Definition: Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is any effort aimed at improving the performance of an online business' marketing collateral, including (but not limited to) website copy & design, landing page images, and PPC ad content. Conversion Rate Optimization is not exclusive to the conversion of product purchases and may also include actions such as filling out a survey or signing up for an email newsletter.

Conversion Rate measures the rate at which a website and its corresponding digital marketing campaigns achieve a "conversion" for every visit. CRO improves the effectiveness of current efforts, a more efficient option to solely working on brand new campaigns and other collateral.

Common methods to optimize conversion

There are many possible ways to work on optimizing your ecommerce conversion rates, but some of the most common CRO methods include:

  • Closely connect ads to linked landing pages: Landing pages need to mimic the text and graphics of their funnel ads, deliver on any promises the ads made to the prospect, and make it simple for the customer to complete the desired action. This kind of seamless transition from ad to landing page tends toward optimizing conversion rates.
  • A/B test landing pages: All pages can benefit from A/B testing, but landing pages are particularly important since they are so directly related to conversion rates. Finding optimal landing page layouts, text, colors, and images are a big part of CRO.
  • Aim for a high landing page quality score: Quality scores are impacted by factors such as compelling headlines, concise content, user-friendly navigation and easy-to-click CTAs. Achieving high quality score can lower the cost of PPC campaigns and decrease paid CPAs.
  • Optimize relevance of PPC ads: Quality scores aside, it can be easy to overthink ad copy and not appeal to what a consumer is looking for. When ads are engaging, relevant to the target audience, and naturally incorporate target keywords, they can see a natural bump in CTR — which then increases quality score.
  • Develop a cohesive keyword strategy: Low-converting, high-cost head terms are worth the brand exposure for established companies but are often inefficient for growing brands. Focusing on long-tail and geo-specific keywords for PPC is an easy way to increase efficiency. Target high-cost keywords with content marketing efforts that have a lasting SEO impact.

CRO should be applied to every marketing campaign — whether directly or implicitly. Making the most out of existing assets is the best way to trim budgets and increase revenue. CRO is not a one-time action, but a never-ending process that always assumes a campaign can do better.

Learn how to optimize every aspect of an ecommerce website for conversion at the BigCommerce Blog:Conversion Rate Optimization: 22 Ways to Increase Site Speed, Performance and Security to Improve Customer Trust

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