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Apr 13, 2020    Burn Book

What is CRO? Conversion Rate Optimization in 2020


In 2020, mid-global-pandemic and all, there’s one thing your business should take up, as opposed to slow down on: CRO. AKA, conversion rate optimization.

What is CRO?

The breakdown: a Conversion is the action you want your target audience to take. Buy. Subscribe. Learn More. Call Now. Etc.

The Rate of this happening in a campaign or website or other outreach marketing tactic is the percentage of people that click-through and convert, compared to how many people saw the ad (or website, landing page, etc.) at all.

And Optimization, of course, is finding ways to improve this rate as much as possible, thus improving your marketing ROI. The more people convert on an ad, the less people total have to see it in order for you to reach your goal, the less money you have to spend on that ad.

The Difference Between CRO and A/B Testing

If you’ve done A/B testing before, this can seem very similar to CRO/ conversion rate optimization. But think of A/B testing as just one part of integrated marketing and CRO. For example, you may have 2 creative images or 2 sets of copy to test on a Facebook ad to generate leads. To optimize that ad is to figure out what combination of creative and copy gets the highest CTR (click-through rate, I know, a lot of acronyms).

Congrats! You’ve optimized that ad. At least, when it comes to the ad itself. But what about the audience you targeted the ad to? What about the time it took them to figure out what the ad was saying before they either clicked through or left? What about the site page they get to if they do click through? What about the transaction process?

That’s CRO. At least, that’s the way we do it. A lot of Austin marketing agencies may just do creative A/B tests or provide local SEO services. But if you wanted to divvy up marketing tactics to separate teams that don’t talk to each other or know about the rest of your business or industry, you shouldn’t be here at Rock Candy Media.

The Basic Starting Points of CRO

Define the user flow. Whether you want to just optimize the website for now, or optimize an entire cold omnichannel marketing campaign, you start with defining the ideal user flow. Here are a few examples.

Ranking for the search term “alternatives to Salesforce” brings them to your home page. After scrolling through a bit, they’re sold at least for a demo, and they click to set one up. 


Being targeted on Instagram means they see your A/B tested ad about booze-infused chocolate. Clicking through within Instagram, they see a landing page you created that asks for their email so you can give them 20% off their first purchase. Subscribe.

Now, looking at your user flow (just this one, even though the flow continues into sales calls, drip campaigns, etc.), where are all the places they could fall off the flow, and why? Here’s a list of reasons someone may fall off the flow, leading to NO conversion:

— site speed (if it doesn’t load within a second or 2, most people give up)

— site navigation & design (is your site intuitive, or just functioning?)

— copy (do they feel seen, heard, and persuaded, or merely pandered or sold to like a wacky flailing inflatable arm man? This part is all about brand strategy)

— CTA: call to action (is your CTA clear, concise, and ultra-clickable? Is it a button that stands out or a hyperlink within the copy? Is it bright red and annoying, or branded with your colors and tasteful? The ways to fall off go on and on)

So What is CRO? An Intricate and Ongoing Process… That Never Stops Paying Off

To optimize your conversion rate, and therefore optimize your marketing ROI, and therefore optimize your team’s efforts all throughout your business, CRO is a never-ending and always-evolving battle.

Just A/B testing Facebook ads or changing fonts or colors on your site isn’t going to be a make-or-break moment for your business. That’s one of the reasons we believe your marketing team should never be separate from your design, sales, or dev team. That’s what integrated marketing is for Rock Candy Media in Austin: optimization across the board and making your brand future-proof. We have the case studies to prove it.

It’s a lot to take on, but the good news is that CRO is our specialty. It’s the base of everything we do. We’ll never run an ad to a cold audience willy nilly, wasting your Facebook spend. We’ll never shuffle warm leads into an un-optimized landing page, letting them fall off the edge before your sales team even has a chance to show them what you’re best at. We’ll never give you a plan and say, “Well it didn’t work because your site is slow. Our campaign was great; you should probably get that fixed… not our fault.”

Hit us up for a marketing positioning analysis. We’ll see where you are, and raise you where you want to be, simple as that.

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