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Have you ever wondered why your website isn’t converting as many leads as you'd like? Driving conversions is vital to your revenue growth. But with so many moving parts on your website, it can be challenging to pinpoint exactly what’s holding you back.

That’s where a structured approach to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) comes into play. This checklist will guide you through the essential steps to enhance your website’s performance and boost your lead conversions.

1. Gather Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Before making any changes, it's important to understand how users interact with your website. This involves collecting both qualitative and quantitative data to gain a comprehensive view of user behavior.


Heatmaps visually represent where users click, scroll, and hover on your site. This data can reveal which parts of your pages are getting the most attention and which are being ignored. Tools like Hotjar and Crazy Egg can generate these heatmaps, providing invaluable insights into user behavior.

Web Analytics:

Web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics or HubSpot Analytics, help you track key metrics like conversion rate, bounce rate, and average session duration. These metrics are essential for understanding how users move through your site and where they might be dropping off.


Surveys are a direct way to gather user feedback. Ask your visitors what they like, what they don’t, and what could be improved. Tools like SurveyMonkey and Typeform make it easy to create and distribute surveys.

User Testing:

Conducting user tests allows you to see real-time interactions with your website. This can be done through A/B testing or usability testing. Platforms like UserTesting and Optimizely provide robust solutions for running these tests and gathering actionable insights.

2. Review & Document Key Metrics (KPIs)

To measure the effectiveness of your CRO efforts, you need to track and document your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Identifying KPIs:

Identify which KPIs are most relevant to your goals. These might include lead conversion rate, cost per acquisition, or customer lifetime value. Clearly defining these metrics will help you stay focused on your objectives.

Metric Ideas to consider:

  • Page visits
  • Page views
  • Average time on site
  • Average page views
  • Bounce rate
  • Exit rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Total conversions

Documenting Metrics:

Create a system for regularly tracking and documenting your KPIs. This could be a simple spreadsheet or a more sophisticated dashboard. The key is to have a clear and consistent record of your metrics over time.

Document your current baseline of the metrics you have selected to track. After running your test, note the new metrics and compare the two. The comparison will determine whether your test was successful or did not have an impact.

3. Determine What To Test

Before implementing any changes, you must first establish a clear hypothesis about what changes might improve your conversion rates.

Why Develop A Hypothesis?

Hypotheses provide a focused approach to testing. Instead of making random changes, you’re experimenting with specific ideas based on data and user feedback. Developing a hypothesis requires answers to the who, what, and where. Then, you’ll develop the how (the item you are changing) and connect it with the “objective” (the improvement metric). This increases the likelihood of achieving meaningful improvements.

First, ask yourself a few questions to help you develop a solid hypothesis:

  • Who am I testing? (specific buyer persona, organic traffic, social traffic, leads, etc.)
  • What am I testing? (color, button text, headline, layout, imagery, etc.)
  • Where I am testing: (specific page, email, section, etc.)

Second, we tie in the “how” and add in our objective.

If I change X, I estimate I will get Y result = hypothesis statement

Example: If I change the button text to “Get Started,” I estimate I will have a 10% increase in conversions.

Testing Ideas to Consider:

  • Copy: Test different lengths and styles of copy. Does long-form content resonate more, or do users prefer concise, punchy text? Consider adding specificity, urgency, or numbers. Experiment with different headlines and subject lines. Test expanding or simplifying copy in a specific area.
  • Design: Experiment with various layouts, color schemes, and image placements to see what drives engagement. Change out the color of buttons, especially on primary actions. Consider changing a static image for an animated graphic or vice versa.
  • Trust Elements: Test ways to boost credibility by adding testimonials, certifications, or trust badges. Consider adding video testimonials or swapping out existing testimonials for new ones.
  • CTAs: Test different call-to-action designs, placements, and wording to find the most compelling options.

Important Note:

While you may develop multiple ideas for your hypotheses, you do not want to execute with multiple ones on the same page. This would create a challenge when reviewing results and trying to determine which change increased or decreased your conversion rate. 

4. Plan & Execute Testing

Once you establish your hypotheses, it’s time to set up the tests.

Planning Phase:

While you know your hypotheses, you still need to add a few more details to your testing plan.

  • Define the duration of the testing period
  • If needed, identify the size of your sample audience
  • Determine any outside factors that may skew the results (holidays, events, etc.)
  • Confirm you have established KPIs that are relevant to your hypotheses

Execute A/B Testing:

A/B testing involves comparing two versions of a webpage to see which performs better. This is ideal for testing individual elements like headlines, images, or CTAs. If your website is hosted with HubSpot, check out this HubSpot article for setting up your A/B test in your portal.

Is your website not on HubSpot?

Consider these options for A/B testing:

5. Review and Analyze Results

After the test concludes, review the results to determine what worked and what didn’t.

Consider these questions:

  • What is the change in the conversion rate?
  • What other KPIs experience a significant change?
  • What other feedback have you received?

Look for statistically significant improvements before determining whether your hypothesis was successful or a failure. (Failure only implies a lesson was learned!) 

Document the successful results and apply the changes. Document the failed results and what you learned for future tests. Keeping a detailed record of all tests, results, and changes made will help you track progress over time and build a knowledge base for ongoing optimization efforts.

For best results - keep testing. Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process.

By following this checklist, you can systematically identify areas for improvement, test hypotheses, and implement changes that drive results.

lead-conversion website

Anabeth McConnell
Post by Anabeth McConnell
July 8, 2024
As a StoryBrand Certified Guide and Web Strategist, I help service-based companies build better-looking, high-performing websites with user-centered messaging and conversion-focused design. My mission is to empower businesses to achieve their online potential and create a digital presence as compelling as their real-world services.