What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

what is cro

You have invested time, energy and budget to generate website traffic and fill the marketing funnel at the top. You set up successful Google Ads and social media campaigns, have optimized your website for SEO and are busy with content marketing. Meanwhile, relevant traffic is coming to your website; you know how to reach your target groups.

Yet the return you get from it, such as an increase in webinar registrations, contact requests or orders, is disappointing. In a number of blogs I give you tips on how to get more out of existing website visitors with conversion optimization. In this first blog I will explain what conversion optimization means and why it is relevant for your website.

You invest to generate visitors to your website and to fill the marketing funnel at the top. If a visitor completes the funnel, it becomes a ‘hot lead’ or customer. It’s a shame if the visitor quits halfway through the funnel. You also want visitors to your website or webshop to perform certain actions that contribute to marketing and sales objectives. You call such an action a conversion. Conversions come in many shapes and sizes, depending on the type of business, the market and target groups, such as:

  • Clicking a phone number on a mobile device to make a call
  • subscribe to the newsletter
  • signing up for a webinar
  • downloading a white paper
  • request for a quotation or demo
  • or checkout of a shopping cart

What is conversion optimization (CRO)?

Conversion optimization – also known by marketers as Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO for short – is about increasing the chance, quantity and frequency that a visitor performs an action. A conversion is actually a goal that you want to achieve in order to get the most out of your existing visitors and to contribute to your marketing and sales objectives.

A conversion has a certain value. Micro conversions are steps a visitor can take before the macro conversion takes place. Often a visitor first performs a number of these actions before he proceeds to a macro conversion. Examples of macro conversions are filling in a contact form, demo request and checkout of a shopping cart. When you start with conversion optimization you need to make the micro and macro conversions measurable, for example in Google Analytics.

In this blog I will not discuss the setup of Google Analytics. Would you like to know more about this? In this blog you will find 10 valuable basic settings for Google Analytics.

With Google Analytics you can see how often conversions have been made. These figures quickly seem rosy if you only look at the conversions of the past month. 400 conversions in one month doesn’t say much, because what kind of conversions are these, how many visitors have you had and how much have you invested? If you have had 10,000 sessions, 400 conversions are quite a lot. But with 100,000 sessions, this is a completely different story. That is why we also look at the conversion ratio. This is the number of conversions divided by the number of sessions. How good the conversion ratio is depends on the type of conversion.

Why get started with conversion optimization?

Advertising costs money. That is why you want to convert as many paid visitors as possible. If you want to turn your website into a ‘hot-lead-machine’, you have to keep measuring, analyzing and testing. Every website and target group is different and the online behaviour of your target group can change over time. Moreover, ’the perfect call-to-action’ does not exist. You only know what works well in a specific phase of the customer journey or even in a specific conversion when you have tested it.

To get the most out of your website, you need to actively work with it. There is always ‘something’ that can be done better and that will ensure that you get more out of your website. If you do this right, the efforts will pay for themselves. A company that really experienced in CRO is Webtrends Optimize.

Conversion optimization and legislation

Personal data, privacy and its protection are hot topic. Laws and regulations regarding cookies are often unclear. In order to keep track of statistics and the behaviour of visitors, you place cookies – small information files – on the device with which someone visits your website. There are different types of cookies. Some do not require permission (functional cookies) for others (tracking cookies). It is wise to find out more about this beforehand, with the company lawyer or an external party.

With conversion optimization you focus on increasing the chance, quantity and quality of your data.