May 2022

Conversation Rate Optimisation: A UX design perspective

by Linda Bailey

What is CRO?

CRO stands for Conversation Rate Optimisation.
A ‘conversion’ is when someone completes the desired action on your website page or digital platform. The ‘rate' is the percentage of users on that page or platform who ‘converted’. 'Optimising' the conversion rate means reducing friction on that page or platform and inspires more people to ‘convert’.

CRO is not just about getting a sale, it could be a customer registering their interest, signing up for your newsletter, or whatever the goal of that page or platform might be.

Why Conversion Rate Optimisation is important

CRO is important because it allows businesses to lower their customer acquisition costs by getting more value from the visitors and users already on-site.

By optimising the conversion rate of a page or platform businesses will increase revenue per visitor, acquire more customers, and grow their business.

How does Conversion Rate Optimisation work?

Since this article is from a user experience design perspective, the main factors for improving your CRO will be the page or platform layout, structure, content, CTAs and the overall user journey.

Before getting started ensure you have the data on your current benchmarks and goals. CRO begins with taking these metrics and refining the page in order to help more users reach the desired action you want them to take. 

How to do CRO.

1. Research, data and insights

A UX designer will always advocate for as much research as possible. Making informed decisions based on data and insights will get you the best results.

There are many areas in design research, but as a minimum understanding your customers' needs and goals, will give you a big advantage.

  • Click maps, heat maps and scroll maps, will give you an understanding of how your customer is interacting with your web page.
  • Playback or recordings of the customer on your web page is also insightful. You can almost guarantee you’ll see things you never expected!

2. Remove barriers

Armed with as much data and insights as you can get, it’s time to visit the page design. The aim of the game here is to:

Remove friction
Make it usable - or users can’t buy. 
  • Are bugs or bad design getting in the way?

  • Are the time and effort required for the outcome too high?

Build trust

Neutralise anxieties - or users won’t buy

  • Are there any anxieties over decisions?

  • How will customers benefit from your offering?


Persuade (not manipulate) - so users might buy

  • Why do they need your offering?

  • What is the impact of not buying?

3. Forms and CTAs

Chances are you’ll want to hear from your audience / get them to sign up for your offers or information.

Form and CTA design is fine art, so you'll want to make sure they’re:

  • Easy to scan

  • Effortless to complete

  • Show errors as they happen

  • Mobile friendly

  • Accessible

  • Single column, but not too long

  • Grouped in relevant sections

  • Only asking what’s necessary

  • Form field length indicates the expected input

  • CTA left aligned

Does it really matter where you put your CTA?

Yes! How about the $300 MILLION button?

Ensure your CTA (button) describes exactly what the user will get. Make it punchy.

You can even get nerdy about where precisely you place your CTA on a page with this handy graph.

4. Good UX = good CRO

Ensuring the structure and layout of your page is well designed is UX design. If we’re inspiring people to take action, then we need to push it a little further.

Establish trust

People are wary of handing over information, so make sure your site shows your credibility and trustworthiness. Try adding:

  • Anti-spam statements 

  • Testimonials

  • A counter for the number of downloads

  • Previews of your offers

Show benefit

Why should they sign up / buy this product? What’s in it for them? Will they miss out on something if they don’t? 
Explain the benefits, succinctly.

Create urgency

A sense of urgency could also inspire conversion if it’s relevant to your goal. This could be:

  • Limited time offers

  • Showing the remaining number of products

  • Order now to receive for Christmas!

5. FAQs

There’s a good chance your customers will have questions. FAQ’s on your website can help answer them, so collate questions that have been asked to your sales team, and have them readily available.

See our blog post from a digital marketing perspective on how to get the best out of your FAQ section.

5. Test and test again!

CRO is all about making decisions based on data and insights, so once you've optimised your page it's time to keep testing.

A/B test is a great way to approach this.

The existing page (sometimes called ‘control’) will go head-to-head with your newly optimised page (sometimes called ‘challenger’). This is where we’ll see if your hard work has paid off!

Ensuring analytics are in place means you can review the results to see what has and has not worked. It’s then time to refine the page based on these findings, and go again. Repeat frequently to get to get to the top (or stay at the top) of your game. 

Here’s a canny guide to A/B testing.

So what’s the difference between CRO and UX?

CRO is all about the data whereas UX is about the user. The data may give you insights into how users interacted with your page, but in order to get good results, you need to understand your users; why they took this journey, their goals and motivations.

CRO tells you what’s happening. UX helps explain ‘why’.

These are some basic pointers to the fundamentals of implementing a CRO strategy on your web page or digital platform.

Every business, website and customer has its individual needs. For more complex challenges and end-to-end solutions, you’ll get better results from consulting with a digital agency.

Drop us a line for more information about how we might use our CRO expertise to help advance your digital media and engage your customers.

Get In Touch

Linda Bailey

Diverting from a career in Architecture, Linda uses the left and right side of her brain equally. She's been with Honest Fox from the beginning and is involved in all facets of the business. She's empathetic and kind and loves punk music.

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