What is CRO in Marketing?

Marketing isn’t a silver bullet. It requires a lot of testing and experimentation especially when it comes to conversion rate. Generating traffic is just the beginning. Achieving top search engine ranking is guaranteed to send organic traffic to your website. However, it doesn’t guarantee conversions. This is a reason why you must know what is CRO in marketing.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the real task. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you are receiving, if you can’t convert website visitors into leads, it is all useless. How to do it?

Let’s find out…

What is CRO in Marketing?

Conversion rate optimization or CRO in marketing refers to the process of increasing the number of website visitors who take the desired action and convert. It is the process of increasing conversions on your website.

What is conversion?

Well, it is a marketing terminology that refers to the action that you want visitors to take on your website such as signing up for the free guide. When a visitor clicks the signup button, it is said to be a conversion.

And the process of increasing conversions is known as CRO:

conversion rate definition

One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is generating traffic and leads:

marketing biggest challenge 2021

CRO solves this challenge. It helps you convert traffic and generate leads.

Conversion Rate Optimization vs. Conversion Rate

CRO isn’t the same as conversion rate.

Conversion rate refers to the frequency or rate at which visitors convert on your website. Here is its formula:

conversion rate formula

The resulting number is a percentage that shows the rate of conversion of your website. For example, a 10% conversion rate means 10 out of every 100 visitors convert. A 20% conversion rate means 20 visitors per 100 take desired action on your website.

The higher the conversion rate, the better.

Because a high conversion rate means your website is converting the maximum number of visitors into leads.

Conversion rate optimization is aimed at maximizing conversion rate. It optimizes the conversion rate of your website using research, experimentation, and testing. For example, your website is currently converting at 12%. After implementing CRO techniques, its conversion rate might increase to 15% or maybe 17%.

This is what CRO is all about and how it differentiates from conversion rate.

Why CRO is Important

Conversion rate optimization is important for one key reason: It helps you convert more visitors into customers without even increasing your website traffic.

Let me ask you something: What is the reason you are investing in marketing?

Let me guess…

Your answer is: More sales and more revenue.

And this is what exactly CRO does. It converts visitors into leads and customers. The reason why you are spending money on inbound marketing and trying to rank high in SERPs is to generate more traffic, right?

And why are you interested in getting traffic to your website?

To convert visitors into customers, right?

CRO does this for you:

cro importance

You can generate more leads and sales with the same traffic via CRO. And this means it increases:

  1. Revenue per visitor
  2. The number of leads you generate
  3. The number of customers you acquire
  4. Business revenue.

Here is the best part: CRO is a data-driven process that involves a lot of data collection and experimentation. At the end of the day, it provides you with tons of insights about your visitors and ideal customers.

Here are the indirect but more important benefits of CRO:

  1. You understand your customers better
  2. It provides you data that you can use to update your buyer personas
  3. Analyze the behavior of visitors and see how they interact with your website using heatmaps, click maps, session recordings, etc.

CRO Process

cro process

Getting started with conversion rate optimization requires a lot of research and data. The good part is that it isn’t complicated (as it is often considered to be). The whole process is simple yet scalable. This means you can start low and eventually scale it as you start seeing results.

Here is how the CRO process looks like:

  1. Research
  2. Identify key metrics
  3. Hypotheses development
  4. Experimentation
  5. Analysis.

1. Research

It all starts with research. Use analytics tools such as Google Analytics to understand visitor behavior on your website.

While Google Analytics provides you with a lot of useful insights, it has several limitations. It doesn’t collect behavioral data such as session recordings, click data, cursor movement, scroll depth, etc.

If you can afford a behavioral analytics tool, go for it. You won’t regret it.

The idea is to collect as much data as possible about your traffic and its behavior.

2. Key Conversion Metrics

What are the most important metrics and actions that lead to conversion?

Identify all such metrics and actions. This also includes micro-conversions (steps visitors take to complete a conversion).

If, for example, signing up to receive the free case study is considered a conversion. Visitors don’t jump to form submission right away. Rather they take a few steps before submitting the form and converting such as:

  • Playing intro video
  • Clicking or moving the cursor over the main headline
  • Filling the form
  • And clicking the submit button.

This is where behavioral analytics tools such as Hotjar become handy. They help you visualize and analyze the complete visitor journey:

session recording example

It makes identifying micro conversions and conversion journeys a whole lot easier.

3. Create Hypotheses

Time to develop hypotheses based on research and conversion metrics identified in the above steps. Here is how to create a hypothesis:

hypothesis development template

It must have a variable, expected result, and rationale. Here is an example:

If the CTA button color is changed to red, then it will increase button CTR due to its prominence.

You can create multiple hypotheses based on your research and observation using this simple technique. Remember, the more powerful your rationale is, the better.

4. Experimentation

This is where you’ll create and run your experiment to test the hypotheses one after another. You’ll need a CRO or A/B testing tool like Google Optimize

You’ll need to create a variation of your existing page and send traffic to both the pages in real-time to see which one works better:

a/b testing

Don’t worry, your tool will manage and do this for you automatically.

5. Analyze

Finally, analyze your experiment after running it for some time. You need to see if the experiment succeeded or not.

Here is a simple chart to figure it out:

cro experimentation chart

If the new version performs better, you’ll retain it by switching to it. Else, you’ll create a new hypothesis or move to the next one.

For example, if changing the CTA button color increases CTR, you’ll change the button color and move to the next hypothesis.

CRO in Marketing is Essential

It doesn’t matter whether your hypothesis was accepted or rejected, it all comes down to data. In both cases, you’ll get to know your audience better.

And this is the key to CRO in marketing.

At the end of the day, you’ll be able to create a website that converts exceptionally well and delivers the best customer experience.

Featured Image: Pexels

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