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Conversion Rate Optimization Fundamentals: Tips to Help with CRO

Every digital company's main goal is lead generation to get customers. conversion rate optimization helps you monitor if your visitors are taking action and interacting with your website.

Your sales funnel and marketing funnel, the core engine of your website, is a constant work in progress. The reason why it's easy to get lost in a sea of conversion rate optimization (CRO) options that range from tools, methods, processes, and platforms that help support, enhance, and ensure your paths and goals it's that there are too many options!

While doing your research, you can find all kinds of resources like:

  1. AB Testing Platforms
  2. Report Analysis
  3. Insight Collection
  4. Recorded User Experience Sessions
  5. Website Heatmaps
  6. Metric Measurements
  7. Traffic Analysis

All these resources above, among others, bring highly effective and precious value to gather and reinforce your five fundamental critical points to improving your conversion rate optimization.

Today I am focusing on sharing the five fundamental critical points that improve your conversion rate optimization that helps you take ownership of your website data results.

Let's dive into the critical key points of optimizing, increasing, studying, improving, analyzing, and spotting a missed opportunity during the conversion funnel process.

Nowadays, in the digital marketing era, increasing your website visitors' traffic through a pleasant user experience is essential, guiding visitors to become qualified leads that can grow into potential customers.

What is conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of goal-setting actions based on improving the website experience to follow a specific funnel path. It personifies an opt-in form, links to products or services, offers, live chat, and clear deal-close strategy along with its proper CTA button, which is measured by a percentage formula number of site visitors analysis.

In a more detailed explanation, a conversion splits into:

Micro-conversion: Total clicks to add to cart, email subscriptions, and clicked links by the number of product-page website visitors that include:

  • Email List Subscriptions (Blog Post)
  • Link Clicks
  • Abandoned Cart

Macro-conversions: Total complete closed deals divided by the number of product-page website visitors that include:

  • Product Purchases
  • Quote Requests
  • Service Subscriptions

Each conversion is worth analysis, whether from a macro or micro-conversion; they both need a proper hypothesis, insight, metrics, and tests.

As a digital marketer, it is vital to improve your A-Game and stay in the loop of what's new, what's better for a test, real-time data, real-time analytics, and as many insights as you can get from your traffic.

A conversion funnel based on a CRO strategy process focuses its efforts on five essential points I've spotted:

1. Usability Test

Marketing is an ongoing process that involves experience, knowledge, and, of course, usability.

This usability testing helps identify sources of friction, gaps, and unclear conversion funnel paths. Observe how your website visitors interact with your landing pages, content, products, services, and funnel and how they take action.

The easy way to do this is by doing research that ensures and provides qualitative statistics to improve user experience using the vital heatmap analysis tool. Here are a few tools focussed on heatmap I've found:

  • ContentSquare: Provides replays, heatmap analysis, behavioral statistics collection, AB testing report insights, conversion funnel flow, and the answers to generate a data-driven marketing strategy.
  • Decibel Insight: In-depth data retriever includes behavioral alerts, errors, the why behind analytics reports, and error records.
  • MouseFlow: Spots activity trends that are critical, conversion funnel gaps, interaction with an opt-in form, and enables on-site survey feature.

Using the tools above helps to understand and remark relevant insights to improve and optimize these four following bullet metrics:

  • Accessibility: Load time, adequate design, easy-to-read structure, appropriate ALT tags, and functional links.
  • Identity: Prominent logo, preciseness, unique value proposition, 5-second digestible homepage, clear and easy access to contact and company information.
  • Navigation: User-friendly and organized menu, clear labels and short names, button and links quantity, consistency, and patterns.
  • Content: H1 identification, optimized metadata, unobtrusive pop-ups, and advertising, concluding to a friendly user experience.

So what do you do with all this information above? Ott Niggulis from CXL, a growth institute, says that after usability optimization to a product or service and a conversion funnel, you can expect a 50% increase in your conversion rate. He walks us through detailed planning of a well-done usability testing process and insight implementation.

2. Qualitative and Quantitative Research

While usability testing brings excellent insights, it is more than one step to ensure a successful target audience approach.

While retrieving numerical data from a website using tools and platforms it's easy, what becomes hard is applying qualitative research for a website.

Here is when we return to the fundamental point: usability analysis. Although this mainly provides numbers, we get to transform those numbers into psychological analysis responses. Underlying reasons, motivations, and opinions that help develop ideas of a hypothesis to dive into an optimized funnel.

Understanding your target audience is the golden ticket to success. A few questions need a proper answer:

  1. Who is my current site visitors?
  2. At which stage do users drop off a funnel?
  3. What is the genuine opinion of a user of my website?
  4. From where are your visitors coming?
  5. How do demographics impact device interactions on my site?

Here are a few tools that bring up light through AB testing and qualitative analysis:

  • Mixpanel: It is a tool that helps grow your business by learning why users convert, engage, and retain. This tool runs testing experiments on a self-educational process; it identifies trends, applies data-science techniques, and supports creating informed hypotheses to reach goals that tie your goal to metric conversions.
  • Formisimo: Measures granular interactions that are fundamental to conversions and scores and compares reports to ensure good numbers. It focuses on multi-forms, and the performance review provides optimization opportunities to zoom in on determinative actions to improve the conversion rate on e-commerce sites.

The proper usage of these conversion rate optimization tools helps you maximize the qualitative core of your research. Take into consideration these methods:

  • On-site Surveys: You can not always interview specific users, but you can throw surveys on your website. On-site surveys reveal reasons, fears, gaps, doubts, and hesitations behind actions, from a current customer to a potential lead.
  • Usability Tests: We already discussed how this works and helps, but we need to extract the behavioral analysis. Observing how your real-life lead and customer navigate (and stumble) around your site is a powerful stride to increase your conversion and improve the user experience.
  • Interviews: I said before that interviews are not easy, and surveys are better for general visitors. Interviews are often a method used for actual and current customers; you can find people to interview on social media, LinkedIn introductions based on your persona, an existing customer, and cold calls to your audience. Although this last one seems risky, you have nothing to lose if you get an opportunity to find someone willing to talk to you.
  • NPS: Net Promoter Score determines and confirms the key benefits, advantages, and gaps of your service, product, and website conversion funnel. Customers build a relationship with their providers. You have to ask: “How likely would you recommend us to a friend?” Spot the answer into three categories and ask yourself, “Why is that?”: 
    • Promotes
    • Passives
    • Detractors

It is time to measure and convert those trends to an actual number based on the data and improve website conversion through quantitative research.

It helps quantify a structured and statistically educated decision and the course actions to benefit your audience.

Start to prove and disprove your hypothesis after defining these characteristics from your research trait, behavior, opinion, and attitudes, framing the set proper goals in Google Analytics.

"Goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target audience objectives. A goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business.

Defining goals is a fundamental component of any digital analytics measurement plan. Having clear establishment goals allows Analytics to provide you with critical information, such as the number of conversions and the conversion rate for your site or app. Without this information, it's almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your online business and marketing funnel.” (Source: Google Analytics)

GA provides a perfect way to monitor and measure how often your audience completes a specific action; here, you find a complete source of understanding and implementing actual goals to be measured.

3. Competitive Analysis

You are not alone in this world; around 10k (less or more) businesses provide the same service or product you offer.

Understanding how your competitors differentiate from you is the key to increasing your conversions and becoming a crucial part of any funnel.

Doing a proper analysis of the competition starts by asking the right questions:

  1. Who are my competitors?
  2. Which importance category do they fit: primary, secondary, or tertiary?
  3. What are they doing?
  4. What is their market position?
  5. Which is the Unique Value Proposition?
  6. Who is their target audience?
  7. What are their sales highlights?

Using traffic reports gets you new and more specific questions based on the category strategy, product, or service.

By going through your process, you find different competitor analysis tools. Your product guides the category of analysis you get to start with; Hubspot brings a complete guide I’m sharing with you below:

Marketing Competitor Analysis. The sales and marketing funnel are similar in structure but with different approaches. The Marketing Funnel is the primary lead generation where, when done right, the lead moves into a Sales Funnel. Marketing uses blogs, offers, videos, webinars, visuals, informational areas such as FAQs, slide decks, press releases, case studies, and online and offline advertising. This content nurtures to increase conversions.

Choose samples from your competitor and scan them and their audience. Here are a few tools that work on guiding solid steps forward:

  • SEM Rush This platform includes SEO, advertising, and social media analysis. It is easy: log in, add your competitor’s URL, and dive into several insights of real-data reports. Check on SERP features and ranking, organic search, and media.
  • Ahrefs: It is an affordable option that helps you with the research. Works by conducting a comprehensive analysis of your competitor’s domain. It provides an in-depth look at traffic, backlinks, organic search, and content gaps.
Sales Competitor Analysis

The sales funnel analysis is fundamental during your competitor’s research. If your lead capture form includes a specific question on who their actual provider is, you can dig deeper into why they were their customers. The impressions, the motivation behind “changing provider,” give you a hint and advantage on your sleeve.

This analysis process can be ensured by actually going through their sales funnel. Learn, apply, automate, and improve your path while going through your competitor’s funnel. More than using conversion optimization tools, this is about the hands-on-deck approach.

Social Competitor Analysis

Learn from your competitors how they engage, which platforms they have social proof on, engaging tactics, posting frequency, visual usage, number of fans and followers, content virality, and many other vital points you can find that help you improve.

Here are some of the SM Platforms you may be looking for: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest, but remember to check where else they are showing up; if you are not there, chances are there is a missed opportunity. Tools you can use to measure:

  • Sprout Social: Ranked #1 channel for connecting and engaging with customers. Sprout enables an understanding performance of your competitors and tracks reports from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to compare against your profiles.
  • Phlanx: If your product is mainly showcased on Instagram, you can use Phlanx. The engagement calculator shows how active your account’s followers are and allows you to analyze your competitor’s presence.

The audience engagement ratio is calculated on the number of followers versus the rate of engagement content has (likes, comments, shares).

Content Competitor Analysis. Content splits into two sub-areas: Engagement and Promotion. Both come from marketing. This analysis determines the qualification of your competitor’s content; if their audience engages and responds, people read their landing pages, blogs, and overall content, measured using SEO.

The resonance of their content, updates, and activity brings valuable insights to your DOs and DONTs. We get to talk further about SEO later on.

4. Data-Driven Design

Beautiful designs are not always the best method to increase your conversions. Everyone prefers an appealing and catching landing page, but best practices always remind you to keep it simple. As marketers, we focus on accessibility and a structured funnel that is the lead generation key.

Structure your content

Your audience decides by reading your H1 rapidly to the main three lines of your landing page in less than a second, so you better step up and provide educational, informative, and straight content to your user.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Your keyword placement and duplication can increase your traffic. Using the proper conversion rate tools to be precise on word usage can lift your website conversion rate on a larger scale.

Although you get to understand SEO and its raging areas, it is easy to get sidetracked; if you have a few doubts about defining it, check out this blog. Okay, now I bring you three main tools that I’ve used personally and found quite valuable:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Google is the incubator of all these new terms, tools, and rules. You get to apply the correct tactics if you want to rank and optimize your conversions. Google is the #1 search engine. You want your business, product, or service to be the 1st to show up to your audience. GKP helps you find the best words, ranking, volume, and forecasts and also set budgets.
  • MOZ: Has a toolkit that supports different areas of the SEO world. It has included a Keyword explorer. This explorer brings opportunities like Click-through rate from organic results, importance keyword setting, and potential, which relies on combining all metrics to increase your conversions.
  • SEMRush: A highly useful, insightful, and complete platform providing research tools and analysis on Bing and Google searches. This tool also includes a long-tail keyword bank to find less competition volume keywords so you can rank higher.
Social Proof

Credibility is the key to engaging and increasing leads. If a site looks spammy, it doesn’t have any proof and external reinforcement; chances are you won't gain trust.

Gain trust. If you are a small business is not easy; that’s why I encourage you to support yourself using Social Media. Broadcasting your projects, NPS, and blog posts are a good start; add an unobtrusive social media widget, invite users to engage, and be responsive with their opinions and reactions to bring social proof to your product or service. 

5: AB Test

It is time to do it. You’ve gathered data, ran the analysis, had reports, and explored your audience; it is time to test your hypothesis, and confirm your fears and struggles to increase your conversions.

Digital marketing allows you to learn as you go; a changing world needs proof and tests.

Your website conversion rate says enough about how bad or good things are. A well-performed AB test helps marketers prove or disprove hypotheses using user experience, design, or copy tests. Here are the pillars of conducting your test:

Variable Selection

Tests are subtle changes in small things that do matter. You can choose from button color, headline copy, images, message authority, CTA position, lead capture form fields, amount of copy, offers, and any other variable.


Your hypothesis can only get confirmed by using goal metrics. Your measurements must go live in every test you run; set them before running anything. We don’t want results-oriented goals but clear objectives that improve conversion.

Sample Size

The best way to track traffic is by seizing the number of users, contacts, and customers joining. Both tests must be equal on metrics and goals, so the report can be even and spot real differences in experience, traffic, and bounce rate.

AB Test Tools. Tools must provide the following data from both or all tests running: conversion, page views, visitors, revenue per visit, bounce rate, exit, source of traffic, and the medium of traffic, among others. (This may vary from platform to platform).

Take a look at these  powerful tools:

  • Google Analytics & Google Optimize: The free options for tests. One of the best testing solutions for free! It lets you A/B test up to 10 full variants of an individual landing page and compare performance using a random sample size of visitors.
  • Optimizely: One of the leading Conversion Rate Optimization tools offers two different products: Web, which is primarily for websites, experimentation, and deploying pleasant experiences to your visitors, and Full Stack is the product version that scales to mobile apps, business logic, and also voice bots.
  • Adobe Target: Omnichannel approach, your visitor’s experience is personal while using different channels to approach them. You ensure a unified and progressive analysis of results.
  • Multivariable Testing: while running tests one by one is better, we can use this tool to have the CTA of option 1, the bounce rate of option 2, and add a newer design asset as option 3, test everything on any channel at any time.
  • AI optimization helps personalize every visitor's experience; using Artificial Intelligence is a modern way to keep it logical.
  • Hubspot: Our CRM provides support in determining your sample size. It enables a 50/50 AB test on any sample. Besides, the AB test of website and landing pages provides support on email and CTA tests. (All these are only included if you are a HubSpot Enterprise customer).

Give time to your test. “Time is money,” I know; it is easy to jump to conclusions and set shorter amounts of time to the risk of not producing revenue. A lack of behavioral data can be harmful until you spot a pattern. 

Emails are faster to measure since they don't have many navigation options. Still, landing pages can be harder; set a timeframe, but leave it as a projection so you can feel comfortable with the data gathered and patterns spotted.


And you got it. CRO fundamentals that will improve conversion. As marketers, we need to remember that this is a trial and error-process, but this is the best way to ensure an increase in your conversion rate.

Every aspect from the usability test, qualitative & quantitative research, competitive analysis, data-driven design, and AB tests are connected; the success of each relies on the previous step's accuracy.

Each asset you use, from landing pages, opt-in forms, lead capture forms, CTA, visual, video, and social media, is connected. The proper conversion rate optimization tools, tactics, methods, and analytics tools are the core support of the five fundamental critical points to improving your conversion rate; use them wisely!

Do you need help with conversion rate optimization? Unable to attract potential customers? Let gardenpatch help!

Schedule a call or request a consultation, and let us help you increase conversions! Talk to you soon.

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