The Beginners Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization is like dancing. It flows with your actions, it responses to your initiatives. It’s like a tango where you either pour your heart out or you just look deliciously ridiculous. If at some point, you’re on the wrong foot, you might even fall, but it’s how you rise that matters. *smile 

With that in mind, I just realized, today’s online marketers are the uncredited Ginger Rogers of some past decades. Only instead of twists and turns, they have to do with conversion rate optimization, and traffic generation, and lead generation.

What Was Ginger Rogers Doing Back In Her Days? She would dance. Beautifully. Majestically some would say. She’d been Fred Astaire’s partner. Probably the best dancer in the world.

And then I look at today’s online marketers – they’re doing their best to do everything traditional marketers would do before social media, only backward (from customer to them)… and Online. “The best line is online” – like Ginger’s heels – tall and steep – did you get that?

So, yeah, let’s take a moment to be grateful for all the Noah Kagans and the Peep Lajas and the Neil Patels out there who’re actually doing everything in their minds, hearts, energy and power to make sense, improve and grow us and our marketing tactics, hence, these 12 tactics we learned from them (and others) to do conversion rate optimization like a PRO. *Taking a bow.

Key Learning Points for the Busy Reader

  • You already had one – You now know what Noah Kagan, Peep Laja, and Neil Patel have in common with Ginger Rogers.
  • Next, you’ll get what this conversion rate that everybody’s trying to optimize is. It’ll help you think of what you need to do with your shop to create a unique experience for your customers and, at the same time, understand your design team and why they propose specific tactics.
  • We’re gonna take a look at your HotSpots – your inbound marketing strategy’s hotspots. Or of any strategy or life process that you’re going through, for that matter. This way, you might get a new perspective, see things from a new angle.
  • We saved the best for the end. You’ll get to know 10 CRO tools that you can start using right away!

Conversion Rate Optimization – The Concept

Conversion Rate = Number of visitors who did what you needed them to do/Total number of visitors

According to Wikipedia, conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a web page. It is commonly referred to as CRO.

Remember the article where we mention HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Methodology? The continuum that turns strangers into promoters. Strangers become visitors. Visitors become leads. Leads turn into customers. And customers become active promoters of our brands. Most ideal scenario: we’re converting one-timers into all timers.

The Inbound Methodology

The conversion we’re referring to happens at each borderline, at each passing from one stage to another, not just at the second phase of the process, as HubSpot named going from visitors to leads. Because each pool of people (from all the stages) has its own set of characteristics, defined by satisfaction and time. A new step on that continuum intensifies and brings more complexity to the demand but at the same time, it embodies fewer people and a lower rate of conversion. As we have fewer people, spotlight zooms in on them, allowing us to personalize and add more value to their experience.

So, they’ve created this direction (strangers to promoters). Now, marketers concentrate on their way back.

The question and fuss is about how to redo the process, but smarter and with higher impact – maintaining the high added value and personalization levels we get at the end of the funnel throughout each step. As I said, Ginger Rogers – backward… and on heels.

In other words, how do we take larger chunks of people through specific interactions with our shop? Or how do we communicate one-on-one with each of our visitors? Or… How do we delight “our strangers” time and time again without bothering them…? Through relaxed Web Personalization. *smile

If 18 years ago, web personalization was considered overrated (Jakob Neilson), today “Web personalization is a mission-critical marketing activity that creates a more meaningful experience for your customers and also generates better business results.” (Marketo)

The Pillars of Conversion Rate Optimization!

One thing I learned from all the processes – personal, social or organizational – I’ve been through till now (such as educational advancement, members’ organizational growth process in AIESEC, an international youth NGO I activated in as a student, growing up, personal relationships, etc.) is that WE LOSE PEOPLE IN BETWEEN THE STAGES!

They’re pretty cool and engaged in the actual stage, but the retention challenge appears when you push yourself to the next level, to higher ground.

Apply this to the Inbound Marketing funnel and you will have found your hotspots! You instantly realize that you’re not losing the “static” visitors or regular customers – they’re pretty comfy with being just visitors or just customers. You’re losing the first category, ergo visitors, specifically when you’re directing them to become leads, and you’re losing customers specifically when you’re coaching them on advocating your brand. This happens because we’re all a bit afraid of change.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics for each Funnel Step

1. Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics to ATTRACT

Stage Goal:
Stranger becomes Visitor

What data do we have on them?
How did they end up on our site, geolocation, cross-device detection

Ways to use Web Personalization for Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Customize HomePages (based on weather, location, or whatever is suitable for your activity)
  • Cross bricks-and-mortar stores promotion
  • Cart abandonment reminders

2. Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics to CONVERT

Stage Goal:
Visitor becomes Lead

What data do we have on them?
Information previously gathered + Visitor behavior, such as the products they’ve assessed, wish-listed, added to the cart and purchased, favorite categories (according to the time spent there), etc.

Ways to use Web Personalization for Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Leverage Visitor Behavior Information

If they’ve sorted products based on lowest price, then, next time display your sales deals for them
If they’ve looked through a certain garment size, display recommendations of other products that have that specific size on your stock
If they already have an account, provide Auto Login after Sign-Up

  • To prolong their visit, use pertinent Exit Intent Messages, such as relevant offers, free materials based on their interests, etc
  • Design customized Landing Pages (based on geolocation) and Call to Actions (make it sound more or less familiar based on age)

3. Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics to CLOSE

Stage Goal:
Lead becomes Customer

What data do we have on them?
All data gathered through previous stages + demographics and firmographics + interests or motivation (such as you identify interest by what e-books they’ve downloaded)

Ways to use Web Personalization for Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Leverage Crowd Influence

Live Social Proof Notifications – show what other visitors are doing on your site to trigger crowd influence
Product Recommendations based on what other people they can relate to (such as people in that geographical area) have just purchased

  • Leverage FOMO with the help of countdown timers
  • Personalized Thank You pages to express gratitude for their interest – use their names, offer your contact details for possible Q&As, let them know you’re there by adding social media information, etc.

4. Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics to DELIGHT

Stage Goal:
Customer becomes Advocate

What data do we have on them?
All information from earlier stages + Purchasing behavior

Ways to use Web Personalization for Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Leverage Exclusivity

Create membership levels and tailor offers and discounts especially for them
Give them access to products not yet launched

  • Create an e-mail campaign targeting dormant customers
  • If they communicate a problem – not connected to your activity – run the extra mile there and offer to solve it

For an in-depth breakdown on how to Delight Your Shop’s customers we have this other awesome article suggestively called Customer Care & Delight Tactics to Deploy in Your eShop, where you can find 10 more tactics for this alone. *wink

10 tools for Conversion Rate Optimization you can start using right now!

This is where we catch on some of those sick dance moves of Online’s Ginger Rogers :).

Conversion Rate Optimization Tool


How much does it cost me?


  • Can be used together with Google Analytics
  • Provides great insight on individual user behavior

Starts at $120/month


  • Real-Time Personalization (analyzing user behavior and enriching user experience based on profile categories)
  • Recommendation, testing, analytics & attribution
  • Focused on speed personalization
  • Converting organic traffic


  • See what people click on and how far they scroll with heatmaps
  • Watch how people use your site with visitor recordings
  • Gather user feedback with surveys and on-site polls
  • Identify on which page and at which step most visitors are leaving your site
  • User-friendly

Starts FREE


  • Testing options and building landing pages
  • User-friendly

Starts at $499/month


  • Create sales funnels that you can control

Starts at $97/month


  • Separate CRO software options, tools/apps to grow traffic
  • List builders, heat maps, testing, integrations, etc.

Starts FREE


  • Create Hello Bars that show the right message at the right time to your website visitors

Starts FREE


  • Easily capture leads at the beginning or end of your quiz or assessment using our customizable lead capture form.

Starts at $9/month


  • Testing: Use data to understand your customers and quickly make decisions
  • Personalization: Act on your understanding of customers to deliver targeted, relevant experiences

Starts at 899 euro/month

  • Convert more visitors into customers
  • Email automation

Starts at $1/month


  • What is this CRO all about.
  • You calculate conversion rates by dividing the number of visitors who practice your desired behavior by your total number of visitors!
  • The core of all problems that all shop owners should be aware of – Q: Where exactly do customers drop out of your funnel? A: In between stages!
    How your Inbound Marketing Sales Funnel works and, even more, how you can use web personalization tactics to optimize conversion rates when attracting, converting closing and delighting your users.
  • 10 awesome tools from the best in this Conversion Rate Optimization field that you can instantly start using

And please do me a little favor and share this guide with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their marketing endeavors.

Author avatar
Deliana Trasca

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