CRO Best Practices: How to Improve CRO (9 Tips)

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

Steve owns a local plumbing business and recently expanded his business online. After a few months of online marketing, he finds that his conversion rate isn’t what he expected. If you’re experiencing a similar situation to Steve, you aren’t alone.

With conversion rate optimization (CRO), you can improve your site’s conversion rate — in whatever way that your business measures conversions. Whether you optimize for sales, form submissions, or email signups, CRO can help.

On this page, we’ll provide you with nine CRO best practices to help you improve your conversion rate for your business!

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1. Have well-defined goals

First on our list of best practices for CRO is to have well-defined goals. Goals help you understand exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and can set your business up for success.

You can set numerous types of conversion goals, including:

  • Increased sales
  • Increased form submissions
  • Increased email sign-ups
  • Content or software downloads
  • And more

When you know your goals, you can take the right steps to improve your conversion rate.

2. Make sure you’re targeting the right people

If you want to know how to improve CRO, make sure that you’re targeting the right people. It’ll be difficult to increase your conversion rate if you’re not targeting people that are interested in the products and services you offer.

To determine your target audience, look at a typical customer for your business. You’ll want to collect relevant information, like:

  • Demographics
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Income
  • Occupation

When you collect this information, you can create marketing personas, which are fictitious representations of your customers that help you market to new and similar customers.

These marketing personas will help you understand your target audience better, so you can reach more people looking for your products or services and help your business earn more conversions.

3. Communicate the value of your product or service for your audience

Next on our list of CRO best practices regards communicating the value of your product or service for your audience. This step is critical to helping improve conversions for your company.

Many businesses make the mistake of concentrating on why their company offers the best product or service, rather than focusing on why their product or service is the best fit for their audience. Your audience doesn’t want to hear how great your company is or why you’re the best. They want to understand how your product or service is going to help them, benefit them, and make their lives easier.

You need to take a customer-focused approach when showcasing the value of your product or service.

So, for example, let’s say your company sells carpet shampooers. Here’s an example of what not to do:

“Vacuum World offers the best carpet shampooers on the market. We have thousands of customers that use our products. We develop innovative technology that helps us make the best carpet shampooers for our customers.”

In this example, you’re taking the company-focused approach. If a customer reads this, they don’t see how the product benefits them. Instead, it’s better to take an approach like this:

“Our top-notch carpet shampooers have four rotating brushes to help you get out tough and stubborn stains like coffee, juice, and mud. The water storage tank seamlessly clicks into place, making it easy for you to change the water as needed. Plus, all our shampooers come with a 2-year warranty.”

With this approach, you show the customer why they would want to buy your carpet shampooer. This example highlights how you help your customers get out stubborn stains and that it’s easy to use and change the water.

By focusing on your customers’ wants and pain points and addressing them when selling your products or services, you’ll get more people to convert.

4. Run ads to find more qualified leads that convert

As you compile your list of CRO best practices, don’t forget to run ads. Paid advertisements are an excellent way for you to reach more qualified leads and turn them into conversions for your business.

Why? Ad clickers are 50% more likely to convert than organic visitors. So, if you want to boost your conversion rate, paid ads are a great way to do it.

You can run multiple types of paid advertisements, including:

  • Search ads: These are pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements that appear at the top of search results above organic listings.
  • Display ads: Display ads are visual advertisements that appear on sites within the Google Display Network.
  • Social media ads: Social media ads appear in users’ newsfeeds and offer advanced targeting to reach the most qualified leads.
  • Google shopping ads: Google shopping ads appear at the top of search results when someone searches for a specific type of product.
  • Google Local Services ads: These local ads appear at the top of search results when people search for a local service company, like a plumber or electrician, in their area.

From advanced audience targeting to keyword targeting, you put your ads in front of people who want to see your products or services. It will help you reach more qualified leads, which enables you to improve your conversions.

5. Use detailed calls to action (CTAs) on your pages

One of the most critical best practices for CRO involves focusing on your calls to action (CTAs). CTAs play a crucial role in telling your audience how to proceed to the next step. If you don’t have detailed CTAs, you prevent your audience from taking the next step towards conversion.

For example, let’s go back to the carpet shampooer example. Imagine that you have a product page with your shampooer, but your CTA button just says, “Add.” It’s not a detailed CTA, so it leaves your audience wondering what will happen if they click it.

As a result, many people won’t click the button because they don’t know what it means.

On the other hand, having a more specific CTA like “Add this product to my cart” tells your audience what happens if they click the button. They know it will add the product to their shopping cart, where they can check out.

Here’s another great example of a specific CTA from Bissel. They offer 10% off first purchase for new users. To complete the offer, the user clicks a button that says, “Unlock My 10% Off.” When the user clicks that button, they know they’ll be getting the special offer “unlocked” and sent to them.

If you want to generate more conversions for your business, focus on creating CTAs that are specific and guide your audience on what will happen next, so they’re more likely to take the next step.

6. Use heatmaps to understand better how users browse your site

If you have a low conversion rate, it may be because of the placement of elements on your website, like your CTA button, that are meant to get leads to convert.

Heatmaps are an excellent tool for you to use because they help you see where your audience clicks or see how far they scroll down a page.

You can see if people click your CTA buttons or which links they click on your site.

Additionally, you can also use a tool like MarketingCloudFX to see your audience’s experience firsthand. This tool features VisitorRecorderFX, which helps you see how your audience browses your site. It allows you to understand their experience better, so you can refine the conversion path and make it easier for users to convert.

7. Optimize your forms

If you want to improve CRO, start by looking at your forms.

The forms on your site can often keep users from converting. If users are confused by your form fields or if they take too long to load, you risk losing potential conversions for your business.

You must look at your forms and see what might hinder your audience from completing them. A heatmap could be a great indication as to where your audience clicks the most. You may find that they fill out the first few blocks, but after a certain point, they stop.

To create a form that maximizes conversions, you should test different form lengths and questions. Conducting A/B tests can help you see how your forms improve or decline based on small changes. It will help guide you towards creating a more efficient and effective form.

8. Offer social proof

Another one of the best practices for CRO is to offer social proof. At least 92% of people trust recommendations more than they trust a brand. People rely on the opinions of others to guide them towards companies that offer the best products or services to fit their needs.

Shoppers often rely on reviews and testimonials to help them determine if your business is the right fit. To make the conversion process easier for your business, consider offering that social proof upfront.

So, for example, if you’re aiming to sell more of a specific product, you might include the product’s star rating at the top of the page so that people can look at the reviews immediately. If you’re trying to earn more form submissions, you might have a quote from a previous client to showcase why your business is the best.

Offering social proof can help you earn more conversions because it shows people having a positive experience with your company, which makes people feel more confident about choosing you.

9. Keep testing

Last on our list of CRO best practices is to keep testing everything — including your campaigns, your pages, and your forms. Constant testing means that every element will be best optimized for audience conversions.

The first version of anything isn’t necessarily the best. You want to keep testing different CRO elements to help you put out a version that will drive more people to click, fill out forms, or convert in other ways.

You can use A/B testing and multivariant testing to help you produce the best results for your business.

Put these CRO best practices into action

Improving your conversion rate can help your business earn more form submissions, attendance at events, and sales. By following these best practices, you’ll put your site on the fast track to earn more conversions and grow online.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, WebFX is here to help. We know what it takes to help you drive conversion and can help answer any CRO questions that you may have. In the past five years, we’ve driven over $2.4 billion in sales and over 6.3 million leads for our clients.

Want to start improving your conversion rate? Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our CRO services!