What is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)?


Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a vast field that can yield excellent benefits to websites of all types and sizes.

If you are not familiar with CRO, this article can be the perfect starting point for you.

In this post, we will cover most of the basics of CRO and what you should know to gain a basic idea of what everything is and how it works.

What is Conversion Rate Optimisation or CRO?

Conversion rate optimisation, also commonly referred to as CRO, is the systematic process of increasing conversions (more on “conversions” later).

These “conversions” are usually recorded on the website — but traffic can also be converted elsewhere, e.g., a mobile app.

Conversion Rate Optimisation is typically a multi-step process that involves testing different elements on a website, using various software and tools to gain data or insights, measuring the test reports, and moving step-by-step from a hypothesis to a statistically significant result.

There are many benefits of Conversion Rate Optimisation, and successful CRO plays one of the most crucial roles in increasing the revenue and profits of a business very quickly.

What is a Conversion?

To fully understand Conversion Rate Optimisation, you must first understand the concept of conversions.

A conversion can be any action that you want your website visitor to take. Think of conversion as your goal.

For example, if your website sells shoes, a conversion would be when someone adds a pair of shoes to their shopping cart and completes the purchase.

If your website relies on educating website visitors, a conversion could be subscribing to your newsletter.

Depending on your business and business strategy, a conversion can be any action that helps you reach closer to your business goals.

Here are some common examples of conversions that online websites usually measure:

  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Downloading an eBook or whitepaper
  • Adding an item to a shopping cart
  • Requesting a free demo
  • Requesting a quote
  • Contacting your sales department
  • Purchasing a product from your website
  • Creating an account

What is a Conversion Rate?

As you may have noticed, the term “Conversion Rate Optimisation” has three components:

  1. Conversion
  2. Conversion rate
  3. Optimisation

We have discussed what conversions are; now let’s see what a conversion rate is. It’s actually very simple.

Conversion rate is just the ratio between the number of actions taken and your chosen total population.

How to Calculate Conversion Rate?

In other words, conversion rate refers to the number of times visitors complete the action on your site divided by your page’s total traffic.

Conversion Rate = Number of Conversions / Traffic

That’s, at least, the general idea. Sometimes, for strategic reasons, you may not want to divide total conversions by traffic.

For example, if you’re measuring the conversion rate for subscribers, it would be a better idea to divide it by the number of unique visitors (not total traffic or sessions).

What is a Good Conversion Rate?

Now, the big question: what is a good conversion rate?

Unfortunately, there is no “good conversion rate” because:

  1. First, there is always room for improvement — and that’s the basic principle of conversion rate optimisation, which encourages you to keep testing even if everything is going great, and…
  2. Second, conversion rates vary from industry to industry.

For a B2C website, a 5% conversion rate could be considered low.  For an enterprise B2B business with an average order value (AoV) of, $100,000, perhaps a 2% conversion rate might be considered extremely good.

While you can get a sense of your industry’s average rate, your main focus should be on continuous testing and improvement.

Conversion Rate Optimisation Tools

So, how do you optimise the conversion rate?

There are various tools and software available that can help you get started.

If you are just starting with CRO, we recommend looking into Google’s suite of software to get started: Google Optimize, Google Analytics, Google PageSpeed Insights, and Google Tag Manager.

You can also experiment with other tools that offer even more features, e.g., CrazyEgg, Decibel Insight, Hotjar, etc.

Important Terms to Remember

Before we end this post, and you continue your journey towards the depth of CRO, here are a few important terms to understand and remember:

  • Call to Action (CTA). A CTA is usually a button, banner, or form that you want users to interact with. This is the gateway to conversions, e.g., a sign-up button.
  • A/B testing.  A/B testing is considered by some as the lifeblood of CRO. It is a practice in which you test two elements to see which one works best. For example, will the users click more on a red CTA button or a green CTA button?
  • Multivariate testing. Multivariate testing is like A/B testing but it is not limited to just two elements. There are multiple variables tested at the same time.
  • Heatmaps.  A heatmap is a report that shows where people concentrate the most on your web page so you can optimise your page accordingly.


In this post, we have summarised the basics of CRO and you should now have a basic idea of what this is and how it works. Thank you for reading.