay longer and browse more of your site even if they aren’t ready to convert straight away.
  3. Design: Design is another factor that has a major impact on whether people are willing to stay on your website. Design incorporates many different elements including colour, layout, format, font size and calls-to-action. Having an optimised web design helps your users find the right information in the easiest way possible. A poorly designed landing page will have a high bounce rate and a low conversion rate.

CRO is both an art and a science. It is an art in the sense that it requires a certain artistic flare to design a visually appealing and effective landing page. But it is a science in the sense that all changes are tested and final decisions are based on data.

How does this scientific process work? As a first step, data is gathered from your website analytics, and a based on this a hypothesis is formulated (e.g. would adding an additional CTA button at the topic of this landing page improve conversion rates?). Two versions of the page are then used in an experiment (one with the change and one without) to determine whether the hypothesis is valid. If the altered landing page results in a 25% increase in conversions, for example, that’s a good sign that the hypothesis was correct.

If you are a business that is getting a decent amount of online traffic but not seeing that traffic convert into sales, consider investing in CRO. At the very least this will help you to better understand how your audience is using your website. At best it will dramatically improve your ROI and keep you one step ahead of the competition.


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10 March 2017


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