If you've ever asked yourself "What is conversion rate optimization?", you're not alone. It's a confusing concept for many to understand. And for some, it's even harder to implement.

In fact, only 28% of marketers say they're satisfied with their conversion rates.

But by following a process for conducting CRO properly, you can transform your website from conversion rate zero to conversion rate hero.

With this process you'll start by using a conversion rate formula to figure out your current conversion rates. 

Then you'll be guided through the steps of conducting research, gathering more data, and then undergoing an A/B test to make sure the changes you make are increasing conversion rates, not decreasing them. 

Launch a checklist from this template every time you want to make CRO-related changes.

Here's to optimizing conversion rates easily and effectively.

Add basic information

Add your basic information via the form fields below.

If this checklist needs to be referred to in the future, it's a good idea to have certain pieces of information added.

This includes the first and last name of whoever's running the checklist, their job title, their email, the name of the website that's being optimized, and today's date.

Step 1: Gathering initial data:

Before deep diving into the optimization steps, you'll first need to gather critical initial data - conversion rates. 

The following tasks will help you to complete this step.

Some of these tasks have stop tasks applied. Stop tasks mean the user cannot move to the next step without completing the task at hand first.

For more information regarding stop tasks, check out the video below.

Use the conversion rate formula

Use the conversion rate formula (via the subchecklist) to discover your website's conversion rates.

As marketer Aden Andrus says, calculating conversion rates via the conversion rate formula isn't too taxing.

"All you have to do is divide the number of conversions you get in a given time frame by the total number of people who visited your site or landing page and multiply it by 100%.

Conversion rate = (conversions / total visitors) * 100%."

Use the subchecklist below to calculate conversion rate

Remember, you can use this formula to be as broad or as specific you like. It can be used to figure out the overall conversion rate, or for a specific conversion rate.

  • 1
    Gather the number of conversions within a certain time frame - i.e., a month.
  • 2
    Find the number of people who visited your site.
  • 3
    Divide those two numbers.
  • 4
    Then multiply it by 100%.

Jot down current conversion rates

Jot down your website's current conversion rates in the text box(es) below.

Now that you have your conversion rate numbers, jot the conversion rates down in the appropriate boxes below.

Use the "Overall conversion rate" box for overall conversion rates, and "Specific conversion rate" if you're targeting a specific conversion.

Step 2: Writing down hypotheses:

Creating hypotheses is important; it helps to clarify what you want to change, how you'll do it, and sets the foundation for the overall CRO process.

The questions in the next step will aid you in creating these initial hypotheses.

You may also want to take a look at Gabriel Weinberg's Bullseye Framework, which can be used in tandem with this process. It'll help you figure out what's possible, what's probable, and what's working - boosting your hypotheses even further.

Create initial hypotheses

Create initial hypotheses for this particular CRO project by answering the questions below.

Creating a hypothesis is one of the marketing processes will help you tackle CRO in a direct, methodical manner.

To boot, it will also help you should you need to return to the hypotheses and make alterations to what you're targeting and how you're facilitating changes.

Create your hypotheses by giving answers to the questions.

If you wanted to use a customer journey map to gain greater insight, we have a template for that!

Step 3: Undergoing qualitative research:

Qualitative research is extremely useful for conversion rate optimization, especially as qualitative data comes straight from users themselves.

As Peep Laja, founder of ConversionXL, says:

"Qualitative research can actually offer more insight than anything else for coming up with winning test hypotheses. When quantitative stuff tells you what, where and how much, then qualitative tells you ‘why’." - Peep LajaHow to Use Qualitative Research to Drive Conversions

Undergo qualitative research

Undergo qualitative research to find out where improvements could be made via your user base.

Qualitative research can provide you with quality data concerning either your website as a whole, or specific parts of it. 

Choose the method - or multiple methods - from the dropdown list that you'll be using to gather qualitative data.

If you'll use methods that aren't included in the dropdown list, jot the method's name down in the "Any other qualitative methods?" box.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
    1-1 conversations
  • 4
    Group interviews
  • 5
    Reading email feedback
  • 6
    Reading live-chat feedback
  • 7
    Reading reviews

Write down what was learned from qualitative research

Write down what you learned from the qualitative research in the text box underneath.

After undergoing qualitative research, you should have gained data in the form of written messages, vocal feedback, and answers given via polls or surveys.

Paste all of the qualitative data in the box below, then use the "What was learned from qualitative research?" box to write down what you learned from questioning your user base (i.e. what should change, what could be improved, what is successful).

Step 4: Undergoing quantitative research:

After undergoing qualitative research, you'll be turning your attention to quantitative research. 

The two tasks in this step will help you gather and document important quantitative data.

Undertake quantitative research

Undertake quantitative research to uncover where improvements could be made via hard data.

To get the most applicable quantitative data, you should be using software like Google Analytics or Unbounce. But, depending on the element you want to increase conversions for, what you use to gather this data may vary.

Choose one or multiple quantitative research methods that you'll use from the dropdown below. If you don't see a method that you'll be using, write down what it is in the "Any other quantitative methods?" box.

  • 1
    Using software (like Google Analytics or Unbounce)
  • 2
    Looking at previous A/B tests
  • 3
    Looking at back-end data

Write down what was learned from quantitative research

Write down what you learned from the quantitative research in the text box below.

Just as you gathered your qualitative data, you should have now have quantitative data at your disposal. 

Paste data that's relevant to what you're targeting for increased conversions in the "Pasted quantitative data" box.

Then, write your findings in the "What was learned from quantitative research?".

Step 5: Researching competitors:

Competitor analysis helps you boost your own competitive standing by gaining inspiration from what your competitors are or aren't doing.

As Shane Barker, a digital marketer and strategist, explains:

"Understanding competition is crucial for the success of your business in every aspect. It will help you determine what you’re doing wrong, and what you can do better. It will also help you identify and capitalize on the weaknesses of your competitors." - Shane BarkerHow To Conduct Competitor Research For Better Conversion Optimization Results

Conduct research on your competitors

Conduct research on your competitors to see what they're doing successfully and unsuccessfully, then fill out the form fields underneath.

For this step, you'll want to research your competitors

This can be done by finding several competitors online, scouring their websites with different mindsets, and then writing down where they've succeeded or failed with their own CRO and website optimization elements. 

Paste links to competitors' websites you've analyzed, and then write down your findings in the appropriate text boxes.

Step 6: Identifying the issues:

You've undertaken research, gathered data, and even looked at how your competitors are functioning; you should now have a clear idea of the issues affecting the conversions you want to increase.

In the following task you'll list these issues, preparing you for making the necessary changes.

Identify issues impacting conversion rates

Identify the specific issues that are negatively impacting your conversion rates, then list them below.

With all the information you've collected, you should now be able to understand why there's an issue - or issues - with conversions. 

For example, if your business wasn't receiving as many eBook downloads as hoped for, you might have noticed that your website wasn't utilizing pop-ups to advertise eBooks, while your competitors were

List the issues negatively impacting your conversion rates in the text box.

Step 7: Considering conversion-changing actions:

Seeing as you've identified the issues at hand, you should now create a list of actions that would positively impact the conversions you want to increase.

Consider what actions could increase conversion rates

Consider what actions can be implemented to help increase conversion rates, then create a list of potential options below.

With the issues related to conversion in mind, now write down a list of potential actions that could be taken to increase conversion rates.

Use the text box to write the list down.

Step 8: Preparing the actions:

For this step, you'll start putting the changes in motion. Although you won't be pushing the changes live just yet, you'll be doing the pre-requisite measures.

Prepare the actions for A/B testing

Start preparing the actions that will be implemented for the upcoming A/B test.

For this step, you'll be preparing the actions for A/B testing.

This may mean asking a designer to design a new page, a content writer to write new text, or a developer to write new code.

Write down what needs to be done to prepare the actions for A/B testing in the last text box.

Step 9: Conducting the A/B test:

After all the research and preparation, you're at the most important step of the process: Implementing the changes and conducting an A/B test to make sure the changes you make are positive.

Follow the next two tasks to properly conduct an A/B test and generate critical data.

Undergo the A/B test

Undergo the A/B test, using the Process Street A/B testing checklist to help you.

An A/B test is a CRO and website optimization test where two versions of a web page are compared with each other. It gives you data concerning which changes you should or shouldn't make.

An A/B test shouldn't be taken lightly.

For maximum success, follow the A/B testing checklist created by Process Street, a piece of BPM software. It'll guide you through every step of the way.

It's recommended by Neil Patel that the A/B test lasts at least a week, preferably two.

Jot down the A/B test results

Jot down the results of the A/B test in the text box below.

Once the A/B test has run its course and you have reliable data concerning the actions you should or should not take, jot down the A/B test results.

Step 10: Returning to the hypotheses:

In the last and final step, you'll be returning to the initial hypotheses you created, measuring the successfulness of the process, and making sure any positive changes to your site are pushed live.

Prepare CRO & web optimization strategy for review

Refer to your original hypotheses, using the form fields to consider whether the changes resulted in success.

Seeing as the A/B test has been completed, you'll now return to your hypotheses.

If the changes weren't successful, you'll want to go back to task 19 and try other methods to facilitate website optimization and increase the conversion rates. You should run an A/B test for each potential change.

If the changes were successful, you'll want to ensure the changes are pushed live.

Via variables, you don't have to navigate back to step 7 to see your original hypotheses. The information is being pulled straight in.

Original hypotheses:

What needs to be improved?


Why does it need to be improved?


What effect will the changes have?


Who's the persona behind the (non)click?


What parts of the site should be targeted?


Using the Members form field below, assign the individual who will approve the CRO & web optimization strategy.

Check out our Knowledge Base for more information on the approvals feature.

Approval: CRO & web optimization strategy

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Prepare CRO & web optimization strategy for review
    Will be submitted

Ensure positive changes go live

Ensure positive changes go live by adding a go-live date to the calendar.

The final task of this CRO todo list is to make sure what the A/B test determined as positive changes go live

Whether you're planning to push the changes in a day or a month, use the calendar below to mark the go-live date.


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