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Benefits and limitations of CRO

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Why CRO is a vital part of any digital strategy

Conversion optimisation, also commonly referred to as conversion rate optimisation (CRO), is a vital part of any digital strategy. 

Driving traffic to your website is likely a key area of focus for you, but converting those visitors into customers is how your organisation really gets value from your site.

Conversion optimisation involves identifying your business goals, understanding your customers’ needs and frustrations, then reflecting these insights back to them in the form of a smoother user experience and more intuitive journey on your website.

There are a lot of benefits to having a solid CRO strategy. However, focusing on one metric at the expense of other metrics may result in lower customer satisfaction overall. 

In this post we’re going to take a look at the benefits of CRO, as well as some of its limitations.

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Benefits of conversion optimisation

CRO helps you understand your customers better

When done right, CRO will help you understand your customers’ experience of your website and products. There are several tools you can use to help you do this, such as: 

  1. Website analytics
  2. Market research
  3. User-centric research
  4. A/B testing 
  5. Surveys

There may be some cross-over between market research and user-centric research, which often use similar methodologies, but with different goals and intentions. Market research is typically focused on what is likely to result in the most profit, user-centric research is more focused on the overall customer experience. 

Both have their place, but when insights gained through user-centric research are applied to improvements to product, service or website design, these can create powerful changes and a significant increase in revenue may follow. 

Team members discussing UX and conversion strategies

CRO lowers acquisition costs

CRO can also help you lower your overall acquisition costs. 

If more of your visitors are being converted into customers, there is less need to invest resources into attracting new visitors and more value from the ones you do reach. More conversions means less wasted ad spend, allowing you to invest more in other areas of your business. 

Adopting a customer-centric approach to CRO involves gathering data on what your customers want, then using this data to make your website as easy to navigate as possible. 

Google Analytics is a popular analytics solution, used by over 55% of all websites on the internet. You can customise the data you gather according to your business goals and, over time, identify behavioural patterns and drop-off points in the user journey.

Another great tool is Hotjar Recordings, which allows you to watch and record real-time user interactions with your website. 

Screenshot of the Hotjar website

These recordings illustrate the customer experience in a way that analytics cannot, by allowing you to join website users on their journey and see your website through their eyes. 

CRO leverages existing traffic

Conversion optimisation isn’t just about increasing the number of first-time visitors to your site. It’s also about looking at your returning visitors and thinking about what you can do to better meet their needs. Get it right and they’ll be so impressed by their experience with your brand that they’ll spread the word to their friends and coworkers.

This could be achieved through email campaigns triggered from actions on your site. For example, setting up automated reminders for customers who abandon their shopping carts, sending loyalty discounts after someone makes a purchase, or providing referral codes for them to share with friends and family. 

Leveraging traffic from external, high-authority sources can also lead to huge wins. Skincare brand Root Science had a massive boost in website traffic in 2019 after one of their products was featured in a Vogue video starring Kourtney Kardashian.

Their site, which is hosted on WooCommerce, was able to not only withstand the influx of traffic, but also converted enough first-time visitors to create sustainable growth and position themselves as a global brand. 

It’s a great example of a website with a simple, clean design that showcases its product well and was able to scale up to accommodate fast growth.

You’ll improve the lifetime value of your customers

Helping customers purchase the products or services that best meet their needs will lead to greater customer satisfaction. You’re more likely to see repeat purchases and a higher value per customer across these repeat purchases. 

Conducting a CRO audit of your website will allow you to identify which pages on your site are most likely to result in conversions and optimise them accordingly. 

It will also help you identify which customers are the most loyal to your brand, allowing you to use the data you have about them to personalise your marketing in a way that is more likely to result in conversions.

CRO improves your brand reputation

Using CRO to better meet your customers’ needs shows them that you care, which builds trust in your brand as happy customers become ambassadors for your brand and recommend you to others. 

It’s not about pushing customers to purchase products they don’t want or need — rather, it’s about ensuring your product is seen by the users who are most likely to find it valuable.

Customers often research different options before committing to a final purchase, and optimising your site will help distinguish you from your competitors. 

A fast, optimised, easy-to-navigate and well-designed website that ranks highly in search engines is also more likely to be shared and recommended than a slow website that is hard to find or navigate, with a confusing user journey and inconsistent design or branding.

You’ve launched your website. Now what? 

Websites are a work in progress that should evolve along with your business. Your website can be continuously improved, refined and optimised for more high-quality conversions. Find out how we can support you.

Limitations of conversion optimisation

Data doesn’t tell the whole story

There’s no doubt that CRO covers a whole host of important metrics, but when you dive into the data, it’s important you do not lose sight of the bigger picture. 

Gathering data will allow you to see where things are or aren’t working, but it won’t tell you why. 

You can overcome this limitation by putting in the work to understand your customers’ actions, feelings or motivations when they’re browsing your website and consistently putting your customers at the centre of whatever decisions you make.

Not all conversion rates are created equal

It’s important to remember that conversions can take many different forms, and not all of them will result in more revenue.

A conversion rate simply reflects the percentage of visitors who complete a particular desired action — this could be a click, a page view, a sale or a mailing list subscription. 

It’s also possible for your conversion rate to be thrown off-balance by spikes and dips in your overall traffic that may not always translate to changes in overall revenue. 

By analysing your conversion rate in conjunction with other metrics, such as website visits, revenue, user feedback, you will get a clearer picture of what drives users to engage with your brand.

You can’t optimise for everyone — and nor should you

We’re all different, and brands that acknowledge this while still recognising commonalities and recurring themes in their user data are the ones that deliver the best experiences for their users. 

It’s true that your website analytics will reveal trends and patterns in user behaviour. However, this doesn’t mean that all visitors to your website think the same, or have the same goals. 

This is why it’s important to do your research, conduct audits, run A/B testing of any changes and gather user feedback so you can deliver the best possible experience for the highest number of users. 

Experimentation reveals the roadmap

Work with us to discover where improvements to your site could bring the biggest value.


There’s no doubt that conversions are important, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle. 

Conversion optimisation can: 

However, it’s important to remember: 

Conversion optimisation is an ongoing process that involves consistently assessing how good your site is at meeting your goals. 

Our Always Evolving model means we’re right there with you on your journey offering expert guidance and dedicated support tailored to your needs — today and far into the future.

Katie, Sales Strategist, sat in office booth working on laptop

Continue the conversation

You can connect with Katie to learn more about CRO and web performance.

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Anita Senaratna Writer & Creative

Monday 23rd January 2023