Why Conversion Rate Optimization Is An Art And A Science

Sophisticated marketers have moved well beyond impressions and clicks as measures of success for their digital media campaigns.  While both can be impressive from a numbers perspective, without conversions – a specific action that is related to the capture or advancement of revenue – it truly is just window dressing.  Ultimately anyone can buy impressions and get to a benchmark click through rate, but the truly successful digital efforts focus on conversion rates.

Conversions don’t happen just because you put your ads out on Google or build a pretty website.  Consumers are constantly engaging in new ways with websites, social platforms and content and marketers have to work hard to stay on the leading edge of behavior that drives conversions.  That means you have to test and verify everything and use data that reveals if the customer is doing (or not doing) what you want them to do.  That is why a blend of performance creative and sophisticated analytics is critical to conversion rate optimization.

Marketers love to focus on the creative dimensions of campaigns and it absolutely plays an important part in generating conversions.  It has to balance the needs of the brand and the positioning of the organization with the behaviors you want to drive, but that may mean looking at the execution of your creative differently.  Learn what headlines, pictures, CTAs and placement sizes are driving engagement and action.  Sometime the smaller things matter more in building a campaign that converts and attention to those details can prove to yield big dividends.

But as much as we love the creative part, the science of evaluating and acting on data is just as important.  Collecting data, turning into information, analyzing what’s working and testing everything that you believe will make a difference are all essential to the science of conversion rate optimization.  Marketers also have to set clear benchmarks, look at the funnel to understand where people are falling off and react quickly to changes to market behavior.  For conversion performance, the old adage of “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” is as true as ever.

Strategic marketers that are looking for the performance edge in their digital campaign have to focus on conversion rates if they want to tie their campaign to growth and true return on investment.  Impressions and clicks may be flashy and nice to look at but over time getting people to convert on your efforts will the ultimate judge of success.