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What is conversion rate optimisation?

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Last editedAug 20203 min read

When it comes to boosting your e-commerce sales, website traffic counts for a lot, but it’s not everything. After all, not everyone who finds their way to your website or app is going to take the leap and make a purchase, which is why you need to optimize your site to ensure you’re turning as many interested prospects into paying customers as possible. Conversion rate optimization strategies can help you do exactly that.

Learn more about how conversion rate optimization works with our easy guide.

Conversion rate optimization explained

Conversion rate optimization, also referred to as CRO, is the process by which visitors to your website or app are converted into subscribers. For example, if you have a conversion rate of 30%, that means that you convert 3 out of every 10 people who visit your site. That’s a significant amount of people browsing your website but choosing to leave empty-handed. Conversion rate optimization provides a range of tools and strategies to help boost that number by minimizing friction in your funnel and increasing the value of your offer. In other words, CRO is an effective way to turn existing web traffic into paying customers. 

How conversion rate optimization works

Before getting started with conversion rate optimization, you’ll need to know your conversion rate. Fortunately, there’s a simple formula you can use:

Conversion Rate = (Total Transactions / Total Site Visits) x 100

For example, if 250,000 people visited your site last month, but only 10,000 purchased a product, you can work out your conversion rate like so:

Conversion Rate = (10,000 / 250,000) x 100 = 4%

As you can see, that’s a 4% conversion rate, which indicates that your website’s sales funnel is failing to convince a significant number of potential customers to make a purchase.

That’s where conversion rate optimization for e-commerce comes into play. The process is relatively simple. Essentially, you need to work out your goal (increase purchases, demo requests, free account sign-up, etc.) before establishing what aspect (or aspects) of your website need to be changed. There are lots of different things you could look to optimize, including landing page copy, headlines, call to action copy, page templates, homepage concepts, images, and color schemes.

Then, you need to create a new version of the site to test against your current iteration. This is referred to as A/B testing – it’s a great way to test your websites scientifically, giving you an objective view into the most effective variation of your site. After you’ve worked out which conversion rate optimization changes you want to implement, all you need to do is take the website live.

Benefits of conversion rate optimization

There are several important benefits of conversion rate optimization for e-commerce and SaaS companies. Most importantly, it can help you lower your customer acquisition cost (CAC) by getting more value from your existing users. Rather than sinking your company’s working capital into digital marketing in the hope of driving more traffic, conversion rate optimization allows you to convert the traffic you already have into increased sales. Plus, if you do decide that you want to drive more traffic later, the improvements you made to your site because of CRO will help you get more out of your increased marketing spend.

Conversion rate optimization best practices

There are a broad range of conversion rate optimization strategies that you can use to build an effective CRO campaign. Here are some of the conversion rate optimization best practices that you should follow when deciding how to

  • Identify your customers – While it’s important to find out who belongs in your target group, it’s also important to know who doesn’t. That way, you can optimize the site specifically for your target audience and boost sales in the process.

  • Reduce friction– One of the best conversion rate optimization strategies is to get rid of any page elements that may give the user pause for thought. For example, large blocks of text, particularly on the order page, are a regular roadblock that it may be a good idea to remove.

  • Use A/B testing – The usefulness of A/B testing to create the ideal landing page for your website or app cannot be underestimated. Test everything, from page colors to font size, to see which parts of the page might have an impact on your conversions.

  • Survey your users – Sometimes, it’s best to go directly to the source. Ask your users to complete polls or surveys to gain insights into what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and what your audience wants from your website in the future.

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