Stop Thinking About Conversion Backwards!

After working with clients across 80 different market verticals and some of the biggest corporations in the world it seems that most businesses go about doing conversion optimization the wrong way around.

Many marketers are like doctors who prescribe remedies before they’ve diagnosed the patient.

It’s common for people to prescribe best practices to boost conversions, such as testimonials, guarantees or formulaic headlines without first understanding why their visitors aren’t taking action.

Another mistake is to focus on the tools and techniques, rather than the knowhow. Every vendor of each different marketing solution will claim that their solution is the best one.

Writers say it’s all about the copywriting, UX specialists say it’s all about usability, and live chat providers push live interaction. Increasing conversions isn’t about one particular tool or technique. It’s about using the right tool in the right situation.

Making The Customers Real People Again

The best way to improve a website is to understand your visitor’s motivations on a deeper level. You need to see them as real people with real needs.


If you run a brick and mortar shop and you see customers consistently leaving without making a purchase, wouldn’t you ask them what they were looking for when they came into the shop?

You’d want to know what happened that made them abandon the shopping cart in the middle of the aisle, right?

However, doing the online equivalent isn’t so straightforward.

Understanding the qualified prospects that abandon a website is an important part of our process for increasing customer conversions and growing our clients’ businesses.

Here’s a quick run-through of how our process works.


Ask: What’s Your Site’s Purpose?

This is the first question we ask our clients. Seems pretty obvious, I know. But it helps to put things into perspective. We want to understand what the website is for, what the core vision is.

We’ve learned that the websites that “win” are those dedicated to becoming the dominant player in their market.

These are the websites that want to grow the fastest and keep their business customer focused.

Sketch Out Your Sales Funnel

Next, we want to spot the big opportunities for growth. Where does the majority of the traffic drop off?

Map out the whole customer journey and zoom into these parts of the funnel. Figure out the visitor intent and the visitors primary goals for visiting your website.

Start Listening

We use tools to find out exactly what’s on visitors minds. This could mean exit interviews or pop-up surveys during the checkout process. It’s great to conduct user tests on real customers to reveal what they’re thinking.

Whether or not they convert to a sale, we want to understand why they made the choices they did.

Our process is all about focusing in on the issues preventing conversions, and then providing targeted solutions that resolve them. This is what leads to achieving results for our clients.

Food For Thought

I’ll leave you with these questions, they may help lead you towards your next win: What are you currently doing to understand your visitors, especially those that aren’t converting? From what part of your funnel are you losing the majority of your sales?

What’s your visitor’s ideal outcome from spending time on your website?


Action Steps

  1. Sketch out your sales funnel.
  2. Identify the top 3 points where your traffic drops off.
  3. Add an exit interview at each of the drop off points.


Result You Will Achieve

Understand the actual issues specifically inhibiting your conversions.

Mentor: Ben Jesson

CEO at Conversion Rate Experts. CRE have measurably grown hundreds of businesses, in over 80 different verticals, generating billions in revenue for their clients.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.