The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

14 mins read

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is vital in any successful digital marketing strategy. It is used to increase the number of visitors you want to take a desired action (conversion) on your website. While done badly, you miss an opportunity for your business. The best way to improve your chances and get more conversions is to have effective CRO campaigns.

Before we dive deeply into exploring how to identify the barriers to conversions and improve CRO works, let’s look first at what conversion rate optimization is.

What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving a website to increase the percentage of conversions from a website or mobile app. CRO typically includes applying ideas for elements on your site or app that can function better and then validating those hypotheses through testing.

You may find the conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions (desired actions taken) by the total number of visitors and multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage:

Conversion rate = Number of conversions / Total number of visitors * 100

Driving traffic to your site is crucial but converting that traffic into desired actions is really valuable. CRO allows you to make the most of your existing traffic and increase your return on investment (ROI) without spending additional resources on acquiring more visitors.

This desired action usually is a sale, but it could also be another action that pushes a person further along the sales funnel toward a purchase.

Examples of website actions that count as conversions based on context-specific goals

  • Subscription/registration conversions
  • Downloading an ebook after providing an email address 
  • Completing a contact form to speak with a sales rep
  • Opting in to push notifications
  • Subscribing for a service
  • Starting a free trial after sharing some personal info
  • Clicking a CTA button on a specific landing page
  • Downloading an app
  • Clicking an affiliate link
  • Click-through conversions
  • Transforming from a free user to a premium user
  • Sales conversions
  • Adopting a new product feature 

Why is conversion rate optimization important?

Conversion rate optimization is important because it allows you to decrease your customer acquisition costs by getting more value from the visitors you already have. By optimizing your conversion rate you can increase revenue per visitor or user, acquire more customers, and grow your business.

There are always a lot of things to improve when it comes to increasing conversions. The most successful companies are constantly adapting their sites and apps to create a better experience for their users and grow conversions.

Sometimes it can be hard to start a conversion rate optimization strategy, but the benefits it offers will motivate you. You will:

  • Understand your users better
  • Improve customers’ on-site experiences
  • Maximize your PPC costs
  • Maximize sales
  • Increase return on investment

Understanding barriers to conversion

Once your conversion metrics have been determined, the next step in the conversion rate optimization process is to find which part of your conversion funnel you want to optimize.

Here are some of them:

1. Outdated information

If your website is still showing outdated information, potential customers will likely leave your site. Make sure you update your content, or you risk losing customers and money.

2. Poor navigation

If your website’s navigation is misleading or difficult to use, website visitors are likely to go elsewhere. Make sure your navigation is clear and user-friendly to increase the conversion rate.

3. Slow loading times

If your website is too slow, website visitors are likely to click away before they even have a chance to see what you have to offer. Check Google Analytics and make sure your loading time is nearly 5 seconds or less not to perform slower than others.

4. Lack of Clarity

Check out if there are no unclear messages, annoying pop-ups, confusing offers, and complicated forms. They can stop visitors from making a purchase or another conversion.

5. Obsolete design

If your website’s design is out-of-date, likely, your prospects will likely not perceive your company as reputable and reliable. Make sure to keep your design modern and easy to use for conversion rate optimization.

6. Lack of mobile optimization

If your website is not adapted to mobile devices, you’re likely to lose out on a significant part of potential customers. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, as nowadays conversation rate optimization services focus more on mobile than desktop versions as more and more users are buying things from mobile.

7. Lack of Trust

Building trust and establishing a good relationship with your audience is crucial for conversion. Testimonials, reviews, professional support, and secure payment options can help lend credibility to your users.

Effective CRO tactics

You can use these tactics to improve your website performance and increase conversions:

  • Do A/B Testing

A/B testing means comparing two versions of a webpage to find out which performs better. By testing different components such as menu titles, calls-to-action, layouts, or color schemes, you can collect data and make important decisions to improve conversion rates.

  • Optimize the user experience (UX)

With more and more people using mobile devices to make purchases online, optimizing mobile versions of e-commerce websites can help improve user experience and increase conversions.

  • Simplify checkout process

A complex checkout process can lead to leaving a cart. Simplifying the checkout process by shortening the process and asking for only necessary information can help increase conversions.

  • Optimize your messaging

Create your content and offers to satisfy the interests and preferences of your target audience. Customization provides a sense of relevance and increases the chances of finishing conversion.

  • Use customer reviews and ratings

Customer reviews and ratings can help build trust and credibility with prospects, leading to increased conversions.

  • Improve user buyer personas to understand your customers

To improve your customers’ experience on your website and encourage them to make a conversion, it’s vital that you know who they are, their interests, their motivation, and what they want to get from your service or product. 

  • Optimize based on hard data

Adjust your website based not on guesses or instincts, but on high-quality data. You can use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to generate hard data on your bounce rate, exit pages, cost per conversion, and other key metrics and then take concrete actions to optimize these areas.

  • Use SMART goals for CRO

Always use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) system for setting the goals to help you improve CRO performance. Be precise with exact goals and deadlines.

  • Test your CRO strategies

You can use both A/B and multivariate testing to try out your CRO tactics. For best results, you can use both test types together.

An A/B test is also known as a split test. It allows you to compare different components on two web pages. Such tests will help you in testing headlines, calls-to-action, images, or copy.

Multivariate tests are checking multiple options of multiple components on a webpage. The goal of this test is to identify which combination of variations performs best.

  • Hold competitor research

Analyze your competitors on a regular basis and find out what tactics are working for them. Your aim is not to copy their high-performing strategies and techniques but to get ideas from them and find the best options. 

  • Conduct user research

Your aim with this type of research is to discover exactly how visitors interact with your website. It’s also useful to know how they came to your site. 

In addition, it’s important to find out if they see any obstacles while using your website, particularly any that prevent them from converting; and conversely, which aspects of their visit run smoothly and which are not.

The best conversion rate optimization tools

CRO tools can help you understand the performance of your website by showing you how visitors use it easily and fast. Shortly, these tools gather data about your visitors and website, therefore helping you identify problematic zones on your website that are making visitors leave the site.

Before we show you a list of the popular CRO services out there, it’s important to mention that these tools are split into the following categories:

  • Web analytics CRO tools
  • Behavior analytics CRO tools
  • CRO testing tools

Here are the top 10 best conversion rate optimization tools:

Google Analytics

With GA, you can monitor your website activity, traffic sources, and conversion rate goals in real time. It helps you see such basic metrics as sessions, session duration, bounce rates, new users, and average engagement time.


Heap is a real-time web analytics service that collects data about client-site interactions including page views, clicks, form submissions, and change events. 

Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics is also one of the market-leading services for tracking real-time data across multiple marketing channels (website, email marketing, apps, and more.)

CRO Checker

Test your site to identify potential aspects that need improvements from CTAs, and page speed, to broken links. Identify where to look for conversion rate optimization in a short time.

Google Optimize 360

Google Optimize is the perfect tool for A/B testing, multivariate testing (MVT), and split testing different versions of web pages and measuring how each page performs.


With LiveChat, you can support your users in case of some issues or lack of knowledge and encourage them to make conversions. Manage all interactions from a single dashboard and monitor how they impact revenue and ROI.

Crazy Egg

You can use this service to test different versions and changes to your site and understand user behavior. This tool includes a heat map, scroll, and overlay map.


You can gather, measure, and analyze website traffic data with behavior analytics tools like heatmaps and session recordings. It will help you find the pain points in customer experiences, such as website bugs, broken links, and low-performing design.

Full Story

This service will assist you in measuring user behaviors generating heatmaps, session recordings, and bug tracking. FullStory will provide your team with data about the problems in the customer journey and user experience.


This service will provide you with opt-in forms, feedback popups, newsletter signup forms, gamification popups, video popups, and more. You can promote your campaigns, sales, new launches, or features like a pro and skyrocket conversion rates.

Wrapping Up

Incorporating a CRO strategy is no longer optional—it’s a necessary part of the marketing job. By focusing on measurable results, you can create a cycle of booming conversions and big dividends. Our blog is opening up endless opportunities for savvy marketers and business owners to improve their CRO.  

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