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Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) Checklist

CRO Checklist

Increasing Conversions through Optimisation

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Conversion rate optimisation (CRO), sometimes referred to as conversion optimisation, is the practice of optimising your website in order to not only increase the number of visitors, but to move them further along the buyer’s cycle and to nurture them until they convert. This practice helps to increase the number of actions taken by the user

As part of our ongoing commitment to the search marketing industry we have compiled this handy checklist to guide you through the process of optimising your website to ensure you’re in the best possible position to increase both your customer base and your sales.

It is often said in business that first impressions count and in the world of search marketing this also rings true. The way your brand appears in front of customers or potential customers is vital. If as a business you are able to be creative with your initial points of contact, your odds of improving conversions are vastly increased.

SEO and PPC are effective ways of raising the visibility of your website and increasing the number of visitors. CRO helps you to increase the proportion of those visitors that convert into leads, sales, subscribers, or whatever the goals of your website may be.

Whilst the more advanced stages of a CRO strategy require investment in terms of time and money, there are a number of things that you can do as a business to ensure that you are in the best possible position.

One of the first things that you can do is to write headlines that grab the attention of the user and that they tell the user what to expect from the page you are pointing them to. As you will see later in this checklist, testing is a must. You can prepare yourself by testing your headline against other variations and including keywords that are industry specific and which are likely to lead to a conversion.

Engaging your audience

Engaging with your audience is also vital and after guiding a user to a landing page, ask yourself if the copy makes the user want to stick around. Consider these questions:

  • Does the copy clearly explain the product or the service which is being offered?
  • Does it highlight the features and benefits and distinguish between them?
  • Have you reduced the amount of potentially off-putting jargon that might appear on page?
  • Is the content SEO friendly (can it be found when crawled by the search engines)?
  • Have you proofread the copy for mistakes?
  • Do you regularly check the content and update it where necessary?
  • Are you explaining the product or service in simple terms in order to reduce confusion?


There are many more questions that you need to be able to answer if you are to get the best out of a CRO strategy. These questions relate to how well you know both your audience and your site, they include:

  • Have you set clear goals for your website?
  • Are all of the products that you currently sell or want to sell available on your site and can a user get to them if they wanted to?
  • Do you know your audience and understand their position in the conversion funnel?
  • Can you easily track customer activity on the site?
  • Can you use this information to create a map of how they will navigate the site in the future?
  • Does your headline grab the attention of the user?
  • Does it tell the user what to expect from the page you are pointing them to?
  • Have you tested your headline and included keywords?
  • When guided to a landing page does the copy make the user want to stick around?
  • Does the copy clearly explain the product or the service which is being offered?

Building trust

The next stage of CRO is to build up trust with the customer and help assure them that you are a reputable brand and that you can best service their needs.

When it comes to your actual offering some might say that there is a case for simply getting your user to your homepage. This is fine as long as the landing page offers easy navigation or if you are a business that only a limited amount of services or information. In truth though the best way to increase you conversions is to show the user content based on their exact query or their buyer persona. To this end the questions you should be asking yourself are:

  • Have you linked the relevant content to the right user based on their buyer persona?
  • Are your existing clients being shown similar products (to previous purchases) that they may like?
  • Are you showing content that relates to the stage of the buyers cycle with which the user is in (eg there is no need to show an introductory offer if the user is already a customer)?
  • Are you being clear about what you are offering and how the customer can get it?

When it comes to CRO, the main message is that testing is a must. Many businesses are guilty of making simple mistakes that can have an effect on their conversions but if you can make small amendments, the results will surely come. By setting up a proper analytical approach to your testing and by monitoring the conversions that you have received, who is converting and where they are converting from, you will be in the optimum position for success.

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