January 15, 2024

Conversion Rate Optimization 101: The Ultimate Expert Guide

Albert Finder

From Basics to AI-Driven Success: A Deep Dive into Conversion Rate Optimization

The online marketplace landscape thrives on data. Every click, scroll, and website interaction could signal a potential conversion.

In the context of competitive websites, the challenge extends beyond attracting more website traffic. Instead, growth managers are focused on three critical words: conversion rate optimization. Once again, harnessing big data is the key to converting site visitors into paying customers.

Still, traditional methods no longer tackle complex issues, such as ever-evolving consumer intelligence.

The real challenge is navigating website visitors' specific triggers while making fast, accurate decisions to increase conversions.

This is where AI comes in:

  • It analyzes user data
  • It can find visitors who are most likely to buy right now
  • It can make real-time adjustments (e.g. content)
  • It allows for real-time visitor engagement

AI supercharges CRO efforts. Once implemented, executives notice higher conversion rates and data-driven precision in all endeavors.

Therefore, we'll go through everything there is to know about conversion rate optimization, including best practices, top tools, and what you can do today to improve a site's conversion rate.

Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a fundamental practice in digital marketing. CRO aims to improve websites or landing pages to maximize the number of visitors who take a desired conversion action, such as:

  • Filling out a form
  • Making a purchase
  • Subscribing to a newsletter

Factors Influencing the Conversion Rate in Website Visitors

Source: WorldWideJournal Study

All in all, conversion optimization involves turning website traffic into actual conversions. However, conversion doesn't happen by accident, and implementing a solid CRO process is easier said than done.

That's because there's a multitude of variables contributing to a purchase decision, including:

  • Customer reviews (testimonials, word-of-mouth, etc.)
  • Perceived risk (transaction security, guarantee, company policy, etc.)
  • Customer analysis of the product or service (comparing pages, prices, competitors, etc.)

Therefore, a business that wants to stay competitive (and increase conversions) must be able to promptly analyze, interpret, and act on each customer's data set.

To achieve long-term survival, companies of all sizes use artificial intelligence to augment their sales team's capabilities.

Unfortunately, organizations worldwide have been looking at the CRO process incorrectly. Instead of chasing the who behind the session, they should focus  on the why. Up until recently, that wasn't possible.

👉 Today, Lift AI is the only solution on the market that analyzes the website buyer intent of each user in real time to drive conversion rate optimization.

👉 Lift AI operates by providing a visitor's intent score through a cookie that continually updates in real-time with each page load. 

👉 The tool offers the option to target this score as an URL query or by cookie value, all within your CRO tool (e.g. Drift playbooks, Unbounce pop-ups, Mutiny content sections, etc).

Determining Conversion Rates

At its core, conversion rate is a metric that quantifies how effectively a website or landing page is at persuading visitors to complete a specific action.

Knowing your conversion rate is essential, as it impacts the business's bottom line. It shows what's working and what isn't and where to redirect efforts as part of a digital marketing strategy.

However, quantitative tools don't bring significant added value without an analysis of what, how, and where to redirect resources.

That's where AI steps in. In big data analysis, machine learning tools are the future and a present reality for many leading companies worldwide.

In fact, an IBM study revealed that:

  • 35% of 7500+ businesses already use AI in their operations
  • An additional 42% are actively exploring the opportunity

The AI adoption results from successful conversion rate patterns and superior business insights uncovered with this technology.

For a more detailed overview, this is how AI aids in the conversion rate optimization process:

  • Behavior Analysis. AI tracks actions (clicks, time spent, scroll depth) to understand what influences conversions.
  • Predictive Modeling. Using historical data, an AI tool predicts how changes on your website will affect future conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and even customer loyalty.
  • Real-time Adjustments. After monitoring user behavior, AI can intervene with personalized offers to retain the existing traffic in the conversion funnel.
  • Data-Driven Insights. AI processes large datasets to uncover trends and guide new CRO strategies.

The Relationship between CRO and SEO

In the B2B landscape, 93% of the buying cycle starts with an online search (the user research phase). Thus, winning over the search engine results is crucial for top-of-the-funnel marketing.

CRO and SEO share a common goal: enhancing user experience and website performance. Thus, to achieve conversion optimization, organizations must combine both to effectively leverage existing website traffic.

In simple terms, here's what CRO and SEO involve:

  • CRO focuses on converting visitors into customers
  • SEO concentrates on driving organic traffic from search engine results pages

By enhancing user experiences and content relevance, they attract, retain, and convert users.

Both CRO and SEO rely heavily on understanding user behavior. Hence, the real edge belongs to businesses that understand their target audience and how to persuade it.

With the rise of AI, achieving CRO-SEO synergy has become easier, and here's why:

  • Targeted User Acquisition. In combination with tools like Google Analytics, SEO efforts bring in users who have already expressed interest in relevant topics or products. The potential customers who end up navigating on-page features are a prime starting point for increasing conversions.
  • Streamlined Buyer Journey. CRO tools like a buyer intent software enhance the user journey and guide visitors through the conversion funnel with tailored content.
  • Enhanced Keyword Strategy: With the help of AI, you can identify high-converting keywords and trends. The general advice is to aim for long-tail keywords with high conversion potential (e.g. "best digital marketing courses for small businesses").

Key Areas to Implement AI-Driven CRO Strategies

1. The Homepage

A homepage is often the first interaction users have with a website. Thus, it should display relevant information for the target audience to avoid them bouncing back to the search results for better options.

In fact...

  • Low site speed
  • Unclear website copy
  • Misleading content
  • Poor UX

Are valid reasons why your website's bounce rate may be lacking. However, if these boxes are all ticked, but the website's conversion rate is still unsatisfactory, it may be time to go the extra mile.

AI can play a significant role in enhancing website optimization with:

  • User Behavior Analysis. AI can analyze how users interact on the homepage, tracking clicks, scroll depth, and time spent. This data helps understand what elements capture user interest.
  • Personalization. AI can tailor the content displayed on the homepage based on user preferences and past behavior. This ensures that visitors see relevant information, products, offers, or even customer testimonials that boost sales.

A website with clear navigation, intuitive interfaces, fast-loading web pages, and relevant content is crucial for any successful organization.

👉 Try Lift AI and See How Users Navigate on Your Homepage Live.

2. The Pricing Page

A pricing page should be clear, well-structured, and have a strong call to action. Although simple, many businesses fail to address these aspects and overload their pricing pages.

"The more information a pricing page has, the more conversions we'll notice" is a flawed hypothesis.

Sharing too much is as bad as sharing too little. The result? Users are experiencing analysis paralysis, after which they leave the page, all while the conversion rate takes a hit.

For this reason, companies like Amazon use dynamic pricing to spike profits by 25%. Nonetheless, not only a high-traffic eCommerce site can benefit from AI implementation in their pricing methods.

Dynamic pricing using AI can be used for various purposes, including:

  • Personalized Pricing. By analyzing user data to offer personalized pricing, AI succeeds in catering to individual preferences.
  • Real-time Pricing Optimization. AI can adjust prices based on factors like demand, user behavior, and competitor pricing.
  • Recommendation Algorithms for Upselling. This ensures that visitors are presented with unique product recommendations before checkout.

However, there has been an interesting development regarding pricing pages.

Historically, it was assumed that most visitors on the pricing page were likely buyers - and many CRO tactics depended on it. In fact, many companies only place chat on the pricing page, but they miss up to 88% of buyers by doing so. That’s because Lift AI’s website buyer intent analysis has revealed that buyers are spread out across the entire site, and many never end up going to the pricing page at all.

3. The Blog

Enhancing user engagement and driving conversions through your blog can also be achieved with AI:

  • Content Recommendations. AI can suggest relevant blog posts based on interests, search history, or the current reading session. As users explore more content, they move further in the sales funnel, increasing the possibility of conversion.
  • Optimizing Call-to-Actions. When a user reads an article, they show interest in a specific topic. Thus, AI can anticipate their upcoming actions (such as checking a pricing page) or monitor interactions (attempting to leave a page). Then, an AI system may offer personalized pop-up CTAs on the same page to improve retention and conversion.
  • Content Writing. Perhaps the most obvious use of AI is for writing blog post content. Technology like ChatGPT can be used to write entire articles following your brief. Even better, it can help you write the brief if you ask it to! By giving it the keywords you plan on targeting, AI can ensure your blog content is both informative and SEO-optimized. 

4. Landing Pages

By now, it is clear that artificial intelligence is a game-changing tool for improving a website's functionality. Apart from optimization efforts, using this technology for content creation is also a winning approach.

  • Firstly, employing AI design tools that use templates and tested landing pages (such as a web form, a free resource page, etc.) is cost-efficient and smart.
  • Secondly, using NLP tools (such as ChatGPT) in the copywriting process may show significant results while saving time. With the right SEO framework strategized, implementing AI writing tools can aid in the creation of a landing page.
  • Lastly, AI makes it easy and inexpensive to create A/B multivariate testing of the same landing page and monitor each one's average conversion rate.

Take Sony's A/B testing case study, which showed that tweaking banner variations can significantly boost campaign performance. With A/B testing, Sony drove a 6% CTR increase and a 21.3% rise in shopping cart additions.

Essential CRO Formulas: Calculate Conversion Rate

A conversion rate is typically calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of visitors and multiplying the result by 100 to express it as a percentage. Here's a simplified overview:

For example, if a website had 500 visitors last month, and 50 of them completed the desired action, like making a purchase or subscribing, the conversion rate would be:

Conversion Rate = (50 / 500) x 100 = 10%

Naturally, the 10% is not always achievable, given that the average conversion rate is around 3%.

However, companies using AI can expect a much higher rate than that. In fact, our clients notice notably higher conversions after implementing Lift AI:

To explore the underlying value of using AI in conversion rate optimization, we'll showcase  the case study of Loopio, an RFP automation software company.

Loopio's Challenge - Inefficient Engagement Strategies

Loopio sought to enhance website visitor engagement and booked meetings, but they faced the common dilemma: choosing between broad targeting or specific page-based strategies. Nevertheless, both resulted in non-buying visitors consuming sales resources.

Solution - Uncovering Buyer Intent with Lift AI

Loopio adopted Lift AI to predict real-time buyer intent scores for every website visitor and connect their BDR to relevant leads.

Unlike other conversion rate optimization tools, Lift AI accurately predicts intent for all website traffic, including anonymous visitors (which often amount to more than 70% of all website visitors).

Implementation - Intent-Based Playbooks

Loopio implemented High, Medium, and Low Intent playbooks based on Lift AI scores:

  • High Intent Playbooks connected high-scoring visitors to live sales agents (who have the best chance of converting versus automated chatbots)
  • Medium Intent Playbooks nurtured and escalated via automated chatbots for mid-scoring visitors.
  • Low Intent Playbooks delivered support-related content via automated chatbots to low-scoring visitors.

Results - Impressive Conversion Optimization

Within a month, Loopio saw a remarkable 733% increase in meetings booked and a revenue boost, shifting their focus to bottom-of-the-funnel buyers.

With Lift AI's real-time buyer intent insights, Loopio now optimizes demand capture and plans to invest more in top-of-funnel activities.

Implementing AI-Powered Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

By harnessing the power of AI, marketers can significantly improve their efforts and boost conversion rates. In this section, we delve into key areas where AI is reshaping the CRO landscape:

Text-based CTAs

AI has the ability to analyze user behavior and discern the most effective placements for text-based call-to-action (CTA).

By tracking user interactions and preferences, AI can identify the ideal placement for CTAs, such as:

  • Within the content
  • Sticky bars
  • Pop-ups

This data-driven approach ensures that CTAs are strategically positioned for maximum engagement and conversion.

In fact, strategically placing CTAs increased the conversion rate of a landing page by 304% (CXL), and here's how:

  • An analysis of quantitative data showed that people are inclined to scroll, as they consider the page above the fold to be promotional in nature, whereas the important information is below.
  • A consultant found that users start paying attention as they're scrolling, so he placed the CTA below the fold, which brought this skyrocketing conversion rate.

Lead Flows

AI-driven lead scoring is a game-changer in CRO. AI algorithms assess user behavior and assign scores to leads based on:

  • Demographics
  • Engagement level
  • Previous interactions

This data helps prioritize high-quality leads, reduces the waste of resources on low-intent prospects, and increases the rate of successful conversions.

However, most of the existing “lead scoring” tools use a traditional style of scoring, which is heavily influences by human bias. For example, someone decides that a visitor going to the pricing page must be worth 20 points, but this is pure guesswork. Only AI can truly determine the intent of a website visitor based on the thousands upon thousands of possible paths they can take to purchase. 

👉Ready to try AI buyer intent scoring to grow your conversion rate? Get Started with Lift AI here.

Landing Page Tests

With so much conversion data on hand, it can be challenging to uncover the right strategies. Visitors form quick impressions, so optimization must focus on delivering compelling stories that resonate with the target audience quickly.

Besides analysis, documenting alternative ideas for copy, design, and images consumes multiple resources, with no guaranteed results.

Still, A/B testing remains a vital component of CRO strategy. Thus, using AI to assess multiple tests is the ultimate lean management approach. AI-driven A/B testing can:

  • Automate variations
  • Accelerate the testing cycle
  • Identify winning designs and elements

Engaging High-Intent Leads

AI's predictive analytics not only identify high-intent leads but also predict their behavior. By analyzing actions and patterns, AI can anticipate which users are more likely to convert and engage with them through personalized content, offers, or follow-ups.

This proactive approach significantly boosts conversion rates. In fact, LiftAI used this exact approach to drive over $1M in revenue for PointClickCare and boost conversions.

Automated Workflows

Leads require persuasion for conversion, but it's crucial to time this process appropriately, as 96% of your leads aren't ready to buy, even though they are actively navigating a web page. Still, nurturing is essential, despite being resource-consuming.

AI streamlines marketing workflows and lead nurturing, making the process more efficient and effective. Through automated workflows, AI can trigger actions based on user behavior, such as:

  • Sending personalized emails
  • Notifying users with pop-ups or emails
  • Follow-up messages in live chats and emails

Expert Tips on AI-Driven Conversion Rate Optimization

Beyond the industry hype, harnessing AI for CRO is not just about deploying algorithms and data analytics. It's about redefining the way BDRs engage with their target audience and potential buyers.

To set the stage for this exploration, consider this: McKinsey & Company forecasts  that sales and marketing will notice the highest added value from AI implementation.

Source: McKinsey & Company, Driving impact at scale from automation and AI, 2019

Therefore, let's explore three major areas where AI could substantially impact conversion rates:

1. Heat Maps

Heat maps provide visual representations of clicks, scrolls, and even how long users stay on particular sections of a webpage.

When combined with AI, these tools become incredibly powerful. AI can uncover hidden patterns and insights in heat map data that are impossible for humans to discern.

It allows you to pinpoint areas of your website that require attention and make data-driven decisions to enhance user experience, thus improving conversion rates.

2. Data-Driven Testing

Subjective hunches don't hold ground in favor of AI-driven data analysis. While human intuition is valuable, it can often be tainted by biases and inaccuracies.

AI, on the other hand, processes extensive datasets for both high-traffic sites and low-visitor web pages with remarkable efficiency. As long as the data input is accurate, this technology can uncover patterns and insights that the human eye may fail to address.

With AI, it becomes inexpensive and highly efficient to:

  • Practice split testing
  • Compare and choose winning strategies
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of company insights

For example, using AI, you can test and optimize various elements of a website, thus minimizing the risks associated with costly decisions based solely on instinct.

Each implemented change is underpinned by powerful data, ensuring a successful impact on CTR and CRO.

👉 If you're interested in leveraging your website data with AI, get started with Lift AI here.

3. Mobile-First Optimization

As mobile usage is soaring, AI steps in to deliver tailored insights designed specifically for the mobile audience.

By analyzing mobile interactions, AI identifies and rectifies issues that might impede conversions on mobile devices.

Take a simple Google Analytics analysis of an eCommerce site. Using the inherent AI features, a simple analysis can reveal:

  • Slow Page Load Times
  • UI/UX Problems
  • Form Abandonment
  • Ineffective Calls to Action
  • Browsing Habits

Once AI identifies issues, it provides actionable recommendations, such as optimizing image sizes or testing different CTAs.

AI and CRO: the Lift AI Advantage

Segmenting your website traffic into categories based on intent—high, medium, and low—is the real sales edge that Lift AI grants. 

As the cookie with the visitor's intent score updates live with each new page load, sales teams have access to high-level accuracy visitor intent. The way Lift AI works with your CRO system allows you to target the actual buyer intent score within your CRO tool (using the  cookie value or the URL query).

This functionality allows BDRs to target specific content to each group, appealing to their unique intent levels.

Here are a few examples of how this integration can supercharge CRO efforts:

  • Personalized Pop-ups. The system can trigger pop-ups with tailored offers or incentives. One such example is a pop-up offering discount to a user attempting to close a pricing page and end a purchase decision. 
  • Chat Playbooks. Once chat playbooks are in place, high-intent users may receive more direct sales-oriented messages. In the meantime, medium-intent individuals could be guided toward informative resources or product comparisons.
  • Customized A/B Testing. High-intent visitors present a ripe opportunity for conducting A/B tests. For example, reps might experiment with variations that directly address purchase intent or offer exclusive discounts or incentives and see which one performs best. 

Integrating Lift AI to your CRO software not only empowers BDRs to be more efficient, but also helps targeting efforts under lean management principles. In other words, it removes the waste in the process until peak efficiency is reached. It also improves revenue and pipeline, both of which have become increasingly important in recent economic conditions. 

 The result is a win-win situation, where both visitors and the business prosper.

Kickstarting Your AI-Enhanced CRO Journey

At the heart of a successful conversion rate optimization journey lies Lift AI, a reliable purchase intent tool known for achieving remarkable results. Lift AI improves CRO with its main features, such as:

  • Website Buyer Intent Scoring (assigning values based on visitor behavior, helping prioritize high-intent visitors in real-time)
  • Data Accuracy (taking the guesswork out of CRO)
  • Actionable Data (providing valuable insights live to each BDR to help increase conversions)
  • Predictive Insights (predicting user behavior and conversion patterns before potential customers leave a web page)

What's more – Using the PIE (Predictability, Importance, and Ease) framework, Lift AI provides actionable insights into the decision-making process for CRO strategies.

👉 Ready to harness the transformative power of AI-driven CRO? Boost revenue with our simple, one-stop tool for conversion rate excellence. Start your journey today!


What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) refers to the process of refining your digital platform to increase the percentage of visitors who take desired actions, such as making a purchase or completing a form.

What is the difference between SEO and CRO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) primarily focuses on enhancing a website's visibility in the search engine results page. It involves online marketing expertise in optimizing content and technical aspects to achieve higher rankings. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a comprehensive process that focuses on converting visitors into customers or leads.

What's Considered A “Good” Conversion Rate?

On average, a conversion rate of 2-5% is typically considered good. Nevertheless, higher or lower rates may be more appropriate depending on the particulars of your business, objectives, and industry.

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