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6 benefits of user-centric CRO: why conversion rate optimization matters

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) can turn website visitors into customers, helping you take advantage of a new influx of traffic to your site by making free trials, purchases, and signups attractive to your users. 

Getting potential customers to your site is only the first step. Even with a ton of traffic, if your website isn’t optimized for conversion, you’ll find it hard to hold customers’ attention and guide them to take further action. Learning the benefits of conversion rate optimization helps you better understand your customers, increase revenue, decrease acquisition costs, and so much more.

Last updated

20 Jul 2022
How product validation can help you run better experiments

Not sure how or why to start optimizing your conversion rate? We’re here to help! We’ll walk you through the main benefits of CRO and show you how they can guide your business to success.

Ready to learn how to optimize your conversion rate?

Use Hotjar’s tools to understand your customers—and turn website visits into conversions.

6 reasons why you should optimize your conversion rate

CRO sometimes gets a bad reputation, thanks to quick-fix tactics that are all about persuading or pressuring users into making a purchase, rather than optimizing your site and product to offer more value. But when done right, CRO can benefit your customers and your organization alike.

User-centric CRO is about making websites as clear, functional, and easy-to-use as possible, so users can accomplish the conversion goals that both you AND they want,” says Laura Wong, associate growth product manager at Hotjar. “The main benefit of user-centric CRO is that it’s a win-win; the user converts, which makes you happy, and they have a great experience, which makes them happy.”

Let’s dive deeper into the main advantages of customer-focused CRO:

1. Get to know your customers better

To really meet your customers’ needs, you need to be obsessed with finding a solution to their pain points by walking a mile in their shoes. Truly effective CRO helps you understand every aspect of your customers’ journey, product experience (PX), and more. 

Conduct CRO research to gain a fuller picture of the individuals who interact with your website, and understand how you can improve the user experience (UX) based on their needs and pain points. Running user-centric CRO experiments lets you uncover customer insights you can apply to other aspects of funnel and product design.

🔥 Pro tip: make your CRO efforts data-led by running experiments like A/B tests and changing key conversion variables like your calls to action. A data-informed approach helps you validate your product page ideas to determine which website elements correlate with improved conversions.

Use Hotjar’s tools to understand why certain website changes lead to better conversions. Observe users navigating your site and hear exactly what users think in real time via Surveys and Feedback tools to go deeper into your CRO experiments. This keeps you focused on addressing your customers’ needs and solving their issues.

#Hotjar’s unobtrusive Feedback widget sits at the side of individual web pages so users can tell you what they think at any time
Hotjar’s unobtrusive Feedback widget sits at the side of individual web pages so users can tell you what they think at any time

2. Decrease acquisition costs

If you’re investing resources into driving new traffic to your site, CRO will help you maximize value from advertising spending and other investments, by turning new users into new customers. Optimizing conversion rates for your e-commerce business, for example, focuses on getting users from your landing pages to your store. 

Users shouldn’t have to dig for the value on your site. Use customer-focused CRO to learn what customers want, then give it to them, making your site as easy to navigate as possible.

The more you tailor your website's user experience (UX) for conversions, the less it will cost your organization to acquire new customers. 

Use tools like Google Analytics to spot key behavioral patterns and problems in the user journey. Then watch Hotjar Recordings and read user feedback to understand what’s preventing users from converting when they land on your site to improve the customer experience (CX) and lower acquisition costs.

3. Leverage current website traffic 

You don’t necessarily need to drive fresh traffic to your site to increase the number of conversions. Instead, focus on optimizing your website for your current users and making the most of your existing marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns.

Design a stellar, CRO-focused user experience for all visitors—rather than focusing on first-time users alone—to engage returning visitors and encourage them to convert (and maybe even bring their friends and coworkers with them).

#Use tools like Heatmaps to visualize user behavior, learn what holds customers’ attention and compels them to convert, and see which site elements are failing to engage existing users.
Use tools like Heatmaps to visualize user behavior, learn what holds customers’ attention and compels them to convert, and see which site elements are failing to engage existing users.

4. Increase current customer lifetime value

Conducting a CRO audit will help you identify which customer journeys are successful and which need to be improved. For example, use CRO analytics and user insights to identify your most loyal customers and target them with ‘welcome back’ messages at key moments in their journey—like if they're returning to your site after a long absence—and personalized product recommendations. 

A major advantage of CRO is that it helps you understand and segment your user to funnel them toward purchasing the products or services that will best meet their needs. This, in turn, results in more repeat customers, and more value per customer across their entire product experience.

Pro tip: Hotjar's Recordings tool gives you a first-person perspective on what your users are experiencing to help you map the full customer journey and make changes to optimize your website's conversion rate.

#Use Hotjar Session Recordings to determine where your users are getting stuck

Session Recordings show you how users navigate and interact with your website so you can improve it.

5. Make your UX more functional

When optimizing a landing page for CRO, you’ll often improve your overall UX without even trying. Customer-centric CRO efforts that give you user insights—like conducting surveys and analyzing heatmaps—help you make the necessary changes to ensure every task on your website is easy to perform and help each step in the conversion process flow logically. During your CRO audit, identify areas where website visitors get stuck—for example, are navigation buttons and CTAs clear, or are your users getting confused?—and work to fix these UX problems.

UX optimization and CRO share a focus on making your website accessible, engaging, and easy to use. Squash website bugs and analyze qualitative and quantitative data to guide page updates, and prioritize user pain points that impact conversions to improve CRO and UX alike.

6. Improve your PX and brand reputation

Using CRO to improve the overall customer journey shows users you truly care about their full experience with your company. User-centric CRO isn’t just about pushing users toward purchases above all else, or increasing your company’s revenue—it’s about helping customers find value in your product and giving them confidence it will help them achieve their goals.

A company's CRO improvements increase user trust in the brand and its products: for example, website updates that maintain a similar color scheme and other branding elements will feel familiar, but modern.

Customers often try out several different options before making a final decision or purchase, so it’s important to distinguish yourself by providing unique value and consistent branding to your customers. 

Don’t forget the power of word of mouth—users are much more likely to recommend an optimized, easy-to-use website that clearly conveys the value of converting than a site with a confusing user journey.

4 limitations of CRO

While conversion rate optimization has many benefits, there are some disadvantages to prioritizing CRO above all else. 

Let’s look at a few downsides of placing too much emphasis on CRO—and see how to overcome them:

1. CRO won’t give you the full picture

Your conversion rate alone doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about your customers or your website performance. When teams focus only on quick CRO fixes or obsess over CRO metrics, they don’t get to the underlying reasons behind why users are—or aren’t—converting. 

To overcome this limitation, work to truly understand your customers and build a site and product that meets their needs by putting them at the center of everything you do, whether you're adding a new feature or discontinuing an old one, which will boost conversions naturally. You can and should analyze conversion rates, but make sure you go beyond CRO to understand user actions, thoughts, and feelings, and focus on solving them.

2. A higher conversion rate doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in revenue

Remember that your conversion rate doesn’t tell you the number of conversions or website visitors—only the percentage of visitors who accomplish the actions you want them to take on your site. That means that increasing your conversion rate won’t automatically translate to an increase in revenue, especially if fewer overall users are visiting your landing pages.

Analyze your conversion rate within the context of other key user data, such as website visits, revenue, user feedback, and more to get insights into what’s actually driving your users to engage with your site or make a purchase.

3. It’s impossible to optimize your website for every user

No two users will respond exactly the same to the CRO updates you make, so it’s important to conduct audits, run tests, and get user feedback to help you understand how most customers are experiencing your product changes. 

It’s impossible to please everyone, but you can make sure you’re optimizing your website for the highest number of users possible.

4. An increase in web traffic can actually mean a lower conversion rate

If you spend a lot of time and resources increasing website traffic, but these new visitors convert at a lower rate than your previous visitor pool, your conversion rate will decrease. 

This isn’t always a bad thing, though—you could be getting a higher number of sales or increased revenue from this traffic, even though your conversion rate is no longer as high. Focusing exclusively on CRO can steer your team away from the goal of driving growth or increasing overall sales. To avoid this, take a holistic approach to CRO and look at it in the context of other metrics. This will set up your team for success and help you achieve your company and user goals.

Reap the rewards of conversion rate optimization

CRO has the potential to help you both improve your customers’ overall product experience and drive revenue growth for your organization. As long as you approach CRO holistically and stay focused on understanding and addressing your customers’ needs, CRO is a great way to improve conversions, customer value, and user satisfaction.

Ready to learn how to optimize your conversion rate?

Use Hotjar’s tools to understand your customers—and turn website visits into conversions.

Frequently asked questions about conversion rate optimization