14 Common Misconceptions About Conversion (with Solutions)

Even for the seasoned marketer, lead conversion can sometimes feel like this amorphous objective. All too often, marketing professionals and sales gurus alike dive into the world of traffic conversion in an attempt to drive more leads for the sales department, only to realize that whatever strategy they are clinging to, it always conveys the feeling of shooting from the hip.

Well today, I want you to stop shooting from the hip and start aiming through the crosshairs.  Below are 14 common myths  about lead conversion that will be dispelled right before your eyes. Some of this may just be a rehash, or it could open the door with a minor dose of marketing red pill. Whatever the case, read through each point, then cap it off with my summary thoughts at the bottom.


1. I Don’t Need a CTA

Most people reading this probably will not fall into such a trap, but it does happen. A CTA (Call-to-Action) is about the most basic element of a web page that will help work your readers into the lead conversion process. Without it, you’re simply a charitable research library, which is fine if you’re living off a trust fund and not running a business. But for most people running a business blog, this is an elementary part of your page that must be there if you’re going to convert any visitors.

2. I Need to Rank #1 for [insert keyword(s) here]

This one really represents an outdated mode of thinking that tips its black-hat at the days of SERP manipulation. Search traffic is becoming less and less about purely first-page rankings and more about exterior sources of validation. This could be a review website like Yelp, or more importantly, social networks. Think about it, where does your key audience discover new information? It’s likely they have a sphere of influence in which they engage content based on authoritative recommendations. Your traffic should not be entirely dependent on ranking for a specific keyword.

3. A Content Offer is Optional

This one is common for many businesses who start up a blog without any real forethought behind it’s purpose. All the blog posts and readers in the world won’t do you any good without a content offer attached to it that speaks to where that prospect is in the buyer’s journey. Simply put, you need a way to entice these readers to engage with your brand further. Content offers accomplish this (if done correctly).

4. Any Ole’ Content Offer Will Do

That being said, content offers should be relevant to the article’s content. For example, if your blog post is about the “10 Reasons Why Startups are Using Established Software Development Teams” and your content offer is “[White Paper] Why Javascript is the Best Programming Language”, it just doesn’t add up. Be selective about where you’re placing content offers and when.

5.  I Need to Write for Search Engines to Be Discovered

Again, this represents an antiquated way of thinking. While it’s important to understand what your buyer personas are searching for, writing for search engines does nothing but make your style look systematic and inhuman. People are the ones who absorb your content, and if you write for them, they’re going to not only like your content more, but it will be more sharable. One can spot a “written-for-SEO” article a mile away these days. Use language in a natural way throughout your writing.

6. Popups Are My Only Hope

Popups are still great and can be useful, but it comes with a caveat. There are tricks to this, such as how long into reading a post should the pop up be displayed, exit-pop or not, welcome mat (appsumo), and other variations. The bottom line here is that popups can be effective if used correctly, but they are not the only source of conversion. And if you’re going for a more robust content offer (eBook, Whitepaper, Webinar), it helps to have a separate landing page to build in the value.

7. Mobile Doesn’t Matter

This myth is almost laughable at this point. As I pointed out in a previous post on the Mobile Revolutionand the 2015 Web Trends report, the concensus it clear that we must shift to a  mobile-first  mentality when it comes to running our online pressence. It’s not difficult to see why that is the case when you consider how much you use your own mobile device (hint: you’re probably reading this on your phone right now, perhaps in bed, or on a boat). Point is, make sure your site/blog/landing pages, etc are all optimized for mobile viewing. Don’t skimp out!

8.  UX…What About It?

User experience (lack thereof) is a popular myth about online lead conversion. Most people are visual learners, and as the Web has evolved, we’ve come to expect a visual experience when browsing the web. Anything less than visually appealing is just an unsavory experience. Your website should be a joy to visit and easy on the eyes, not a struggle worthy of the Geocities Hall of Fame. Make your site easy to use, visually appealing, and snappy as heck to get around.

9.  I’ll Get to Branding Later

Branding is somewhat of an afterthought for many companies, but people look for consistency in a brand to either consiously or subconsciously determine whether or not it is trustworthy. If your colors, logos, and pages are all out of whack, you’re conveying disconnection internally to visitors of your site and brand. Get it all on the same page and level it up it you want people to view you as a trustworthy source off the bat.

10.  “Get Started” is an Adequate Button CTA

This may work as a generic CTA in certain scenarios, but not if you’re looking to convert a visitor into a lead. Your CTA should have an active verb that is connected to the offer at hand, such as “Download the eBook About Selling More Coffee Tables”…that is specific. “Get Started” or “Download Now” is disconnected from the true value of the content offer. Make sure your CTA lines up fully with what you are offering.

11.  My Form Must Have a Phone Number

Phone numbers are nice, but in the words of Scarface, “take it easy!” If someone is merely downloading an exploratory eBook, maybe a phone number isn’t the right field you should be capturing on first contact. This could be part of your progressive profiling that is done like we do in Hubspot. In fact we make this what’s called a “Smart Field” that shows on a form only if we don’t already have their info. Make your forms contextually relevant with the offer and capture the phone field, as well as other needed fields, at the right time. This is part of the Inbound approach.

12.  Context Isn’t Important

Context really is King. You wouldn’t send the same message so people in the Awareness and Consideration stage of the buyer’s journey would you? Whether it’s your offer or CTA, both should be reflective of the content being applied. With Hubspot, we actually make all of this content dynamic based off the visitor’s past history.

13.  Set It and Forget It

It can be easy to get comfortable and run with your first iteration of a CTA or opt in offer, but it’s important to revisit your stats on a weekly basis and see what is actually working.

14.  Don’t Need to Understand WHO is Reading My Blog

This may seem non sensical, but again, there are many a people out there who start well-intentioned blogs without understanding who is actually reading the content. Stop writing content you would only read and start creating content your buyer persona wants to read.

15. BONUS – Systems, Shmystems and Goals

Systems are incredibly important for lead nuturing and making the whole process worthwhile. Don’t just rely on one content offer and be done with it. Set up your workflows, emails, other content offers, etc ahead of time to take the guess work out of your campaigns. Lastly, none of this makes any sense without creating trackable and attainable goals.



There’s a lot more that can go into a successful conversion optimization than what is listed here, but remember that next time one of these myths crosses your mind, there is a solution. Feel free to check back on this blog post as often as you need to hammer in some of the main points that you found yourself nodding your head to. Conversion is a continual process, so make sure you are optimizing over time so you can get more leads.


Preston Zeller

I am an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and designer. Working in Digital Marketing for DiscoverOrg. I write about business, life hacks, and more.


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