What Is Conversion Rate Optimisation? A Complete Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a strategy that businesses can employ to improve the reach of their promotional materials and optimise their web presence for search queries. This strategy is crucial for businesses that look to expand the scale of their operations, improve profits and market share, and reach a target audience. If you work in business development, marketing, sales or management, you may benefit from knowing what CRO is and its benefits. In this article, we examine what CRO is, review what its basic elements and benefits are and explore using CRO strategies on a site.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Conversion rate optimisation is the process of increasing conversions on a website or mobile application. Conversions pertain to visitors on a website who perform a desired action. For example, customers on a website may opt into an email campaign, fill out a form, download a helpful PDF or make a purchase.

To optimise conversion rates effectively, marketers require an understanding of how users interact with and use a business website. Before a site or landing page goes live, marketers typically ask themselves if the provided information makes sense to new users, if it leads interested consumers through a marketing funnel, what actions users can take while navigating the site and if there are any boundaries preventing conversions.

Related: Attribution Modelling: Definition, Types And Benefits

Elements Of CRO

CRO requires testing, editing and analysis before going live. It involves mastery of several skills and often requires a team of professionals, each working within their own area of expertise. The three primary elements of a CRO strategy include design, analytics and copy. Each element plays a critical role in converting users:


Design includes the structure of the full campaign and details pertaining to how pages appear to end users. CRO-focused designs are user-friendly and built to maximise profits. Balance in both user interface and aesthetics usually improves campaign performance. Some marketers deliver attractive and engaging web pages using complex cascading style sheet (CSS) animations. CSS adds creative elements to a page, but too much of it causes confusion, and a visual designer can help optimise the intractability of a webpage.

User expectations may differ depending on the actions they potentially perform on a web page. It takes thorough industry research to understand what users expect to see and what it takes for them to convert. Providing elements that users within a specific category look for and offering easy methods of navigation can increase a campaign's conversion rate significantly.

Related: What Does A UI/UX Designer Do? (With Salary And Skills)


Design may play an important role in leading users to an action, but metrics provide an understanding of what works and what does not. Analytics measure aspects like how much traffic a page receives, how many clicks an action button earns and how many emails get sent due to an action. It also helps identify technical problems within the campaign.

There are multiple analytics tools to choose from, with both free and paid versions. These tools keep track of crucial marketing metrics so that marketers can monitor the success of a campaign throughout its duration. Analytics tools can also determine where problems occur within a campaign, allowing marketers to identify and address them promptly.

Related: 15 Types Of Business Analytics Jobs Across Various Industries


Copy refers to the textual content that provides information to users who navigate a website and use its features. A website may be aesthetically engaging and attractive, but one that encourages users to convert typically provides better results. Copywriters strive to leave an impression on audiences and give marketers a chance to convince users to take a desired action. Copy is usually relevant to products and services that a business offers and emphasises its benefits in detail.

The structure of copy plays an even more important role when designing a landing page. A strong headline, list of most important factors and method of action are usually present above the fold. All content below the fold may elaborate upon further details like benefits, time, location and other important information. In the footer, copy often includes a frequently asked questions section, terms and conditions, and copyright information. Standards for copy also extend to off-page elements. Some campaigns include a timed pop-up through which users take their action. Copy on the pop-up may explain what results the action produces.

Related: Copywriter Vs Copy Editor (Definition And Differences)

What Benefits Does CRO Offer?

Marketing campaigns that use CRO aim to improve conversion metrics, expand an existing customer base and increase the profitability of a business operation. Some other benefits of CRO include:

Better understanding of a customer base

Marketers can use CRO to gain a better understanding of the requirements of a target audience. Marketers perform extensive research and test the usability and functionality of web pages before launching a campaign to users. It is typical for marketing teams to try out a range of customer engagement strategies to identify what works best for a specific purpose.

For example, marketing teams that work to promote a fashion brand may collaborate with content creators, influencers and models to create visual materials that can potentially gain the interest of a target audience group. They may determine who to collaborate with depending on the reach and influence of these individuals. For instance, a sports brand may hire prominent sportspersons for ad campaigns, while a kids fashion brand may seek the assistance of popular child actors.

Related: How To Manage Customer Relationships: A Complete Guide

Leveraged website traffic

CRO strategies also help businesses improve traffic on their websites and make use of existing user activity. Engagement initiatives may provide incentives for regular users to use a web-based service or platform more frequently or for extended periods of time. Marketers can also gain useful insights from an existing customer base using polls and quizzes. Promotional offers can help expand an existing customer base. Similarly, referral programmes and loyalty benefits can encourage customers to engage in repeat business.

Lower cost of customer acquisition

Using CRO, marketers can increase website traffic and significantly reduce costs associated with new customer acquisition. Improved traffic means marketers can pay less for new leads. For example, a marketing team may introduce a lucky-draw scheme during a festive season to acquire new customers. A website for the business may contain marketing materials that urge users to opt in to the scheme by making purchases over a certain amount. Such an incentive can attract attention from new audiences who may be willing to try their luck by making a purchase decision.

Improved brand reputation

CRO strategies often focus on the appearance and presentability of a web-based business platform. A website that appears professional and uses innovative elements can indicate to an audience that the team behind it has given due attention to aspects like visual design, security and functionality. Using CRO to gain the trust of an audience can improve the reputation of the brand and attract new customers to the brand's offerings.

Related: Brand Management: A Complete Guide (With Examples And Tips)

Optimised search engine performance

CRO initiatives also include measures that can optimise websites to target search engine queries. When you optimise a website's content to target search engine queries, it may rank higher in a potential customer's search results. If your website comes within the first page of search results, there is an increased chance of more users being inclined to visit it. The marketing materials that are present on the web pages can further motivate users to make purchase decisions that favour the brand or business.

CRO Strategies

CRO strategies typically evolve based on relevant industry trends. Marketers utilise the services of analysts and researchers to forecast trends and develop marketing materials accordingly. This process can be repetitive and it may happen periodically, as trends in any industry are subject to change with time. These are some areas that marketing professionals can focus their attention on:


A website's homepage may be the first aspect users see when they visit a site. The homepage typically influences a user's first impression of a brand and its offerings. Marketers follow CRO best practices to increase user engagement and traffic on a site. Effective branding, call-to-action buttons and prominently visible links to related pages on the site can enhance user engagement metrics. Customer support initiatives, like a 24/7 live chatbot, can further improve user engagement metrics.


Blogs can feature relevant content in an engaging manner and improve traffic on a site. Blog content with active links can help users navigate other parts of a website which they may not have accessed on their own through a search query. Businesses can also use blogging as a strategy to establish themselves as an authority on a subject matter.

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