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What is CRO and why do you need it?

Thu, 19/04/2018 - 12:12

Conversion Rate Optimisation, often referred to as CRO, is the process of making changes to a website to ensure visitors complete an intended action – improving the conversation rate. Visitors to a website are usually encouraged to purchase a product or a service. Conversion can also be an email signup, creation of an account, app download or filling out a survey.

What is CRO and why do you need it?

Research has found that 59 percent of survey respondents think that CRO is crucial for overall digital marketing strategy. Interestingly, 98 percent of respondents believed that CRO’s impact on digital marketing carries some form of importance.

CRO focuses on getting more people to navigate to a website, (they might be directed there from search, a newsletter or a social media link) and then clicking that all important “purchase” button. 

A strong command of design, copywriting and strategic analytics interpretation are all important skills that are essential for improved CRO. While the majority of CRO changes will be copy and design a strong understanding of analytics allows website owners to see where visitors were when they either left the site or converted. Feeding these insights into an iterative production cycle enables brands to see which changes deliver positive (or negative) outcomes and forms the basis for ongoing conversion enhancements.

Says Econsultancy: “The goal of CRO is not to manipulate visitors into converting. It’s to ease the journey of already interested or engaged visitors through your website until they’ve achieved the outcome they desired themselves.”

CRO ensures that everything – all design, copy and visuals – on a website has been created with the goal of conversion.

Research has found that sites experiencing a significant increase in sales conduct up to six A/B tests each month. And regular testing doesn't just lead to a possible increase in conversions. It also means a better user experience. Simplifying and shortening forms, clarifying navigation and calls-to-action, and removing items which might confuse or frustrate a visitor to the site are all forms of CRO.

CRO can be valuable when applied to all marketing, advertising, sales and business processes.

These changes can be made, either from the start of a new campaign or later, when it has already been live for some time, says a blog post on MarketingSherpa.

"This doesn’t mean that conversion rate optimisation can only be applied to existing campaigns and websites. In fact, marketing and advertising campaigns and websites can be more effective if built from the ground up with a CRO mindset," continues the post.

Let’s imagine a visitor lands on a website after using the search term “Where can I buy a silver fridge” and once on the site searches for “silver fridge”. They’ve made it pretty clear that they want to buy a silver fridge. It wouldn’t be difficult, with a few small tweaks, to ensure their path to purchase a silver fridge is as simple, and even enjoyable, as possible. And that customer will be back for a future purchase and likely tell their friends. That’s the power of CRO and that’s why you need it.

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