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CRO is a marketing acronym you may have heard of or read about. But what is it and do you need it? Let’s break it down into its component parts to understand it better…

CONVERSION: an action that someone takes – so, for example, on your website, you may want them to sign up for a newsletter, download a brochure, make a phone call, watch a video, register for a webinar, listen to a podcast, download an app, follow a social media channel, or fill in and send an enquiry form.

RATE: how readily someone completes the action – the aim is to get a larger proportion of your website visitors to act on a ‘call to action’, generating the ‘conversion’.

OPTIMISATION: by way of continuous improvement, making changes to your website which allow the whole conversion process to perform better and more efficiently.

Getting CRO support for your business could be money well spent

What is the point in spending lots of time and money on a shiny new website, if it is not what your clients and potential new clients want to see or it is too difficult and confusing to use? Offering an intuitive and user-friendly experience to online users will make it easier for them to find the information they want, buy from you and come back again for more.

CRO is all about testing and learning

  • Ask your clients about their journey with your business – how did they get in touch initially? Where do they go for information about the products or services you offer? What was easy/difficult about working with you?
  • Deploy user testing and/or heat map tools to compare different versions of web pages, contact forms and other ‘calls to action’. Map customer journeys to see what works well and what doesn’t, where users get stuck, frustrated or just plain bored and go elsewhere.
  • Study Google Analytics data and set up Goals to help determine what performs best for the conversions you are testing. Why invest in paid search through Google ads and/or organic search engine optimisation campaigns if, when users do arrive at your site, they quickly leave or do not move into the conversion process?
  • Experiment with different page and process setups using A/B testing.
  • Implement the changes recommended so far. For example, moving ‘call to action' buttons or forms to a more prominent position on a web page, or making it easier to contact you with the addition of a chatbox, may be all that is required to improve conversion rates.
  • Continue to use analytics tools to track the impact of any changes made.
  • Keep on testing and learning, even when conversions and conversion rates have been optimised. Your clients and your market are always evolving, so you should be too, to ensure that you are not left behind.

CRO and Cal Partners

CRO is an area that e-commerce sites have focused on for some considerable time, given the large volumes of traffic they attract and their process driven nature (e.g. shopping cart abandonment). However, increasingly we have been working on CRO projects with clients in professional services and healthcare. Whilst the volumes of traffic may well be much lower, the value of that traffic is often much higher and so is worth the investment of a structured CRO strategy. Further, as traditional analytics tools come under closer privacy scrutiny, focusing on user testing will become an increasingly valuable way to see what is and isn’t working on your website. The combination of sector knowledge, together with core digital marketing skills of user experience (UX), conversion rate optimisation (CRO), search engine optimisation (SEO) and website design and build, is likely to become an increasingly powerful mix. Add content creation, social media management and online advertising and you have the ingredients to develop a strong and sustainable digital presence.

If you are not sure about CRO and whether it can help your business, then get in touch with Cal Partners, a Newcastle based award-winning marketing agency made up of CIM Chartered Marketers.

About the author

Alison O'Neill

Account Manager, Alison, is a former Forensic Scientist who moved into professional services marketing in 2008 and is a Chartered Marketer and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).

Marketing for Professional Services

Cal Partners

The go-to strategic marketing partner for ambitious professional services