Conversion rate optimisation (CRO)

A recent survey carried out by Econsultancy asked a cross section of agency workers and business owners questions regarding their current stance on conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and how it affects their organisations. The results showed a mixed approach to CRO; 55% of business respondents believe CRO to be crucial to their overall digital marketing strategy and 37% of agency respondents believing it to be crucial to their client’s digital marketing strategies. 87% of respondents agreed that CRO has become more important in the context of their digital marketing strategies over the past 5 years.

Defining Conversions

Before talking about CRO in more detail first of all it is important to define what a conversion is and which conversions are most important for your business to track. The graph below shows the most popular tracked conversions according to the survey data.



As you can see tracking Sales is paramount for most businesses with sign-ups, brochures and downloads becoming less popular over the years. This follows the trending improvements to online booking and shopping technologies. It is also indicative of improved ecommerce tracking platforms. Video views are breaking out as a popular conversion to track as video sharing platforms become more popular. YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world (behind Google of course).

Tracking and Measuring Conversions

Most businesses will have different key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets in place that will all effect how conversions are measured and tracked. The majority of respondents to the survey favoured measuring conversion rates by calculating sales/visitors & absolute sales figures. A close third place is the typical RPC or Revenue per click – revenue/visitors.

Improving Conversion Rates

There are many ways that you can improve your conversion rates, some of the more popular methods below.

  • A/B or Multivariate Testing – this allows you to test two variations of a page layout to see which converts at a higher rate. With A/B testing the possibilities are endless, changing a button colour from red to green could gain an extra percentage point conversion rate.
  • Customer Journey Analysis – most popularly analysed in Google Analytics with Goal Funnel visualisation. This allows you to track all steps in a users conversion path, track changes and make improvements.
  • Copy optimisation – Both on page copy and ad copy should be regularly tested to drive the highest conversion rates and click through rates (CTR).
  • Online Surveys – Why guess at your website layout or product offering when you can use Google Surveys;a quick and easy way to gauge existing customer intent.
  • Competitor Benchmarking – Using external tools and Google’s new benchmarking reporting will help you to get the edge on your competitors.

The strategies listed above are very easy to set up and manage and should be a large part of your marketing strategy. CRO is most important for businesses who have expansive budgets and possibly exhausted digital marketing pots, if you find your keywords are maxing out then you should look to your website to increase the volume of sales/sign ups using CRO.

If you are stuck for ideas of where you can improve your conversions? Here are a few ideas ascertained from the survey respondents.



Google Analytics will always be your key source of data and learning for CRO. However you should not discount the power of your own workforce, it is always helpful to run an internal staff survey for suggestions on conversion improvement and maybe even to pick out bugs. Especially if your administration or sales team are using the website day in day out, they probably have greater knowledge or the platform than the people who designed and developed it.

Best Practices

According to the Econsultancy data under half of the respondents are very capable of identifying their KPIs however there are still areas where they need to improve upon in CRO. How does your business stack up to these averages? What could you improve on?


Econsultancy suggest that a strategic digital marketing department should have a structured approach to CRO, with at least 2 resources responsible just for CRO running >=2 A/B tests per month along with funnel analysis, benchmarking and user testing. If this seems like it would be a little too much work for your business at the moment then it is a good idea to work closely with your digital marketing team or agency to get CRO measures in place.

If you would like help with your conversion rate optimisation please get in touch.