When you hear the phrase ‘conversion rate optimization’, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Most business owners think about sales. That’s reasonable, but it is also wrong. What about the nonprofit that isn’t trying to sell things? Do they still have a need for conversion? Absolutely.
Conversion comes in many different flavors. So do conversion goals. Your company should be tracking conversion goals regardless of what these might be. Tracking not only helps your company understand whether those goals are being reached, but also how they impact larger business goals.
In order to get a handle on this, we start with two propositions:
- Business and conversion goals are different.
- Conversion goals usually support business goals.
Now that we have set the table, let us discuss this in more detail. Remember that the point here is to track your conversion goals.
Business Goals First
We generally understand conversion rate optimization (CRO) as a strategy designed to prompt people to make a positive decision. To do this with any purpose, we start with business goals. A business goal is a broad goal that might be reached through any number of strategies. For example, decreasing cart abandonment would be a business goal for an e-commerce operator.
Increasing successful checkout would be another business goal. Another would be increasing mobile engagement. These are all goals that can be measured as KPIs. Conversion goals should support them.
Conversion Goals Second
Conversion goals are aligned with strategies implemented to help your company reach its KPIs/business goals. Let us go back to decreasing cart abandonment.
This is done through conversion rate optimization. One option is to have your web developer create a pop-up that asks customers to reconsider before abandoning a cart. The pop-up gives them two choices: yes and no.
Successful conversion would be measured as a customer choosing not to abandon the cart and, instead, continue through to complete checkout. That decision may not have been made without a pop-up to get the customer to reconsider.
There are an endless number of possibilities for conversion depending on your business model. In any given situation, conversion might mean:
- signing up for a newsletter
- making a purchase
- writing a review
- scheduling an appointment
- filling out a form.
In every case, the conversion strategy is just the starting point. Successfully converting visitors leads to something else that ultimately supports your business goals. This is what’s important. This is what you should be tracking.
Are Goals Being Realized
Your company should be tracking conversion goals in order to know which conversion strategies are working. Are people actually signing up for the newsletter? Are they writing a review or making a purchase? If you are not successfully converting, your efforts at conversion probably aren’t supporting the larger business goals or you might need to work on A/B testing different elements on your site for conversion rate optimization.
Assuming you are successfully converting, tracking will tell you whether meeting your conversion goals is helping your company meet its business goals. Going back to the previous example of abandoned shopping carts, it is great if a good number of your customers are responding to the pop-up with a positive choice but not if they are then still navigating away from your site without checking out.
It’s great if a lot of customers are signing up for your newsletter. But if your newsletter isn’t engaging them, better conversion isn’t helping. See the relationship here?
Business and conversion goals are not the same thing. Moreover, conversion doesn’t always mean making a sale. Conversion takes on many forms. It has many goals. If you want to improve what conversion accomplishes, you need to track your various conversion strategies and how they are affecting your business goals.