What is conversion rate optimisation?

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the art and science of refining a process to get more people to do what you want them to do. It is perhaps most commonly used to refer to refining a process that is online or mostly online.

What is a conversion?

A conversion is anything you want the lead to do. Common examples of conversions you might optimise for include:

  • Buying something.
  • Making an enquiry.
  • Viewing a particular page on a website.

However, any process you can measure can be optimised for conversions. So, if you want to generate sales leads and convert them, collecting data at every step is essential.

How does CRO work?

An expert in conversion rate optimisiation will look at every step in the process from first contact with the lead to the last point at which a conversion could occur.

The CRO specialist will take data at every point, measuring what percentage of leads make it to each point in the process.

Small improvements in the number of people making it through each stage can add up to significant improvements in the conversion rate.

What do conversion rate optimisation experts do?

The work of optimising conversions involves forming a hypothesis as to what is causing people to drop out at every stage in a process then creating an alternative version of that stage.


  • At the top of the funnel, an alternative Facebook ad might bring more people into the funnel.
  • At the bottom of the funnel, a tweak to the wording or design of the shopping cart might lead more people to complete their purchase.

The art and science of CRO is:

  1. Forming hypotheses about what might be causing leads to drop out of the process.
  2. Coming up with new creative — designs, copywriting and offers — to test.
  3. Analysing the data to determine what’s working better.
  4. Repeating the steps.

Conversion rate optimisation frequently involves making changes to design and the copywriting on landing pages.

What is the 80/20 of conversion rate optimisation?

Because of the requirement for data to inform conversion rate optimisation decisions, CRO can only be done at its most scientific where there is sufficient data. For websites, that usually means a minimum of thousands of impressions.

You can, however, perform conversion optimisation without masses of data, but you are turning up the dial on the “art” side of the science and art of CRO.

You might, for instance, ask for an expert opinion on your landing page because your landing page copywriting is the 20% of your conversion process that will give you 80% of the opportunity for improvement.

How can Taleist work as a conversion rate optimisation agency?

In their book on CRO, Conversion Rate Experts, a CRO agency with clients like Apple, rates copywriting as the most important lever you can pull when it comes to optimising your conversions.

As direct response copywriters, Taleist can tune your copy to maximise conversions. We can also work as a part of your CRO team or build a CRO team for you and:

  • Work with you on your marketing strategy — to make sure you’re making the right offer to the right people in the right frame.
  • Bring in a traffic agency (SEO, Google Ads, Facebook ads, etc.) or work with your existing agency.
  • Bring in a user experience (UX) expert to fine-tune the impact you’re having on your prospects.
  • Tweak, design or completely rebuild your website to optimise conversions.

Direct response copywriting case study

In this direct response copywriting case study, we reduced the cost per lead for a solar energy provider by 88%. Read more…

Conversion rate optimisation tips

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Recommended reading on conversion rate optimisation