Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a technique internet marketers use to try and improve the conversion rate of their sites (or individual landing pages). The process should never be confused with traffic generation because conversion rate optimization is not about increasing the number of site visitors; it’s about reducing visitor bounce rates and making better—more profitable—use of existing site visitors.

In the case of a product sales page for yellow extendable widgets, for example, it stands to reason the majority of page visitors will probably have landed there because they are searching for a yellow extendable widget supplier. If the page is returning little or no sales it indicates a problem with the page.

Reasons why webpages may have a low (or no) conversion rate include:

  • Slow load time (visitors get sick of waiting and close the page)
  • Amateurish look to the site/page
  • Poorly worded, unconvincing content that fails to sell the benefits of the product or service
  • Poor site navigation
  • Omission of/error in affiliate code (in links)
  • Technical problems with shopping cart software/sign-up form, etc.

That’s just a few of the common offenders. There are many more reasons why pages may fail to convince visitors to perform the desired action.

Conversion rate optimization is about finding the source of the problem so that it can be rectified.

An Important Conversion Rate Optimization Tool

One very important tool is necessary before conversion rate optimization techniques can be utilized—tracking.

There are other ways that webmasters/internet marketers can track site/page activity, but the most effective way is to use Google Analytics. It’s free to use and rich in features that can are very useful for conversion rate optimization purposes, some of which have been designed specifically for that reason.

Most webmasters will probably already have Google analytics installed on their site(s), but for those who don’t there’s more information on Google Analytics here.