Imagine leaving your business cards pinned to the board at your local coffee shop. You have beautiful cards! Your brand is strong, your colors stand out, your headline message is spot on. But time goes by and not a single soul calls you from those cards.

A visit to the coffee shop reveals the problem — someone else has pinned their cards on top of yours. Your top competitor.

All of this time, people in that coffee shop have been passing that board and not calling you. If they’re calling anyone, it’s your competitor.

Your website is like those business cards. The competition is at your heels day and night. People might be stopping by but if you aren’t keeping them on your site and convincing them that your products and services are worth their time in clicks and contact forms, then you’ve lost them.

You’ve also lost the Conversion Rate Optimization challenge.

The Technical Definition

In technical terms, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is an important strategy in digital marketing campaigns. It involves the analytical assessment and strategic deployment of what works in converting your ideal customer from a website looker to an actual lead.

A good CRO campaign will:

  1. Determine which features of your website are converting visitors to leads by getting those leads to complete a contact form, give you their contact information in exchange for a download, sign up for your emails, register for a webinar, schedule a call, etc.

  2. Determine which features of your website aren’t accomplishing any of that or converting the wrong kinds of leads.

  3. Identify opportunities to capture more ideal customers through smarter digital marketing efforts, such as with more engaging pop-ups, more compelling e-books, a more tantalizing offer, etc.

Simply put, CRO is the strategic process of getting the maximum results from your digital marketing dollars.

Do you believe you’re getting the absolute max out of your website? If not, we can help. But first, let’s dig a little deeper into the science behind CRO.

What CRO Means to You

Unless you’re the technical type or have a degree in marketing, all of these terms might sound like Greek. But put another way, you’ll understand the importance of CRO and get excited about getting started:

CRO means getting your money out of your website (and blog, landing pages, online ads and everything else you’re paying for to turn strangers into paying customers).

To begin to understand where your website is performing well and where it’s falling short, you need to define a few important details. Jot down the answers to these questions:

  1. Who is your ideal customer? A hot lead who can’t afford your products or services isn’t it. A Negative Nancy type isn’t, either. What good is a new paying customer if they’re going to cost you in excessive support? So define your ideal customer in specific terms. Doing this will help you determine how well your digital marketing is attracting and converting the right type of awesome customer.

  2. Where is your digital presence? Your website is the obvious place to start but your digital marketing spending doesn’t stop there. Are you using social media? What about email marketing, online ads or leadpages? If you’re spending money anywhere online, you want to get the most out of your money. Take note of everywhere your brand appears online.

  3. How are you trying to convert visitors to leads? This is anywhere you try to get an ideal potential customer to give you their contact information or to contact you directly. Email and list sign-up forms, contact forms, appointment scheduling tools, e-books or other downloads, social follows, live chat widgets, click-to-call and click-to-email buttons, etc. These are the places where you are investing your money and your site visitors’ time, and you are either doing a great job of it or not. This is the heart and soul of CRO.

  4. Get Google Analytics. We mention Google Analytics often here at Sting and for good reason — it’s basically the digital marketing bible for learning the truth about your digital marketing efforts. Google Analytics breaks down all of the stats that tell you whether your site is doing a good job or not with converting website traffic to qualified leads. When you have a few minutes, take a look at this recent blog on understanding and using Google Analytics, and if you aren’t already using Google Analytics, this would be a great time to start. We can help with this, of course. Contact us and we’ll take it from there.

Understanding the Numbers

Once you’ve done all of that, it’s time to face facts — how are your digital marketing investments paying off?

The math is fairly simple once you know the variables:

# of Conversions ÷ # Visitors to Your Site = Your Conversion Rate

Here’s an example: a site with 2500 visitors and 25 conversions has a conversion rate of 1%.

So what caused that 1% to convert from casual browser to converted lead? The answer to this is what you really need to know because in knowing this answer, you can figure out how to do more of that. (And knowing when and why the other 99% didn’t convert is just as valuable.)

Google Analytics is going to give you all of those details so once again, if you aren’t using it yet, you will want to get started with Google Analytics asap.

Now that you know your ideal customer, how you’re trying to connect with them and whether you’re doing a good job of it or not, you can begin the work of optimizing your traffic into more and better conversions.

Getting to Work

To do this, you will create a CRO strategy that improves your digital marketing in ways that will move the 1% (or whatever your Conversion Rate is) higher and higher, getting more out of your marketing investment.

A great CRO strategy will look at the things you’re already doing well, and do more of that, and look at things that aren’t working so well and fix them.

For example, if almost all of your leads are converting from an exit popup and not from your e-book download offer, you might want to edit your e-book offer with the effective details in your exit popup.

Or let’s say you’re running a Facebook ad that invites people to sign up for your service with a nice discount but no one is actually doing it. Do you really want to continue spending money on that Facebook ad? Of course not.

Understanding the words, images, offers and calls to action your ideal customer responds to is the key to creating an effective CRO strategy.


A great CRO strategy is never finished. It should constantly measure, adjust, repeat. In doing this, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are in tune with your ideal audience and that your investment is converting to high-value leads.

Be prepared to analyze your Google stats every month, and adjust your strategy again and again. In doing this, you will begin to get more out of your digital marketing investment and see more — and better — leads in your database.