Conversion Rate Optimisation(CRO) Audit Checklist for 2024

by Hiya Chaplot June 5th, 2024


Let's be real - having a pretty website just doesn't cut it anymore in today's crowded online world. To truly succeed, your website needs some serious Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to turn more of those hard-earned visitors into paying customers or subscribers. This is where a thorough CRO audit checklist comes in super handy–it's all about making tweaks and improvements to your website to boost those conversion rates.

A CRO audit checklist is like a roadmap to help you identify areas of your website that could be improved to convert more visitors. It covers things like but not limited to navigation (how easy is it for people to find what they want?), content (is your messaging persuasive?), calls-to-action (are your "buy now" buttons effective?), and the speed (is it a fast experience?).

By going through this checklist and optimizing those key areas, you can reduce friction that might be preventing visitors from becoming customers. You'll gain insights into what your customers like and don't like, so you can tailor the website experience to their needs and preferences

The Complete CRO Audit Checklist: 6 Must-Check Elements

1. Website Speed and Performance

In the rapidly moving world of e-commerce, slow website load times are the quickest way to lose impatient shoppers before they even glimpse your products. According to data, a staggering 53% of mobile users abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Talk about a need for speed!

As part of your CRO audit checklist, rigorously test your site's load times across a variety of real-world mobile devices and connection speeds. Aim for complete load times under 3 seconds - any longer and you risk shoppers bouncing in frustration.

Don't let sluggish code, unoptimized images, or lack of browser caching slow your shoppers down. Implement performance best practices like minifying code, enabling compression, and leveraging caching to ensure your mobile experience is smooth. 

But it's not just about speed - you must also audit for a consistently flawless experience across all devices, operating systems, and browsers. Eliminate glitches and friction points like stuck loading icons, repaint issues, or functionality missing on certain device environments.

Performance is critically tied to user experience. If your site delivers a clunky, slow-loading subpar experience, even interested shoppers may lose patience. However, fast load times and flawless performance signals trustworthiness, and a focus on premium user experience. 

2. User Experience (UX) and Navigation

Let's be honest - even if you have stellar products, a poor user experience on your e-commerce site is a surefire way to send motivated shoppers hitting the "back" button before converting. During your CRO audit, take an objective look at your user flows and navigation with a critical eye.

Identify any sources of friction or confusion that could be causing shoppers to abandon their journey. According to UI statistics, a bad user interface can severely damage a brand, while a well-designed UI can increase conversion rates by up to 200%. Factor in exceptional UX, and you're looking at up to 400% higher conversions.

Your e-commerce site's navigation should serve as an intuitive roadmap that guides visitors effortlessly towards the products they want and a seamless checkout. Keep main navigation menus simple and categories well-organized. Implement filters to let shoppers narrow choices without overwhelm.  

On product listing and detail pages, give users a steady trail of breadcrumb links to reference where they are and go back with one click. 

Don't underestimate the impact of small UX enhancements either. Streamlining steps like guest checkout versus account creation, smart form-filling, and secure payment options can optimize those crucial final conversion moments.

By prioritizing exceptional user experience, you provide shoppers the seamless, frustration-free journey. 

3. Content Messaging & Product Descriptions

They say content is king, and on any worthy e-commerce CRO audit checklist, it's one of the most critical elements. Your product descriptions and website messaging can make or break whether browsers become buyers.

As you audit, carefully review all your product copy through a critical lens. Is the description clear and persuasive? Or is it leaving potential customers confused about your offering's features and benefits? Ambiguity is lethal for e-commerce conversions.  

Leverage benefit-driven language that directly speaks to your target audience's pain points, needs, and desires. Don't just list dry specs - sell the compelling solution. An effective product description can improve conversions by up to 78% on a good day.

You should also ensure you're showcasing what makes your product unique and desirable over competitor options. Don't be afraid to tastefully brag about your key differentiators, technologies, accolades, or guarantees that set you apart.

At the same time, avoid overly hyped claims that could backfire and undermine trust. Strike a balance of touting advantages with straightforward language and details that adequately prepare and inform customers before purchasing.

By optimizing your content and messaging as part of your CRO audit checklist, you provide the clear path and motivation browsers need to confidently click "add to cart." Compelling copy eliminates confusion and transforms window shoppers into satisfied buyers.

4. Calls-to-Action (CTAs)  

You can have the most beautiful website with outstanding copy, but if your calls-to-action (CTAs) aren't up to par, your conversion rates will suffer. Think of your CTAs as the bridge between your visitor's interest and their desired action. During your CRO audit, ensure this is not missed. 

First things first, your CTAs need to be hard to miss. They should be prominent, clear, and actionable - leaving zero room for confusion or hesitation in your visitor's mind. Use straightforward language that spells out exactly what action you want them to take–”Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” or “Notify Me”.  Beat around the bush, and you'll miss opportunities.

Next up, design. Your CTAs need to visually pop off the page and grab attention. Leverage contrasting colors against your site's backdrop, and give those buttons some breathing room with ample whitespace. A cluttered page is a CTA's worst enemy.

But don't just set it and forget it. Split test different CTA variations - try new text, placement, design, and more to find the winning recipe. Even small tweaks can yield huge lifts in conversion rates when you discover the right combination.

With prominent, clear, and well-designed CTAs guided by continuous testing, you'll be well on your way to converting more users into customers. Don't let this crucial element fall by the wayside during your CRO audit.

5. Trust Signals and Social Proof

In the world of e-commerce, trust is the name of the game. When shoppers are just clicking around your site without the ability to physically experience your products, you need to work a little harder to build credibility and alleviate any hesitations about hitting that "buy" button. 

One powerful strategy is to prominently display customer testimonials, reviews, and ratings on your product pages. This social proof from past buyers who have already taken the plunge provides powerful validation to prospects that they're making a smart decision. For example, going from 25 reviews to 50 can bump up conversion by another 18%, which could equal thousands of extra sales Be sure to showcase a mix of reviews that highlight different strengths and benefits.

You'll also want to make shoppers feel as secure as possible by highlighting any return/exchange policies or guarantees your brand has. This reassures customers and builds trust in the brand,  while also conveying your commitment to excellent service and satisfaction.

When shoppers are on the fence about buying from an unfamiliar online store, these key trust signals and social proof elements can be just the nudge they need to overcome any lingering doubts and confidently click "Buy Now."

6. Mobile Experience:

Optimizing for mobile shoppers isn't just an option – it's a must. With more customers using smartphones and tablets to browse and buy, delivering an excellent mobile experience can determine whether they complete a purchase or abandon their cart in frustration.

On your CRO audit checklist, thoroughly test the entire mobile shopping journey from start to finish. Don't just verify your pages are mobile-friendly – go through the full user experience yourself. Navigate product menus, click through checkout flows, and explore cart functionality. Ensure everything functions smoothly with no clunky menus or links too small for fingers.

Pay close attention to checkout and purchase processes. Forms for entering payment and shipping details should be optimized for easy thumb-typing on mobile keyboards. Properly space input fields and enable smart features like auto-formatting to prevent mistakes.

Strategically timed push notifications tailored to previous behavior can also boost conversions. A timely cart reminder can recover abandoned purchases. Mobile-exclusive product alerts or flash sales can drive impulse buys.

In today's mobile-first world, optimizing the entire e-commerce experience for smaller screens is critical. A well-designed mobile journey eliminates frustrations and keeps customers engaged with your brand boosting sales. 


There you have it - the fundamental CRO audit checklist to maximize your website's conversion potential. By being honest and meticulous as you audit using these 6 elements, you'll find a lot of insights to seriously improve performance and get those conversion rates improved.

But remember - CRO is an ongoing journey, not a quick fix. You need to keep iterating, testing, measuring, and optimizing based on your CRO audit findings. But if you’re confused and do not know where to start, you can try our free CRO audit, to get the things rolling. For a detailed analysis, checkout our other plans. Trust us, you will not be disappointed. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I test my website's speed and performance?

Use tools like Google's PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, or Lighthouse to measure load times across different devices and connection speeds. Aim for complete load times under 3 seconds.

What are some performance best practices to improve speed?

Implement techniques like minifying code, enabling compression, leveraging browser caching, optimizing images, and following other front-end performance best practices.

How can I audit for good UX and navigation?

Go through common user flows and tasks yourself with a critical eye. Identify any points of friction, confusion, or unnecessarily complex steps that could cause abandonment.

How can I optimize calls-to-action (CTAs)?

Make CTAs prominent through contrasting colors, whitespace, and clear actionable language. Test variations of text, design, and placement to find what works best.

How do I audit the mobile experience? 

Test the full user journey yourself on different mobile devices. Check that menus, links, forms, and checkout flows function smoothly without frustrations.

What mobile strategies can boost conversions?

Optimized checkout flows, smart form auto-filling, mobile push notifications, and highlighting mobile-exclusive deals or alerts can drive purchases.

How frequently should I perform CRO audits?

There's no set frequency, but auditing regularly (e.g.monthly, quarterly) and continuously optimizing based on findings is recommended for ongoing improvement.

How can I do a CRO audit? 

You can do an audit in-house by meticulously checking each element or you can do it in minutes using our AI tool here

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