Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing your sponsored search ads, landing pages, and overall website design to covert the highest possible percentage of visitors to your site. CRO is quickly gaining in popularity because it's seen as a way to increase profits from sales without raising your advertising spend.
Of course, just as SEO  isn't really free, neither is a website redesign. It requires time and resources and, if you're doing it right, testing. Nonetheless, it's more than worth your while to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of website conversion  optimization, so you can maximize the chances that a potential customer who arrives at your site from a search engine becomes a qualified lead or a paying customer.
There are a number of things you can do to increase your conversion rate, among them:
- Write compelling, clickable PPC ads that are highly relevant to the keyword /search query and your intended audience. All the better if you're targeting high-intent  mid-tail and long-tail keywords  that indicate a searcher who is late in the buying cycle, as those consumers are more likely to convert.
- Maintain a high degree of relevance between your ads  and corresponding landing pages . Your landing page should deliver on the promise of your ad (the call to action) and make it easy for the searcher to complete that action, be it signing up for a newsletter, downloading a white paper or making a purchase.
You may be surprised to learn there's a product that can help you do both of the above at the same time it's managing other aspects of your search marketing campaigns—and you don't need to hire a SEO or PPC consultant  for conversion rate optimization services. WordStream for PPC  is a tool that works to increase the relevance of your ad groups, text ads and landing pages to bring you higher conversion rates at a lower cost per conversion, maximizing ROI on your pay-per-click campaigns .
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Optimizing Conversions: Start with the Right Keywords
When you start thinking about conversion rate optimization, it's tempting to fiddle around with buttons and forms and other low-in-the-funnel design elements that might make or break the sale. But remember that part of optimizing conversions is getting the right visitors to your site in the first place. High web traffic  is useless if none of those people convert.
With search marketing, increasing your qualified traffic is a matter of bidding on and optimizing for the right keywords. Traditional, third-party keyword tools  are almost worthless in this regard—they provide a limited number of general, high-traffic keywords that are freely available to anyone. You're left with no concrete, actionable knowledge about which of those terms are really relevant to your business and might lead to real conversions.
WordStream for PPC takes a different approach, allowing you to form a master keyword list that is:
- Private: WordStream aggregates keywords from private sources like your own Web analytics  and log files.
- Personalized: Because your keywords are derived from actual visitors to your website, they are completely personalized and relevant to your business niche .
- Accurate: You'll know exactly which keywords drive the most traffic and conversions (and exactly how many) for your business—this is far more valuable knowledge than which keywords are most popular globally.
Better keyword traffic  data means you can make better decisions about your website and ad copy and better target the right customers.
How Keyword Grouping Affects CRO
Effectively grouping and organizing your keywords  can have powerful effects at every level of your search marketing results, from SEO to PPC to CRO.
Why? Because strong keyword groups make it much easier to:
- Write effective, targeted PPC ads
- Create specific, optimized landing pages
- Prioritize content creation
- Maintain an organized, well-structured website
WordStream is the world's first and only software designed specifically to help search marketers perform keyword grouping  quickly, easily and on a continuous basis. Our keyword grouping tools make it fast and simple to segment a large database of keywords into an organized hierarchy of small, manageable, tightly related groups.
In addition, WordStream for PPC includes workflow  tools to guide search marketers through the optimization efforts that will make the most difference first, so you'll always know when you need to scrub or subdivide a keyword group, create an AdWords ad group , write landing pages or text ads and more.
Don't put the cart before the horse: Once you've used WordStream to get your keyword foundation in good working order, you can begin to consider the finer points of conversion rate optimization, such as placement of forms and number of fields. Those elements can make a big difference, but first be sure that you're bringing the right visitors to your site.
Looking for More Optimization Tips and Resources?
Learn more best practices for optimizing your website's performance and your search marketing campaigns: