A Beginner's Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation for Business


Let’s be honest, conversion rates can be confusing. However, a good business needs to have an advanced understanding of conversion across many facets of their operations. In the digital world, your goal is to start converting traffic into leads, and potential buyers.  Some will become loyal supporters of your business.  Conversions occur at the interjecting points of these stages, and knowing the conversion rates you’re achieving is key to ensuring continued optimisation of your marketing efforts.

It’s wise to become familiar with the finer points of CRO.  Here’s our handy step-by-step guide:

Firstly, a helpful definition:

Conversion is the completion of a particular goal within your marketing strategy.  For example, if you have 1,000 visitors to your website, and 50 of them subscribe to your email newsletter (as your chosen goal), then you have 50 conversions, and a 5% conversion rate.

The Benefits of CRO

    • Transparency: The mere fact that you’re measuring conversion and conversion rates means that you’ve added a layer of transparency to your marketing that relatively few businesses do.  There are myriad metrics you can monitor within your business, yet choosing to keep tabs on the easily-measured aspects of your online marketing will help you stay ahead of your competitors in the online space.
    • Ongoing Improvement:  The very meaning of the word “optimisation”, the process of continually testing and refining your conversions ensures that the compounding benefits of CRO become evident where it matters most … at the bottom line.  Which leads us to the third benefit …
    • Profit:  Whatever size and type of business you’re operating, you have an obligation to yourself, and/or your shareholders, to be doing everything in your power to generate the greatest profit in the business.  I would hasten to suggest that any modern business that fails to monitor the conversion rates it encounters across it’s operational and marketing domains is failing to ensure the greatest profits.

Conversion Rate Optimisation in Inbound Marketing … a “How to”

The good news is that the points at which you could be optimising conversions in your digital and inbound marketing efforts are relatively few, and simple to understand.  Take a look at these key areas, and see what difference the compounding effect of optimisation can have on your bottom line:

  1. From “Unaware” to “Visitor” The first step in the process is to create more visitors to your website and other web properties, such as social profiles.  There are 3 key areas you can focus on, to improve your chances: SEO, Blogging, and Social Media Marketing.  The key here is to reach more people, with a compelling enough message, so as to get the click through to your site.  Optimise here by connecting with industry influencers via Twitter, Linkedin and other social sites.  Starting a blog can kill 2 birds, with SEO features being part and parcel of many blogging platforms.  A little keyword research will ensure that your posts benefit from search traffic, as well as referrals from social sites, as you post links via your various (well-chosen) profiles.

  2. From “Visitor” to “Lead” Once on site, your job is to get visitors to “opt in” – to become part of your marketing database, having given you permission to communicate with them on an ongoing basis.  Landing pages – dedicated to a particular message and target persona – are more effective at eliciting an opt-in than your homepage or some other more-generic piece of content.  The more a page speaks to the target, niche audience, the better a conversion rate it will enjoy.  Adopt split-testing, to play off different layouts, design and copy against each other.  Keep what works best, and drop the poorest performer, before repeating the process.
  3. Lead to Client/Customer Converting from lead to client or customer is sometimes a longer-term play.  Email marketing, as well as connecting and conversing via social media, can help to nurture the relationship, to stay top of mind, and to increase the number of touch points, so as to build trust.  Email in itself can be conversion rate optimised – products like Mailchimp allowing for segments of your email list to receive a different message to the rest.  Test different subject lines, as well as the copy and design of the email itself, to see what gets the best open rates and clicks.  The more you learn about which lists, segments and members respond to which message, the higher a conversion rate you can ensure for future campaigns

How have you used conversion rate optimisation in your business – for marketing or otherwise?

Matt Hodkinson

About the author: Matt Hodkinson

Chief Exec Agent, veteran inbound and social marketer, having spent the prior 17+ years spent in the Tech industry. Matt is often annoying colleagues with classic house music and 80's movie quotes. Family and friends delight in exclaiming... "Haven't seen you on TV for a while, Matt"!