What is conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

Glossary What is conversion rate optimization (CR...

What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of users who perform particular actions on a website or app. CRO involves analyzing your user journeys and conversion opportunities before making adjustments that will increase your conversion rate (CVR).

Conversion rate optimization is not a “one-and-done” task—there’s no silver bullet or perfect solution that’ll take you above and beyond your targets. It’s an ongoing and iterative practice that often involves small, measurable improvements that allow you to test and learn, before implementing larger-scale changes.

A recap on conversions and conversion rate

Conversions are opportunities for users to take specific steps in response to a call-to-action (CTA), offer, or push notification. They can include:

  • App downloads
  • Installs
  • Sign-ups
  • Purchases
  • Content shares

What is a conversion rate in marketing?

Conversion rates tell marketers what percentage of their audience has taken a specific action, like clicking on an ad or making an in-app purchase. Marketers can gain insights into campaign and channel performance by tracking conversions and calculating their conversion rate.

How to calculate conversion rate

CVR is calculated by dividing the number of people who convert by the total number of people who had the opportunity to convert. This number is turned into a percentage to give you a conversion rate.

For example, let’s say an advertiser runs a campaign with an audience of 25,000 people. Out of that group, 1,000 people click on the ad (ie. convert). To calculate this example, divide 1,000 by 25,000 to get 0.04. Multiply by 100 to get a 4% conversion rate.

How to set a CRO strategy

Once you’ve identified the conversion opportunities your users engage with—as well as the ones you’d like them to engage with more—you can start to build a conversion rate optimization strategy. On the whole, it should focus on each stage of a user's journey with your app—from their first impression to their ongoing retention—but its execution should be broken down into manageable stages.

Example of an A/B test for a conversion rate optimization strategy

Identify your goals and conversions: Outline the overall goals of your business—do you want to generate leads, boost retention, or increase sales? Next, set out the actions your users need to take to meet these goals—for example, in-app purchases, newsletter sign-ups, or app installs. Keep in mind that conversion opportunities are scattered from the top to the bottom of the marketing funnel.

Analyze data and gather insights: Find out how your users currently engage with these actions. Use a reliable and accurate analytics tool to track and measure user interactions, drop-offs, and successful conversions, highlighting the areas that work and those that don’t. Using industry benchmarks, set targets for where you want each conversion opportunity to get to.

Test and learn: Once you’ve identified what’s working and what isn’t, it’s time to experiment. Optimizing conversion rates could involve content edits; color and layout changes; rescheduling timed events, like emails or push notifications; adapting user journeys, and more. Keep in mind that copy edits are often much easier to sign off, implement, and scale than new images or animations, so factor in your resources, budget and timeframe when planning any improvements.

In the initial stages of conversion rate optimization, you’ll want to keep amends small. Little tweaks made frequently will give you a quicker and more reliable pool of data to base greater amends on, vs. completely overhauling an entire app store landing page or onboarding flow, which will leave you in the dark about the variables that led to an increase or decrease in conversions.

Another efficient way to optimize conversion rate is via A/B testing. This works by segmenting an audience into two or more groups, exposing each segment to a different version of the variable, and analyzing how the variable affects user behavior. When you know which version received the best results, you can roll it out fully, to a gradually bigger segment, or implement the same logic elsewhere.

Monitor, iterate, and repeat:  The length of your CRO test phase will vary depending on traffic volume, accuracy of analytics, conversion rate baseline, and the complexity of the changes you’ve made. Based on your results and how they relate to the targets you set at the start, you can begin applying the same strategy to similar variables, or rolling out wins on a bigger scale.

Great conversion rate optimization means regularly monitoring campaign performance and app activity—like installs, subscriptions, purchases, uninstalls etc. If numbers begin to plateau or fall, it’s time to repeat the process.

Conversion rate optimization and Adjust

As a powerful, all-in-one measurement tool, Adjust empowers app businesses to measure and optimize conversion rates with ease. To find out more about Datascape and how Adjust can help you scale your campaigns and grow your app, request a demo today.

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