Last Updated: May 27th, 2018 by Dan Astriden

What is CRO in Digital Marketing

Example of A/B split testing to improve website optimization

Online conversion rate optimization is the single most important thing you can do to increase profit and minimize expenses. The direct benefit is a lower cost in advertising, traffic generation and management fees. Search engines are looking for this exact signal so it’s essential to have a digital marketing specialist on your side. In this article I will answer questions, provide examples and offer real simple things you can do to your website or landing pages to maximum conversions and increase traffic..

What is The Meaning of Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization is both science and art and attempts to increase the percentage of website visitors that take a specific action (submit a web form, making a purchase, signing up, click to chat, refer a friend, phone call, etc.) by methodically testing alternate versions of a webpage, copy or design elements. Optimization goals and statistical learning should become business rules applied to the overall decision making process. An expert statistician or engineer will test valid hypotheses, run controlled tests, and evaluate results and continuously apply learning for overall website improvement. A/B/n and multivariate tests are run after evaluating web analytics, design, and copy writing.

The highest converting traffic on the web comes from search engines and the statistical significance is huge. You can either pay to placed at the top with paid advertising or you can hire a search engine optimization specialist to improve you rankings. Neither one of these are cheap so the businesses that will prosper on the web will leverage conversion rate optimization goals on their website.

Let’s do some math. If the average pay-per-click ad is $6 per click, how many clicks do you need to convert a user? Let’s say you have a conversion rate of 10% which is actually pretty good. It will cost around $60 in PPC for one conversion. Let’s say you boost your conversions to 25%. The cost is now around $24. Think about how much less visibility you need to stay in business and how much more your competition will be paying for traffic that doesn’t result in a lead or sale. The higher your conversion rate is, the less money you waste on marketing and you position your business as a tougher competitor.

Conversion Rate Optimisation Tools

Use Auto Complete With Website Forms

Is your website turning your visitors away? Auto Complete is literally a 5 minute change that can have a big impact on conversions. When you implement auto complete, the form fields will populate with browser stored information the user has typed into similar past forms. Auto fill is a life saver on mobile devices not just for the user but the website operator too since many users bounce completing lengthy forms.

Bonus Tip. Mobile devices are on the rise and the trend isn’t stopping. Ensure your forms are suited for both desktop and mobile users. Consider how much typing a mobile users has to do just to submit your form.

Website Recording Software

Recording user actions has been available for years and has only become poplar recently with the rise of digital marketing agencies. I’ve been using this visual technology with clients for many years and has had tremendous positive results. In my opinion you can look at analytics until you are blue in the face trying to determine where and why engaged users bounce along with technical issues that all websites have. By watching how people navigate your website you get an inside perspective into the user journey and can easily spot issues that cause users to leave.

Bonus Tip. I monitored website recordings for a client and noticed two mobile users in a row bounced when completing the contact form. I checked the analytics for the past year and the bounce rate was 100% on the page so I can assume they either attempted to complete the form and left or they viewed the lengthy form and left. Needless to say, we changed the length of the form and conversion on mobile and desktop improved.

A/B Split Testing

I can’t believe the number of businesses that create a website and do zero campaign marketing or management. After a couple years they realize the website isn’t working and they do a redesign. To make matters worse, they technically don’t do the migration properly and they lose all the SEO signals that have build-up over time. The problem here is the business has no idea what wasn’t working on the website and put blind faith into a new design hoping it will work better. A/B split testing is constantly being used by all the big, successful companies. Whenever you do search on a search engine there are multiple A/B split tests being performed so they can determine what method provides the optimal user experience. After creating a hypothesis, proper A/ B variation split testing should be used to determine which layouts, copy text, offers, fonts, and images perform best on landing pages.

Bonus Example Tip. Early in my career I thought split testing was a waste of time. I was working as a web developer with a company that hired an expensive digital marketing agency. The agency wanted to slightly change the color of a contact form submit button as well as the outlying border color. I made the change and when we reviewed the data the conversion rate was higher. I though to myself there wasn’t enough data or something else was responsible for the higher conversions. I actually ran the same experiment for years just to get more data and see if the color change really made that big of an impact. It really did.

Competitive Research

To crush it on your website and maximize leads, marketers need to creatively take the journey through the eyes of a prospective customer. Customers have real questions and it’s important to get to know the customer well and make sure you answer their questions and guide the visitors to achieve their goal. Simply put, you must convince visitors you are the best business fit for their needs. Conversion optimisation should start with looking at every single website in the same niche and determining what works and what doesn’t. You don’t have to have the best website in the world, just the best option within the niche.

Some things to consider to make your company the best option:

  • Special Offer – Can you provide something the competition doesn’t offer?
  • Social Proof – Do you have reviews / recommendations?
  • Price Point – Can you offer the lowest price?
  • Trust / Authority – Member of better business bureau Number of years in business.
  • Standing Out – How are you different? What can you do better?
  • Employees – Do you have pictures of who the user may meet the user on the website?


Site Speed

Is your shopping cart abandonment rate too high? Users have zero patience when it comes to the load time of websites. Studies have shown if the user doesn’t get what they want in two seconds or less; they leave. It’s critically important to have good web hosting (time to first byte), fast loading resource, optimized images and limit the number of calls to external resources. The implementation of mobile first indexing in 2018 means it’s now essential to improve the website’s performance and have a mobile first website design.

Bonus Tip. A current trend is to have the homepage with a full background sized image or even worse a video background. I can tell you from watching millions of website recordings users to not wait for the image to load and they are scrolling down the page to something that has loaded. Hopefully the right message is displayed because remember, you have two seconds for the user to determine they are on the right website.

What Does Conversion Rate Optimization Mean in A Business?

The web is a critical component of a business. It acts as a platform where users can get information and is a contact point for the businesses. The web also provides social proof so social media properties are important and what people are saying about your brand around the web is very important. You can have the best website in your niche but if you don’t answer the phone, quickly reply to contact forms or don’t have a good product or service, conversion rate optimization won’t be of much value. For this reason marketing strategy is important and conversion optimization is crucial to an overall digital marketing strategy. User intent and web personalization are the latest factors a digital marketing engineer must take into consideration when performing conversion marketing.

Bonus Tip. The search engines want the very best experience for their users so they track who is clicking on your website, what they do on the website, other websites they visit, if the user returns to your website, reviews and social comments around the web. If you want traffic from the search engines in either paid or organic results, you MUST provide an excellent service and tie this experience into the web.


10/10 websites that I review have technical issues, legal issues and other problems that are holding back leads, conversions and sales. For a limited time I’m offering a free website audit which is a $125 value. Contact me for the special offer.

About the Author

Avatar for Dan Astriden

Dan Astriden Web Developer

Hello. I'm a senior web developer located in the Bay Area, California. I've been managing the web properties of several Silicon Valley tech companies for many years. Contact me for a free web analysis and see how I can improve your business.


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