The Myth of Perfect Conversion

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that every visitor is a potential prospect or buyer for your goods or services. The mythical 100 percent conversion rate simply doesn’t exist. It’s a delusion.

There are three types of visitors to your Web site:

  1. Noes: Those that won’t ever take the desired action.
  2. Yesses: Those that will always take the desired action.
  3. Maybes: Those that may take the desired action.

You should completely ignore the first two and concentrate on the last group. Let’s examine this more closely.


Some visitors to your Web site aren’t prepared to take action.

They may be unable to afford what you sell. They may work for your rival and are merely conducting competitive research. Or they may have been simply surfing the Web and thought that it was worth a second of their time to look at your landing page.

There are countless reasons why someone won’t take the desired action. The important realization is that there is nothing that you can do to influence them to act. For most landing pages, this group is by far the largest of the three.


There is also a group of visitors who will always take the desired action. There is ample evidence for this.

People will put up with maddeningly difficult registration or checkout processes. They will seek out links and information buried deep within Web sites. In general, they will display a staggering degree of tenacity.

They do this for a variety of reasons. Some of them have willful personalities. Others are already sold on what you’re offering due to outside influences.

Still others have searched far and wide and have been able to find only your company as a viable answer to their immediate and burning needs. Others are just tired of looking further and have settled on your company as the best alternative that they have seen.

Regardless, short of a broken Web site, nothing will deter these people from taking the desired action on your landing page. The main point is that these people don’t need any convincing by you.


The final group of undecideds contains a wide variety of people. Some of them are almost there — a small improvement in your landing page or Web site might get them over the hump and result in the desired action. Others may need significant additional persuasion and handholding in order to come around.

Conversion Rate Chart

Unless your Web site is truly ineffectual, you’re already converting some of the maybes. This segment of “yes-maybes,” along with your yesses, makes up your current conversion rate.

However, even the best landing page won’t be able to convert all of the people in this group at once — they have contradictory needs. Landing page changes that sway a particular “maybe” might repel another.

At best, you can hope to convert only a portion of these undecideds. The remainder (the “no-maybes”) will forever be out of your reach. So the maximum conversion rate improvement that is possible for your business is limited to capturing the rest of the “maybe-maybes” that are still up for grabs.

Of course, it’s impossible to precisely measure, or even estimate, the sizes of these segments for a particular landing page or Web site. But you should understand that your actual conversion rate “ceiling” is well below 100 percent.

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