Here are 11 conversion rate optimization trends we think are worth implementing to increase conversions and revenue. Plus, we share insights from experts who use them everyday.
Here, you’ll find:
- Why conversion rate optimization trends matter for marketers
- 11 Conversion rate optimization trends to leverage now
- Real-world examples of conversion rate optimization
- Essential conversion rate optimization strategies
Getting tons of traffic to your product, service, or offer pages — but few conversions or sales? By tracking and testing conversion rate optimization trends, you can implement current best practices and maximize marketing campaign results.
So where should you focus your efforts? I asked 10 CRO experts, including HawkSEM’s in-house team, to weigh in on what’s working for marketers now.
In this article, we’ll cover 11 conversion optimization trends and share real-life examples to help you drive more qualified traffic, boost conversion rates, and generate more revenue.
Why conversion rate optimization trends matter for marketers
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) and trends go hand in hand. Why? CRO is built on a foundation of iterating, updating, and making data-driven decisions to achieve the most conversions or the highest return on investment (ROI).
One of the biggest benefits of conversion rate optimization is that it focuses on testing new technology and methods, comparing versions against each other, and keeping playbooks current. In other words, CRO isn’t about repeating the same old tactics for every campaign.
If you’re still using last year’s tactics or if you haven’t updated your CRO tech stack recently, your outcomes may be far below where they could be. As a result, you could be wasting money on underperforming ads or missing out on key opportunities to convert customers.
Curious how your results compare to current benchmarks? Conversion rates vary a lot based on the channel, the brand, the offer, the target audience, and many other factors. But it’s good to get a sense of where you stand compared to the competition. Here are some typical conversion rate optimization statistics:
- Across industries, the average conversion rate for Google search ads is just over 7%, according to Search Engine Land.
- For ecommerce businesses, average conversion rates are between 2.5% and 3%, according to Shopify.
- Pages that rank at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) have average click-through rates (CTRs) over 39%, according to Backlinko.
11 Conversion rate optimization trends to leverage now
Wondering how much of an impact conversion rate optimization can make for digital marketing right now? “CRO is becoming a widespread service across many industries recently. More business owners are becoming aware of the value of making websites better at converting,” explains HawkSEM CEO Sam Yadegar.
As a result, many business owners are leaning into CRO instead of investing in new marketing channels. That means for growth marketers and CRO experts, it’s more important than ever to experiment with new tactics, starting with these.
- Adopting AI tools and technology
- Monitoring data integrity and cleanliness
- Leveling up user testing platforms
- Laser focusing on conversion rates
- Increasing testing velocity
- Collecting deeper customer insights
- Building personalized experiences
- Understanding buyers’ roles
- Optimizing for voice search
- Experimenting with demand generation
- Streamlining checkout processes
1. Adopting AI tools and technology
AI is by far the most important trend for CRO experts to monitor today.
“Before AI, qualitative research was done through surveying, gathering all those responses and data, categorizing data and drawing insights with coding,” shares Yadegar. “I’m hearing more and more case studies of AI tools being used to speed up the process of drawing insights or just labeling and categorizing qualitative research results. The speed is at a different level than manual human work, but the final touches of drawing insights are still best to do with a human brain.”
Many CRO professionals are also using AI for marketing automation and website personalization. “Given that website visitors are also using AI (especially in the B2B SaaS space), they’re expecting a lot from their digital experience with your company, explains Growth Marketing Manager Alexa Baltazar. “It’s critical to speak to each website visitor using their vocabulary to communicate a story unique to their needs. AI can help segment these visitors and craft a story that will resonate with each group.”
How to implement
Use a website analytics, experimentation, and personalization platform with built-in AI tools. For example, Optimizely supports both website experimentation and ecommerce optimization.
It has embedded AI technology that generates content, delivers intelligent insights, and provides automated recommendations. Optimizely AI also has an algorithm that automatically determines the most effective iterations of any page and drives traffic accordingly.
2. Monitoring data integrity and cleanliness
For most businesses, A/B or multivariate testing is a key component of conversion rate optimization. But as helpful as this tactic is, it won’t benefit your business if you aren’t managing or analyzing the data properly.
“I’m seeing more and more people in the CRO industry calling out companies for overlooking the cleanliness of their data before jumping into A/B testing,” Sam Yadegar shares. “As a result, more companies have become aware of data integrity and clean data recently—especially large corporations where data is flowing from everywhere.”
How to implement
Heap is a digital insights platform that offers visibility into customer journeys. With Heap’s insights, you can learn which elements of your website convert best — from chatbots to call-to-action (CTA) buttons. With its session recordings, the platform easily helps you find and resolve conversion bottlenecks.
Segment is a customer data platform that tracks and analyzes touchpoints across marketing channels. It creates real-time customer profiles and delivers personalized messages based on user behavior. It can also use customer data to optimize offers and increase conversions.
3. Leveling up user testing platforms
In the recent past, many growth marketers relied on CRO tools like Google Optimize for user testing. Since this tool’s sunset in September 2023, CRO professionals must now consider a wider range of user testing platforms.
In many cases, shifting away from Google Optimize will allow CRO experts to level up their user testing capabilities. As Sam Yadegar explains, up-and-coming user testing platforms are likely to become much more advanced.
“Before there were just a few out there, like Amazon MTurk and similar, which were not originally made for website user testing. The dashboards were not really intuitive for CRO user testing,” Yadegar shares. “Now there’s tons of new user testing tools that even vet their testers so that they fit the target audience of brands.”
How to implement
To find the right CRO testing platform for your website, demo or trial one of the top options below.
Hotjar is a website analytics tool that goes much deeper than numbers alone. Its heat mapping features reveal which parts of each page drive conversions so you know where to focus your efforts. Hotjar can also record website sessions and request user feedback or interviews directly, helping marketers dive deeper into analytics and CRO.
User Testing is an experience research tool that builds user testing segments for websites and apps. With User Testing, you can find test audiences that fit your buyer persona so you can understand exactly how potential customers are likely to use your site. Between click tests, surveys, and usability tests, you can see and hear how people engage with your site.
4. Laser focusing on conversion rates
Improving conversion rates is a cornerstone of CRO. Yet for many growth marketers, increasing traffic is also a priority. Instead of working to improve both, marketers are honing in on conversion rates and using traffic data to improve these key outcomes.
“I think some marketers are very concerned about traffic growth. However, what really matters is the conversion rate and whether it drops when you grow your traffic. This drop is telling you that traffic might be irrelevant to your business. Why would you want to grow traffic that is not converting?” shares Daria Gogoleva, Growth Strategist at Tweet Binder by Audiense.
“My invitation here is to be very attentive to conversion rate. In an ideal scenario, it should be on the same level or higher.”
Gogoleva suggests using 1.5% to 2% conversion rate as a benchmark. If you have a lower conversion rate.
“It indicates that something is wrong with either your traffic (relevancy to what is on the landing page) or landing page (does it show what visitors expect to see).”
How to implement
Use your website analytics to establish your own benchmarks. Then review your bounce rates and conversion rate over time. Look for low points, and reverse engineer the process. What caused this metric to decline? Was it unqualified traffic from a Google search ad, a mismatch between the ad and the landing page, or something else?
5. Increasing testing velocity
The one time growth marketers may benefit from significantly increasing traffic is when low visitor numbers are limiting testing capabilities. After all, CRO experts need enough traffic to collect data and draw conclusions.
“Many CROs are facing the harsh truth that it’s not just about finding issues and opportunities but it’s also equally important how fast we test those and implement. Faster testing = faster learning = faster improvements,” explains Sam Yadegar.
How to implement
Collaborate with your search advertising, paid social media, or SEO team to explore options for increasing traffic. Alternatively, group similar segments or demographics together to bypass traffic issues. Use website analytics and A/B testing tools to monitor traffic numbers and ensure you have enough to get conclusive results faster.
Kameleoon is an optimization platform that lets marketers run experiments with different website versions. With Kameleoon, you can test anything from messaging to design, including elements like social proof and testimonials. The platform also has powerful AI tools that can personalize landing pages and apply advanced segmentation.
VWO is a website analysis and optimization platform that supports observation, experimentation, and personalization. With VWO, you can collect qualitative analytics to understand behavior and make data-driven decisions. You can also run experiments to various audience segments and leverage personalization tools to create more effective landing pages.
6. Collecting deeper customer insights
“I think one of the biggest trends that we’re seeing is that people are starting to realize that CRO isn’t just about optimizing your ad and landing page copy. It’s about understanding how your customers actually use your product,” explains Will Yang, Head of Growth & Customer Success at Instrumentl.
“It’s one thing to know what words they type into Google to find your site, or what other sites they visit when they leave yours,” continues Yang. “But it’s another thing entirely to understand why they do those things.”
He also notes that marketers need to start asking themselves:
- Why did this user bounce from my site without converting?
- Why did this user click on a specific link?
And then, instead of assuming that the answer is as simple as ‘they didn’t like the color,’ you should really take some time to think through what went wrong, and how you can fix it next time.
How to implement
The user testing tools we covered above are key to understanding customer insights. Tools like VWO and Optimizely allow multivariate A/B testing so you can compare multiple versions against each other and drill down into your site visitors’ behavior.
And with tools like Hotjar, you don’t have to guess why visitors take certain actions. You can ask them directly via real-time user feedback features.
Some of these tools also allow you to make quick edits to any homepage or landing page design, without getting developers involved. This workflow is ideal for teams that want to experiment faster so they can improve website conversion rates efficiently.
7. Building personalized experiences
“One of the best things you can do to personalize your customer’s experience is to actually get to know them,” says Yang. “Personalization isn’t just about showing them what they’re most likely to click on—it’s about creating a unique experience for each and every customer, based on their browser, location, device, and more.”
For example, if you’re an e-commerce site selling clothing, you might show your customers offers tailored to their specific preferences. For instance, ‘Would you like to save 20% on all items in this category?’ or ‘We’ve got some great new arrivals!’
“If they’re new to your site or haven’t visited recently, they might see something more general like ‘Welcome back!’ But if they’re returning after a long absence? You’ll want to make sure there’s something special waiting for them,” Yang recommends.
How to implement
To create personalized experiences, you need a dedicated tool that can deliver dynamic content and design elements to specific audience segments. In addition to tools like Kameleoon and Optimizely, the platforms below are ideal for creating dynamic omnichannel experiences.
Bloomreach is an AI-driven personalization platform for ecommerce landing pages and websites. It analyzes customer intent and deploys custom journeys that align with business metrics. Along with ecommerce storefronts, Bloomreach can also optimize conversions across email, SMS, and other channels.
Dynamic Yield is an operating system for personalization. It pulls data from any source you integrate and automatically predicts next steps, recommends products, and creates personalized experiences. Dynamic Yield also offers A/B testing tools with AI-driven revenue optimization.
8. Understanding buyers’ roles
For B2C businesses that sell products to individual consumers, the standard purchasing process may not be very complex. With tools like Google Analytics, you can map out the typical user journey. That way you can understand how potential customers move through your site, how many times they tend to visit, and how they behave on each page.
In contrast, B2B companies selling to businesses are likely to have much more complex lead generation and purchasing processes. In many cases, larger B2B buyers rely on committees, in which multiple stakeholders play a role.
“As a lot of B2B SaaS companies focus more on the enterprise segment, it is important to understand how the buying committee is different from a small business,” Baltazar explains. “With enterprise accounts, there are multiple people involved in the buying decision and the digital experience should speak to each one of them to solve items tied to that person’s role at the company.”
How to implement
Standard website personalization tools can certainly help, but B2B companies often get better results with dedicated tech. The tools below can create SaaS landing pages, build out personalized B2B landing pages, and optimize marketing content for specific accounts and personas.
6sense is an account-based marketing platform that uses Revenue AI technology to analyze website visitors and personalize experiences. The platform uses B2B datasets to identify users, predict funnel stages, and suggest next steps. With 6sense’s personalization tools, B2B marketers can deliver the right message at the right time.
Intellimize is an AI-powered website personalization and optimization platform. Its A/B landing page testing tools let you compare multiple versions, while its AI-driven optimization features personalizes your website automatically. It’s designed for marketing teams that need to move quickly, as it can launch multiple versions of a page in minutes.
Mutiny is a no-code platform for personalizing B2B landing pages and websites. It identifies website visitors automatically and creates AI-powered audience segments. With Mutiny, you can personalize any landing page manually or rely on the platform’s machine learning tools to write headlines that convert.
9. Optimizing for voice search
Search is rapidly evolving, and users are moving away from traditional search. As a result, CRO experts have to begin thinking about how to incorporate voice search into their optimization efforts.
“Optimizing content for voice search is crucial as more consumers use voice assistants,” explains ecommerce growth strategist Steve Pogson. “We need to consider natural language processing and how customers phrase their search queries.”
How to implement
The first step is understanding the difference between SEO keywords and voice search keywords. As a general rule, voice search optimization relies much more on long-tail keywords, questions, and natural. Many (but certainly not all) voice searches also require local SEO.
To reach the highest conversion rates for voice searchers, focus on optimizing for mobile devices. For example, experiment with answering questions concisely and directing users toward mobile-friendly conversion funnels.
10. Experimenting with demand generation
In many cases, established brands have an easier time attracting traffic and making sales. But brand awareness isn’t always the key to getting users to increasing clickthrough rates and conversions. In some cases, preconceived notions about your brand may actually decrease these metrics.
“I was scrolling the list of restaurants on UberEats and noticed a restaurant named Wild Burger near a shopping center that I frequent,” shares Feng. “I don’t remember there being a restaurant by that name so I looked up its address and it turned out to be Buffalo Wild Wings. Seems like a clever marketing strategy to bypass limitations associated with their established brand.”
How to implement
Run experiments to focus less on your brand and more on your benefits and unique selling proposition. Compare the results against your brand awareness campaigns to make data-driven decisions about how to best to generate demand and drive conversions.
11. Streamlining checkout processes
Optimizing for single-step conversions can be relatively straightforward. But when your conversions require lengthy online shopping and checkout processes, you’re bound to see breakage. With a simplified checkout process, you can significantly increase both conversion rates and sales numbers.
“I had a client who was totally fixated on their conversion rate,” shares Draven McConville, CEO & Founder of Klipboard. “They had a lot of abandoned carts, I discovered when I looked at their data more closely.”
“To find out why people were leaving their carts empty, I asked them to speak with some of their customers. It turned out that the checkout procedure was overly convoluted and drawn out. The client made some adjustments to the checkout procedure, and as a result, their conversion rate considerably increased.”
How to implement
First, make sure you know the common causes of cart abandonment. Customers may not complete the desired action due to issues like unexpected pricing or functionality concerns like being forced to create an account according to Bolt.
Use the website analytics and user testing tools we covered above to pinpoint which issue is likely causing your cart abandonment issues. Then A/B test different versions of the checkout process to find the one that drives the highest ecommerce conversion rate.
Real-world examples of conversion rate optimization
What is conversion rate optimization without a look at these practices in action? Let’s look at some conversion rate optimization examples that illustrate what you can accomplish with a dedicated CRO program.
Cold weather gear retailer nearly triples conversion rate
Winter apparel retailer 686 came to HawkSEM with the goal of increasing sales while maintaining a high return on ad spend (ROAS). In addition to optimizing the brand’s product feed and running dynamic search campaigns, the team created landing pages tailored to customers with an interest in specific products.
As a result, HawkSEM worked with 686 to achieve a 186.67% increased conversion rate and an increased ROAS of 303%. What was the secret?
“For each campaign we manage, we implement granular tracking for our CRO strategies. With ConversionIQ, we can truly understand which strategy or trend is yielding the best results,” explains Rambod Yadegar, President of HawkSEM.
“The reason we implement ConversionIQ is because a trend may work for one company and not for another. With this tool, we are able to determine what specific parts of a CRO campaign are generating a return and what parts need to be further optimized or even cut out.”
Application monitoring tool expands landing page portfolio
When working with AppDynamics, HawkSEM used CRO audits to find inefficiencies that drove down conversion rates.
By implementing our CRO strategies and tying in ConversionIQ, we were able to help AppDynamics increase conversion rates by 20% and go from 40 landing pages to over 200,” shares Yadegar.
“By integrating ConversionIQ into all of our CRO campaigns, we are able to extract specific customer data as we track every step of the customer journey—from initial visit to purchase or conversion. This allows us to continue spending marketing dollars on CRO campaigns yielding a high ROAS, which can allow for scalability while maintaining profitability. It also allows us to reallocate funds from underperforming campaigns to higher performing ones.”
High-end outdoor gear provider boosts conversions and decreases returns
“For one e-commerce client selling high-end outdoor gear, we noticed product detail pages had sparse descriptions and minimal imagery—mainly just a hero product shot. Our audit found this lack of details was leading to a high rate of returns from customers unhappy with what they received,” explains Gianluca Ferruggia, General Manager at DesignRush.
“To add crucial missing info, we implemented tabs on the product pages with detailed product specs, additional images of the gear in use for scale and context, sizing guides, and care instructions. We also created a reviews section for customers to ask questions.”
What were the results? “These enhancements significantly improved customers’ ability to visually inspect the products and vet details before purchasing,” Ferruggia shares. “In turn, we saw returns decrease by 12% in the first month as buyers became more confident in what they were getting. Conversion rates also increased by 8% as the improved info reduced hesitations.”
Essential conversion rate optimization strategies
In addition to paying attention to trends, it’s important to follow CRO best practices. But remember that CRO website design is just the beginning. Think beyond CTA colors, pop-up placements, user-generated content, and load times—and focus on these evergreen strategies to drive results.
Know what moves the needle
Unless you have unlimited CRO resources, you’ll need to decide what’s most important to test or adjust. How can you make data-driven decisions?
“Using a mixture of quantitative (identifying highly trafficked but suboptimal experiences) and qualitative (identifying high frustration user experiences) methods, you’ll quickly triangulate on the few experiences that will move the needle the most,” explains Experimentation Leader Alex Birkett.
What’s the best way to prioritize experiments?
“Prioritization depends on effort versus impact,” Ferruggia confirms. “Quick wins like fixing broken pages get addressed immediately. Bigger initiatives around information architecture and messaging are sequenced based on resources. We focus on changes providing the greatest lift to conversion and revenue.”
“Both quantitative and qualitative insights inform strategic yet actionable recommendations tailored to core customer needs. With the right priorities, even simple changes compound over time for dramatic optimization.”
Account for size limitations
Tailored audiences and A/B testing are both becoming increasingly important tools for CRO experts. In some ways, however, they can actually work against you.
As Feng explains, “The more tailored your target audience is, the smaller the sample size. That will lengthen your test duration and limit its potential impact.”
If personalization is important to your CRO strategy, Will recommends “grouping different segments together and testing them under one theme.” That way you can get valuable insights more efficiently.
Create a testing culture
It’s tempting to approach CRO as something that can answer one-off optimization questions or help your marketing team make isolated improvements. Although that can be true, you’re likely to get much more value from a long-term strategy.
“The key to a solid CRO program is a strong roadmap which focuses on increasing conversions across different user journeys,” Baltazar explains. “Create a testing culture in your marketing organization so that everyone is bought in and will help fuel new testing ideas.”
From personalization and user testing to AI and voice search, several trends are changing the CRO landscape and opening up new avenues for performance-minded brands to improve outcomes.
Curious how these tactics could benefit your business? Connect with our CRO experts for a free consultation and discover how a conversion rate optimization agency can help.