Conversion rate optimization, or CRO as it is commonly known in the marketing lexicon, is the systematic process of getting website visitors to complete the desired business goal.
This is of utmost importance to any business. All websites are built, ultimately, to serve the purpose of converting customers. This is applicable irrespective of the nature of business. So, you could be a B2B website where generating leads is of importance, or you could be a B2C e-commerce website where the ultimate goal is to convert the website visitor to buying online. Conversion is no less relevant if you are in the business of content marketing where you want to attract quality traffic to the site, or if you want subscriptions or sign-ups for a newsletter or blog.
As well as the differences in the purpose of CRO exercises between B2B and B2C applications as described above, it would be prudent, too, to moderate expectations in terms of turnaround time to yield results, based on the nature of your business. You are likely to see quicker conversion rate improvements in B2C sites. B2B typically tends to have longer cycle times, could have more decision-makers, and may make measurement and attribution of CRO efforts more difficult.
All businesses should define what their “Macro Goals” are with respect to the website under consideration, and then, if applicable, evolve a set of “Micro Goals”. For example, for an e-commerce firm, the macro goal is always about effecting online transactions, but micro-goals could be signup, and add to cart, increased time spent on the page, and so on.
Conversion Rate Optimization typically requires buy-in from various stakeholders and will be covered in more detail in the section on “Adoption & Implementation” challenges. Alignment on the key business goals builds a clear view of what is called the conversion funnel – the set of online actions that prospective customers are expected to go through in their journey to final conversion. Having achieved that, the different teams can plan and tackle the different aspects of the conversion funnel. Of course, we shall consider it a given that various marketing channels, paid or unpaid (usually paid if the website is still relatively new) are already bringing in a significant amount of traffic. It would not make sense to go down the route of trying to do CRO if the marketing channels are not bringing in much traffic in the first place.
Learn and adapt from the CRO best practices that are already being deployed in your industry rather than reinventing the wheel. This will give you a firm sense of the task ahead and give you vital competitive intelligence and benchmarking. For example, in a typical e-commerce scenario, 2-3% is considered a very good conversion rate.