A Beginner’s Guide to Conversation Rate Optimisation (CRO) Terminology

|21st Jul 2017

Trying to optimise your website’s conversion rates? Positive changes can make a world of difference, but it can be overwhelming if you’re new to the technique. It doesn’t help when jargon is flying around too, making things even more complicated.

Luckily, our conversion rate optimisation glossary is here to clear things up and make your life easier. Read on for plain and simple definitions of all the essential CRO terminology. Enjoy!

– A –

A/B testing (AKA bucket testing & split testing) – Testing two slightly different versions of a webpage or app to see which performs best.

Also: A/A testing – using the same version to check the tool’s accuracy and A/B/N testing – comparing multiple different versions.

Above the fold – The top part of a page that users see without scrolling.

Also: Below the fold – the parts which require users to scroll.

– B –

Baseline – The original version of a website against which things are measured.

Bounce rate – This is the rate at which people start their session on a page and don’t visit another.

Also: Exit rate – The proportion of visitors who are leaving your site from any particular page in the session.

– C –

Call to action – A prompt for users to take a particular action, such as browse products.

Cart abandonment – A potential customer starts the buying process, adding products or services ‘to their cart’, but cancels and leaves the site before completing

Also: Basket recovery – Trying to recover this purchase after the user has left.

Click-through rate – The proportion of people that click on something they have been shown.

Conversion – A visitor completes a particular action on your site or app.

Conversion funnel – A path of pages or actions that leads visitors to the conversion. For example – a link on social media, a landing page, a product page, the customer’s basket and finally the checkout page

Also: User flow – The path a site visitor takes to complete any specific task – not necessarily a conversion.

Conversion rate – The percentage of visitors who ‘convert’, by clicking subscribing, purchasing, or continuing down the conversion funnel.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) – Trying to increase the proportion of visitors who turn into conversions on your site or app.

– D –

Decision fatigue – Visitors can become fatigued when they are making decisions for too long. This could mean your site has too many options along the conversion tunnel.

– E –

Experience optimisation – Giving your site visitors the best experience, using personalisation, analytics and user research.

– H –

Headline testing – Creating multiple title variations for some online media to see which gets the best reaction.

Heatmap – A way of representing data like clicks, scrolls, mouse movements and browsing duration using colour coding.

Hero image – A large image (or video) at the top of a page, usually featuring a call to action.

HiPPO – This stands for the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. It refers to the practice of getting the opinion of someone above you in the pecking order, and should be approached with caution – especially with CRO – as they often disregard the data you’ve worked so hard to find.

– I –

Information scent – Text and images that give visitors a ‘scent’ of what your site contains.

– L –

Landing page optimisation – Making improvements, specifically to your landing page, to increase the user experience and conversion rate.

Lead generation – Generating interest in your site, brand, products or services with a view to converting it into a sale.

Lifetime value – This is the estimated amount of revenue you will generate from each customer through their customer lifespan – from first purchase to last. Clothes retailers will hope for a longer customer lifespan than those selling washing machines, for instance.

– M –

Marketing automation – This is replacing manual marketing tasks with automated systems. Email marketing, for example, can be automated for large customer databases to avoid an unnecessary lengthy process.

Marketing technology stack – A collection of tools and technologies used by marketers to improve their results – includes everything from the content management system to analytics software.

Multivariate testing – While standard A/B tests focus on one variant to determine its best form, multivariate testing modifies multiple variables on a site or app to decide which is the best combination.

MUV – This stands for ‘monthly unique visitors’, meaning the amount of visitors to your site each month excluding repeat visits from the same user.

– P –

Primary conversion – This is the ideal scenario. The number one action you want from users and what you’re trying to direct them towards. It could be to click the subscribe button, or add to cart.

Also: Secondary conversion – the ‘next best thing’ if they aren’t ready to take that step. Click on more info, for example.

Personalisation (AKA targeting) – Building an app/site targeted at a specific audience.

– R –

Revenue per visitor – Your site’s total revenue divided by the number of visitors, giving you the amount you make, on average, for each visitor.

– S –

Social proof – Is your produce popular with the public? If so, it will influence other people to follow suit. It’s the reason people are attracted to busy restaurants, and it can have the same affect for your product.

Squeeze page – A purpose-build landing page with the goal of gaining the most important piece of data from customers – their email address.

Statistical significance – Results with statistical significance are those which are too substantial to be down to chance. With CRO, it’s when changed conversion rates display a change which must be down to changed variables rather than coincidence.

Session replay (AKA user replay) – Software that lets you record and replay visits to your website or app. You can play back the whole session to see how the user navigated and interacted with your page.

– T –

Type 1 error – An error in testing where an inconclusive test produces a false winner. For example, an A/B test using an inadequate sample size would suggest variation B is the ‘winner’, but is actually inconclusive.

Type 2 error – A testing error where a seemingly conclusive test doesn’t produce a winner. Similar to type 1, this can arise from using too small a sample, which doesn’t allow for a true reflection of the results.

– U –

USP – Your ‘unique selling point’ is the stand-out attribute of your product or services against your competitors’. It’s important to make this clear to boost conversion rates.

Usability testing – Testing a site using real users who reflect your target audience. The end goal it to check if it’s ready for use.

– V –

Value proposition – What value does your product provide to the customer? That is your product’s value proposition.

Viewable impression – A way of measuring how viewable your advert has been. When at least 50% of an ad appears on screen for at least a second, it counts for one viewable impression.

Visitor segmentation – Dividing, or segmenting, your visitors using specific criteria. One ‘visitor segment’ could be 18 – 24-year-olds, for example. Useful for seeing how different segments of your audience act and react differently on your site.

– W –

Web analytics – The practice of collecting, measuring and analysing data to understand how visitors use the web page or site and how it can be optimised.

Website optimisation – Using controlled tests and variations to improve the website for specific business objectives.

Can we help?

Looking to boost your conversion rates? For the best results, you need expert knowledge. Fluid Digital are e-commerce specialists, with all the experience, skills and know-how needed to optimise your conversion rates. Working on both pay-per-click and e-commerce, we can give your business real results that translate into greater output and quicker growth. If you’d like to know more, get in touch.

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