What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): How To Get Started
If you want to fully realize the potential of your business idea, you should work on website conversion rate optimization (CRO). It will help you retain more visitors, turn them into buyers, and build a loyal customer audience.
In this article, we will explain what conversion rate is, how you can increase its level, and what elements of your website should be worked on first.
What are Conversion Rates
Website conversion means that your visitor performs a desired action on the website. It is most often considered as a sale. Depending on the desired website action, conversions can also be:
- newsletter subscription;
- banner click;
- click on the link;
- file upload;
- filling out the survey form;
- call to the company manager;
- switch to chat or messenger;
- scrolling to the end of the article, etc.
The conversion rate for the website is measured in percentages and is calculated as the ratio of the number of targeted actions to the total number of visitors.
This formula may vary slightly depending on the field of the business operation.
For example, if you provide a trial version of a product for free and offer a premium subscription, the conversion rate can be calculated as the ratio of premium subscriptions to the total number of all registered users.
If a visitor can buy a product, download a file, or order a service every time they enter the site, the conversion rates for the website will be equal to the number of targeted actions divided by the number of sessions.
Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization
The conversion rate on the website is one of the key internet marketing indicators. Increasing it is considered the main goal of the business. Optimization of the indicator provides a number of important conversion rate optimization benefits, which are worth disclosing in detail.
1. Intensive Development
Optimizing conversion rates is not about more traffic but rather working with your existing target audience. Regardless of the dominant promotion methods in your strategy (SEO, PPC, or referral programs), increasing your conversion rate will earn more without increasing your costs.
2. Scaling in Narrow Niches
Startups that choose narrow market segments have a good chance of success due to low competition. However, they quickly hit a growth ceiling due to the limited size of their target audience. Conversion optimization for websites helps to solve this problem — it provides additional reserves for business growth.
3. Improving User Experience
Conversion optimization is always associated with improving the interface and content quality. Using the right approach means you increase not only the number of target actions but also other indicators, such as the duration of sessions, the depth of site exploration, and the number of positive reactions.
As a result, the level of user engagement grows, strengthening the website's position in the search results.
4. Increasing Confidence
A user-friendly web page with a simple sales process, registration, or subscription scheme is the best argument in favor of your business. Research by the British Computer Society shows that the degree of trust in a company is 75% dependent on the interface of its website.
Therefore, one conversion rate optimization benefit will be building a loyal customer audience.
5. Close Acquaintance with Customers
While working on improving your site, you will learn more about your users. Compiling and completing their portraits will help you to choose marketing strategies more accurately to form effective advertising appeals. You will be able to find the ideal conversation methods with consumers and even optimize your product policy.
What is the average website conversion rate to focus on
There is no single conversion rate for the website that all companies can focus on. The conversion rate varies depending on certain factors, including:
- company's field of activity;
- regional specifics of the market;
- the price category of the product;
- communication channel;
- characteristics of specific products.
However, you can set KPIs based on the average website conversion rate in specific industries.
According to Statista, they range from 2 to 4% in e-commerce. The highest rates boast stores selling craft jewelry (4.2%), health products (3.61%) and kitchenware (2.78%). The lowest conversion rates are demonstrated by home gifts (0.31%), collectible toys (1.16%), and vehicles (1.28%).
Conversion outside of retail can be higher. Ruler's statistics show that it's at a record 7% in dentistry, 5.6% in manufacturing, and 5.5% in healthcare. The weakest performers are technology consulting (1.5%), B2B sales (2.1%), and real estate services (2.3%).
When optimizing conversion rates, pay attention to the communication channel you choose. For example, in marketing services, the average conversion rate for phone calls is 0.4%, and for filling out an online form, it is 1.9%. In automotive services, the situation is diametrically opposite — 1.4% of customers apply online, and 2.4% prefer to call.
Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies
To achieve tangible results, you need a systematic approach. It's not enough to change one detail — you need to develop a comprehensive conversion rate optimization strategy. Let's find out what the best practices are.
1. Create an Understandable UX Design
Make sure the site is technically sound — it has easy navigation, well-designed internal linking, optimized meta tags, and fast-loading multimedia content.
If you want to increase conversion rates, ensure that the site displays properly on mobile and desktop devices.
Use the principle of reasonable minimalism. Remove all unnecessary elements that distract a visitor from the desired action. You should keep the conversion process simple by creating your own irrational rules. If a user wants to make a purchase without registration, provide this opportunity — give a visitor an alternative order form.
2. Use popups
It's a very simple and incredibly effective tool that can be a key element of a conversion optimization strategy. In a HubSpot experiment, a popup increased the clickability of an offer by almost 3 times and generated 27% more leads than a text-based call to action.
This tool will give maximum benefit if it is relevant and unobtrusive: you need to think carefully about the scenarios of its appearance on a visitor’s screen. And don't forget to consider a benefit for a visitor — offer a discount, a free subscription, or access to a limited edition product.
Practice shows that a personalized offer significantly increases conversion and engagement rates. And you can create it with the help of Claspo. This service offers a huge library of ready-made widgets and a convenient drag-n-drop builder.
Claspo allows you to create unique pop-ups for different segments of the target audience by linking them to UTM tags of advertising campaigns, traffic sources, or the key query for which the ad is displayed. The effectiveness of using this service is confirmed by real cases where the conversion rate increased by 2 - 3.9 times.
3. Switch to text CTA
The abundance of multimedia on the Internet leads to the so-called "banner blindness". People unconsciously ignore images, paying maximum attention to text. Take advantage of this to understand how to increase conversion rate.
Add calls to action in the first third of your article. Feel free to highlight them with a subheading and text styling. Remember the rules of writing CTAs — make them attractive without using blatant clickbait.
Optimize your blog's top articles to increase their search engine ranking. And remember a user's intent. Even if you want to sell a certain product, you shouldn't promote a comparative review using commercial keywords. Use conversion-boosting lead magnets (checklists, express surveys, or reaction widgets) in your article.
4. Make decisions based on information
A conversion rate optimization strategy should be driven by data. It is dangerous to trust your intuition, the advice of your colleagues, or the experience of your competitors.
Therefore, your indispensable tool will be analytics services such as Google Analytics, Serpstat, Moz, Ahrefs, and others. Start with key metrics — conversion rate, cost per lead, bounce rate, session duration, and depth of site exploration. Test different ideas and evaluate their impact on marketing effectiveness.
Pay special attention to exit pages — the ones where sessions usually end. Understanding why they cause visitors to close the browser tab is important. Use the Enhanced E-commerce metrics in Google Analytics if necessary. These will help you track traffic and conversions and user micro-transactions such as product browsing, reviewing specifications, and adding to cart.
Where to apply CRO strategies
In brief, you need to optimize your entire website with one cohesive strategy. But as in any other task, it is important to prioritize. That's why we'll tell you which pages are the best to start with.
The home page is the face of your website. It creates the very first impression of the company, which influences the behavior of most users. Therefore, start conversion optimization from the home page.
To keep users on the site, you can do the following:
- create the clearest, simplest, and most user-friendly navigation possible;
- add a subscribe or signup button visible at any time;
- connect a chatbot, which will be activated when you scroll the page or study the content for a long time.
This page is very important from a business perspective. Important decisions are often made, such as whether to subscribe or switch to an alternative plan. A conversion optimization strategy may involve:
- switching between annual and monthly fees;
- adding an individual subscription that includes contacting the company manager;
- a description of the key benefits of each payment plan.
Landing pages serve as the shortest path to a targeted action. They shape a customer’s journey, leading them toward conversion. Working with these pages can take a lot of effort, but it produces great results. To increase your conversion rate on the website, you can:
- Add pop-ups. Claspo offers colorful widgets that can attract the visitor's attention.
- Display product reviews and ratings. Add social proof — posts about recent purchases and reviews.
- Place multimedia elements on the page — a photo, a three-dimensional model of the product, or a video review.
A blog is an interesting website page in terms of conversion. It can turn visitors searching for useful information into buyers. To do this, you need to:
- add text-based calls to action in articles;
- create pop-ups encouraging visitors to register or subscribe to a newsletter;
- place links to the products described in the article.
How to Increase Conversion Rates with Claspo
Claspo is a service that can multiply the conversion rate of a website. It helps generate leads, improves communication with visitors, optimizes the customer journey, and stimulates sales. And all this with the help of pop-ups that can be created in minutes — just choose your preferred option: find a ready-made widget in the template catalog, build it yourself in the constructor, or order turnkey development.
You can use Claspo to optimize the conversion rate of websites operating in different segments: e-commerce, consulting, healthcare, industry, etc. In addition, it can be easily connected to your CMS thanks to integration via Google Tag Manager.