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What Is Conversion Rate Optimization? LIFT Model and CRO Statistics for 2023

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a practice centered around improving a website’s or digital platform’s performance. Its primary goal is to increase the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as purchasing, signing up for a service, or any other valuable interaction.

What is a Conversion Rate?

A conversion rate is a key metric in online marketing and sales that measures the percentage of website or landing page visitors who take a desired action or complete a specific goal. This action can vary depending on the website’s objectives. It may include purchasing, filling out a contact form, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a resource.

Conversion rates are calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of visitors and expressing the result as a percentage.

Conversion Rate = \frac{Number of Conversions}{Total Number of Visitors} \times 100

It is a critical metric used to evaluate the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns and the overall performance of a website or online platform in achieving its objectives.

Why CRO Matters

CRO involves a systematic approach that includes data analysis, experimentation, and user feedback. By identifying and addressing areas that hinder user conversions, CRO aims to enhance the overall user experience and boost the success rate of desired actions.

Unfortunately, many marketers are so busy simply trying to produce the content and integrate the tools necessary for marketing that they don’t have the resources to optimize the existing journeys. CRO is often overlooked but is critical to success:

  1. Focus on Acquisition Over Conversion: Many businesses emphasize acquiring more website visitors or leads through marketing efforts. While attracting traffic is essential, converting that traffic into customers or subscribers is equally important. CRO ensures you make the most of the existing traffic and marketing investments.
  2. Cost-Effective Growth: CRO can be a cost-effective strategy. Instead of spending more on advertising or marketing to get additional visitors, optimizing the conversion process can yield significant improvements in sales and leads without increasing your budget.
  3. Enhanced User Experience: CRO improves user experience (UX) by making websites and digital assets more user-friendly. This not only leads to higher conversion rates but also fosters customer satisfaction and loyalty, benefiting the long-term success of a business.
  4. Data-Driven Decision Making: CRO relies on data analysis and testing, providing valuable insights into user behavior. It helps businesses make informed decisions based on real user interactions, leading to better-targeted marketing efforts and more effective online technology implementations.
  5. Competitive Advantage: Those who invest in CRO gain a competitive edge in a competitive online landscape. A website or platform that converts visitors into customers more effectively can outperform competitors and capture a larger market share.
  6. Adaptation to Changing Trends: Online technology and user behavior are constantly evolving. CRO allows businesses to adapt by optimizing their digital assets to meet shifting user expectations.

CRO is often overlooked because it requires dedicated effort and a data-driven approach. However, it’s critical to success as it can lead to cost-effective growth, improved user experiences, and a competitive advantage in the online space, aligning with your interests in sales, marketing, and online technology.

Path to Conversion

The path to conversion refers to the series of interactions or steps that a user takes on a website or digital platform before eventually completing a desired action or conversion, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or filling out a contact form. Understanding the path to conversion is essential in CRO for several reasons:

  1. Insight into User Behavior: Analyzing the path to conversion helps businesses gain insights into how users navigate their websites or digital assets. This information can reveal the pages or touchpoints most influential in driving conversions.
  2. Identification of Bottlenecks: By tracking user interactions along the path to conversion, businesses can identify potential bottlenecks or obstacles that hinder users from completing the desired action. This might include confusing navigation, lengthy forms, or unclear calls to action.
  3. Optimization Opportunities: Once bottlenecks and pain points are identified, CRO efforts can be directed toward optimizing those elements. This might involve redesigning a landing page, simplifying a checkout process, or improving the content on a critical page.
  4. Personalization: Understanding the path to conversion also enables businesses to personalize the user experience. You can increase the likelihood of conversion by tailoring content and offers based on where a user is in their journey.
  5. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Data collected along the path to conversion provides a foundation for data-driven decision-making. It allows businesses to test hypotheses, run A/B tests, and make incremental improvements to increase conversion rates.
  6. Resource Allocation: It helps allocate resources effectively. By optimizing the most critical touchpoints in the conversion path, businesses can maximize the impact of their CRO efforts and allocate resources efficiently.
  7. Enhanced User Experience: Ultimately, understanding and optimizing the path to conversion leads to an enhanced user experience. When users can easily and intuitively navigate through the conversion process, they are more likely to convert and have a positive impression of the brand.

The path to conversion is crucial in CRO because it provides valuable insights into user behavior, identifies optimization opportunities, supports data-driven decision-making, and ultimately leads to improved user experiences and higher conversion rates. It allows businesses to fine-tune their digital assets to meet user expectations and achieve conversion goals more effectively.

CRO LIFT Model Framework

There are several proven frameworks for CRO, but one of the most widely used and effective ones is the LIFT Model by Chris Goward. The LIFT Model provides a structured approach to CRO, focusing on key principles and factors that influence user behavior and conversion rates. Here’s a detailed explanation of the LIFT Model:

LIFT stands for:

  1. Value Proposition: This is the framework’s first and most critical element. It asks, Why should a visitor convert on your website? Your value proposition (UVP) should clearly communicate the unique benefits and advantages of your product or service. It should answer the visitor’s question, “What’s in it for me?” To optimize this aspect:
    • Ensure your value proposition is prominently displayed on the page.
    • Use clear and compelling headlines, subheadings, and visuals to convey your value.
    • Highlight key benefits and unique selling points.
  2. Relevance: Relevance ensures that your website or landing page aligns with the user’s expectations and intent. Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time is crucial. To optimize for relevance:
    • Match the messaging on your page with the user’s search query or the referring ad.
    • Use targeted keywords and ad copy that resonate with your target audience.
    • Segment your audience and create specific landing pages for different segments.
  3. Clarity: Clarity involves ensuring your website is easy to understand and navigate. Users should be able to quickly grasp what your page is about and how to take the desired action. To optimize for clarity:
    • Use a clean and uncluttered design.
    • Have a clear and concise call-to-action (CTA).
    • Remove distractions and unnecessary elements that may confuse users.
    • Ensure the navigation is intuitive, and users can easily find what they’re looking for.
  4. Urgency: Urgency is the psychological trigger that encourages users to take action now rather than later. It creates a sense of FOMO. To optimize for urgency:
    • Use time-limited offers, such as limited-time discounts or promotions.
    • Highlight scarcity, like Only three items left in stock or Limited seats available.
    • Use compelling language to convey a sense of immediacy, such as Act now or Don’t miss out.
  5. Distraction: Distracting elements are anything that diverts users’ attention away from your primary conversion goal. To optimize for distraction:
    • Remove unnecessary links or navigation options that lead users away from your CTA.
    • Minimize external ads or pop-ups that can take users off-course.
    • Maintain a clean and focused layout that guides users toward the conversion goal.
  6. Anxiety: Anxiety refers to the concerns or doubts that users may have before taking action. It’s crucial to address these concerns and build trust. To optimize for anxiety:
    • Provide social proof through testimonials, reviews, and trust badges.
    • Offer clear and transparent information about your product or service.
    • Include a privacy policy and security assurances to address data concerns.

The LIFT Model is a systematic framework that helps you identify areas of improvement on your website or landing page. Addressing these six key elements can create a more compelling and persuasive user experience, ultimately increasing your conversion rates. It’s essential to test variations of your pages to see which changes have the most significant impact on conversions and continuously refine your CRO strategy based on data-driven insights.

CRO Statistics

These statistics provide valuable insights for businesses aiming to improve their conversion rates in 2023.

General CRO Statistics:

  • The average website conversion rate is 2.35% across all industries, indicating a benchmark for website performance (Wordstream).
  • The best-performing websites achieve a conversion rate of 11%, emphasizing the room for improvement on most sites (Wordstream).
  • Desktops have a conversion rate of 4.14%, underlining the importance of optimizing websites for desktop users (Statista).
  • Tablets account for 3.36% of conversions, while smartphones contribute 1.53%, highlighting the need for mobile-responsive sites (Statista).
  • 94% of web traffic comes from organic search results, emphasizing the value of SEO (Monster Insights).
  • E-commerce sites have an average conversion rate of 14.6% for organic leads but only 1.7% for leads from outbound activities (Monster Insights).
  • The global e-commerce conversion rate is 2.58%, indicating the continued preference for traditional shopping (Statista).

Importance of CRO:

  • The average bounce rate for most websites falls between 26% and 70%, showing the challenge of retaining visitors (CrazyEgg).
  • The global market for CRO software is estimated to grow from $771 million in 2018 to $1,932 million by 2026 (Verified Market Research).
  • Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates, highlighting the desire for improvement (Econsultancy).
  • 57% of B2B marketers find landing page performance metrics most useful for evaluation (Ascend2).

CRO Adoption:

  • 69% of marketing specialists prioritize lead conversion (Hubspot).
  • 53% of companies allocate less than 5% of their marketing budget to optimization activities, suggesting potential for increased investment (Econsultancy).
  • Companies typically spend $2,000 per month on CRO tools (Forbes).
  • Approximately half of landing pages aren’t tested for improvement (Marketing Experiments).
  • 44% of clicks for B2B firms go to the brand’s homepage, indicating a need for improved navigation (MarketingSherpa’s Landing Page Handbook).
  • 68% of small businesses haven’t adopted CRO strategies (Outgrow).
  • A/B testing is the most commonly used CRO tool, with 58% of marketers utilizing it (Invesp).

CRO Challenges:

  • 82% of marketers find tracking and testing conversion rates challenging (Transaction Agency).
  • Over 48% of sales occur after four to ten contacts or more, emphasizing the importance of nurturing leads (RAIN Group).
  • A 40% visitor dropout rate occurs if a website takes 3 seconds or more to load (SwayHub).
  • 85% of marketers miss opportunities to win back “hard-to-get” customers (Kyleads).
  • Post-COVID-19, buy-in from decision-makers and process improvement are key CRO challenges (2020 State of Conversion Optimization Report, CXL).
  • 79% of marketers consider website personalization difficult (Econsultancy).

CRO Strategies that Work:

  • Increasing landing pages from 10 to 15 leads to a 55% increase in leads (Hubspot).
  • Brands with over 40 landing pages receive 12 times more leads than those with fewer (Hubspot).
  • Emails with personalized content boost conversions by 10% on average (Aberdeen).
  • User-generated content increases conversion rates by an average of 161% across industries (Yotpo).
  • Personalized CTAs generate 42% more conversions than non-personalized ones (Hubspot).
  • Long-form landing pages can bring in up to 220% more leads than short-form pages (Marketing Experiments).
  • 70% of marketers use CRO experiment outcomes to make other marketing decisions (Marketing Experiments).
  • Reducing fields from 11 to 4 in lead generation forms can result in 120% more conversions (Unbounce).
  • Longer landing pages can increase lead generation by 220% compared to shorter ones (Marketing Experiments).
  • Click here CTA buttons outperform submit buttons with a 30% conversion rate versus 3% (Unbounce).
  • Including telephone number fields in lead generation forms reduces conversions by 5% (Unbounce).
  • Marketing automation leads to a 451% increase in qualified leads (Business2Community).
  • Removing page navigation elements can boost conversions by up to 100% (
  • Businesses that increase conversion rates carry out 50% more tests (Econsultancy).
  • Using videos can increase landing page conversions by 86% (EyeView).
  • Nurtured leads result in 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (Annuitas Group).
  • Emails with a single CTA can increase clicks by 371% and sales by 1617% (Wordstream).
  • Businesses achieve an average ROI of 223% with CRO tools (VentureBeat).
  • 65% of consumers start their buyer journey on mobile, highlighting the need for mobile-friendly websites (Yotpo).
  • Desktop visits are four times more valuable than smartphone visits (Adobe Digital Insights).
  • Mobile optimization triples the chances of mobile conversions by 5% or more (Outgrow).
  • 96% of marketers believe segmentation is the most powerful strategy for increasing conversion rates (Econsultancy).
  • Contests can lead to a 34% form completion rate, though these leads may be lower quality (Formstack).
  • Referrals have the highest conversion rate at 3.74% among customer acquisition channels (Marketo).
  • Social media contributes to 31.24% of conversions in referral traffic to websites (Shareaholic).

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and CEO of DK New Media. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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