5 step conversion rate optimisation checklist.

5-Step Conversion Rate Optimisation Checklist


Did you know the average conversion rate across e-commerce businesses in August 2023 was 2.03%? In the past year, conversion rates have increased by 0.39%.

Make no mistake. Just because conversion rates are higher this year doesn’t make it any easier to convert visitors.

Cracking the secrets to improving conversion rates is crucial to running a successful website or business.

Your site is the digital headquarters all of your marketing efforts funnel toward. With every visitor comes an opportunity to convert them into a lead (or sale).

Keep reading if you want to improve your lead generation or convert more visitors into customers. In this article, we’ll break down a simple five-step conversion rate optimisation checklist you need to follow to maximise your conversions.

What is conversion rate optimisation?

Before we dive into the steps you need to follow to optimise your conversions, let’s back up and talk conversion rate optimisation.

Conversion rate optimisation, or CRO for short, is the process of increasing the number of website visitors who take a specific action. 

In most cases, this means:

  • Turning more visitors into leads by getting them to join an email list
  • Convincing a visitor to fill out a contact form for a consultation
  • Converting a visitor into a paying customer by purchasing a product

However, conversion rate optimisation can be used for any action you want someone to take on your site. That could be downloading a free guide, clicking on a specific link, commenting on a blog post or sharing your website with a friend.

Why following a CRO checklist is important

Conversion rate optimisation is both a valuable practice and an absolute necessity for any business or marketer. While it can be a bit complex, especially when you start diving into A/B testing, there are a variety of advantages:

Get the most out of your efforts

When all is said and done, if you can’t convert the traffic already coming to your site, dumping a ton of time and resources into traffic generation (whether paid or organic) won’t solve your problem.

Instead, you need to look at the root of the problem: your conversion rate.

By doubling down on conversions and following a conversion rate optimisation checklist, you’ll get the greatest result for the effort you’re already putting into your site.

Increase audience size

To increase your audience size, you need to increase your traffic, right? Not exactly.

While your audience may be considered people who have seen your content or follow you on social media, a high-value audience is one you can market to directly on an ongoing basis.

Your website gives you the playground to convert visitors into high-value audience members. This is done by creating conversion-focused email signup forms and optimising your website for sale conversions.

Generate more sales

Boosting sales through CRO is the core objective. By optimising product pages, simplifying the checkout process, and employing persuasive strategies, you can systematically increase your sales and maximise the value of your existing traffic.

Reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC)

With conversion optimisation, you can convert a higher percentage of your website visitors into paid customers. Even if you don’t spend more on acquiring new customers, you’ll be able to generate more sales overall. 

The result is that your customer acquisition costs will drop, allowing you to increase your total acquisitions to your customer base.

Improve profitability

While reduced customer acquisition costs mean you can pour more money into customer acquisition at a cheaper rate, you could simply maintain your costs while driving sales, resulting in increased profitability.

If you can spend the same amount on acquisition but bring in 20% more customers (due to using a CRO checklist), your profit margins will automatically increase.

5-step CRO checklist

To double down on conversion rate optimisation, you need to follow a checklist to ensure you don’t miss any major optimisation opportunities.

The checklist below is designed to help you systematically optimise your website, ensuring you make the most of your traffic by continuously refining its performance.

1. Forms

Analysing and optimising your website’s forms is crucial for enhancing conversion rates. Understanding how visitors interact with your forms can uncover pain points and help you streamline the conversion process.

Ever wonder where your visitors drop off on your forms? It could be due to lengthy, time-consuming fields or overly complex forms, leading to a frustrating user experience and lower conversion rate. Whatever the reason, you need the right tools to uncover the root of the issue.

By leveraging Form Analytics, you gain powerful insights into user behaviour and can identify areas where people may encounter difficulties.

Form Analytics provides the insights to discover:

  • Average time spent on each field: This metric helps you understand where users may be struggling or spending too much time. By optimising these fields, you can streamline the form, reduce user frustration and increase conversions.
  • Identifying drop-off points: Understanding where users drop off provides insights into which form fields may need improvement. Addressing these drop-off points can increase the conversion rate.
  • Unneeded fields with a high blank submission rate: Discovering fields left blank upon submission can highlight areas for simplification. By eliminating unnecessary fields, you can create more concise and user-friendly forms that may entice more visitors to engage with the form.

Hear first-hand how Concrete CMS achieve 3x more leads with insights from Form Analytics. 

These data-driven insights empower you to optimise your forms, remove guesswork and settle debates about form design. By fine-tuning and streamlining your forms, you can ensure a smoother path to conversion and maximise your success in converting more visitors.

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2. Copywriting

Another crucial element you need to test is your copywriting. Your copywriting is the foundation of your entire website. It helps communicate to your audience what you have to offer and why they need to take action.

You need to ensure you have a good offer. This isn’t just the product or service you’re putting out there. It’s the complete package. It includes the product, rewards, a unique guarantee, customer service, packaging and promotions.

Start testing your copy with your headlines. Look at the headers and test different phrases to convert more potential customers into paying customers.

Here are a few tips to optimise your copy for more conversions:

  • Ensure copy is relevant to your headline and vice versa.
  • Write short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Use bullets and subheaders to make the copy easy to skim.
  • Don’t focus too heavily on optimising for search engines (SEO). Instead, write for humans.
  • Focus on writing about benefits, not features.
  • Write about how your offer solves the pain points of your audience.

You can test your copy in several areas once you’ve begun testing your headers – your subheaders, body copy, signup forms and product pages (if you’re e-commerce).

3. Media: videos and audio

Next, testing out different media types is crucial. This means incorporating videos and audio into your content.

Don’t just take a random guess by throwing stuff against the wall, hoping it sticks. Instead, you should use data to develop impactful content.

Look at your Media Analytics reports in your website analytics solution and see what media people spend the most time on. See what kind of video or audio content already impacts conversions.

Humans are highly visual. You should craft your content so it’s easy to digest. Instead of covering your website in huge chunks of text, split up your copy with engaging content like videos.

High-quality videos and audio recordings allow your readers to consume more of your content easily, and help persuade them to take action on your site.

4. Calls to action (CTA)

This brings us to our next point: your call to action (CTA).

Are you trying to convert more prospects into leads? Want to turn more leads into customers? Trying to get more email subscribers? Or do you want to generate more sales every month?

You could write the most compelling offer flooded with beautiful images, videos and CRO tactics. But your efforts will go to waste if you don’t include a compelling CTA.

An example of a CTA

Here are a few tips to optimise your CTAs:

  • Keep them congruent on a single web page (e.g., don’t sell a hat and a sweater on the same page, as it can be confusing).
  • Place at least one CTA above the fold on your web pages.
  • Include benefits in your CTA. Rather than “Buy Now,” try “Buy Now to Get 30% Off.”
  • It’s better to be clear and concise than too fancy and unique.

Optimising your call to action isn’t just about your copywriting. It’s also about design. Test different fonts, sizes, and visual elements like borders, icons and background colours.

5. Web design

Your site design will impact how well your visitors convert. You could have incredible copywriting, but if your site is laid out poorly, it will drive people away.

You must ensure your copy and visual content fit your website design well.

The first place you need to start with your site is your homepage design.

Your site design consists of the theme or template, colour scheme and other visual elements that can be optimised to improve conversions.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when optimising your website design:

  • Use a colour scheme that’s pleasant rather than too distracting or extreme.
  • Ensure your design doesn’t remove the text’s clarity but makes it easier to read.
  • When in doubt, start with black text on a white background (the opposite rarely works).
  • Keep plenty of whitespace in between design elements.
  • When in doubt about font size, start by testing a larger size.
  • Design mobile-first rather than desktop-first.

Finally, it’s critical to ensure your website is easy to navigate. Good design is all about the user experience. Is it easy to find what they’re looking for? Simplify steps to reduce the need to click, and your conversions will increase.

Start optimising your website for conversions

If you’re looking to get the most out of the traffic on your site by converting more visitors into leads or customers, following this 5-step CRO checklist will help you take steps in the right direction.

Just remember conversion rate optimisation is an ongoing process. It’s not a one-time deal. To succeed, you need to test quickly, analyse the impact and do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.

To optimise your website for better conversion rates, you need the right tools that provide accurate data and insights to effectively increase conversions. With Matomo, you gain access to web analytics and CRO features like Form Analytics and Media Analytics, designed to enhance your conversion rate optimisation efforts. 

Try Matomo free for 21 days and take your conversion rate to the next level. No credit card required.

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A powerful web analytics platform that gives you and your business 100% data ownership and user privacy protection.

No credit card required.

Free forever.