What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) & Why Do You Need It?

You’ve built a website and it looks fantastic. Some visitors are trickling in, but you’re not getting the conversion rates you had hoped for. You’ve got great products or services, but not enough of your visitors are buying them. How do you get those coveted conversions?

By utilizing CRO, you can increase conversions on your website — and a steady increase in website traffic. If you’re asking yourself, what is conversion rate optimization — we won’t leave you hanging. 

We’re going to dive into what CRO is, why you should focus on it for your businesses well as 4 ways to get started. 

What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of increasing the number of users performing a desired action from a mobile app or website. 

Desired activities can include:

  • Clicking “add to cart”
  • Purchasing a product
  • Filling out a form
  • Clicking on a link

CRO involves creating ideas for elements on your mobile app or website which you can improve. Then, those theories get tested with A/B testing and multivariate testing. 

Why Do You Need CRO?

CRO helps you lower your customer acquisition costs by obtaining more value from its users and visitors. When you optimize your conversion rate, you increase revenue per visitor, grow your business, and gain more customers. 

The process of increasing inversions always has room to improve. The top businesses are continually enhancing their websites and apps to improve user experience and obtain more conversions.

For example, if you have a 25% conversion rate, that means only 25% of people who visit your website actually convert. You definitely want this number to be as high as possible.

Who Should Focus on CRO?

CRO is beneficial to all types and sizes of businesses — no matter the industry. For example, business to business (BSB) and software as a service (SaaS) company’s lead generation is the focal point when it comes to engaging customers on your site. You’re gathering their information through various means — forms, sign-ups, surveys — with the hopes of turning them in to recurring customers. 

It’s your duty to help your customers and clients find what they’re looking for, capture their interest, and support their buying choices. By focusing on CRO, you learn what works for engagement and what brings them in as reoccurring customers.

Why is CRO Worth Your Focus?

Conversion rate optimization enables you to optimize your website’s functionality while helping you to understand the whys and hows of your visitors’ behavior. Sadly, your site will never reach its maximum potential until you experiment with different areas and approaches to draw your visitors in. 


Some benefits to focusing on CRO:

  • Lower your cost per lead
  • Improves your user experience
  • Get an SEO boost
  • Increase the customer lifetime value
  • Incremental business returns

A downside, however, to just focus on numbers all the time is that you often forget the people behind them. So, focusing on understanding what drives, stops, and persuades users can help give them the best user experience possible — this is the user-centric approach. 

Remember that a lot happens before conversions take place. A customer can start with a need or an idea, search around, do some reading on different websites, and many other things before completing the action you want. 

Improving conversions doesn’t involve simple problems. They’re not all easy to identify, nor do they come with hard evidence. Sometimes there’s an obvious problem blocking your production, and when solved, it increases your conversions significantly. But, more often than not, your website can be working perfectly, but your goals still aren’t getting met.

Improving means you need to dig a little deeper to determine what’s going on and how to resolve it. 

How Do You Get Started With CRO?

CRO starts with examining the conversion goals for a web page or app screen. Success metrics depend on your type of business and your goals. 

Some common conversion goals include:

  • Media – ad views, page views, recommended content engagement, newsletter subscriptions
  • E-commerce – add-to-carts, product sales, email newsletter sign-ups shopping cart completion rate
  • Travel – ancillary purchases, booking conversions, social shares
  • B2B – deals closed, leads generated

After you establish the conversion metrics for your audience’s digital interactions, you can then work on your digital customer experiences through CRO.

This is just the beginning. Let’s discuss 4 more ways to do CRO.

1. Calculate Your Conversion Rate

To calculate a conversion rate, you divide the number of conversions by the total number of visitors. Then, multiply the result by 100 to gain a percentage. 

The average conversion varies from source to source, but it typically lies between 1% and 4%. However, this percentage isn’t beneficial because conversion rates vary greatly depending on your goal. All websites and pages are different, and most companies don’t share their conversion rate data with the general public. 

So, thinking about conversion rates is probably not going to help you achieve your goals. Instead, it focused on the user-centric approach. Know your audience, understand them, and continue to learn more about what makes them get to the point of conversion.

2. Use the Best Practices

A CRO best practice is a common belief that a specific optimization action will guarantee an increase in conversion rate. Some of these best practices include:

  • Place CTAs above the fold.
  • Use an intense color for all CTA (call-to-action) buttons.
  • Use urgency (e.g., time-limited offers) to drive sales.
  • Use fewer form fields on your forms.
  • Always display testimonials

However, just because these are considered best practices does not always mean they are the best ones for your website. “Best practice” essentially means that it’s from past data. This means it worked in the past but may not work now. Just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.

But, at least one main principle is recommended to be valid most of the time, if not all the time. This is to spend time understanding your users and customers. These people are the ones you depend on for your conversion rates and will help improve them. 

So, don’t worry about other companies’ success with their conversion rates. Focus on your consumers, and then you will get much further.

3. Identify Where to Optimize

Once you have your conversion metrics, you can then identify which portion of your conversion funnel you want to optimize. 

Begin by optimizing your conversion funnel portion, which receives the most significant piece of traffic or creates the most incredible numbers of conversions. These pages will help you see the results of your modifications quicker and have a more substantial impact on your business. 

Some other places you can start are your greatest value pages or pages that aren’t doing as well. When you improve those lacking areas, it will have the most significant impact on your results. 

4. Implement the Best Tools

The brain, eyes, ears, and mouth are the primary tools you should understand for conversion rates. Understand your customers, empathize with their experience, and make conclusions based on the data you collect. 

Other tools include:

  • Surveys — ask your users to complete surveys or polls.
  • Google Analytics gives you a lot of information — for free!
  • Heatmap Analysis 

Work With Professionals to Get the Best Results

This may seem like a lot of work. It is.

And that’s OK! Your website is your greatest marketing tool, and if you’re not experienced in maintaining your tools, you’re not alone. Most business owners aren’t. 
That’s where we come in. Carrboro Creative is a results-driven creative agency that offers website care plans, custom website design, brand development, graphic design, SEO, and more. Contact us today for a free quote and let us show you how we can keep your website fresh, keep new visitors rolling in, and care for your website so you can get back to running your business.

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