What is CRO?

A common question we get asked at SharedTEAMS is how to increase leads or product purchases from a business’s website. If the website is already getting a lot of incoming traffic, but not enough leads or purchases, we recommend taking a deep dive into the website through one of our conversion rate optimization projects.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take the desired action on the website or a specific landing page. It is a technique that is used by digital marketers which goes beyond SEO and SEM.

But how can you understand what CRO is without knowing what a conversion or conversion rate means or why both of these concepts are important?

What is a Conversion?

A conversion is a general term for a person completing a predefined action on the website or landing page. The desired action will vary depending on the goal of the campaign and the type of product or service each business promotes.

For example, a conversion for an e-commerce website will be a product purchase, while a conversion for a law office will be a phone call or completing a consultation request form.

Conversions are how we measure whether our CTA (call to action) is working. Are your prospects following the steps you’ve laid out? Are they completing the customer journey you started for them?

If conversions are high, you’ve already achieved conversion rate optimization (CRO). If conversions are down or your prospects are doing other things instead of converting, you will need CRO to figure out where your prospects are falling off track.

What is a Conversion Rate?

Conversion rate is the percentage of your website traffic that has completed a conversion. You can calculate the conversion rate by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of website visitors and multiplying it by 100 to get the percentage. Let’s go through a quick example.

Suppose 10,000 people visited your website or landing page last month, out of that 400 people bought your product. So, going by the conversion rate formula, your conversion rate would be 4% (400 / 10,000 x 100).

A “good” conversion rate depends on your industry, niche, goals, traffic channel, and audience demographics, among other factors. If your conversion rate is lower than you’d like — maybe it’s below average in your industry, or lower than your top competitors, or simply underperforming when compared against your own goals — then it’s time to optimize.

Why Should You Care about CRO?

CRO is valuable because it provides a way to improve processes within your business.

If CRO was used to improve the conversion rate of your website, it will not only generate more conversions from organic visitors (visitors from unpaid sources such as direct visitors, Google Search, Facebook, etc), but it will also improve the ROI (return on investment) of all the paid investments that were made to get people to your website as well.

what is cro

What Are the Benefits of CRO?

Marketing professionals are happy to tell you about all the things your business and website need, but we wanted to share some benefits of CRO that have been proven in many industries and business mediums.

More Valuable Website Traffic

While other marketing processes get your site in front of people, CRO is the process that makes them want to stay and interact.

This is why clickbait material isn’t great for businesses looking to do more than simply increase the number of hits and visits their site gets.

For example, let’s think about a brick-and-mortar store. While it’s true that every person who steps inside your shop has the potential to purchase your goods, not everyone who walks through the door will want to buy something from you.

And your shop will likely have storefronts and signage that share what you’re selling with passersby – this increases the chances that someone has seen what you offer and is coming to seriously consider making a purchase.

CRO does the same thing to your online content. Your website is the window, and the content – images, text, video – includes everything you’re putting in that window that will entice your visitors.

Your Business Will Make More Profit

Making your website more valuable to its audience will increase your overall profitability. Because your visitors are being primed for your message and led to the correct CTAs and information, these conversions will be more valuable to your bottom line.

The Lifespan of Your Customers Will Increase

CRO increases the potential of setting the stage for a long-term relationship with many of your audience members. Because you have primed and enticed these customers – and hopefully given them a positive transaction experience already – you will be more likely to see repeat business and regular customer traffic.

You’ll See Improved Customer Targeting

Analytics can show you who visits your site. CRO can help you hone in on what they like, and make your website “speak” directly to your target audience.

Your Site Will Have Purpose

By getting involved with CRO, your business will start to establish a presence, a brand, and a legacy. People will know what to expect when they visit your website and social pages, and this will build brand trust with prospects and customers alike.

what is cro

What are the signs your website needs CRO?

There are several signs that might be pointing to a need for some CRO intervention.

You are getting lots of traffic to the website, but low or declining conversions.

Website visits are great, but once you get a visitor, are they bouncing quickly? It may be worth it to check out what your bounce rates and average time per visit are.

You are seeing a lot of half-finished signups and abandoned carts.

This may be an indication that the process or technology you are using for your signups or transactions is difficult to use, glitchy, or just too long for people to want to stick around.

Your website has not been updated in years.

We know, updating your website can get pricey, but just like you can’t have a storefront that’s falling to pieces, having a fast-loading, eye-catching website can instill trust in your brand and lend legitimacy to your products and services. There are too many wonderful websites with similar products or services, in most cases, and you’ll just send them to your competitors with an outdated or difficult-to-navigate website.

You’ve just revamped your website or are in the process of updating it.

If you’ve started to revamp your brand already, CRO is a natural companion to those tasks.

Customers are complaining.

This is a big red flag and it should be taken very seriously. The more complaints and bad reviews your business has, the easier it is for brand trust to dwindle and that will eventually scare away your future prospects.

CRO Is a Business Necessity.

CRO is a multidisciplinary strategy that involves a lot of trial and error. Like everything in the world of digital marketing, CRO success takes time.

When done right, CRO can make a world of difference for your business by generating more leads and sales from your website traffic. By devoting time to creating the optimal environment to nurture your audience into interacting with your site in a specific way, your end goal should always be to watch those numbers climb.

There are a few steps you can take to improve your conversion rate, such as optimizing your content, adding clearer CTAs, using A/B testing, and adopting a visual hierarchy on your site. You can certainly implement some of these steps on your own, but it helps to have a professional look at your site. Our SharedTEAMS experts would love to partner with you on a CRO project. Send us a message today!