Conversion Rate Optimization Basics Part 1: Important Key Terms to Familiarize

We’ve already written about Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) before, but now let’s get back to basics and delve in more details to let those who are not familiar with it grasp its fundamental elements.  This is the first part of the Conversion Rate Optimization series that we will publish here on our blog site.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Before we’ll proceed with the key terms, let us first define Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and how it differs from SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Conversion Rate Optimization is simply the process that involves tactics to improve a website’s performance so that visitors can be successfully converted.

For example, you are offering a deodorant product that can help people minimize sweating. On your homepage you put in there “Feel fresh without sweat marks.” But, you noticed that the conversion rate is very poor.  So, you tested another way of saying it this way “Put an end to sweat marks!” And, it works.  93% more people click the “add to cart button”.  This is an example of transforming a passive copy into an action oriented one wherein the latter yielded in more successful conversions.

The above process uses A/B Split Testing, a Conversion Rate Optimization tactic that let website owners test two pages and then select the more effective one.  We’ll discuss more about this later.

SEO, on the other hand, is the general term for the processes that aim to increase visibility of websites in the SERPs (search engine result pages). SEO and CRO complement each other.  I hope this clears the difference between the two.

How popular is Conversion Rate Optimization?

According to Marketing Sherpa, 7 in 10 marketers practicing CRO use results of experiments to inform offline or other marketing initiatives.  And, 74% of Conversion Rate Optimization programs boost sales.  Here are the rest of statistics that show the widespread practice of CRO.  We got this list compiled by SwayHub in Slideshare.

  • 61% of companies run 5 or fewer landing page tests per month. - Econsultancy/Marketing Sherpa
  • Companies with a structured approach to improving conversions were twice as likely to see a large increase in sale. – Econsultancy
  • 85% of search marketers who plan to focus more on conversion optimization in 2015. – Hanapin Marketing, 2014
  • 39% of client-side marketers named conversion optimization a top digital marketing priority. - Econsultancy/Adobe, 2013
  • 57% of B2B marketers say conversion rate is the most useful metric for analyzing landing page performance. - Ascend2, 2013
  • Companies with over 40 landing pages generate an average of 12 times more leads than those with 5 or fewer pages. – Hubspot, 2011

All these facts and figures show how valuable Conversion Rate Optimization is in achieving not only successful conversions but also your business’ ROI (return of investment) goals.

9 Conversion Rate Optimization Key Terms You Should Familiarize

In order to fully understand Conversion Rate Optimization going forward, you need first to familiarize the key terms that are often used by its practitioners.  Below is the list of the most commonly used ones.

1. A/B Testing

As mentioned in the earlier part of this blog post, A/B Testing or Split Testing is a tactic that can help you improve click-throughs and increase successful conversions for your website.  Having 2 or more pages that varies for example the color of the buy button and test them if people are more compelled to click the red over the white one, is an example of Split Testing.

2. Bounce Rate

This measures the percentage of traffic (visitors) who left your website after checking your page.  The higher your site’s bounce rate, the more possibility that there’s something wrong with it, thus lower conversion rate is highly expected.  You need to find out why your visitors hastily abandon your web page.

3. Call to Action

This is simply a button or text or a link that asks a visitor to do something.  Most common examples of call to action are “Buy Now”, “Click here to purchase”, “Download our eBook”, and the like.  CTAs play a crucial role in improving click-throughs and conversions.

4. Click-through Rate

This is the percentage of your website visitors that click from one of your page to another.  If the CTR from your blog to your landing page (money page) is high, then this means that you are doing the right thing because your visitors are compelled to check it.

5. Conversion Funnel

This is the flow of steps that a potential customer goes through before completely buying your product or subscribing to your service.  For example, if you are buying in an online store, you’ll go through the homepage first, then the search result page, the product page, and finally, the checkout page.

6.  Multivariate Testing

This differs a bit from A/B Testing because it tests multiple variation of different page elements in a number of combinations to find out which one performs the best.  This can be seen in a situation wherein a conversion rate optimizer tries to rearrange a landing page’s elements (such as its CTA button, copy, photos, and the like) multiple times to determine which combination yielded the best response from website visitors.

7. Landing page

This is a special page wherein target customers are redirected and presented with compelling copy to convince them to purchase a product or subscribe to a service.  This is one of the most important pages of your website because it is where customers decide if your business is the right fit for them.

8. Personalization

This is the process of targeting your customers to make your copy or ads more compelling to them.  For example, using an email software so that you can specifically put their name on the greetings portion of your newsletter.  Or, customizing the copy you will display depending on the location of your target audience.

9. Eyetracking

Another form of website testing that let you know which part of your website property is the most important to your target audience.  This is an eye tracking test that measures how your experiment’s participants interact with the pages of your website.  This is quite helpful if you want to determine which part of your website need more focus for improvements.

Familiarizing these key terms can help you gain better perspective about Conversion Rate Optimization.  If you feel the information presented here is not enough, you can always search online to complement your reading.  Kindly keep on coming back to this blog for the continuation of this series.


Sources and References:


Date Posted
November 16, 2016

Filed Under
Marketing Business


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