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How to get started with conversion optimisation

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Boost your conversions with these handy tips

When assessing your website’s performance against your business goals, conversions are the most important metrics to consider.

Put simply, your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that complete a particular action. Depending on your industry, this could involve purchasing a product, signing up to a mailing list or booking a service.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) refers to the practice of enhancing your website so it captures the maximum amount of leads out of your existing site traffic. 

In this blog post, we will be covering a few key considerations when designing a CRO strategy and what this means for your website. We’ll be looking at the following areas:

  • Industry overview of average conversion rates
  • Conversions for transactional sites versus lead generation sites
  • Where to implement a CRO strategy
  • Customer experience optimisation
  • Tips for getting started

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Industry overview of average conversion rates

The first step towards a solid CRO strategy is working out what your goals are. It can be helpful to compare your current conversion rate against industry benchmarks.

Keep in mind that what is considered a ‘good’ conversion rate will vary depending on the industry you’re in and many other outside factors. 

A 2021 survey found the average conversion rate of the global eCommerce sites surveyed was 2.96%. It also found that although most website traffic (58%) comes from mobile devices, conversion rates on desktop devices were twice as high as those on mobiles.

Across sectors, groceries had the highest conversion rate (6.8%), followed by health and beauty, as well as travel and hospitality (both 3.9%).

What actions are defined as conversions will also vary across industries. For example:

You need to rethink the metrics you use to define conversions every so often. A good example is the website of cinema franchise Vue, which enlisted conversion optimisation agency Adapt Worldwide to help increase conversions on its website. 

The agency helped Vue develop a new system of measuring conversions that accounted for micro-conversions.

These include actions that aren’t actual sales but increase the likelihood of a sale occurring, such as trailer views, member sign-ins and clicks on film information pages. Using this data to inform their digital strategy led to an increase in conversions across nearly all new metrics.

Another example comes from our own client: We’ve been working with tax credit specialists ForrestBrown for a number of years, taking an approach that is focused on lead generation.

Screenshot of ForrestBrown's WordPress site

The firm already had a strong search engine presence, but we supported them to optimise further by improving site speed, which also created a better user experience. 

Among other things, we also produced a range of modules to simplify the process of creating new pages, which made it easier for ForrestBrown to publish new content and retain their position as experts in their sector. Read our case study with ForrestBrown.

Where to implement your CRO strategy

There are many touchpoints on your website that contain CRO opportunities. In order to maximise your site’s conversion potential, your CRO strategy should incorporate every page of your website, but with a special focus on certain select locations:


Your homepage is often the first thing your audience will see when they visit your website, which is why it’s so crucial that you make a good first impression. Visitors should like what they see here and want to explore your website further.

Think carefully about user journeys and make it as easy as possible for web visitors to find their way to other relevant pages by displaying them prominently on your homepage. 

This could include adding clickable banners onto your homepage for sales, adding a newsletter signup link above the fold of the page, or adding a chatbot programmed to answer general enquiries.

Pricing page

If your website has a pricing page, you can bet that this page contributes heavily to purchase decisions. 

There are ways to communicate pricing so that it is more appealing to undecided customers, such as offering multiple pricing options (think weekly or monthly plans), or having pricing tiers ranging from basic services to premium support.


Blogs are a great way to get noticed by your target audience and convert some of your readers into leads.

The most obvious way to increase the reach of your content is through search engine optimisation (SEO). When your content is helpful and informative, and with technical SEO on point, search engines will list your content to answer common questions that searchers are looking for.

To encourage conversions, add plenty of calls-to-actions (CTAs) throughout a blog post, or include email signup forms for readers to subscribe to similar content.

For eCommerce sites, a blog can serve as a source of inspiration. Creating gift guides featuring links to product pages under an SEO-friendly headline can drive traffic to your website, provide useful content and reduce the clicks required to complete a purchase, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

This strategy can be particularly useful around the holidays when people are searching for gift ideas for hard-to-buy-for loved ones.

Screenshot of Shop Catalog website blog featuring lists and gift guides.

Shop Catalog is one example of eCommerce and editorial working together. It has a blog integrated with an online store and a larger network of sites within the Thought Catalog brand. Shop Catalog sells books, homewares and clothing and its blog contains articles like ‘Gifts for Astrology Lovers’ and ‘40+ Feminist Books Everyone Should Read.’

The lists combine links to external sites and marketplaces like Etsy, along with links to the site’s own products. The site is powered by WordPress VIP, which is the gold standard for WordPress hosting and a great option for enterprise-level companies with more complex needs. 

Case studies

Including case studies on your website is a great way to showcase your work and demonstrate your skills to potential customers. 

In order to have the best chance of converting visitors, your case studies should be factual and authentic while telling your story in the very best light. Ensure they are visually engaging, easy to read, and contain a narrative of your work that’s topped with concrete numbers demonstrating results. 

Case studies are particularly important when you sell a complex product or service as it gives you an opportunity to show (not tell) potential customers what you do and how you get results. They should help your prospects gain answers to questions like:

  1. Is this business trustworthy? 
  2. Did their product or service work for others with similar challenges?
  3. What can we expect if we make this purchase or use this service?

Landing page

The average conversion rate for landing pages in 2022 is around 4%.

As landing pages tend to be designed specifically for users to take an action, they are more effective than web pages with multiple CTAs linked to different actions.

In the process of creating a landing page? Here are some key points you’ll want to get right:

Customer experience optimisation

When considering your CRO strategy, it’s possible to place too much emphasis on one metric at the expense of other, more valuable ones, such as overall profitability or customer satisfaction.

Conversion optimisation expert Ryan Webb deliberately stays away from using the term ‘conversion rate optimisation’ as he feels businesses can often get too hung up on the ‘rate’ part of the phrase.

In an episode of the WithinDigital podcast, Ryan elaborates on his theory, which he wrote about for The Drum. In the podcast, Ryan says conversions will increase naturally when businesses prioritise creating frictionless customer experiences.

When customers have a good experience on your website, they are more likely to want to return and invest further. He recommends doing this in the following ways:

  1. Widen the funnel
    Look at ways you can improve your overall website experience for everyone, not just particular segments of users.
  2. Use strategy, not tactics
    Instead of using customer feedback to only inform decisions around headlines or website visuals, use it to identify opportunities for improvement in your business model.
  3. Choose quality over quantity
    When running A/B tests, look at which option generates the most profit, rather than the most sales of units.
  4. Acquisition and retention
    The customer journey doesn’t end when they complete a purchase on your website. A positive post-purchase experience will mean they are more likely to become repeat customers or advocates for your brand.

Tips for getting started

Optimise your CTAs

Call-to-actions (CTAs) are a critical part of the process of converting customers. Your CTAs make it clear what the intended action of a page is, whether that’s making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter. 

A well-designed CTA is a must for boosting conversions. Ideally, you want it to be personalised, relatively short, and to convey urgency without being too aggressive.

Run A/B tests

Once you’ve come up with some optimisation ideas, you can assess what works best through A/B testing. 

A/B testing refers to experiments where multiple versions of a web page are shown to segments of your audience to see which one performs the best. 

You can start by testing different layouts, images, fonts, colours or button positions to see what your audience responds best to — then you can move into much more complex tests.

A/B testing removes the guesswork from your CRO strategy and gives you valuable data to make informed decisions.

Optimise your best content

Optimising high-performing content gives it the best possible chance of meeting its conversion goal.

According to SEMRush’s 2022 report, content that ranked in the top 10 of Google’s search results scored highly in the following areas:

  1. Readability
  2. Tone of voice 
  3. Consistency 
  4. Originality

The report found that 34% of the articles that ranked on the first page had perfect scores according to their metrics, as opposed to 13% of the pages that scored poorly in Google’s search results.

Automate marketing workflows

Automating certain mundane or repetitive tasks required to complete a sale will free up your sales staff to focus on human interactions. 

On average, 56% of businesses are already using marketing automation to generate leads and convert existing site visitors. 

Automating key marketing workflows leads to greater efficiency. Functions you could automate include: 

  1. Follow-up emails for abandoned carts
  2. Capturing customer details from different sources 
  3. Investing in social scheduling tools 
Atomic Smash colleagues looking at print outs and strategising using analysis of conversion data

Create frictionless digital experiences for your customers

We’ll work with you to find solutions to your challenges, identify areas of improvement, and map out roadmaps to make the most of your opportunities.

Measuring conversions

Having a well-thought-out CRO strategy requires data to back it up. This is where analytics tools come in — being able to track who’s visiting your website, how they’re finding it, what pages they click on most or how long they spend scrolling through content.

Using this data, you can tailor your content to different segments of your audience based on what performs best.

Getting ready for GA4

Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics tools for websites right now, used by over 55% of all websites. 

If you use Google Analytics, you should be aware of upcoming changes to its current model, Universal Analytics. 

From 1 July 2023, Universal Analytics will no longer process new website hits and will move entirely to its next-generation analytics solution, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 uses event-based data as opposed to session-based data and incorporates machine learning to predict future user behaviour. 

Plan for cookie-less analytics

So what does GA4 mean for companies using Universal Analytics? Broadly speaking, it means rethinking how you gather data. 

As data regulations become more commonplace and the public becomes increasingly aware of how much personal information cookies reveal, they are more likely to want to limit the information they provide to companies.

Your strategy will need to move away from relying on cookies for analytics. Using Google Tag Manager allows you to track user behaviour whilst still maintaining their privacy. 

A key feature of GA4 is the ability to gather data with or without cookies. Its machine-learning capabilities allow it to fill in data gaps with predictions based on historical behaviour.

Metorik for eCommerce

If your website is powered by WooCommerce, you may want to think about using Metorik for gathering data. Metorik is an analytics solution designed to be integrated into WordPress and WooCommerce sites. 

Metorik’s dashboard allows you to see how your site is performing in real-time, and you can customise the data that is captured according to your business needs. 

It also lets you track cart abandonment and set up email reminders for users that abandon their shopping carts.


Hopefully by now you’ve got a better understanding of how you can boost your website’s conversions. We’ve covered the following areas: 

  1. What counts as a ‘good’ conversion rate
  2. What actions count as conversions
  3. What pages you should look to optimise first
  4. Why you shouldn’t get hung up on conversion rates
  5. How to measure conversions

You have cause to celebrate if your site is delivering results, but it’s sensible to acknowledge that there’s always room for improvement.

Organisations with the most effective digital platforms are consistently optimising and evolving their websites. This keeps them ahead of their competitors and enables them to deliver experiences for their customers that get better and better.

Could your website be working harder?

The answer is always yes. Together we can make that happen.

Piers looking at camera in front of an industrial backdrop

Piers Tincknell Co-founder & Managing Director

Friday 13th January 2023