How to Raise Revenue of a Newly Acquired Business With Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a marketing strategy that can increase sales up to 500%. Unlike paid acquisition, CRO costs little – it’s an in-house job and you can go as deep as your time and talent spares. Around 68% of small businesses lack a formal CRO strategy, which means, statistically, you could make some quick revenue wins with a few simple changes. 

What is conversion rate optimization?

CRO is a fancy title for improving your sales technique. Your “conversion rate” is simply the number of people who buy from you expressed as a percentage of those to whom you sell. CRO, therefore, is all about improving that rate. 

There is good CRO and bad CRO the same way there are good and bad salespeople. But few businesses take CRO as seriously as they do their sales teams. What do you do with a bad salesperson? You replace or retrain them. And it’s the same with CRO. It starts with how you find customers, how persuasive you are, and their experience with you. 

You must lead your customers from the wilderness of the market to the cozy hearth of your business. A thousand things can go wrong on that journey and CRO is about fixing them, blending UX design with copywriting and customer psychology. It’s much more than making a big, shiny “BUY NOW!” button, as you’re about to learn. 

What is good CRO?

Good CRO is any action you take that increases the percentage of customers that do what you want them to do. In other words, actions that increase the conversion rate. For example, you might:

  1. Simplify or shorten the customer journey.
  2. Personalize the customer journey (personalized CTAs boost conversions 42%).
  3. Make your product or service easier to find (SEO, social media, and so on).
  4. Share what other customers think about your product or service (reviews and testimonials).
  5. Incentivize the desired action.
  6. Use time or quantity-limited offers. 
  7. Focus on key buyer personas.
  8. Remind customers to complete desired actions (the “abandoned cart” method).
  9. Speed up your website (page load times under 3s can increase conversions 300%).
  10. Use a single CTA (call-to-action) in landing pages and emails.

These are just a few examples of how you might deploy CRO in a practical sense. However, great CRO is building the journey around your customers, those who’ve already bought from you and prospects who’ve quit before buying. These give you deeper insights into where your customer journey might be improved and this is what we’ll discuss next. 

An example CRO strategy to boost revenue

Let’s assume you’ve Acquired a business that’s done little to no CRO in the past. This is the type that will give you the best ROI and is statistically the type you’ve Acquired (you might even have bought so you could exploit this weakness!). Here’s what happens next.

#1 Analyze the journey from start to finish

Find out where your traffic is coming from and then follow the customer journey from start to finish. You might’ve already have done this, but now it’s time to get stuck into the detail. For example:

  • How do customers find you?
  • How many stages in your customer journey? 
  • How long does it take to complete the desired action? (Time it)
  • How persuasive and engaging are you? (Think copy, UX, design) 
  • At what point do people give up before completing the desired action? 
  • Which pages convert most and why? 
  • Where on the website do prospects spend most of their time? 

You’ll find tools like Google Analytics and HotJar help with traffic analysis as well as providing heatmaps of customer clicks and activity. These help to build a bigger picture of what’s going on, you also need to speak to your customers and listen to their feedback. 

#2 Ask people for feedback

Data is a powerful ally in CRO, though it depends on the quality of that data. While website analytics will tell you what’s happening, they’re not very good at explaining why. The other half of CRO is therefore asking people for feedback. 

Pick up the phone and ask questions. Invite your best customers into a focus group. People are usually honored to be involved in the development of your product or service – and you could even sweeten the deal with a discount or reward. 

Questionnaires, surveys, and feedback forms are okay, but not as revealing as a conversation. That said, they beat no feedback at all. What you’re after here is context that enriches the data you’ve already gathered. In which case, testimonials and reviews can also reveal valuable insights into the customer journey. Hunt every last one down to identify common pain points. 

Talk to your employees, too. You probably know far less about the customer experience than your front-line staff – especially as you’ve only recently Acquired the business. Speak to them to find out the biggest customer complaints. 

#3 Fix, test, and refine

You should now have a good idea of what to fix. But hold on – you can’t launch full throttle into your CRO overhaul. You must do this in stages. You don’t know anything for certain yet. Your data has simply pointed you in the right direction. It’s time to test changes, gather feedback, and then refine your customer journey over time. 

A/B testing is one of the most common CRO deployment techniques. You form a data-led hypothesis and test changes with a sample of customers. For example, you might test a form with fewer fields or a longer landing page. You then roll out the statistically significant winner to everyone. Traffic analytics, session recordings, and heatmaps also indicate the efficacy of your CRO strategy. 

Successful CRO is easy to measure. With testing, it’s hard to go wrong. You might find, therefore, CRO an effective strategy to boost revenue. Selling is fundamental to every business, but learning to sell well (CRO), is a critical component of the serial entrepreneur’s skillset.