conversion rate optimization

The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

With numerous companies in various industries selling online, the market is highly competitive. To compete, you need to improve your sales funnel and boost conversions.

Standing apart from the competition is critical, so you are noticed, but you also need to make your customer’s journey to buying as easy as possible. You can’t simply rely on website traffic and hope that visitors will convert.

More and more businesses are benefiting from conversion rate optimization, which involves techniques to encourage more website visitors to follow a guided experience, moving from discovery of your product, to learning about it, and then converting to a buyer. Any business site can benefit from these techniques as much as ecommerce websites do.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Conversion rate optimization involves making tactical changes to your online content to encourage potential customers to take an action that leads them through a sales funnel and eventually to a purchase. Actions can include downloading product brochures, signing up for email lists, actually buying, or any other desired action.

CRO tests and analyzes these interactions to guide strategies that increase the likelihood of website visitors buying.

What Can Be Optimized?

All of your online content can be optimized, including your home page, landing pages, product and checkout pages, a blog post, social media posts, ads, and much more. Anything you have online can be optimized to boost your conversion rate – even the choice of customer testimonials you choose to highlight, adding relevant, useful content for buyers to see, and adding legitimacy and trustworthiness to your brand identity.

Your layout affects readability and how much your web site will attract attention, as well as gives an impression of how professional and legitimate your business is.

Review your copy text. Short, easy to read sentences, more active language, and other adjustments can make a big difference. Certain choices of words have big impacts, based on what customers search for, and what their associations are with specific phrases. Learn about your target audience and their pain points, so you can clearly show how your product addresses those issues.

Call to action buttons need to be optimized. They need to be clearly visible as a button, and not be mistaken for text. Button position, size, text, and colour add to how visible and enticing they are. Buttons need to be clear on what they will do, and indicate whether it is to “learn more”, “buy”, “sign up for email”, or another action. Persuasive language will help ensure they are clicked. For example, “Don’t miss out on this limited deal” adds more urgency compared to a simply “buy now.”  Consider what step of the journey your potential customer is on. On an initial landing page, a customer may need to learn more and might be more willing to join an email list or download information; if the only call to action option is to buy at this point, you may not successfully convert.

Titles and headings let you garner attention and guide visitors so they know what they will be looking at. Interesting titles encourage people to read, but be careful to avoid excessive language that makes your content seem shady.

Relevant, professional, high quality images and product pictures greatly increase the likelihood of conversions, and is a key strategy in conversion optimization.

You can also try various incentives to see which ones have the most impact on your target audience.

What Are Some Strategies to Improve Conversion Rates?

A strong CRO strategy is essential to achieving your conversion goals.

Conversion research is critical to learn more about user behavior and how to get qualified leads to convert. Analytic tools, heat maps, surveys, and other CRO tools can help with this. This provides the critical insights you need to make informed decisions.

Persuasive website copy is a valuable tool for boosting your conversion rates and highlighting your value proposition that you offer potential customers. Include social proof with reviews, and add countdown timers to increase urgency, or other tools to persuade. Personalization techniques and targeting will also lead to better conversion rates.

Remember that a consistent, user-friendly experience that allows visitors to easily find the information they need, or complete their desired actions, makes a big difference in the conversion process.

Calculate Conversion Rate

You need to know what your website’s conversion rate is, so you can see if your efforts are improving them. Divide the number of conversions by the number of interactions. This can mean visitors to your web pages, product pages, other sites, ad impressions, or other actions.

Google Analytics

Analytics allows you to easily identify and track determined conversion events to assess your conversion rates.

Define the Important Metrics

You need to know what your goals are. While a purchase may be the end goal, the main goal of a page may be to encourage a user to connect more meaningfully with your site, by signing up for more information, or take another action. Once you know this, you can set and track the right metrics.

CRO Testing and Analysis

Heat mapping lets you track visitor actions on your webpage, to see where they click, scroll, and exit your web page, for some meaningful insights and quantitative data. Website feedback tools enable you to gather effective qualitative data and identify areas to optimize.

A/B Test

You do need to have enough web traffic to accurately A/B test a page. Start with your main page or the highest traffic page, as these have the best opportunity to convert visitors. Next, test on the worst-performing pages. Also known as split testing, this involves trying out two versions of a page, ad, or content at the same time to see which is more successful.

When testing, make a hypothesis about one thing that you think will help, and test for that one thing at a time, so you can clearly see what helps and what doesn’t.


Afterwards, review the results to see what helped, or see if you need to try further tweaks to optimize conversion more.Optimization software can help with this. It’s important to remember that small changes can sometimes have the biggest impact, and it’s often better to try a series of little changes rather than implement a single big one.

Get Expert Help

Even if you are high on the search engine results page and have high levels of existing traffic with quality leads generated, but aren’t getting the sales you want, conversion rate optimization can help significantly.

However, the process can be complex. Getting the best results takes knowledge and experience. At The Story, our web development services include expert conversion rate consulting, best practice advice, and QA testing.

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