What is Conversion Rate Optimization, Anyway?

Conversion rate optimization is at the heart of what we do at ConversionCore. But conversion isn’t a word you hear everyday in the mainstream business world. So I thought I would take a moment to explain exactly what conversion is and why it’s so important to your business.

What is conversion

Conversion is simply the act of moving from one state of being to another. You can have a conversion when you move from wife to mother or student to worker or amateur to professional. In the online marketing world, we’re talking about customers or prospects and their behaviors in relation to your company.

Everyone comes to your site the same – as an anonymous visitor. Then they go through a series of actions (like reading articles, clicking links, watching videos, learning more, etc.) and hopefully a conversion happens. What that conversion is depends on the goal of the page or the site. A conversion happens when the visitor reaches the goal. That could mean

  • buying something
  • signing up for your list
  • calling your office
  • downloading a PDF
  • clicking through to another page

What is your conversion rate?

Ideally, you want as many visitors as possible to convert. But that rarely happens. Your conversion rate is simply a ratio of how often visitors convert to whatever your goal is – expressed as a percentage.

One page on your site or step in your sales process might have a 1% conversion rate (1 of 100 people reached did what you wanted them to do) and another page might have a 12% conversion rate (12 out of 100 people did what you wanted).  Only you can really judge whether your conversion rate is “good enough.” But in my experience with years of conversion optimization, there’s almost always room for improvement. Most of the time, there’s a lot of room for improvement! And that means you’re leaving money on the table.

Why should you care?

It’s not just data you’re looking at. Your conversion rate is one measure of how successful your business is. How healthy it is, and whether it’s growing or shrinking. You should care about your conversion rates because when you improve it by even 1%, that can mean thousands of dollars in increased revenue without doing any additional marketing or spending extra advertising dollars. It means more money in your pocket.

How can you improve your conversion rate?

It’s simple, in theory. You take an existing web page with a goal. Measure the current conversion rate. Then start making changes to the page you think will boost that conversion rate. Test your theories against the current page using optimization software. If your tweaks convert better – keep them. If they don’t – scrap ‘em.  Then start again.

There are thousands of different variations to test on any particular webpage. Everything is fair game for tweaking – pictures, text, font, design, layout, concept, linking structure – it goes on and on. You could literally tweak and test a single page on your website forever on a never-ending quest for one more percentage point.

But here’s the thing – it’s not the data itself that matters…

It’s the story behind the data that’s most important.

Yes, you can tweak your web pages and test them to see if you get an improvement.  But most do-it-yourselfers (and even a lot of consultants) are just guessing at which elements need to be changed. It’s a crapshoot – and you could wind up hurting more than you’re helping. One wrong step can mean disaster if you’re not interpreting it correctly.

That’s why we take a holistic approach to conversion rate optimization.

Unlike many consultants in the field, ConversionCore looks at your entire business structure, your offline efforts, your traffic generation schemes, your overall marketing strategy – all of it. We get a complete picture behind the data and combine that with our years of experience in testing to bring truly meaningful results.

So, aim for conversion increases that really matter; continued growth that’s sustainable over the long run. You’re going to look so smart. And your competition will have no idea how you’re beating the pants off them month in and month out.

Conversion rate optimization – it’s a beautiful thing!