More Than Just Sales: CRO for Lead Generation Websites

There is a prevalent myth in the digital marketing world that Conversion Rate Optimization is only for ecommerce sites. This is not true. CRO is for lead generation sites too! Let’s do some myth-busting and learn about how to do CRO for lead generation websites. 

First, let’s address how this myth got started in the first place. 


Question: Why is CRO so heavily associated with ecommerce? 

Answer: Because sales are the easiest kind of conversion to track. 


That’s it. The entire reason this myth exists is because sales are simple metrics. This is for a couple of reasons: 

  1. Making a sale is a “yes/no” question. A customer either placed an order, or they didn’t. There is no greater interpretation needed to discern what that particular action might indicate about the website. 
  2. Selling products is the end-goal of most businesses. If you own a store, your goal is to sell the products in the store to make a profit. Users can convert multiple times by placing multiple orders, and each time they do this your profits increase. 


CRO in ecommerce is simple because the goals are simple, but conversion rates aren’t just about sales. A conversion can refer to any action taken by a user on a website. Therefore, a conversion rate refers to the rate at which users perform an action. 

This means that Conversion Rate Optimization can be done for any sort of website, including Lead Generation. To clarify how to do CRO for a lead generation website, first we need to clarify what a lead generation website is.


What is a Lead Generation Website?

A “Lead” refers to a potential client or customers, so a “lead generation website” refers to a website designed to turn visitors into leads. The idea is that these “leads” will generate revenue later by booking an appointment for signing up for services.  

As a general rule, if a business’s website isn’t an ecommerce site, it’s a lead generation site. The key difference between a lead generation website and an ecommerce website is their goals.

As previously stated, the primary goal of an ecommerce website is sales. A Lead Generation website’s goal is right in the name, to generate leads. A lead can happen a number of ways, but some common ones are:

  • Filling out a form
  • Contacting the business through email 
  • Calling the business through a linked phone number
  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Creating a user account


Because there are so many forms a quality lead can take, this means that there are several potential metrics you could track for increased conversions. This can be overwhelming, but don’t worry! Conversion Rate Optimization for lead generation website’s isn’t as different from ecommerce as you may think.


It’s all about your goals:

Your website goals will become your metrics. It’s really that simple. If you want to get more appointments booked, then track the number of appointments added to your calendar. If your goal is to get more price quote submissions? There’s your metric!

It’s not always easy to choose a single metric for your lead generation site, or your goal may not lead to an obvious metric to track. Sometimes you need to track more than one metric to get the full picture, and that’s fine! An experienced CRO professional can help you narrow the scope.

Once you know what your metrics are, you now have to choose your target pages. 


Narrowing the Target:

Like ecommerce, the target pages should follow the sales funnel. However, this will look different because the website structures are different. Ecommerce websites have a logical hierarchy of nesting pages that guides the user from the landing page through the checkout process. Lead Generation sites usually have a less logical flow. This is where the challenge comes in. 

Target pages for Lead Generation sites are going to be based on two factors:

  1. Your Conversion Rate goal
  2. Your website traffic


To keep things simple, we will demonstrate with a hypothetical website.


Site Goal: Book more appoints via the calendar link

Website Traffic: 8,000 hits a month 


Traffic Considerations:
We see that the site traffic is about 8,000 users a month. Since this is a lower traffic amount, we know that we need to select a target that sees as much of this traffic as possible. This could mean a single page with a lot of hits, or multiple pages with a template format that will allow us to test them all at the same time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Goal Considerations + Traffic Considerations:

We need to choose a target that is part of our goal’s funnel. At first glance the “contact” page seems like a good choice. However, this page doesn’t get much traffic. 

No individual pages meet both the traffic and goal requirements. However, you notice that this website uses a standard template for each of their service pages (cleanings, exams, whitening, tooth extractions, cavities, and root canals). Included in this template is a button that links to the calendar booking app! The combined traffic from all these pages and the booking button meet both of your target requirements. You decide the best target for this CRO campaign are the service pages. 


Final Steps of CRO for Lead Generation Websites:

Now that you know what pages to test and what metrics to track, the rest should be fairly easy. Just like in ecommerce, you’ll run some experiments and see what increases your pre-selected metrics. 

The numbers you are working with on a lead generation site will likely be smaller than sales on an ecommerce site. This means that back-up metrics and CRO tool methods should be employed for additional insights, and extra care should be taken during analysis to account for statistical significance, but that’s an article for another time. 

Summary: Conversion Rate Optimization isn’t just for ecommerce sites, and conversion rates are about more than sales. CRO for lead generation websites is easier than you think, just remember that CRO is always about your website’s goals.


Ashley Mae Biggerstaff