Who Needs Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is an excellent tool for any organization operating in a digital medium with a visiting audience and a goal for audience engagement. However, there are some qualifiers of a CRO program that you need to ensure success. Check out our easy guide and get your CRO strategy dialed in for your business:
What is Conversion Rate Optimization
Understanding the Basics of CRO
There are a million marketing terms out there, and with technology barreling forth at the speed of light, new ones are being coined every day. CRO is no different. It is essential to understand CRO to properly determine if it is a good fit for your organization.
Conversion Rate Optimization is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website and converting them to customers, or more specifically, getting them to take the desired action on a webpage. This is the standard definition of CRO. However, there are many ways to accomplish Conversion Rate Optimization.
The changes made in a CRO program are commonly done through a series of tests launched and aimed to produce website visitor insights and results. These tests can involve changes to nearly anything, including site-wide or small localized spots (such as call-to-action-specific changes).
Because tests can involve nearly any concept and area, Conversion Rate Optimization is both a multidisciplinary art and science that pulls together creative, analytical, and technical solutions to create tests. This is where it helps to have a team dedicated to digging into data expand creatively on test ideas, and technically develop tests to be launched on your digital platform.
Successful Conversion Rate Optimization programs understand the investment of each test. Although not every test will be a winner, the tests that are will strengthen the overall organizational understanding of visitor psychographics and lifetime site conversion rate.
Benefits of a CRO Program
Conversion Rate Optimization programs have a lot to offer and are necessary for businesses looking to stay competitive and develop a greater understanding of their visitors.
Here’s what CRO programs can do for your business:
- Convert More Visitors: Plain and simple, employing a CRO testing program helps you figure out what works and what doesn’t on your site. When you implement the winners it helps convert more visitors.
- Increase the Efficiency of Your Site To Convert Visitors: This means increasing the ‘Rate’ in the middle of the term ‘Conversion Rate Optimization’. This can apply to all visitors in addition to channel/source-specific visitors, such as those who come to your website through paid advertisements or email marketing.
- Lower Customer Acquisition Costs: Increasing the efficiency of your conversion rate means lowering your acquisition costs.
- For example, without utilizing CRO, you spend $100 to get 100 people to your website; and ten convert out of those visitors. This is a conversion rate of 10% and an acquisition cost of $10 ($100/10 converters).
- For the next example, you decide to utilize CRO and spend $100 to get 100 people to your website. The Conversion Rate Optimization program is able to increase the number of visitors to 20 conversions. That would be a conversion rate of 20% and an acquisition cost of $5 ($100/20 converters). Pretty sweet!
- Reveal Insights About Your Visitors: What language works best for getting your site visitors to click the almighty “Add to Cart” button? What value proposition resonates the most with new visitors vs. longer-term repeat visitors? Conversion Rate Optimization provides the framework and tactics to help you answer questions exactly like these. CRO programs help ask these essential questions and then test hypotheses to reveal insights about your visitors. This translates to more sales or reaching other goals, to move your business forward.
- A Data & Results Driven Framework For Making Changes: Spontaneous one-off changes or ideas for site optimization can be expensive if they don’t pay-off. A CRO program helps prioritize changes based on what is vital to the organization and is backed by relevant data. This ensures that changes are made based on merit and quantifies the impact of key visitor behavior changes. Additionally, the aggregate learnings of launched tests help you understand what works, or doesn’t work, for any future changes.
- Out-Explore and Out-Perform Competitors with Solutions and Features: One website on the internet is like one item on a shelf in a store with infinite shelves. You are competing with everyone, including search engines, businesses of similar sizes, and titans such as Amazon. Conversion Rate Optimization helps you iterate and improve your site offerings to define and refine your competitive edge while keeping you in touch with changing visitor motives and behavior.
Who CRO Applies to and Who Sees the Most Benefits
Who CRO Applies To
Simply put, CRO applies to any business looking to maximize visitor conversions and is commonly paired with existing services such as web maintenance, which is useful for developing test code and implementing test winners on a site.
Because Conversion Rate Optimization mainly focuses on increasing a site’s conversions efficiency, it is also a natural extension of paid marketing and email marketing. CRO helps optimize for your visitors’ unique backgrounds and behavioral differences to increase their conversions, which lowers the overall cost per conversion to improve performance.
Conversion Rate Optimization can also aid SEO efforts. Search engine results rely on complex algorithms factoring in many inputs, including on-page performance, engagement, and readability. User experience and engagement CRO tests can dramatically influence on-page metrics, which have cascading positive effects for SEO.
We have seen this in-action by testing to increase on-page engagement for pages with increasing bounce rates that were losing rankings over time. One particular CRO test increased the conversion rate for key click-through page elements by 6.89%. Subsequently, it showed a noticeable rise in page-rank after permanent implementation without any additional page alterations.
Who Sees the Most Benefits From CRO?
While CRO applies to every business at various levels, the benefits of conversion rate optimization work best for companies with the following characteristics:
- Sites with a large number of website visitors per month: Conversion Rate Optimization programs generally work best with scale. More traffic means:
- The more a percent lift from CRO winners will give you in return.
- What does a 5% conversion rate lift look like for a site with 1,000 visitors and 20 conversions? (1 extra conversion).
- What does a 5% conversion rate lift look like for a site with 100,000 visitors and 2,000 conversions? (100 extra conversions).
- More traffic also means less time it takes to reach significant test results.
- Typically more traffic allows for more flexibility to shoot for larger test ideas, which means more potential for big wins.
- The more a percent lift from CRO winners will give you in return.
- At least one clearly defined website goal: You mostly hear about CRO’s relation to e-commerce sites, which have an obvious purpose of generating more revenue through online sales. However, not every website is in e-commerce, and most business goals involve a complicated series of visitor behaviors such as extended timeline sales, user retention, and chained behaviors.
- Noble Studios has vast CRO experience with a range of clients, including E-commerce, Higher Education, B2B, Health and Wellness, Travel & Tourism, etc. We also have experience optimizing for different business objectives as well as helping our clients identify and map their website goals, including RFPs, RFQs, Form Submits, Transactions, Average Order Value, User Experience Behaviors, etc.
- Baseline conversions have consistency and a degree of volume: I know what you are thinking. “Isn’t that why we would be doing ‘CRO’ in the first place? To raise our conversion consistency and volume?”. Yes, but CRO is best applied at scale. If your baseline conversions are infrequent and low volume, CRO can help, but the effects will be limited. The more traffic (and conversions) you have to begin with, the easier CRO can be applied at scale to have an effect at scale.
- A site with 10,000 weekly visitors and 500 weekly conversions (5.0% Conversion Rate) would need the variation to provide about an 8.92% lift compared to Control to achieve results (with a 95% Confidence Level) within 6 weeks.
- Compare that to a lower conversion site that still has 10,000 weekly visitors, but this time only has 5 conversions (0.05% Conversion Rate). In this case you would need the variation to provide about a 110% lift to conclude testing within 6 weeks. Possible? Yes if you have a sure way to produce a 110% uplift. However, more often than not, low conversion rate tests don’t produce these types of uplifts and take very long to get results. Try it yourself with a pre-test analysis.
- They are creative and exploratory in optimizing their site for visitors: A CRO program’s success primarily involves advocacy from the client. We regularly partner with our client’s on a schedule of ideation for test concepts and find that our most successful CRO programs involve enthusiastic clients who are engaged in the process and know what kind of experiments they would like to try.
- Interested in building long-term value: Successful CRO programs involve clients who understand their websites play a large role in their customer relationships. These clients have an appetite for optimizing the user’s overall experience in relation to their business goals and do not maximize business goals at the expense of the users’ overall experience.
CRO is not about quick wins or promises from cheap online experts to get you a 200% lift. “KPI squeezing,” as it is called, often gets you a lift in the moment, but it can harm the long-term trust you have with your visitors if done improperly. Frequently this is reflected in increased bounce rates, just like when a car salesperson is too pushy. At best, you learn some simple tricks to get a little lift. At worst, your site looks like a Christmas tree blinking and flashing, vying for conversions while your long-term repeat visitors wonder why your site looks so spammy.
Getting Help with CRO
You need conversion rate optimization if you want to increase your website’s conversions and the rate at which visitors convert. Conversion Rate Optimization is a powerful tool in the digital marketing toolkit that helps businesses get the most out of the visitors they have spent a lot to acquire and helps you gain critical insights into your visitors’ behavior.
In many cases, CRO is employed alongside other services such as website maintenance, paid, email, and SEO because of the cost savings, increased conversions, and insights it can offer.
Businesses that see the most returns from a structured CRO program have high website visitors, have at least one defined website goal, are exploratory and imaginative in ways to maximize their website performance, and are interested in building lifetime value for their website visitors.
The CRO Need-to-Know
Whew! That was a lot. But hopefully, you’ve gained some critical insights into the world of Conversion Rate Optimization and are ready to go forth and conquer! Before you go, review this handy dandy list of CRO need-to-know guidelines (maybe even make a print for your back pocket) and get ready to pave the road to successful conversions on your website!
Understand CRO to determine if you need it: What is CRO
Conversion Rate Optimization is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website and converting them to customers, or more specifically, getting them to take the desired action on a website such as a goal. Increasing your conversion rate for a particular goal means increasing the efficiency by which visitors complete a desired action.
- This is achieved through a structured program of tests launched and aimed to produce insights and results.
- Tests can involve nearly anything and can involve large site-wide ideas or small CTA-specific changes.
Because tests can involve nearly any concept, CRO is a multidisciplinary art and science pulling together creative, analytical, and technical solutions to create tests.
Successful CRO clients understand the investment each test takes and know that, although not every test will be a winner, the ones that do win strengthen their organizational understanding of visitor behavior and lifetime site conversion rate.
In short, you need Conversion Rate Optimization if you want to increase your site’s conversions and the rate at which visitors convert. Conversion Rate Optimization is a powerful tool in the digital marketing toolkit that helps businesses get the most out of the visitors they have spent a lot to acquire, and gain key insights into their website visitors’ behavior.
- CRO is often employed alongside other services such as website maintenance, paid, email, and SEO because of the cost savings, increase to conversions, and insights it can offer.
- Although CRO is most often used for eCommerce, it has benefits for other businesses as well including B2B, Travel & Tourism, Health & Wellness, and Higher Education.
- Businesses that see the most returns from a structured CRO program have high website visitors, at least one defined website goal, are exploratory and imaginative in finding ways to maximize their website performance, and are interested in building lifetime value for their website visitors.