When it comes to internet marketing, you can generate more revenue in one of two ways. You can drive additional traffic to your site in order to increase sales, or you can improve the effectiveness of your site to boost sales with the same amount of traffic you’re currently receiving. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) focuses on the latter.

With conversion rate optimization, you evaluate your website’s sales funnel to identify ways you can improve your site in order to get a higher percentage of people to sign up for your product or service. Next, you come up with a hypothesis to test, and then you create a new version of a web page or landing page to test against your current version to see which one is more effective at getting visitors to sign up or buy. In the end, you implement the variation that convinces the highest percentage of people to buy what you’re selling.

What may come as a surprise is that both small and big changes to copy, layout, and design can have a big impact on the number of people who sign up for your service or buy your product. Switch Video, for example, found that changing a single word in a call-to-action button copy increased qualified leads generated from their homepage by 221%. In another test, Performable, a company acquired by Hubspot in 2011, was able to increase click-throughs 21% by using a red button instead of a green one.

Results like this make it obvious why conversion rate optimization is so valuable to companies. Even small changes can have a significant impact on the bottom line. However, testing is the key factor when it comes to CRO. Without testing, you’re left relying on your gut instinct to determine what will be more effective, but once you test, you know right away whether a change leads to an increase or decrease in conversions. It takes the guesswork out of knowing what you should say and how you should design a new web page. The number of tests you can eventually run are endless. You can test different headlines, new value propositions, varying button colors, different call-to-action copy, and much more. Each change has the opportunity to impact conversions, and small wins add up over time.

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