Supersonic Playground Ltd
understanding CRO

Understanding CRO

Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO as its best known, is the process of optimising your website to encourage users to complete specific actions.

7 minute read

In this piece, we’ll break down this popular acronym, discuss the benefits, and then look at your next steps.

What is CRO?

Conversions are the actions or outcomes that you want your users to take when they visit your website. Conversions could be getting people to visit a specific page, downloading a document, registering for your newsletter or making a purchase. The rate is how many of these you get in a particular time period. Therefore, your conversion rate should be measurable, i.e. 10% of all monthly website visitors download your brochure. 

Once you’ve established your conversion rate, the next step is optimisation. This is where you look at how to improve the rate of conversions, i.e. if the goal is to increase all monthly brochure downloads by 5%, you would need to look at how we can optimise your website (and the user experience) to achieve this. 

How can CRO benefit your business?

The whole point of CRO is about turning website visitors into customers, so the better it is, the more successful your website will be. It also helps you to:

  • Understand your customers
  • Generate more leads, and therefore more customers
  • Leverage your existing traffic rather than acquiring more new traffic to increase leads
  • Stay ahead of your competitors
  • Improve your brand perception
  • Create brand advocates

Implementing CRO

To kick-start your CRO journey, you’ll need to follow each of the following steps:

Determine what good looks like

Before you even start on your CRO journey, you’ll need to determine what good looks like for your business. ‘Good’ is different for every company, and it has a lot to do with your goals – more on that below. What you need to think about is what a ‘good’ month or week looks like for your business currently. It could be 10 brochure downloads a week, 30 marketing qualified leads a month or 20 contact us form submissions a week. Whatever you decide good is, make sure you keep a note of it to compare against later. We use a scorecard system, download our template here. 

Outline your goals

When you know what your current ‘good’ looks like, it’s time to think about your goals. It might be that you want to double your brochure downloads from 10 a week to 20. What this means is, if currently you’re getting 1,000 website visitors a week and 10 brochure downloads from that traffic, then your conversion rate is 1%.

  • Formula: (Leads generated ÷ website traffic) x 100

If you’re looking to double those leads (brochure downloads) to 20, then there are two options:

  1. Double your weekly visitors to 2,000. However, your conversion rate would still be 1%, and you wouldn’t have optimised anything. Instead, you would have probably spent more budget trying to drive more traffic to your website. 
  2. Double your conversion rate to 2%. By keeping the same number of weekly visitors (1,000) but doubling your brochure downloads (leads generated) to 20, you would increase your conversion rate to 2%. You can achieve this by identifying any weak areas or pain points that are stopping your visitors from converting, and then optimising your website to increase your conversion rates. 

Look at your current data

Once you know what good looks like for your business and you know your business goals, it’s time to start addressing any problems by looking at the data you already have. For this, you can use tools like Google Analytics. Ideally, you’ll already have this set up on your website so that you already have a good bank of historical data built up. If you haven’t got this yet, we’d recommend setting it up now and then coming back to this step in 2-3 months. 

Use the data from Google Analytics to help you identify the following: 

  • Poor performers– the pages that have a high bounce rate or low conversions
  • High traffic– the pages that get the most traffic on your website
  • Key landing pages– these might be PPC landing pages or key services pages that are or should be ranking in Google 

Use HotJar

HotJar is a tool that allows you to see Heatmaps, funnels, recordings and feedback from users interacting with your website. It’s more focused on user experience than Google Analytics. You can achieve a lot of the following recommendations with the free version, depending on how many visitors you get to your site:

  • Setup recordings and heatmaps for each of the pages you outlined above (using Google Analytics)
  • Review how users are interacting with those pages
  • Make a note of key behaviours:
  • Are users tripping over the same step?
  • Are there clear call-to-actions?
  • Is the page being navigated in the way you imagined?
  • Are there common trends in behaviour?

Ask your customers

Reaching out to your customers and website users either with a survey or on-site poll (another feature available through HotJar) is a great way to find out what they think is working on your website and what isn’t. And, bearing in mind the site has been built for them, who better to ask? Customers are a great first point of contact for this exercise, and we recommend outlining 4-5 key questions and then calling each of them to find out how they found using your website. Adding the Feedback and Poll options from HotJar are also great ways to get feedback from users who might not already be customers of your business.

Segment your users

Outlining your different audience types and ensuring you have content that appeals to them is a vital part of the process. If you’ve not already taken the time to do this, then now’s the time. Start by defining your audience and then creating user profiles. Once completed, you can segment your audience and give yourself data that you know you can personalise.

Brainstorm ideas

With all of your data collected, you can now start thinking about how to optimise your user experience. Brainstorm different things that could be blocking your audience and then think about how you might resolve them:

  • Is the path to conversion clear?
    • What steps can you add or remove to make it clearer
    • Do you have relevant calls-to-action on your pages?
    • Do you have an easy check-out process (if you’re eCommerce)?
    • Do you have an FAQs section or chatbot?
    • Do you have an on-site search?
  • Is your copy optimised?
    • Do you have segmented pages for different users?
    • Is it clear who your product or service is and isn’t for?
    • Have you outlined your process?
    • Have you spoken about your company’s values and why someone should buy from you?
    • Is your content contextual?
  • Do you have clear actions on your site?
    • Are your forms above the fold?
    • Do you have calls-to-action such as ‘download our brochure’ or ‘request a call back’?
  • Are your pages optimised for mobile?
    • Is your site responsive?
    • Is copy readable on mobile?
    • Do your calls-to-action and forms appear on mobile?
    • Does the site load quickly on mobile?

Implement, review and repeat

With CRO, it’s all about trial and error. For each optimisation idea you have, you should implement and monitor it. If you think of multiple solutions to one issue, you could also use A/B or multivariate testing to see which option is preferred by users before you make a permanent change. You can also monitor the pages you’re optimising with Google Analytics and HotJar to see if it’s made a difference. It’s important to remember this is a process, and if you change lots of things, it will be challenging to see which one is having a positive impact. Make small changes incrementally and then review their benefit to see if they’ve impacted your conversion rate.

We hope you found this blog useful, to be the first to hear about our marketing tips and tricks, please register for our newsletter.

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