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What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): definition, tips and tools

Conversion rate optimization

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving the percentage of visitors to your website that convert (aka the conversion rate) by changing the ad copy, design, marketing strategy or methods, retargeting etc.

Why you need to include CRO in your marketing strategy

Conversion rate optimization demands time and effort. However, besides the obvious advantages of improved conversion rate, higher ROI, and growing revenue, there are other reasons why no good marketing strategy can truly be good without CRO: 

✔️ It’s cost-efficient 
It’s more expensive to find new leads than to convert the old ones. That’s why once you have a lead, you should really try to convert them. Retargeting old leads as well as improving your landing pages, UI design, ad copies etc., will pay off and help you improve your bounce rate, time-on-page, SEO, and brand recognition. Even if you choose to use conversion rate optimization tools, you will find CRO to be much more cost-efficient than most sales and marketing strategies. 

✔️ Improved customer experience
Because the two are so connected, CRO lets you take care of your conversion rate while improving the overall customer experience. How? Any conversion rate optimization strategy implies the improvement of UI/UX design, landing pages, simplification of the checkout process etc. This will inadvertently improve the customer experience. 

✔️ Better customer lifetime value
With the improvement of the customer/user experience, your churn rate will also improve. This will subsequently improve your CLV (aka LTV). What’s more, satisfied customers are more likely to become brand fans over time, referring new potential customers that are more likely to convert. 

✔️ Higher ROI
CRO will give you a higher return on investment, not just from the website, but also from paid ad campaigns. Remember to conduct A/B tests to find out what converts leads better. 

How to improve your conversion rate 

When the conversion rate doesn’t seem to grow or even goes down, a good conversion rate optimization strategy can help you. There are many ways to improve the conversion rate.

These are our favorites:

  • Improve UX by making the website easy to navigate. A great UX will improve the conversion rate. Don’t make your leads do the extra work – the smoother the experience, the higher the chance to convert.
  • Work on SEO to ensure your website is ranked well in the search engine. This doesn’t just help leads find your service easier, but also improves brand awareness and image, which often count in the final decision-making.
  • Design a CTA that will be bright, clear, and really calling to action. Create them not only for your landing pages but for blog posts too. Do not add CTAs only at the end of your posts or website: not everyone reads till the end. Insert a few CTAs throughout. 
  • Add pop-ups, drop-downs, banners, and slide-in boxes. HubSpot has proven that slide-in boxes can improve the conversion rate even better than traditional CTA buttons (192% more clicks-throughs and 27% more submissions). 
  • Create long-form landing pages. According to research, long landing pages convert 220% better compared to short ones. Keep this in mind when you set a task to your designers. 
  • Add forms to get more information about your leads. This is done not just for you to send them relevant information and content, but also to fine tune your perfect buyer persona and your CRO strategy overall.
  • Create a conversion funnel. This is really one of the best conversion rate optimization practices as it will let you analyze user behavior, which stages your leads get stuck on, define the triggers they react the most to, and decide what you need to improve.
  • Implement live chat tools to have an opportunity to communicate with visitors directly. They can either appear on the spot or after a user spends a certain amount of time on the webpage. Such tools make it easier to improve the conversion rate: the conversation will be easier to start as the leads are already interested in your service or product and you’ll be there in case they have any quick questions that may be stopping them from a conversion.
  • Optimize and update popular blog posts with a low conversion rate. There are a few (obvious) reasons in favor of this conversion rate optimization strategy. Firstly, everyone (including search engines) loves relevant and updated information. Secondly, this is an opportunity for you to add more CTAs throughout the texts that can increase your conversions and stop leads from exiting the page once they find the information they’ve been looking for.
  • A/B test to see what works better for your audience. It’s almost impossible to predict what exactly you can do to convert your audience better. A/B testing helps you get actual numbers on what works better, even if it seems counter-intuitive to you. 

Now that you know what to do, you need some tools to help you with it. Here are our favorites.

11 conversion rate optimization tools

You may find it challenging to work on the conversion rate optimization manually. We recommend choosing a set of conversion rate optimization tools and platforms to help you conduct surveys and tests. 

A/B Testing

A/B Tasty
With this conversion rate optimization tool, you will easily analyze your website and find how user-friendly it is, get insights on the loading performance, and conduct A/B and Multivariant testing. 

Optimizely
Optimizely is one of the most popular all-in-one platforms that offers marketing testing. This platform will help you improve UX and helps you test not only your website but also Android and iOS apps.

Experiment Engine
This conversion rate optimization tool is provided by Optimizely. This is the A/B testing tool that will help you find the best version of your website through reports and detailed analytics.

Conversion rate and design analysis

Google Analytics
Who doesn’t love GA? It’s completely free but still lets you dive into the slightest detail of the user performance: opens, clicks, time spent on the page, conversion, etc. Take the time to really learn it – it pays off.

Clicky
A heat-mapping tool is an alternative to Google Analytics that will help you implement your conversion rate optimization strategies. It provides data on user behavior so that you can find ways to improvement. The provided data is the same: number of visitors, average time spent on the page, bounce rate, number of clicks, etc. 

Crazy Egg
This great platform tracks users’ interaction with your website through heat maps, recordings, and snapshots. You can also make quick changes on your website and A/B test to find the most converting website version. Just note that their plans are only billed annually. 

Clicktale
This conversion rate optimization tool is an alternative to the previous ones. Clicktale provides details on user performance with heat maps, analytics for web, mobile, and apps, session replays, and conversion analytics. 

KISSMetrics
Kissmetrics is another CRO tool tracking the users’ behavior, also offering location data. With this tool on board, it will be easier for you to improve the conversion rate.

TryMuUI
This tool allows you to conduct complete UI tests and find out the best and the worst things about it. This is an alternative to Qualaroo that provides a set of similar features.

Get insights from users

Google Forms
One more free tool from Google that will help you in your conversion rate optimization efforts. Use it to create surveys and get insights on your visitors, letting you convert them easier in the future. 

Survey Monkey
This is probably the most popular tool for creating surveys and analyzing the results. You can use templates or create your own surveys, add triggered questions and set themes, change fonts and insert your logo, and much more. All this will help you design appealing surveys that people are excited to fill out. 

Implement CRO strategies, use conversion rate optimization tools, and you will improve significantly in no time.

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