As with most questions, this leads onto more questions – what is conversion rate optimisation (CRO), why does it matter, and what does it involve? No need to fear, we have answers to all these questions and more...

What is conversion rate optimisation?

The basics

Let’s start at the beginning. Conversion is defined as the process of changing something from one thing to another. In the case of your website, your goal is to change/convert visitors into customers by taking a desired action. This action, conversion, or site goal will depend on the purpose of your website, and can be either a micro-conversion (e.g. signing up to a newsletter) or a macro-conversion and the primary goal (e.g. buying a product).

Conversion rate, expressed as a percentage, is the number of these successful conversions compared to the total number of visitors/visits to your website.

Conversion rate is a useful metric in marketing. A simple percentage shows you where you are, how you compare to other businesses in your industry, and what improvements you have made with changes to your websites or sales and marketing strategy.

Conversion rate optimisation, therefore, is the practice of increasing the conversion rate, by incentivising and encouraging more visitors to complete the desired action on your website.

Calculating conversion rate

Conversion rate optimisation can only begin after visits have been made to your site.

Depending on the number of conversion possibilities on your website, you can calculate the conversion rate by using either the number of visits or sessions (where multiple types of conversions are possible) or by the number of unique users (where there is only one possible conversion on the site):

Number of conversions Number of visits (or Number of unique users) 100 = % Conversion rate

For example, for an e-commerce site, if you have 3 visits to your site and 2 of those result in the purchase of a product, then:

2 3 100 = 66% Conversion rate

Gathering and using the data

Once you have your conversion rate figure, you can begin optimisation. Initially, it is important to consider what you are optimising (e.g. design, content or functionality), who you are optimising for, and what targets you are hoping to achieve. Analysing both quantitative and qualitative data will give you answers about your users, how they engage with your website and what you can do to improve your conversion rates.

Quantitative data can be gathered from sources such as Google Analytics and conversion rate tracking, and give information on:

  • Who your customers are
  • What browsers and devices they use
  • What route they took to reach your site
  • What page of your site they land on first
  • Where on your website or on certain pages they spend their time
  • Where or at what stage users leave your site / abandon your conversion funnel

Qualitative data can be used to support the facts and figures above, using customer surveys and user experience testing to find out why the behaviours above happen.

Combining all of this data will help you decide where to spend the most time and effort making adjustments to your site –  as in the pages with the most website traffic or those that most frequently cause users to abandon their search.

Why is CRO important?

Your website, like all other aspects of your business, has a purpose. Whatever that purpose is, your website takes time, money and effort, and you need to ensure that it is performing well and earning its place in your marketing strategy.

Conversion rate optimisation offers a number of benefits to your business:

  1. Increased ROI – as mentioned above, your website costs money, so a better conversion rate means a better return on that investment
  2. Improved user experience – by learning more about how your target audience engages with your website and improving that engagement, you also improve the overall user experience, helping to build trust and brand loyalty
  3. Improved ranking on SERPs – by reducing the number of times people abandon a visit to your website, you demonstrate to search engines that you have what users are looking for, helping to bump your site up in the rankings
  4. Beat the competition – you want to be the best, obviously, but being the best is a lot about being better than your competition, and making improvements to your website will make you stand out from the crowd

How ExtraMile Communications can help

At ExtraMile, our SEM Specialists have all the experience, knowledge and tools to carry out effective conversion rate optimisation. We will collect the data and collaborate closely with you to understand your business goals and objectives in order to optimise for the best results for you.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more, or visit our website to learn more about CRO or some of the other SEM services we offer:

  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media
  • International SEO