What is the difference between UX and Conversion Rate Optimisation?

CRO Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you have a website, you will definitely want to make sure people who visit it have a pleasant experience and turn into quality conversions (at least I hope you do?). You will probably spend some time looking at what will help you achieve just that, which more than likely will leave you faced with an abundance of acronyms and feeling a bit lost with where to start.

The two biggest contenders to achieve this are UX (user experience) and CRO (conversion rate optimisation), but which one is which, what do they mean, do you need both and how will they help?

What is UX?

UX or UX design, is the process of creating and designing an experience that is simple to use, engaging, relevant, useful and enjoyable to work with. The purpose of UX is to ensure your customers find value in the service or product you offer.

UX is absolutely paramount to the success of any marketing campaign, as with face-to-face retail – customer service is everything. Why would it be different behind a screen? If anything you need to work that little bit harder, as you cannot win them over with a smile and charm. While they scroll through your website, it’s important that your content, images, message and branding does this for you.

Creating a seamless, easy, no-brainer experience, will be the difference between engaging quality customers/clients/leads which will ultimately convert or losing them before you’ve had chance to start virtually telling them who you are.

So, what is CRO

Conversion rate optimisation (more commonly known as CRO), is is the task of finding what may be impacting the amount of people taking a desired action (this varies business to business) and putting steps in place to increase the conversion rate.

CRO can be considered as the older sibling of UX. While UX is more focussed around creating a beautiful experience from start to finish, CRO is understanding and adapting the journey, placement of content, lead magnets etc. to encourage users to complete a specific action – while we still want them to have a good time, it’s about helping them take the desired journey to complete an action (convert)

If you want to know more about this take a peak at a previous article I wrote

How they work together

While you can opt to have CRO or UX, you will only really notice the benefits when you combine the two (it’s a salt and pepper deal). UX should be at the core of all web design and is only going to become ever more popular as time passes, it’s simply improving the experience users have on your website – why would you not do that?

However, simply having a pleasant experience, isn’t going to necessarily drive those website visitors to fill out your form, or download your e-book, or order your food or any other action you want them to take. That is why we then implement a Conversion Rate Optimisation campaign, to look at the contributing factors and work to improve them.

Just a few results we’ve seen from implementing CRO & UX for our clients

  • For one client we saw the bounce rate on a specific page drop from 69% to 53% in as little as 2 weeks.
  • After running an A/B test on a contact page, we saw 7 conversions in a matter of days to version B, while version A achieved 0. We have now made version B the official contact and are seeing a steady gradual increase in conversions month-on-month
  • By adding in a clearer navigation and CTAs on test page B, average pages per session increased from 1 to 4, with an average time on page increase from 00:34 to 2:56

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