What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

I would hereby like to introduce you, the World, to yet another acronym:  CRO.  Conversion Rate Optimization.  In a nutshell, it’s what we do.  But what does it mean?

Bottom line:  Faster and greater customer acquisition with increased sales.

Nice, right?

How Does CRO Happen?

To start, the only way you can affect the conversion rates of your business is through the analysis of data. 

Since “data” is such an overused term, let’s define it here as “including, but not limited to, website behavior, Contact Resource Management (CRM) systems, email lists, search engine queries.”

Armed with a variety of data sources, you can more confidently determine where the points of conversion are and how they are performing, and then establish some plans for how to improve each of those points.

Where Can I See CRO?

Before anything can be optimized, we first have to understand what conversions you have to work with.  Most often, “conversion” can be equated to a lead, sale, or download.

Examples of online conversion points:

  • Downloading a PDF

  • Filling out and submitting a form

  • Clicking on a paid ad (Google AdWords, etc)

  • Clicking on an organic search engine result

  • Email open rates

  • Email clicks to your site

  • Traffic from other websites (referrals)

And then there are the conversions that happen mostly offline.  They create data, and if we can accurately measure that data, we can improve them too:

  • Sales (closed leads)

  • New customers

  • Returning customers

  • Phone calls

How Can You Affect Conversion Rate?

Pryor Consultation - Conversion Rate Optimization

First, select a goal.  We’ll choose “more leads” as our example.

Second, pick a conversion point.  Since there are so many actions that happen before a person submits a lead, let’s use a straightforward example of paid search ads.  In this case, you happen to be running AdWords ads for your top product.

Third, devise a plan for improvement.  Start small to keep measurement easy.  In this case we’ll concentrate on the ad itself.  You decide to run two ads for the same keyword and see which one converts better.

Fourth, look at the results and see if things have improved. If so, try to repeat the process. If not, you just learned the direction not to go, and that’s information that’s just as valuable.

That’s a simplified example, and in most cases, CRO is not remotely that easy. But hopefully it gives you an idea of how we operate and how improving improving conversion rates at various points in the funnel can translate to extra dollars in your business’ pockets. It's also an important example because it puts channels like PPC, SEO, email, etc, into perspective.  They're just tactics and channels, not the bigger picture of CRO.  (More on that in later posts.)

What Is Your Favorite Conversion?

Lately I’ve been intrigued with email conversion rates.  Using email custom content and customer segments to re-engage long-lost prospects as a method for increasing conversions among already acquired leads or customers.  Relatively inexpensive in many cases, and staggering results more often than not.

Which conversion points have you been working to improve?

If you’re having trouble deciding where to begin, consider letting us help with one of our CompThreat analysis packages.  Learn where you and your competitors differ and how you can use that information to improve your conversion rates.

(By the way, If you're not measuring conversions or conversion points, we won't have any way to affect conversion rates.  If you're in the "not measuring" crowd, take a break from the Internet and go put some data sources in place.)