What is conversion optimisation or CRO? It’s the art of getting a higher percentage of 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 been working on conversion optimisation 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 put pressure on the visitors to make a booking with them.


Booking scarcity / social pressure

Example of applying the scarcity principle on Booking.com ‘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.


Bol.com conversion optimisation

This is an example of letting users make a choice at Bol.com. The user can either add the product directly to the shopping cart or put it on a wish list and come back to it later. They also state that if you order before X, you will get it tomorrow. This is to make sure that you buy the product quickly so that you will have it tomorrow!

What Can You Do With Conversion Optimisation?

So with CRO, you look at how you can get users to convert or take the desired action.

For a webshop, for example, this means looking at how you can get more visitors to your website to buy a product. For a blog, you might look at getting more newsletter subscriptions from the visitors that are already on your website.

How do you do this exactly? The best-known way is to run an experiment on your website. One variant of a page is made and you test it against the original page. You do this by sending 50% of your visitors to the original page and the other 50% to the new variant. By means of data, you can see which page performs better, if this is the variant you can implement the changes on your website.


what is conversion optimisation amazon example A version Version A
what is conversion optimisation amazon example B version Version B

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, 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.

Finals word about ‘What is conversion optimisation’

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 realising it (of course, all data etc. are anonymised 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.