What Is CRO (Conversation Rate Optimization) and How Does It Work?

by | Nov 24, 2019 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

What Is CRO (Conversation Rate Optimization) and How Does It Work?

by | Nov 24, 2019 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

What is CRO and what does CRO stand for? Conversion Rate Optimization, or (CRO), is the process of improving the conversion rate in online marketing or advertising via different methods of optimization. The CRO marketing acronym is used to focus mainly on marketing and optimizing for conversion.

Conversion simply means that a visitor acted upon a call to action. The call to action, or (CTA), can differ depending on what it is you want the customer do to.

For example, if you have a landing page that asks people to click a link to sign up on a mailing list, CRO would be the methodology of increasing the rate of mailing list sign ups on that specific page.

One way of trying to increase sign ups in this example could be writing a better CRO CTA, changing the layout of the page or improving the content with more convincing language.

Here is a simple graphic from Liquid Web that does a great job of summing up a few of the basic principles of CRO online marketing:

Screenshot taken 11.25.19 from liquidweb.com

The overall end goal is to help your visitors turn into customers that keep coming back time and time again.


Many people confuse CRO and SEO, but the truth is that while they are two different things, they help each other and compliment each other.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing pages and content to be better read and ranked by the search engines. CRO is more focused on optimizing for human behavior, but you can’t get the people to your page without SEO. CRO and SEO go hand-in-hand and must be used together in order to give yourself the best potential of increasing conversion rates.

In the example we used above about the landing page designed to lead visitors to sign up for a mailing list, SEO would be the process of making sure the right search keywords are within content, the meta descriptions and title tags are optimized, as well as making sure a good link structure exists. CRO would instead focus on the content’s ability to adequately convince the visitor to sign up for the mailing list.

Screenshot taken 11.25.19 from optiweb.com

From the image above, CRO vs SEO is broken out into two halves, with one half focusing on page views and the other half focusing on conversion. As you can see, it’s hard to have one without the other, but the thinking and CRO marketing strategy is fundamentally different than the SEO strategy.

CRO Improves Marketing

Have you ever seen a billboard or a printed advertisement with a message that doesn’t make it clear what the company does or what it wants you to do? The saddest part about this is that the company paid a lot of money and spent a lot of internal resources to create and distribute those lackluster advertisements.

With the implementation of proper CRO, the ads would have been more clear and hopefully increased the desire for the reader to act, or convert into a sale. This would have not only increased the ROI of this specific marketing campaign, but it could improve the ROI of all of the other companies investments that were made to drive customers to see the ads.

As you can see, CRO can help everyone else upstream that is putting time and effort into any type of marketing campaign, which is why CRO marketing is so important for companies to focus on. CRO marketing, if properly executed, can help the bottom line of any company.

A/B Testing Is Key

While it is ideal to start a marketing campaign with CRO in mind, sometimes it’s hard to know how something will perform without running a campaign. Also, sometimes clarification or confusion don’t rear their heads until after a digital ad has been made live. In these situations, CRO and A/B testing should be used to find the best combination.

A/B testing is much easier to implement with digital advertising as a small/large tweak can be made to a campaign and run concurrently to the original in order to gather data as to which version of the campaign increases the rate of conversions. This sort of A/B testing can be done on the fly and can provide you with a gold mine of information to help you know what phrases, words, placement, etc. works best for your customers for that specific campaign.

To help make this point, the following graphic shows how you can essentially double revenue by spending the same PPC budget but testing the messaging until you find the combination that gives you the best results:


Screenshot taken 11.25.19 from verticalmeasures.com

As you can see, optimization can make the same budget go twice as far with effective CRO advertising.

Sound Methodology

For those of you that love a formula for this sort of thing, you’re in luck! MECLABS Institute developed a methodology in 2007 which has since been patented as the Conversion Sequence Heuristic. Here is how the formula looks:



CRO is vital to helping marketing campaigns succeed. In our digital world, CRO can be implemented on the fly with A/B testing, analytics and can be boosted by good SEO practices. If you are needing some help getting your marketing copy to better connect with your customers to increase ROI, we can help! Check out our content writing services to get you some amazing content that will resonate with your customer base.

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