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What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Ever wondered how to turn visitors to your website into paying customers? This must be the preoccupation of every website owner since the beginning of the Internet and it even has a name to it-conversion rate optimization.

In marketing speak, conversion simply means:

  • A customer making a purchase
  • A customer subscribing to an email newsletter
  • A customer deciding to use your app or buy an eBook

To work out the conversion rate of a website, we can use the straightforward formula:

Conversion rate= Total conversions in a month / Total website visitors in that month.

For example, you run a website for your ‘post natal care products for mothers’ which gets 10,000 visitors in May and make 100 sales in that same month. Your conversion rate would be 1%.

How about the CTA and bounce rates?

Conversion means a sale so optimizing conversion means making more sales. In the formula above for calculating conversion rate, conversion rate optimization will make the final resulting percentage bigger. Marketers are engrossed with optimizing conversion rate because this is the same as improving the profitability of the business. Every industry has an average conversion rate but there is scope for marketers to optimize this rate further. When thinking about CRO, marketers always look at call to action (CTA), bounce rate and average time on site.

-A call to action (CTA) tells the website visitor what to do. The action prompted should be a conversion. An effective example of a CTA is a big, clear button placed on the landing page, telling the visitor to sign up. Many CTAs take visitors to a purchase order page or a page to sign up for future subscriptions.

-The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave the website after clicking through. The higher the bounce rate, the quicker people leave your website after visiting. As a marketer you would want visitors to the website to stay longer for conversion to take place. An aim of CRO, therefore, is to reduce the bounce rate.

-The average time on site shows the level of engagement of visitors with your website. Visitors leave your site quickly if they are not interested in making a purchase. The other reason visitors leave your website is because there are no guidance along the sales funnel to keep their attention.

the normal bounce rates for different industries

Why is conversion rate optimization important?

Every business is interested in converting leads into paying customers; a low conversion rate usually means ineffective marketing. For businesses that wants the best return on value for their marketing spend, CRO is a must. Increasing the conversion rates have helped countless businesses to improve their revenue without paying more in marketing

Efforts to increase conversion rates include:

  • Trying to engage more with visitors to your website
  • Guiding your visitors along the conversion funnel
  • Targeting the right customers and adjusting content strategy
  • Increasing the number of visitors who subscribe to your website
  • Trying to out-think your competitors on matters of customer experience
  • Doing A/B Split testing and measuring marketing efforts
  • Making sure your customers get the very best user experience
  • Optimizing your website for SEO

CRO can improve revenue without spending more on marketing. The method of testing content and making small changes can make the difference between a customer signing up and leaving your webpage. By adjusting the wording, tone and design of your website, you can gain more customers. Knowing the psychology of your prospects lies at the core of successful CRO. Understanding what triggers visitors to act once they arrive at your website will help you  add more to the bottom line.


The other benefits of CRO includes:

  • Reducing your website’s bounce rates (visitors leaving your website without engaging). CRO will help you to test different variations of the landing page and the metrics will show you the bounce rate percentage. The more visitors engage with your website, the more likely they are to convert into buying customers.
  • Getting more data from visitors. Visitors who are engaged in your website will be persuaded to fill in a survey or registration form with their details.
  • Building your emails list. The details filled in by your visitors would make a great email list for targeted marketing. By filling in your form, they are expressing an interest in your content and would not mind being contacted for special offers or new product arrivals.
  • Helping you create a better website. This is an obvious benefit of CRO that your website will not only look better it will also be more persuasive and user friendly. Some visitors want to convert but may be deterred by a website that is not user friendly.
  • Improved quantifiable results. You can use software to track CRO. Experiment Engineand Optimizely are both great software for metrics.

Ways to increase your conversion rate

Improving your website’s conversion rate involves constant trial and error in improvements. Here are some ways you can convert more visitors to customers.

1.Make it easy for prospects to convert

Making the registration or subscription form clearly visible and placing the call to action boxes in a visible place are ways to make conversion easier. Many websites create popups and CTA boxes on every page, but you can decide through trial and error what is the right amount. Too much will annoy visitors but too little is even worse.

2. Improve the overall user experience

Even if you place call to action boxes on every page, make this visually appealing to the visitor. If your brand is a luxury one, understated CTA boxes in elegant designs work best.

3. Add value to call to actions

You can add some value to your call to action, for example a special discount or promotional offer. Adding value to CTA is an effective conversions tactic.

4.Optimize words for conversion

The way you word your CTA boxes or website content will influence visitor’s decision to convert. Clarity, dynamic language and a sense of urgency works best. Decide the right tone and wording that will suit your brand image and targeted audience.

5. Follow up your leads

After you have your visitor’s email, follow up your newly acquired leads. Create content about your website that would interest them; conversion can happen offsite as well.


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