What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Full-service CRO program

Written by Ruben de Boer

May 5, 2022

Why Conversion Rate Optimization?

In today’s digital age, businesses are constantly making changes to their websites and products in an effort to improve performance and drive growth. These can be minor tweaks to completely new features, algorithms, or redesigns. However, data shows that only 25% of these changes positively impact your most important goals. The other 75% either makes no difference or even has a negative impact on our goals. This means that all these changes barely result in growth. That is where Conversion rate optimization comes in.


What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization is a way of working. It is a systematic approach to increasing your website’s conversion rates, improving your products, validating your hypotheses and ideas, and gathering knowledge about your customers.

It involves conducting research and using experiments to identify the changes that will have the biggest impact on conversions. This means that instead of implementing changes that barely result in growth, businesses can focus on the changes that will drive rapid growth and alignment with customers.


The benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

The benefits of CRO go beyond just growth. By gathering knowledge about customers through experiments, businesses can gain valuable insights that can be shared with the entire organization. This knowledge can help inform marketing strategies, product development, and even decisions made by higher management. It can also make the entire organization more future-proof.


How the tech giants use CRO

The tech giants on our planet have adopted this way of working long ago with great results. In the image below, you see the growth of these companies compared to the growth of the S&P500 companies. These tech companies have adopted this way of working throughout the whole organization. Netflix, Microsoft, and Booking openly share this in their tech blogs.

For other companies to survive and thrive in this digital age, they must adopt the same principles.



Stock prices Conversion Rate Optimization giants

Image source: Bloomberg, 2019


A/B testing and CRO

Now A/B testing is a big and important part of conversion optimization. A/B testing is splitting your website visitors over different variations of the same page and analyzing the impact on your KPIs.

So, for instance, for the course page, I can run an A/B test in which I change the header to ‘Online conversion optimization courses from €12.99’.


A/B test for Conversion Rate Optimization


Now 50 percent of the website visitors will still see the original product page and the original header. The other 50 percent will see the changed header. Next, I can see which variation resulted in the highest number of conversions in my data.

So, by knowing what works on your website through A/B testing, you can make adjustments that only increase your conversions. Without A/B testing, you will simply make changes to your website, not knowing if it will increase or decrease conversions. If you only implement winners on your website, you really start to grow and learn about your customers’ needs, motivations and behaviors.

Of course, there are other forms of testing, like split URL and MVT. However, A/B testing is used 99% of the time.

Step-by-step CRO

If you’re interested in learning more about CRO and how to implement it on your website, check out the video below or consider taking a course like my Complete Conversion Rate Optimization course on Udemy. (If Udemy has no sale, use the link from the course page).

With the right approach and tools, CRO can drive rapid growth and align with customers.

You May Also Like…

Get the Psychology for A/B testing ebook free

Sign up today to get the book free.

Plus, get free, bite-sized CRO tips and coupons in your inbox.

Please use your personal email address. Business email clients often block automated emails.