What the Heck is Conversion Rate Optimisation? A Beginner’s Guide

|09th Sep 2016

These days, it’s almost impossible to read a digital marketing blog without coming across the term CRO. But what does it actually mean? If you’re scratching your head in confusion, don’t worry. In this post, we’re going to get to grips with the basics of Conversion Rate Optimisation once and for all, and show you how to get more of what you want from your website.

Before we delve into the mysterious world of CRO, we need to define what’s meant by a conversion.

What’s a conversion?

It’s quite straightforward really. A conversion is when a visitor to your website takes an action that you want them to take. Although the ultimate (conversion) goal for most e-commerce owners might be a sale, conversions aren’t limited to purchases and cash transactions. For example, your goal may be for each visitor to sign up to your mailing list, create an account with you, or even download an app. No matter what the end result, when a visitor to your site ‘converts’, it simply means they have achieved the specific goal you set out for them.

Examples of conversion goals

Conversion goals vary greatly from one business to the next and can include two types of conversion goals – macro and micro. A macro goal is the ultimate goal you want to achieve from each visitor, whilst a micro goal is generally an action which leads a visitor towards your final (macro) goal.

Ideally, your macro and micro goals should be measurable to allow you to track your progress. Here are a few examples of macro goals and the micro goals which may proceed them.

  • Macro goal #1: Buy a lamp.
  • Micro goals: Visit lighting page. Read lighting reviews. Add lamp to cart.
  • Macro goal #2: Subscribe to mailing list.
  • Micro goals: Read blog. Visit main website. Subscribe.
  • Macro goal #3: Share a post or video on social media.
  • Micro goals: Visit social media account. Read/watch post. Share post.

Here are a few more examples of conversion goals:

  • Review
  • Comment
  • Download Guide
  • Page Views
  • Download Misc.
  • Create Account
  • Contribute Content
  • Rate Service or Product

So what is conversion rate optimisation?

CRO involves finding ways to get your visitors from micro goal to macro goal as efficiently as possible. You are simply optimising their journey by making every step as simple, hassle-free and intuitive as you can.

What’s my conversion rate?

To find out how well you are doing at converting visitors to a specific goal, you’ll first need to find your conversion rate. Calculating your conversion rate is simple, all you need to do is:

1: Calculate the number of people who reached your goal = Total Conversions

2: Divide Total Conversions by the number of visitors to your site = Conversion Rate.

Simple, right?

Unfortunately, here’s where things start to get a little bit more complicated. Alone, your conversion rate doesn’t tell you much about how long people are spending on your website (an engagement metric), which page they visited prior to leaving (Exit Rate) or how many people leave your site after only visiting once page (Bounce Rate). Having this information is pretty much crucial if you want to properly understand your conversion rate and understand where people might be falling through the cracks.

How can I improve my conversion rate?

If you want to improve your conversion rate, you must first have a goal in mind and be able to accurately measure it. For this, you’ll need to measure the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that apply to your conversion goal. We’ll be posting a blog explaining KPIs in more detail soon, so watch this space.

Getting started

If you haven’t established any macro goals for your website, start by thinking about the actions you want visitors to make. Once you have established one or two macro goals, think about the micro goals these visitors will have to achieve first.

Once you know how your visitors will have to travel through your site towards the macro goal, you can focus your attention on driving and simplifying these micro conversions to increase the chances of people making it through each stage of the journey and successfully achieving your micro goal.

There are a number of important areas that businesses need to concentrate on if they hope to improve overall conversion rates. In our next blog, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most valuable.

Let the experts help

At Fluid Digital, we’re dedicated to helping B2B and B2C retailers achieve more online. We believe that with the right mix of expert development and design, you’ll see results fast. Simply tell us your targets and we’ll show you how to exceed them. Get in touch today to find out more.

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