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Businesses with websites need conversions to thrive. A conversion is any meaningful action a user takes that ultimately leads to the opportunity to monetize; it could mean buying a product, calling your company, or even just watching a video. In any case, getting more conversions will lead to higher revenues for your brand and ultimately more profitability.

That’s why conversion rate optimization (CRO) is so important. Conversion optimization is the process of customizing your copy, your design, and other onsite elements to maximize the chances of winning a conversion when a user explores your page.

While many conversion rate optimizers worry about following the latest trends, avoiding competition, and maintaining consistency in existing conversion rates, the biggest problem lurks beneath the surface.

Related: Should you prioritize traffic or conversions on a new website?

The biggest problem for most conversion optimizers is complacency.

Defining Complacency

In this context, complacency simply means accepting your conversion rate for what it is. Instead of aiming for a higher conversion rate or trying new things to see how they work, you are content to sit back and let your existing engine work the way it did.

Why complacency is a problem?

Why is this such a problem?

  • Accepting “decent” conversion rates. If you’re already seeing decent conversion rates for your brand, complacency might not be such a big deal. For example, let’s say when you first launched your business, you saw a conversion rate of less than 1%. After a few months of experimenting and incorporating a few new strategies, you managed to increase that conversion rate up to 2.5%. That’s a big increase and something to be happy about. All too often, marketers see this as a reason to stop improving functionally; they focus on maintaining this conversion rate, rather than pushing it even higher. If it’s possible to get to 3%, or 5%, or anything higher, you owe it to your brand to try.
  • Avoid experimenting. Complacency usually also means avoiding experimentation. You could continue with run new AB tests, see how certain headings perform, or tinker with minor changes such as changes in color or font. But you won’t spend much time or energy on the larger, more robust experiments that can introduce you to groundbreaking ideas.
  • Ignoring new strategies and innovation. Resting on your laurels also means consciously ignoring the emergence of new strategies and innovations. If a marketing guru announces a new experiment that shows a groundbreaking new tactic, you won’t see it because you’re not actively looking for it. As a result, you miss out on some of the latest trends.
  • Inefficient practices. It’s not just about conversion rate optimization. It’s also about the efficiency of your habits and workflows as they relate to your conversion rate. If you’re too complacent with how things are, you’ll never learn to work more efficiently and miss opportunities to cut costs.

How to overcome complacency?

So what can you do to overcome complacency in the way your business handles conversions?

  • Study the competition and industry averages. One of the best things you can do is break out of your bubble by studying your competition and overall industry averages. Different industries tend to see different conversion rates, and yours may be higher or lower than you think. If you notice that your competitors are getting a much higher conversion rate than you are, it’s a sign that you need a major overhaul.
  • Experiment (outside AB testing). Keep experimenting constantly. AB tests are important and relatively easy to implement and observe. However, you need to think beyond AB testing if you want to reach your true potential. That means going back to first principles and questioning some of your biggest assumptions.
  • Hire and reward creative thinkers. Assemble a team of creative thinkers and encourage people to think creatively by rewarding them for doing so. Ideally, all of your marketers think like innovative entrepreneurs. People who consistently think outside the box and come up with new ideas will help you move forward.
  • Keep learning about your audience. Get to know your audience as best you can. Use surveys, demographics, and on-site behavioral patterns to inform and fuel your strategy. The better you understand how your users think and behave, the better you can design call-to-actions (CTAs) that work specifically for them.

Related: What Makes Persuasive Web Copy Work?

Your conversion rate is arguably the most important variable for the profitability and growth of your online business. Therefore, you cannot afford to become complacent about it. Keep questioning your basic assumptions and your existing workflows as you continue to optimize your website and content for higher conversion rates – and never fall into the trap of feeling “good enough”.

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