Unlock Higher Conversions: A Comprehensive CRO Framework Guide

May 27, 2024
Sean from Epic
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Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is often misunderstood as merely testing aspects like image selection or button colors. This narrow approach significantly limits the potential for conversion growth.

To truly maximize conversions, it's essential to implement CRO holistically. By building a comprehensive CRO framework rather than treating CRO randomly, you increase the chances of unlocking valuable insights, achieving breakthroughs, and driving more conversions.

  • Develop Detailed Audience Personas: Tailor your CRO strategies to different personas to ensure relevant and effective marketing adjustments.
  • Identify Conversion Hierarchies: Map out a ladder of micro-conversions leading to your ultimate conversion event to optimize each step of the customer journey.
  • Adopt a Holistic Testing Approach: Apply A/B testing and experimentation to all elements of your marketing, from web page design to copywriting and beyond.
  • Expand Testing Beyond Landing Pages: Treat your entire website and other marketing channels, including email and direct mail, as opportunities for continuous A/B testing.
  • Create Methodical Test Plans: Establish logical, hypothesis-driven test plans to systematically identify and overcome conversion roadblocks.
  • Ensure Statistical Significance: Collect sufficient data for each test to make informed decisions, avoiding premature conclusions and ensuring reliable results.

Audience Personas

Start the CRO process by developing audience personas. Why? Because different personas may require unique adjustments and customizations in your marketing to maximize conversions. What resonates with one persona might not appeal to another at all.

Center each CRO process around a specific persona to optimize results. The more detailed and well-understood each persona is, the more high-quality testing ideas will emerge, leading to better testing opportunities and outcomes.

Conversion Hierarchy

There’s often a hierarchy of conversion events in the customer journey. Especially in B2B contexts, multiple micro-conversions can occur along the path to purchase.

Identify your ultimate conversion event that directly drives revenue. Then, define a "ladder" of conversions, which might include whitepaper downloads, newsletter subscriptions, event registrations, webinar sign-ups, survey responses, requests for more information, etc. Focusing solely on the ultimate conversion event while ignoring the optimization of preceding steps can lead to underperformance.

Think Holistically

While it's beneficial to test images and button colors, maximizing marketing results requires applying experimentation and A/B testing to nearly everything. From web page design to visitor psychology and copywriting, test all elements. Utilize analytics and data analysis across all marketing aspects.

For instance, when testing a whitepaper landing page, examine the layout, images, messaging, CTA button, number of form fields, copy, trust elements, and offers, along with any secondary micro-conversion events on the page.

Beyond Landing Pages

A/B testing should extend beyond landing pages. Treat your entire website as an experimental space. Test various elements on your homepage, product pages, blog, and even less prominent areas like the global footer.

Expand testing to include email marketing, direct mail, and advertising. Apply A/B testing across all marketing efforts to achieve comprehensive insights.

Test Plans

Identify potential conversion roadblocks and translate them into a test plan. Avoid running tests on a whim; instead, establish a logical flow to avoid limiting results.

Define a hypothesis for each test and compare it against a control group with this hypothesis in mind. Let data guide your decisions on what works and what doesn’t.

Cognitive Fluency

Complex or confusing content is detrimental to your marketing. The easier it is for visitors to understand your website, the more professional and well-designed it will seem. Quick, seamless information processing leads to positive feelings about your site and brand.

Look beyond CTA button testing and examine the overall clarity of your marketing. Ensure it's immediately clear what actions visitors should take. Avoid assuming visitors will understand terms or actions without clear descriptions or explanations.


Consider the emotions of your prospective customers. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio found that emotion is crucial in making purchase decisions. Testing button colors or text length has its limits. At some point, focus on eliciting strong emotional responses from your audience. Without this, A/B tests can only achieve limited impact.


Use consistent technology across your tests to ensure comparability. The market offers many useful CRO tools, but it's important to standardize on specific ones and use them consistently for continuous testing.

Complementary Behavioral Data

Measure not only conversion events but also complementary behavioral data like heatmaps, clickmaps, cursor movement, and scroll maps. With the right CRO software, you can view actual visitor sessions, providing qualitative insights beyond mere numbers.

Statistical Significance

Ensure that each test has a sufficient sample size for intelligent, informed decisions. Insufficient data can lead to incorrect conclusions. Collect as much data as possible, avoid shortcuts, and remain patient. Once you have a large enough data set, make clear decisions and execute decisively. Cutting tests short before gathering enough data prevents a true understanding of what works, leading to compounded lack of clarity over time.

By approaching CRO holistically and strategically, you can significantly enhance your ability to convert visitors and drive revenue.

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