How To Turn Your Website Into A Magnet For Leads (Even If You Aren’t A Conversion Rate Optimization Expert)


OK I have a confession to make.

As a startup marketer, I’m always thinking about how we can get more traffic to and improve our conversion rate.

In fact, that’s what I’m expected to do everyday at work — and those are the two things that keep me up at night right now.

But (and here’s the confession) I never really thought about what I’m doing as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

CRO just sounds hard. And it sounds expensive. And it sounds like it might require a bunch of technical skills that I don’t really have. And of course, there’s a whole field of CRO experts.

So I started to dig in a little more, because for whatever reason I always feel like I need to know every single thing when it comes to marketing. It’s a gift and a curse.

I read some of the best articles on CRO and copywriting from people like Peep Laja at ConversionXL and Joanna Wiebe at Copyhackers, and I saw what people were talking about on sites like and GrowthHackers.


And then it hit me. Conversion Rate Optimization really just comes down to two things:

  • Having a deep understanding of your target audience.
  • Getting more people in that target audience to do what you want them to do.

If you covered up the term Conversion Rate Optimization, and read this again:


Don’t those two bullets look like bullets you might use in a job description, for say…an amazing marketer?


Those are two core skills for any great marketer, not just CRO experts.

Sure, a CRO expert can go much deeper on this than the typical marketing generalist like you or I, but the important thing to realize is that CRO is a core skill that we all should be thinking about today, especially in SaaS.

Click here to learn more about Drift.

Conversion Rate Optimization For All

I always like to rewind back and think about the way technology has helped change marketing (I really do; don’t judge me!).

Just like email marketing used to be hard before tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp, and analytics used to be hard before tools like Segment and Mixpanel, CRO used to be hard too.

But once again, marketing technology and sales tools have both evolved.

Instead of needing help from a developer or some crazy technical implementation, there are now tools to help anyone optimize their website for more conversions.

Translation: it’s gotten so much easier to understand who visits your site and to figure out how to get them to take an action.

And here’s something you need to know right now about CRO: you should be converting at least two percent of your website traffic.

Luckily there are a few tools that make this easy — and the best part is that they’re free.

So think about it. You can start converting more traffic for nothing.

I don’t think we need to get out the old ROI calculator for that one.

And the amazing part about CRO is that you don’t even need to generate more traffic than you have today. We’re talking about tapping into your exiting website traffic.

If reading about CRO has sparked your interest and you want to start tapping into more of your website traffic, here are a few tools that you should think about using.

Free Tools That Will Make You A CRO Pro


Hotjar is basically like looking over the shoulder of someone as they browse your website. They make it easy for you to record heatmaps of your website visitors so you can see what they’re doing, understand where they are getting stuck, and figure out which parts of your site are confusing and need to improve.

For example, we’re easily able to see which pages in the header get the most engagement (the bright red):


In this case, that’s our pricing page. Since it’s getting a ton of traffic directly from our homepage, we should spend more of our time optimizing that page and make sure that it keeps selling, instead of just listing a bunch of pricing options.


SumoMe offers a smorgasbord (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blog post) of tools that will help you convert more website traffic.

Their speciality is creating tools that help you grab more email addresses from site visitors to build your email list, like this slider that jumps out once someone scrolls down toward the bottom of the page:


And this “welcome mat” which creates a full-screen call to action that shows up whenever a visitor lands on your site:


HelloBar offers a set of tools similar to AppSumo, but their sweet spot is helping you drive traffic to specific pages, specials, or promotions.

Earlier this year, Buffer made the decision to stop growing their email list in favor of driving everyone to signup for Buffer (there’s a great post about it that you should read if you haven’t already, btw).

So now, Buffer is using HelloBar across a bunch of different pages on their site and blog to drive people directly into their product:


Buffer is also A/B testing different messages to the same audience to try and figure out which one drives more signups:



Drift Messenger makes it easy for you to talk to people while they’re live on your website. Right now, we’re using live chat on our website to help potential customers with any questions:


Putting live chat on our website puts conversations first, and it’s already had a huge impact on our go-to-market strategy: people don’t even have to pick up the phone to talk to sales — and we can use all of the learnings we’re getting from real people to tweak and improve our website copy and messaging.

We also use Drift Messenger inside of our product to help customers if they get stuck while they’re trying to do something or need any help. And we’re able to see the exact page someone is on when they write in so we can know exactly the type of help they might need:


One Last Thing

Regardless of which tools you start using for Conversion Rate Optimization on your site, remember the point we talked about at the beginning of this post.

CRO really just comes down to two things:

  • Having a deep understanding of your target audience.
  • Getting more people in that target audience to do what you want them to do.

P.S. Join 20,000 of your peers. Subscribe to the newsletter for hypergrowth.

Every Sunday evening we'll send you a roundup of the best content and events from Drift and around the web. Make sure you're ready for the week! Subscribe now.

Subscribe Here