An introduction to CRO: What A Good Conversion Rate Looks Like & How You Can Improve Yours

Mary Kilmartin


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Despite often getting decent levels of traffic directed to their sites, many marketers struggle with converting visits into sales. In fact, only one-fifth (22%) of companies are happy with their conversion rates, and factors such as slow load speed, lack of personalisation and missing CTAs are just a few of the many issues which may be limiting conversion performance.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a key tactic in this context - a strategic, data-driven approach that is essential for any marketer aiming to enhance the returns from their digital campaigns. For marketing teams operating in fast-paced, competitive markets such as ecommerce, leveraging CRO can make a significant difference in achieving business goals and gaining an edge on the competition.

What exactly is Conversion Rate Optimization?

At its core, CRO is about making the most out of your website traffic. CRO is a methodical process of testing and improving your website content, design, and user experience, to increase the percentage of visitors who perform a desired action on your site - whether that’s purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, or any other measurable engagement.

Unlike other marketing strategies that primarily focus on driving more traffic, CRO is all about enhancing the value of your traffic. This is particularly powerful because it can lift the ROI of all marketing activities simultaneously.

Did you know that conversion rates increase by 28% when emails contain a CTA (call to action) button? Or that adding a video to your landing page can boost conversions by 80%?

Understanding What a "Good" Conversion Rate Looks Like

Pinpointing what constitutes a good conversion rate can be tricky, as it depends on different factors and will vary by industry. As of 2023, the average conversion rate across various industries stood at around 2.9%. However, this can vary based on the complexity and value of the products or services being sold. High-value items often see lower conversion rates due to the longer and more complex decision-making process involved. For instance, an industry like luxury goods, where purchases are significant and considered, will typically have a lower conversion rate than in more  impulse-driven sectors like beauty and personal care.

Conversion rates can also vary depending on the source of the marketing and the nature of the business (whether it's B2C or B2B). For example, direct traffic, which refers to visitors who arrive at your site by typing your URL directly into their browser, has an average conversion rate of about 3.3%. On the other hand, conversion rates from email marketing campaigns average around 2.6%, with organic search leading to a rate of 2.7%, and paid search campaigns achieving around 3.2%.

CRO Helps SMEs Gain an Edge Over the Competition

For marketers operating within small to medium-sized enterprises, CRO offers a huge opportunity to outperform competitors and enhance customer experience. By focusing on converting existing traffic instead of just paying to acquire more, businesses without enterprise-level marketing budgets  can optimize their sales processes, reduce customer acquisition costs, and ultimately build a stronger, more resilient brand.

Top 10 Tactics for CRO Campaigns

In later articles in the CRO series, we’ll deep-dive into CRO tactics and how you can apply them for maximum impact, but here’s an overview of some of the best:

  • A/B Testing: Regularly test different versions of your web pages to determine which elements perform best in terms of conversions.
  • Analytics and Feedback: Use tools to track user behaviour and gather feedback to continuously refine and optimize the user journey.
  • Personalization: Customize the user experience based on visitor demographics, past behavior, or location to increase relevance and engagement.
  • Clear CTAs: Use compelling and clear calls-to-action that guide users towards conversion goals, such as ‘Buy Now’, ‘Sign Up’, or ‘Learn More’.
  • Match landing page copy with ad copy: Ensure that the message and tone in your ads aligns with the content on your landing pages to maintain continuity and meet visitor expectations, boosting the likelihood of conversion.
  • Speed Optimization: Improve page load times. Even a one-second delay can significantly reduce conversions. Oversized image audits are a good place to start.
  • Video Content: Incorporate videos on landing pages to explain your product or service, as they can dramatically increase conversion rates.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your site is fully responsive and easy to navigate on mobile devices, as a significant portion of web traffic comes from mobile.
  • Customer Testimonials and Reviews: Display testimonials and reviews to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
  • Seamless Checkout Process: Simplify the checkout process to reduce cart abandonment rates by removing unnecessary steps and optimizing for speed.
Wrapping Up

In summary, Conversion Rate Optimization is not just another digital marketing buzzword; it's a fundamental strategy that every marketer should be leveraging. With a clear understanding of what CRO is and what a good conversion rate looks like for your industry, you can start to implement changes that will drive significant improvements in your online performance and ensure that every visitor to your site has the highest possible chance of converting into a customer.

Sign up to our blog for more tips and insights, including the next chapter in our CRO series. Or, check out what Incendium’s CRO tools can do for your business today.

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