Related topics: CRO

Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

19 November 2020
2 min

The “Get it Done” Guide to CRO

The term Conversion Rate Optimization, also known as CRO, may seem mysterious. But here at Making Science, we know how impactful it can be for businesses. If you want to ensure you’re getting the highest returns possible from your website and campaigns, CRO and experimentation is a great place to start.

To understand Conversion Rate Optimization, we must first understand a conversion.

What is a Conversion?

Simply put, a conversion refers to a visitor completing a specific goal on a website. For example:

  • Purchasing something – Booking a hotel, a pair of shoes online
  • Signing up for a newsletter – Receive up to date news or information
  • Adding something to a shopping cart – I’ll come back later. I need to think about this purchase a little more
  • Filling in a form to request more information – I’d like to learn more about your school courses.
  • Downloading an app
  • Downloading a form or document to get some more information about something I am researching

These conversions occur when the user takes action. This is often the main goal or the purpose of the website.

So what exactly is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Wouldn’t it be great if we put up a website and everyone who visited bought something or we had success with our website goal? Absolutely! Well, Conversion rate optimization helps us do that.

CRO refers to increasing the percentage of conversions on a website, mobile device, or app. In other words, turning visitors into leads and leads into customers.

The idea behind conversion rate optimization is you are able to understand how users move through your website, what actions they take, and what is stopping them from completing the goals that your site has. Frequently, this is done through experimentation.

How do you calculate Conversion to measure success?

Conversion is calculated to help us understand how many of the people visiting our website actually convert.

Total Users That Converted / Total Users That Visited Our Website x 100


  • I had 5,000 users buy beer on my site this month (caught your attention didn’t I)
  • But I had 10,000 visitors to my site this month
  • x 100 (to get a percentage)

5,000 / 10,000 x 100 = 50% Conversion Rate of Beer!

Why is Conversion Rate Optimization important?

At this point, we likely understand the basics of CRO. We understand that when we have found an opportunity on our website we should ensure it’s both data-driven and user-centric. At this point, we form a hypothesis and we should test it. The same way as when a doctor aims to find out his patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, or perhaps how tired their body feels under certain levels of physical strain or activity. Our take on stress testing with Making Science is about ensuring your team, the tool you are using, and your organization can pass a stress test! Knowing your limits will help you figure out how to plan.

By introducing conversion rate optimization into your business, you can quickly improve conversion rates on your website. You have facts that show you what to test, where and how.