Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

Definition of conversion rate optimization

Conversion rate optimization, often abbreviated to CRO, is the practice of improving the chances that your users will complete a specific action, or conversion, on your website.

Why should you focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

Prioritizing conversion rate optimization, especially conversion rate optimization in B2B, has obvious benefits: the more web visitors you convert into leads, and the more leads you turn into customers, the more revenue your business can generate.

It sounds simple, of course. But there are nuances in how you can and should approach your conversion rate optimization strategy. These small discrepancies can be the deciding factor between a wildly successful CRO approach, and one that costs more than it’s worth.

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5 ways to avoid common CRO mistakes

Conversion rate optimization isn’t a lost cause or a shot in the dark. In 2018, 56% of brands found that their CRO efforts were more effective than the year before. This tells us, unmistakably, that progress is being made by organizations actively working on conversion rate optimization.
Still, bigger strides can be taken — as long as your strategy is properly targeted, and the right steps are being executed upon. Here are the top 5 fixes to improve your 2019 CRO strategy, and to inform your CRO efforts in the coming years.

1. (Mostly) ignore benchmarks

These vary per industry, by business size, business type, and based on whether you’re optimizing for web conversions, email conversions, etc. Focus on improving from where you are, not based on a (relatively) arbitrary and difficult-to-pinpoint standard.

2. Put a process in place to align your teams and initiatives

As we addressed earlier, CRO processes are a huge pain point for marketers today. The lack of a clear, defined CRO process was a top challenge in 2018, and nearly one-quarter of organizations in 2018 had no CRO process in place at all. Don’t go in blind. Approach CRO with a plan of attack, and then, adjust as needed.

3. Personalize and tailor your efforts — always

Be specific when you serve your customers’ content. This means not just taking into account whether a visitor is new or returning, but also thinking about their historical behavior (if applicable), their organization’s industry, their role or job title, what phase of the lead marketing funnel they’re in, or where they fall in the buyer journey.

4. Tackle small wins first, continue activity only on what works

Realistically, spending time or budget on a bunch of CRO efforts that are bound to fail is a waste. To make the most of your teams’ time and stretch your CRO budget further, take advantage of small wins first, test them out, and implement long-term strategies only for the initiatives that succeed.

5. Test, iterate and act based on data (not on what your business thinks will work)

As we mentioned above, you need to identify your quick wins to act on them. You also need to address the bigger gaps that you need to tackle long-term. But how do you do this? Data.
Avoid choosing your goals and initiatives based on what your teams think might work or what strategies your organization would like to try out. Use your data to figure out what’s low-hanging fruit, where you most critically need to address issues, and what’s already working. Then, act, test, and adapt your activities as needed.

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