Conversion optimization was born out of the need of lead generation and ecommerce Internet marketers to improve their website’s results.

As competition grew on the web during the early 2000s, Internet marketers had to become more measurable with their marketing tactics. They began experimenting with website design and content variations to determine which layouts, copy text, offers and images will improve their conversion rate. Frequently, when marketers target a pocket of customers that has shown spectacular lift in an ad campaign, they belatedly discover the behavior is not consistent. Online marketing response rates fluctuate widely from hour to hour, segment to segment and offer to offer. This phenomenon can be traced to the difficulty humans have separating chance events from real effects.

Using the haystack process, at any given time marketers are limited to examining and drawing conclusions from small samples of data. However, psychologists have extensively documented tendencies which find spurious patterns in small samples, thereby explaining why poor decisions are made. Therefore, statistical methodologies can be leveraged to study large samples and mitigate the urge to see patterns where none exists. These methodologies, or “conversion optimization” methods, are then taken a step further to run in a real-time environment. The real-time data collection and subsequent messaging as a result, increases the scale and effectiveness of the online campaign.

How conversion optimization works

Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of increasing website leads and sales without spending money on attracting more visitors by reducing your visitor “bounce rate”. Some test methods enable one to monitor which headlines, images and content help one convert more visitors into customers. There are several approaches to conversion optimization with two main schools of thought prevailing in the last few years. One school is more focused on testing as an approach to discover the best way to increase a website, a campaign or a landing page conversion rates. The other school is focused more on the pretesting stage of the optimization process. In this second approach, the optimization company will invest a considerable amount of time understanding the audience and then creating a targeted message that appeals to that particular audience. Only then would it be willing to deploy testing mechanisms to increase conversion rates.

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