5 fundamental points to improve your conversion rate optimization

Tiago Santana

The main goal every digital company shares is: lead generation to get customers. Conversion Rate Optimization helps you monitor if your visitors are taking actions 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, platforms that help support, enhance, ensure your paths and goals it's because 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 5 fundamental critical points to improving your conversion rate optimization.

We previously shared some handy CRO hacks for 2023 that support the best tactics and techniques that are essential to increase conversions.

Today I am focusing on sharing, which are the 5 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 on how to optimize, increase, study, improve, analyze, and spot a missed opportunity during the conversion funnel process.

Nowadays, in the digital marketing era, it is essential to increase your website visitors' traffic through pleasant user experience, guiding visitors to become qualified leads that can grow to 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 is personifying an opt-in form, links to product or service, 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.

On 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

macro-and-micro-conversions0 (1)
[Image Source:]

Each conversion is worthy of 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 you can get from your traffic.

A conversion funnel based on a CRO strategy process focuses its efforts on 5 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. It is simple, observe how your website visitors interact with your landing pages, content, product, services, and funnel, and how do they take actions.

The easy way to do this is by doing research that ensures and provides qualitative statistics used to improve user experience, using the vital tool of heatmap analysis. 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 that also 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 help 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-sec 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 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 gets done to a product or service and a conversion funnel, you can expect a 50% increase in your conversion rate to happen. He walks us through detailed planning of a well-done usability testing process and insight's implementation.

2. Qualitative and Quantitative Research

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

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

Here is when we go back to the previous 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. Which stage users drop-off a funnel?
  3. What is the genuine opinion of a user from my website?
  4. From where are your visitors coming?
  5. How 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, supports on creating informed hypotheses to reach goals that tie your goal to metric conversions.
  • Formisimo: Measures granular interactions that are fundamental points of conversions, scores, and compares reports to ensure good numbers. Focuses on multi-forms, 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 help you maximize the qualitative core of your research, take into consideration these methods:

  • On-site Surveys: You can not always go to specific users and interview them, 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 and vice versa.

By gathering the direct source of their reasons, you can efficiently conduct a website analysis process that ensures your goal-setting alignment with your audience.

  • Usability Tests: We already talked about 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: Yes, 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 customer, 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 what the key benefits, advantages, and gaps of your service, product, and website conversion funnel are. Customers build a relationship with their providers.

The question you have to ask is: “How likely you would recommend us to a friend?” spot the answer into three categories and ask yourself, “Why is that?”:

  • Promoters
  • Passives
  • Detractors

Now 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 statistical 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; there is around 10k (less or more) business providing the same service or product you offer.

Understanding how your competitors differentiate from you is the key to increase your conversions and become 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 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 sale’s 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 as FAQs, slide decks, press releases, case studies, online, and offline advertising. This content nurtures to increase conversions.

Choose samples from your competitor, 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; login, 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, content gaps, among others.
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, it enables you to dig deeper into why they were their customers . The impressions, the motivation behind “changing provider,” gives 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 competitor on how they engage, which platforms they do 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 helps 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 are they showing up; if you are no there chances are there is a missed opportunity. Tools you can use to measure:

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

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

Content Competitor Analysis. Content splits into 2 sub-areas, Engagement, and Promotion. Both come from marketing. This analysis determines the qualification of your competitor’s content; if their audience engages, responds, people are reading their landing pages, blogs, and overall content, which is measured using SEO.

The resonance of their content, updates, and activity brings valuable insights to your DO’s and DONT’s. We get to talk further on 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 get to focus on accessibility and a structured funnel that is the actual lead generation key.

Structure your content

Your audience decides by reading your H1 rapidly to the main 3 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 to define it, check out this blog. Ok, 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. If you want to rank and optimize your conversions, you get to apply the correct tactics. 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, forecasts, and also to 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 the combination of all metrics to increase your conversions.
  • SEMRush: SEMRush is a highly useful, insightful, and complete platform that provides research tools and analysis on both Bing and Google search. This tools 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 engage and increase 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, 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, 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; it is a changing world that needs proof and test.

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

Variable Selection

Tests are subtle changes on 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 you can think of.


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 goals to be results-oriented but clear objective goals 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 even 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, 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! 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 2 different products: Web, which is primarily for websites, experimentation, and to deploy 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 it is better to run tests one by one, we can use this tool to have the CTA of option 1, the bounce rate of option 2, and adding a newer design asset as option 3, test everything on any channel at any time.
  • AI optimization helps personalize the experience of every visitor; 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 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, but landing pages can be harder, set a timeframe, but also 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 accuracy.

Each asset you use from landing pages, opt-in form, lead capture forms, CTA, visual, video, social media, and everything is connected. The proper conversion rate optimization tools, tactics, methods, and analytics tools are the core support of the 5 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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