Conversion Rate Optimisation is a strategy that aims to increase the percentage of conversion from visits into desired actions on a website or app. Most commonly it involves the development of improvements to sites or apps which can then be assessed by A/B testing or other methods of measurement.

There are two main categories of conversion which CRO is designed to achieve, micro and macro conversions. Examples of the micro category are actions such as signing up to a mailing list, creating a wish list or requesting a quote. These are all methods concerned with moving the customer engagement towards the ultimate goal of sales. 

Macro conversions are actions that sit at the bottom of this sales funnel, such as making a purchase or paying for a subscription service.

A conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of visitors and multiplying the result by 100. This produces a percentage measurement. For example, 1,000 conversions from among 100,000 visitors produces a conversion rate of 1%. The rate is used in planning future marketing and CRO strategies.

How CRO differs from SEO

Unlike SEO which is about increasing traffic to a site or page, CRO is concerned with the customer experience once they are on that page. It emphasises the need to clarify the value of the product or service and what differentiates it from the competition; the value of interaction and incentives; and assurances of security in terms of navigation, payment methods and data storage. 

CRO also focuses on identifying and removing barriers to a smooth customer experience such as slow loading times, sub-standard design, badly placed or inaccessible buttons, unnecessary registration requirements and pop-ups, lack of quality images, poorly written, inaccurate or out of date content.

There is no set formula for CRO but effective methods include the use of testimonials, reviews and influencer recommendations; the inclusion of instructive video material; optimised placement and functionality of calls to action; increased use of photography; download forms to capture lead data; and chatbots.