A how-to guide to conversion rate optimisation

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is all about getting better conversion rates.

It gets wrapped up too often in geek lingo that makes it seem like a dark art. In conversations about spilt testing on what colour is used, where to use it and what type of form to adapt, etc. None of these things will make you better conversions.

CRO will make you money; changing the colour of a banner won’t! There is money to make when you can increase your conversions even by as little as 5%.

1. Customer research

Experience your own site and the purchasing experience. Try it out and see what your experience is. Simple. Record it. Record everything!

Use your analytics package properly. Analyze the streams in and out of your website/mobile app. See where the drop-off points are. The graphs will be clearly visible and deliver great insights of what is being clicked on, how long visitors are on your site, etc. Setting goals in Google Analytics is a great easy, free tool to show you how you can better optimize your conversion rate.

Use what is available to you at low cost to do usability tests. Here are 24 usability testing tools. Judge the performance of your site, from a user’s perspective.

Ask your customers using surveys. Survey Monkey is free and easy.

2. Look at solutions

Create a list of:

  • What’s not working
  • Why people don’t proceed to purchase/convert

Add possible solutions by each:

  • For example, remove anything not needed in the registration process
  • Keep things simple and open

3. Fix the problems

Using your solutions, start creating variations; for example, different form/sign-up processes. Make it all about the customer experience and get rid of anything that adds layers of clicks to purchase.

Record and keep a copy of your results, otherwise you will get lost in your own confusion!

Use tools to help you:

  • Crazy Egg will produce heatmaps, so you can track what the user is looking at most on a page, what is most popular and what parts of the page are best optimized for conversions.
  • Google Website Optimizer has been integrated with Google Analytics as Content Experiments. To use Content Experiments, sign in to Analytics, open Standard Reporting, and in the Content section, click Experiments. Best of all it’s free!

4. Now keep going at CRO

  • Record the wins and repeat elsewhere on your site.
  • Record the losses and compare conversions on the different pages.
  • Once you have done CRO the first time, it will give you ideas for further testing.
  • Develop your CRO more; keep going at it.

Never be satisfied, continually learn about your customers and what makes them convert.

Fi Bendall is the managing director of Bendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.



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