What is CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization?

A Powerful Picture of How to Turn More Browsers into Buyers


CRO is the systematic process of making a website more “user-friendly” so your customers can research and purchase more easily.

The most effective way to increase ecommerce and lead generating conversions on your website is through conversion rate optimization (CRO).

To learn more about the conversion rate optimization process, keep reading and download the high-res infographic.

[This graphic was created by our partners at XPLANE as part of an ongoing series of visual explanations that simplify and clarify complex business and technology issues for busy people.]

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The CRO Process

1. Acquire

Before you can convert browsers to buyers, somehow you must get them to visit the site in the first place. There are a number of ways to attract people to your site, including TV ads, content marketing, search or paid media. Each may lead to different landing pages.

2. Track

Collect data about how people are using the site, like where and how often they click, how the cursor moves, how far they scroll, and “desertion points” where people leave the site.

3. Analyze

Analyze the data and seek common themes. What are people clicking on most, what do they do when they get there, when do they leave your site, and why?

4. Form Hypothesis

Come up with some hypotheses that you can test. What might improve click-through performance? What might keep users from deserting?


5. Test

Validate your hypotheses by testing them. Here are the most common test types:

  • A/B tests compare the performance of two web pages. Visitors are randomly split into two groups. One is directed to page “A” and the other to page “B.”
  • Multivariate tests compare performance of multiple items within a page, like links, buttons, images, and placement
  • User testing is a more qualitative analysis. Users are observed using the site and are often asked to verbally describe what they
    are thinking as they use the site.
  • Surveys can supplement other tests. For example, a pop-up may appear as users browse your site, asking for feedback

6. Learn & Improve

Based on your test results, apply your new learnings to improve the site. Each incremental change helps to improve overall performance.

7. Iterate

Your website is never “done.” Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is not a “big bang” approach, so much as small gains that compound over time. Gradually, small changes can accumulate to create impressive returns.