What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

It is a question that I have been asked many times in the previous couple of months and it is about time I put it into a formal post.

conversion-rate-optimizationWhat is Conversion Rate Optimization?

In its simplest form, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the practice of trying to get more of a websites visitors to complete a defined goal. Many website owners are looking to drive more traffic to their websites to generate more revenue, smart website owners are trying to convert more of the visitors that they are already getting through Conversion Rate Optimization.

A conversion can come in many forms and for many websites it is different, some of the most common ‘conversions’ or ‘goals’ are:

  • Product purchase
  • Email newsletter signup
  • Advertising clicks
  • Submitting a contact form
  • Requesting an information pack

A lot of websites have more than one goal/conversion which is not a problem.

How to calculate your websites conversion rate?

The calculation for a websites conversion rate is relatively simple. First you need to find how many people performed your desired goal, then divide that by the number of visits to your website, you then multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage. Example, if my website sells shoes online and 5 people have bought today and I  have had 100 visitors to my website, the conversion rate would be calculated like this:

(5/100)*100 = 5% Conversion Rate

Once you know your existing conversion rate you are then in a position to set yourself a target conversion rate that you are looking to reach through conversion rate optimization.

What’s involved in conversion rate optimization?

Conversion rate optimization can take many forms depending on the makeup of the website and the goal that is to be optimized. There are however a couple of concept that are universal to conversion rate optimization, these include A/B testing and Multivariate testing that allow you to test potential improvements vs the existing website.


So, to sum things up, Conversion rate optimization is the process by which website owners look to increase their revenue/ conversion rate without having to drive more traffic to the website.

David Shaw is a Conversion Rate Optimisation Expert & Web Analyst from Bristol, UK.Working for clients around the world he specializes in Website Analysis, Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Rate Optimization and User Experience Analysis.He has generated millions for companies around the world through A/B testing and website optimization to increase conversion rates and revenue.

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    1. […] Conversion rate optimization is no longer a new concept, it has been around for many years in the world of online retail and websites in general. I still remember the days when I would test many locations for my Google Adsense ads on my first blog in trying to increase my Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and ultimately my ad revenue. […]

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    David Shaw

    Hi, I am David Shaw a Conversion Rate expert from the UK with over 5 years experience in optmizing websites to generate more revenue.

    On this blog I share case studies, tips, techniques and latest best practices to help you stay ahead of the competition.

    You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.