Conversion Rate Optimization Overview and Checklist

by Dozen Digital


Why should you care about Conversion Rate Optimization?

Increasing revenue can sometimes be more easily achieved by improving the conversion rate instead of increasing the number of visitors. Conversions not only provide immediate revenue, but also offer the opportunity to sell on an on-going basis and get customer referrals. 

When is Conversion Rate Optimization right for you?

Conversion Rate Optimization is almost always an important consideration. 

When is Conversion Rate Optimization not right for you?

If the company still needs to establish a core value proposition, your focus should be on high-level product decisions and not necessarily conversation optimization tactics. 

How does Conversion Rate Optimization fit into the big picture?

CRO should be approached in the context of traffic sources and the messaging used in marketing material. Each tactic should be applied only if it makes sense for your audience. 

What are the most important high-level Conversion Rate Optimization concepts?

From a high level, it is best to provide all important information, not to surprise customers nor to present too many distractions, as well as to keep processes, design and copy within people’s existing mental models. 

Where are the best resources online for Conversion Rate Optimization?

CrazyEggOptimizelyGoogle Analytics

Checklist continued from right column..

  • Use guarantees
  • Use information gaps to create curiosity
  • Use inline validation
  • Use no-nonsense headlines
  • Use price anchoring
  • Use qualitative surveys to get visitor insights
  • Use scarcity
  • Use specific statistics and numbers
  • Use the same language that customers use
  • Add effective and functional site search
  • Add auto-complete suggestions in product search (with images)
  • Add product filters
  • Add trust symbols
  • Allow customers to zoom in on your products
  • Avoid false bottoms to keep users scrolling
  • Do usability testing (with real users) to get live feedback
  • Encourage customers to share their puchase on social media
  • Follow traditional design conventions
  • Guide users with directional cues
  • Incorporate video in your sales funnel
  • Keep the number of items in the cart visible
  • Make your load time lightning-fast
  • Optimize your site for mobile
  • Feature expert social proof
  • Display social sharing buttons in blog posts prominently
  • Display your phone number prominently
  • Put key information on the left side of the page
  • Reduce distractions
  • Reduce the number of fields and options a user has to sift through
  • Remove graphics or images near or touching your CTA
  • Remove visual deadweight
  • Replace dropdown menus with other options
  • Run surveys to figure out what your customers really want
  • Remove useless links
  • Show multiple high-quality product images
  • Show off user reviews
  • Show your product in context


Note: This list was gathered from Brian Dean’s great post on conversion rate optimization techniques. See his original post here.

  • Add a benefit to your call to action
  • Add number of likes, users, followers or customers as social proof
  • Add numbers in your headline
  • Add urgency to your CTA
  • Ask for micro-commitments
  • Clearly mark your top sellers
  • Directly counter objections
  • Evoke emotion
  • Feature high-revenue products above fold
  • Get new users engaged immediately, even if they don't buy right away
  • Give people more information
  • Leverage loss aversion
  • Make your headlines super-specific
  • Persuade with image captions
  • Replace blocks of text with bullet points
  • Replace jargon with plain English
  • Replace the word "Buy" with benefit-rich CTAs
  • Show the work that went into creating your product
  • Show where your product was made
  • Show why you're better than competition
  • Sweeten the deal with bonuses
  • Test different prices to maximize total revenue
  • Test first and second person copy in CTAs
  • Test free trials vs. freemium
  • Test negative words in your headline
  • Test upsells, downsells and cross sells
  • Use a long-form sales page for pricey products
  • Use action-oriented copy
  • Use heat map tools
  • Use image testimonials
  • Use photos of real people
  • Use real faces instead of icons or stock photos
  • Use short landing pages for small commitments
  • Add countdown timers to time-sensitive offers
  • Generate email subscribers from your About Us page
  • Put a CTA in the top right corner of your page
  • Put your button in a more prominent place
  • Repeat key benefits during checkout
  • Show a bigger phone number on mobile sites
  • Use a contrasting color for your CTA
  • Use anchor text navigation links
  • Use multiple CTAs on a single page
  • End your prices in "7" and "9"
  • Remove hidden fees
  • Show your price on landing pages
  • Split up a larger product into individual products
  • Test lowering AND raising your prices
  • Add live chat support
  • Autofill fields at checkout
  • Collect emails and nurture (instead of trying to sell immediately)
  • Give people a product tour
  • Keep your message and design consistent through your entire funnel
  • Let buyers checkout as a guest
  • Offer free shipping
  • Segment by different user types
  • Show progress bars
  • Test different payment options
  • Test the number of pages in your checkout process
  • Use A/B testing
  • Update your outdated design
  • Use a large font for your headline
  • Use a notification bar at the top of your pages
  • Use a popup to capture more emails
  • Use a single column layout
  • Use a slider at the bottom of your pages
  • Use BIG product images
  • Use hand-drawn visual cues
  • Put a discount sticker on your products
  • Test button size
  • Test different colors for call-to-action buttons

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