Screwing up conversion rates

By far the best way to screw up your conversion rates is to go mainstream.

Traffic - conversion graph

The traffic graph is the number of visitors per day while the conversion rate is the percentage of the visitors converted. When you go mainstream your traffic will spike and plateau at a lower level a few days later. This will screw up your conversion rate. Don’t worry though – figure out who the visitors are and fix your landing pages to target them as good as you can.

This graph obviously focuses on start-ups that have a huge conversion rate at the beginning as most of the conversion happens on tech-news sites and only already “converted” people get to your page – conversion rates of 80% are common in such cases. It should also be valid for later stage companies, but you need to adjust the conversion rate numbers. Another fact of conversion rates is that as your number of visitors grows your conversion rate will drop due to the fact that more users will be “just browsing” (think about a store in a mall).

If you don’t belive me think about the what the Twitter homepage looked like in time. The first one I saw had the public stream on it – geeky as hell. They changed that into a still somewhat geeky homepage that explained what Twitter is and helped you register. The latest one is almost non-geeky and focuses on real-time search and has a prominent sign up button.

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