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Conversion Rate Optimization: How to Set Your Conversion Goals

Conversion Rate Optimization: How to Set Your Conversion Goals Blog Feature

May 10th, 2016 min read

Are you getting ahead of yourself?

Jumping into the deep end before you've learned how to swim? If you're just here because "conversion rate optimization" is a buzzword, and you think you should be doing it, turn around and walk away. You shouldn't waste the time and effort doing something if you're not doing it with a purpose.

Conversion rate optimization is just as much of an art as a science. And like any good art form, you have to make sure you have the basics in place before you start getting fancy. If you're ready to start optimizing right, and really derive value from your efforts, then let me help you!

This post will show you how to lay the foundation for a solid conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy.

Step 1: What are Your Business Goals?

CRO should be based around business goals.

It is like building a house. You can't paint the walls pretty colors until you have walls. You can't put up walls until you lay a foundation. If you try to go out of order you'll end up with a house that couldn't stand up to the huffs and puffs of the big bad wolf.

You should view CRO the same way.

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So start by looking at your over-arching business goals. What do you want to achieve in the next year? Five years? Ten years?

Let's use a fictional company as an example. Let's say I run an animal training business. My goals over the next five years are to: grow the revenue from the bear training segment of my business specifically, and to improve profitability by running more group training sessions instead of one-on-one training.

Step 2: Translate Business Goals into Website Goals.

Now that we have our foundation, we can start building the walls. Conversion rate optimization is all about your website. So the most important question to ask yourself now is: how can my website contribute to my business goals? We will then set specific goals for our website that will have a measurable impact on our business goals.

In our fictional example, we can set website goals of increasing awareness and lead generation for both bear training and group training.

Step 3: Assign Metrics for Each Website Goal.

Now it is time to make our goals measureable (and potentially break them down into subgoals). For each of our website goals, we need to have a metric or set of metrics to measure. These metrics will then be the measuring stick by which we choose to optimize and determine the success of our individual CRO tests.

Let's go back to our fictional example to demonstrate. The top level metrics for my goals would be:

  • Increase the bear training leads generated from the website; and
  • Increase the group training leads generated from the website.

We can create sub-goals around each of those metrics that relate to each stage in the funnel. For example, for the bear training goal:

  • Increase the number of visits to the bear training service page (top of the funnel);
  • Increase the conversion rate on specific bear training conversion offers on my website (top or middle of the funnel); and
  • Increase consultation requests for bear training (bottom of the funnel).

These are just some potential examples, and you may be able to break your goals down into even more sub-goals (there are endless possibilities).

Step 4: Optimize to Improve Metrics

Now it is time to start diving into conversion rate optimization. (I know, finally. Right?) Now that the foundation has been laid, we can start building on it.

Each of your optimization tests should be directly relatable up the chain and back to your business goals so that you can track measurable success. Again, don't create tests just for the sake of creating them. Make sure they have a purpose.

Back to our fictional example! Now that I'm ready to create an individual test, I'm going to specifically work on increasing the conversion rate on the landing page for my bear training ebook.

I must be able to directly relate this test back to my business goals, so I'm going to put on my detective hat and trace the steps back to make sure it relates. The bear training ebook is a top of the funnel offer that directly relates to my bear training service, therefore an increased conversion rate will enter more leads into the top of the funnel to then be nurtured down the funnel toward additional sales of bear training services. This relates directly to my top-level business goal of increasing revenue from bear training services.

Boom. Done.

Selecting and creating CRO tests becomes incredibly simple and straightforward as long as you've got your foundation laid in advance. Conversion rate optimization is only useful if it is in service of a business goal, so make sure you aren't getting ahead of yourself.

Don't dive right in before laying the groundwork.

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