Designers design; copywriters write. What do Conversion rate optimization experts do?

To understand the difference, let’s first understand what conversion and conversion rate means.

Conversion happens when a visitor acts on your offer by filling up the form, subscribing to your newsletter, making a purchase or taking any other action which pushes them further in the sales cycle. The offer can be on your website, blog, a landing page, or even an email.

The blue area in the illustration below is the conversion zone, where the action happens.

Conversion rate is number of people who act on your offer divided by the total number of people who viewed it.

Let’s say –  You want to try your luck with online dating, and create a profile for that. Assuming 100 people viewed your profile and 4 people showed interest in you, your profile has a 4% conversion rate.

The job of conversion rate optimization (CRO) expert is to encourage people to take the desired action by:

  • Arranging elements on the page in the most understandable manner.
  • Removing distractions from the page.
  • Adding psychological triggers to encourage action.
  • Analyzing and improving the conversion rate with continuous measurement.

Let’s see how differently a designer, copywriter and a CRO expert would create your profile (assuming it can be customized)

conversion rate optimization example

Considering there are millions of profiles on dating sites (50 million alone on Tinder), and 8-second attention span of average humans, which one do you think would get the most interest?

If you thought the last one, we are on the same page. Let me try and back that up:

  • The elements on the page are better arranged. Dividing lines makes the content easier to scan.
  • The call to action button (Let’s go out) stands out due to color contrast.
  • The button subtext (place of your choice) gives a sense of assurance and encourages action.

The result is a click-worthy combination of visuals and text, in other words is conversion optimized. This is what conversion rate optimization experts do. But it doesn’t end there. This will be tested and continuously improved to find out the winning combination.

Let’s make some more changes to the profile, and add a “free beer” to it.

what conversion rate optimization is not

This is not conversion optimization. Although “free beer” might get this profile more interest, but they may be more into the free beer, than our friend Adam Zampa.

Conversion rate optimization is not about generating as many actions as possible. It is generating as many quality actions as possible, with highly relevant offers.

P.S – I do not intend to generalize the thought process of copywriters, designers and conversion optimization experts with the example cited above. I just intend to showcase the difference in the mindset I experienced when I worked in all the 3 roles (for however little time) at different points in my career.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let’s discuss in comments.

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