Here at 101 Management, Inc., we can handle any aspect of marketing for you, from website design to search engine optimization to social media management. All this is leading toward a single objective: having visitors to your website make more purchases. This is called conversion rate optimization, and we’d like to explain it here.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) in simplest terms means optimizing (getting the highest possible number) of visitors to your website to convert, or change, their visit from a casual drop-by to an actual sale. The conversion rate is the ratio of visitors to purchases on your website.

CRO could also mean less lofty achievements including having visitors: leave their email address; comment on your blog; or, fill out a form. The critical thing is that they do more than show up then click away. This is important because it’s cost-effective. Whatever time and money you’ve put into your website is wasted unless you receive a reasonable return on your investment (ROI).

Here are the basics of achieving CRO.

1. Defining Goals

What is it that you want your visitors to do when they arrive on your site? If every visitor surrendered their email address, would you feel that all the work had been worth it? If your single goal is to have them make a purchase, you need to know that to calculate your CRO.

In addition to your own goal, you also need to decide what your visitors expect when they land on your site. In other words, what is their goal for coming to your site? Information? Price comparison? To make a purchase? To achieve your goal and theirs, it’s important that you: a) know what both are and, b) make sure to deliver it. CRO helps you measure whether you’re doing that.

2. A/B Testing

A/B testing is the only way to gauge whether a change you’ve made to your website has had a positive impact on your CRO. If you put the call-to-action (CTA) button (“Buy Now”) at the top of your page versus the bottom, does it increase your CRO? Simply put, in A/B testing, you make one single change— in this example, A being the original placement of the CTA button, B being the new placement—and register the change in your conversion rate.

3. Analytics

In order to judge the success of your A/B testing, you use analytics to measure how well your goals are being achieved. These various measuring tools—called key performance indicators—can range from the simple to the incredibly complex.

Example: In their simplest form, you would have a baseline figure to start from. If you typically have 100 visitors to your website and an average of 10 of them buy something when they visit, that is your baseline CRO. Then when, in our example above, you move the CTA button from the bottom of your page to the top, out of those same 100 visitors 50 of them buy something (or perform whatever goal you’ve set for them to act on), you can immediately see the results of your CRO improvement. Your CRO has improved from 10 percent to 50 percent by moving your CTA button.

CRO can encompass minor changes to a web page as we’ve discussed here, or much more complex factors that involve ensuring visitors are satisfied, comfortable with, and responsive to the goal of your website. This includes everything from the overall design of your pages to how quickly they load.

What we’ve discussed here are, of course, only the basics of CRO. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused about how to put them into practice, you can consult with our marketing experts at 101 Management to let us help you perfect this vital process.