How can I possibly blog about CRO without first explaining what conversion rate optimization is all about? This is exactly what I’m going to do in this post.
Let’s divide the definition into 3 parts: conversion, conversion rate, conversion rate optimization.
What is a Conversion?
For eCommerce retailers, a conversion is most commonly defined as a purchase. Someone lands on your website, searches your catalog, adds an item to the cart and and then proceeds to purchase it. That’s a typical completed conversion or as Chris Goward, founder of WiderFunnel, refers to it as the “main conversion”.
An online store can also have other types of conversions referred to as micro-conversions. Those may include a newsletter signup, a product review, using a coupon, creating an account, downloading a buyers guide and so on.
What is a Conversion Rate?
A Conversion rate would then be, of course, a ratio of how many users covert into buyers when they visit your website, versus how many total site visitors you have. It is the goal of every online retailer to improve their conversion rate, as that means more sales and more profit.
How can you improve your conversion rate? Through a process called conversion rate optimization. But what is conversion rate optimization (CRO), and why is it important for your ecommerce website? And more importantly, what is not CRO and what tactics should you avoid?
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
I decided to gather the definition from the top CRO experts in the industry.
“The Science and art of getting more revenue-generating actions from the same number of visitors.”
“Conversion optimization is about doing better marketing. It’s about understanding your customers better, and providing them with a better experience, helping them complete their tasks faster, simplifying everything.”
“CRO is to improve the effectiveness of your site to boost sales with the same amount of traffic you’re currently receiving.” –
“Understanding your visitors.” – Brian Massey
“Conversion rate optimization is the fine art of converting more visitors on your website for your goals” – Rich Page
Optimization works by improving your sales funnel, so that more of your site visitors will become customers. It takes into account the behavior of your current customers —especially repeat ones—and works to up the number of people who purchase from your online store. It’s not about driving more traffic but leveraging the current traffic by improving the engagement of those visitors, so that they actually make a purchase.
The goal is to improve the ratio of people who buy to total people who visit.
CRO should be unique to your website, as your ecommerce store is not the same as any other store.Your goals as the business owner are also different. Simply doing what your competitors are doing is not going to be enough to significantly improve your conversion rate.
So, what is conversion rate optimization (my own definition)?
“Conversion rate optimization for eCommerce is the art of understanding your site visitors and increasing profits by converting them towards the ultimate goal of making a purchase.” – Alaa Hassan