Identifying the Single Conversion Event

Before you jump into optimization, you need a clear target. Your first step is to identify the one conversion event you want to measure and improve. The two most common options are conversion to lead and conversion to sale.

If you have multiple desired actions for your visitors on a single visit, you're just going to confuse people and reduce the overall number of conversions significantly. Say you want people to watch a video, watch an interactive demo, sign up for a free trial, call you for more information, and buy the product: You have to choose one visitor action as the primary conversion event for a single visit. Garrett likens a multitude of conversion options to a web page that tries to optimize for four different languages simultaneously. By trying to have it all, you end up with a mess that appeals to no one.

Establishing a baseline

After you decide what you're measuring, the next step is measuring current performance. You may already know that (or think you know — we find that unless website owners track metrics very carefully, they often overestimate the numbers and receive a bit of a shock when we show them the facts), or you may have only the vaguest notion.

If upon being woken from REM sleep at 2 a.m., you can't provide your current conversion data, including conversion rate, cost per conversion, and value per conversion, you're not as in touch as you need to be with one of most sensitive levers of online profitability. Don't ...

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