How Conversion Rate Optimisation works


Conversion Rate Optimisation (or CRO as it is commonly known), is how you work out how many visitors come to your website, and what you want them to do once they get there.

Founder / Head of Growth
July 22, 2022
  (NZDT - GMT +12)

Conversion Rate Optimisation (or CRO as it is commonly known), is how you work out how many visitors come to your website, and what you want them to do once they get there.

To improve your sales or lead generation, or whatever it is you want your visitors to do, you’ll need to ensure your website is optimised and keep an eye on your conversion rates.


When people come to your site from SEM, SEO, emails, social media or whatever way they get to your site you need to ask yourself “what are they doing that you want them to do” when they get there.

So, for example, you want people to give you their email addresses so they can sign up for your newsletter:

  • Tally the sessions from a period of time where you can get a decent sample of sessions - try for the past 30 days.
  • How many people visited your site and submitted their email address?
  • Work out what percentage that number is in relation to your total sessions, and that's your conversion rate for that desired event to happen on your website.

Is it good? Are you thinking gosh I'm buying all this traffic but it's not coming and doing the thing I need it to do. This can often be the case and in CRO there's always room for improvement when you plan to grow a business online. So if that's the case, you need to optimise it to improve conversions.  Hence the term ‘Conversion Rate Optimisation’.

Many conversion rate issues have simple fixes. Say you have a situation where you ask for payment details too early on , or when a customer signs up for a trial and you want them to provide their credit card details before they even start their trial. If you’re seeing big drop offs at certain stages in your user journeys have a look at what might be the cause.


According to Adoric, an online eCommerce store conversion rate of 2-5% is acceptable. It sounds low, but the traffic you need to send for conversions in some online stores is in the 1000s to 100,000s so it can scale quickly. Also, a good conversion rate is more than likely ALWAYS going to be higher than the one anyone is getting at any given time, if you’re striving for growth that is.

According to This Side Up a service based company website could expect around 5%. This can fluctuate largely depending on the service, channels and return visitors.


If your website visitors are not doing what you want them to do, for example if you want them to buy a product, consider the following questions:

  • Are you telling them enough about the product on the way are they compelled to buy the product?
  • Could your pricing be confusing?
  • Is your product description confusing?
  • Have you made any bonus benefits or offers clear i.e. it's free delivery for items over $100?

Reasons like these can be why your website visitors do or don’t buy from you.

At Virtual Marketers we do a lot of CRO audits and make many recommendations for our clients. We always find some super quick and cost effective wins.

It’s often a good idea to get some fresh eyes on your website regularly to ensure you’re not missing something.



Why not target some areas on your website where you can see people leaving the site, and try and improve those areas in order to get them to stay. For example, this could be during their checkout stage. You can view this in your Google Analytics account, if this has been setup correctly for you. If you need help let us know as we’re happy to help set this up for you.


Try looking at your user experience (UX) when they navigate your website. Does it make sense and flow nicely from their perspective? Best way to find this out is to ask someone who has never looked at your website before, to do this for you and see how they go. Remember, no prompting them on what to click!


One thing to always consider before buying high traffic campaigns - are you going to get the results you want? More traffic will reduce your conversion and bounce rates, resulting in lower conversions (albeit from a higher number of visitors), however a more targeted approach could drive a higher conversion and visitor rate based on what you will know already about those who transact on your website. The last thing you want to do is spend money sending the wrong people to your site.

And also, you might be getting people to your site who have misunderstood what it is you do if the messaging telling them to come to your site might be incorrect. You might be wasting your money or you might be better off targeting people in different areas. If your conversion rate is declining, there's something wrong with the traffic coming to your site and there's something wrong with how you're convincing them to do what you want.


To do this, you need to analyze who's coming to your site and of those people,  who are the ones who are converting. Highly targeted campaigns can not only be cost effective, but also give you the opportunity to provide specific ad messaging to let them know what problem they have that you can solve.

  • What do you know about those people?
  • What do you think is making them convert?
  • What channels are they coming from before converting - social, email, display?


Conversion Rate Optimisation is making sure the amount of visitors who come to your site are doing the thing that you want them to do most when they get there.

We’re specialists in Digital Marketing and are always on hand to help - we like a challenge so the bigger the problem to solve, the better! Contact us.