What is conversion optimization? (CRO)

What is conversion optimization or CRO? It’s the art of getting more website visitors to convert or take the desired action. CRO is data-driven and not based on opinions, which is extremely important. In CRO, you make use of user experience/research, statistics, data, and psychology, among other things.

Companies like Booking.com, Airbnb, and Bol.com have worked on conversion optimization for a long time. Booking.com relies heavily on scarcity, so you regularly see reports like ‘only x rooms available’ or social pressure like ‘x visitors made a reservation here’. In this way, they pressure the visitors to make a booking with them.

Booking scarcity / social pressure

An example of applying the scarcity principle on Booking.com is ‘Booked 2 times in the last 1 hour’ makes you feel like you have to book now. Of course, it is not necessary to put pressure on your visitors, that was an extreme example.

It can also work to put a button or link to more information about a product next to a call-to-action button. This way, the visitor has several choices. Visitors who want to take immediate action because they are already convinced can do something right away. The visitors you haven’t convinced yet can go on to find more information, so you can make another attempt to show how good your product is.

What is conversion optimization Amazon example A version
Original (control)
What is conversion optimization Amazon example B version
Variant A

For examples of A/B tests on Amazon.com with their grid, the B variant won.

Does It Work On Every Website?

CRO is mainly for websites that already have some visitors, think of, at least 5000 per month. Then you could do one test a month, or twelve tests a year, which could help you to reach your set goals.

The more traffic, the more you can test, multiple tests at once. Of course, it is possible! What about when you have less, traffic than the minimum 5000? It is not only about the amount of traffic, but also the quality. Suppose you have a consistent 200 visitors per month, then you can do a 0 – 1 test. You are going to implement changes to your website immediately and then track what the changed actions do on your website. Do you notice, for example, that you suddenly get more newsletter subscribers? Great, then we’ll leave the change in place. Or maybe fewer subscribers? Then we remove the change. There is always a way to test and improve your website.

Final word about ‘What is conversion optimization’

Hopefully, you’re excited and want to start doing this. How do you find out what you can improve or test on your website? Nowadays, there are tools that allow you to see exactly what your users are doing. You get to see an actual recording of the screen without the user realizing it (of course, all data, etc. are anonymized in connection with the GDPR law). This way, you can find out where your users get stuck and come up with new tests accordingly.

Curious if CRO offers opportunities for you too? Send me a mail to discuss and explore the possibilities, or reach out on any social network. Don’t forget to check this blog about the importance of scroll depth tracking and how to install it on your website.

Logo Freelance CRO specialist Sander Volbeda

Working remotely from Groningen, the Netherlands. Get in touch and let’s schedule a meeting, no strings attached.

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