What is CRO?
CRO (Conversion rate optimization) is the process of optimizing a company’s website design, landing pages and search ads to raise the conversion rate.
The goal is to convert (or complete a desired action) for the highest possible percentage of visitors to the website. The popularity of CRO has risen in recent years as it’s a way to increase profits from sales without raising the company’s advertising costs. A user-centric way of defining CRO is the process of understanding what drives, stops, and persuades users, to provide them the best user experience (UX) possible, ultimately benefiting the conversion rate.
Numerically, CRO is generally defined by the percentage of the website’s total visitors that actually engage with it (e.g., make a transaction/purchase, subscribe to emails, etc.)
However, conversion rates differ depending on the conversion goal (ad clicks, checkout completions, newsletter signups, etc.)
Companies have several ways to understand how consumers engage with their site.
- A/B testing different variations of a page design, to see which version performed better
- Survey or interview customers to get insights on what they like and dislike about the UX of the website
- Study data from Google Analytics (Google also provides ecommerce funnel optimization tools, to learn where the drop-offs are happening)
- Conducting eye-tracking usability studies to map where the users eyes are focused on the page (and what they potentially miss)
How to Optimize the Conversion Rate with UX
First of all, it is important to remember that the experience has to be optimized across ALL devices. There is not a one size fits all solution as desktops, tablets and mobile devices often offer completely different experiences. In particular, mobile is the most important experience, as it represents the majority of inbound traffic for most companies.
Optimizing the Conversion Rate means optimizing the user experience (UX) of the website. This includes things like the site’s usability, navigation, CTA find-ability and overall site speed (among other things).
To measure the effectiveness of CRO, one can evaluate how the marketing efforts impact conversions (which marketing channel works better or worse, any variations by customer demographics and whether certain products convert better than others).
So what about the other GUIs (graphical user interface) in this space? Horizon also has a settings menu and a menu to customize your virtual avatar. While both flat, world-based interfaces that felt like they were in the ‘goldilock’ distance away from my eyes, the layout of the virtual avatar customization menu is different from the settings menu. The virtual avatar customization menu actually makes use of multiple screens at different angles, feeling a bit easier to look through; whereas the settings menu is flat and difficult to find options until you are told where to look. Additionally, the readability on the settings menu was slightly hard on the eyes. A heavier font with a larger size might have improved readability.
CRO: best practices
There are several things a company can do to increase CRO:
- Write compelling, clickable ads, relevant to the search query and the intended audience.
- Make sure that the landing page is relevant to the corresponding ad.
- Once on the landing page, it should be seamless for the user to complete the intended action.
- Test your landing page design. Conduct A/B testing to test the landing page design.
The quality and relevance of the individual landing pages is the most important factor of CRO. When users stumble across a website as the result of a specific search query, if the content provided by the page isn’t relevant to what they are looking for, they will return to their search and the company will lose that lead.
A few key best practices for page design, are:
- Compelling headline that is relevant to the search keyword
- Concise, targeted and clear content
- Visible, clickable call-to-action (CTA)
- Attractive design conveying both trustworthiness and professionalism
Conversion Rate Optimization - Closing Thoughts
In conclusion, it’s important to keep in mind that these best practices might not work for every company as every product and website cater to specific types of users.
However, one core principle is always valid: building a customer-centric culture by observing and learning from customers, fixating on their needs, will help deliver the desired outcome.
There is no ultimate industry benchmark to rely on to compare the success of a CRO strategy. The best approaches to develop an in-depth understanding of what actually matters to the users, then, conversions will naturally follow.