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Meeting your targets

How to Properly Set-up a Goal for Conversion Optimization

Al Gomez
min read

When people start talking about conversion optimization, sales is immediately what comes to the forefront of everyone's minds. And they're not wrong. Because ultimately, the end goal does lie in making a profit.

But what if you're a nonprofit organization that runs a website? Does that mean you can't optimize for conversions?

No, not at all.

You see, there's more to setting up conversion goals other than sales. There is such a thing as smaller conversion goals, like knowing how smoothly your prospects are moving through the sales funnel. And furthermore, businesses' and organizations' conversion goals will differ depending on the kind of business you run.

As it is, every success in business starts with goal setting. And once you fully grasp your own conversion goals, then you'll have a much smoother time optimizing the site for it.

Defining Conversion Optimization Goals

By technical definition, conversion goals are the outcome you expect for a website or a webpage you're optimizing. Your conversion optimization goals should be measurable, and attainable -- most of all. Nobody likes setting a goal that's largely impossible to meet.

Another way to look at it is that conversion rate optimization is just as much of an art as it is a science. And like these two practices, you need to have the fundamentals down if you want to succeed.

Conversions can be classified into two:

  • Micro conversions: This is what visitors go through before they convert into a macro scale. These are the small steps your customers take to fully understand the value of your offer, gain trust, and take the appropriate action.
  • Macro conversions: This is your final goal and the end action for your visitors. It can be anything from purchase or subscription, signing up to your newsletter, a donation, or consultation for a couple of hours.

How to Set a Goal for Conversion Optimization

Goals for your business are important to reach the success that you want. So without further ado, it's time to lay the foundation for your solid conversion rate optimization strategy -- goal setting.

Step #1: Define your business goals

Think of setting up your business' goals like you're building a house. You can't decorate interiors if you don't have walls to classify being indoors at all. And before you build walls, you need solid foundations.

Conversion rate optimization and how to succeed at it is the same way. So, it's time to take a close look at your business goals. What are you looking to achieve in the next year, or in five years? Or perhaps even in a decade?

Furthermore, conversion goals depend on your specific business models. What you need to do is decide on the path that your visitors will travel to reach the conversion, and then do some optimization.


  • Click-through rates
  • Comments
  • Social media shares
  • Subscriptions


  • Reviews or ratings
  • Social media shares
  • Purchases
  • Subscriptions to the newsletter

Lead Generation

  • Click-through rates
  • Social media shares
  • Form submissions


  • Pageviews
  • Blog subscriptions
  • Social media shares
  • Comments
  • Click-through rates on product pages


  • Comments
  • Content contributions
  • Social media shares
  • Account creation

Step #2: Turn Your Business Goals into Website Goals

Conversion rate optimization is all about your website. So aside from your goals, think about how your website can contribute to your business goals. Afterward, you need to work on specific goals for your website that will have an attainable and measurable impact on your overall business goals.

Step #3: Determine the metrics for each website goal

From the get-go, your goals have to be measurable, and if they're broad, it would be good to break them down into sub-goals. For each website goal that you have, you need to have a metric, or a set of metrics to measure.

And these measurements that you use to help you increase conversion rates are known as key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPIs that matter the most are the ones that are applicable to your conversion goal.

KPIs are:

  • Measurable, quantifiable, and actionable
  • Measuring factors that are critical to the success of your business or your organization
  • Limited to 5-8 key metrics
  • Related to business goals

So, let's say for instance that you want people to click the button that will lead them to a product page you're marketing, and you have no way to track how many people are clicking on that button, then you're blind to how people are converting or ignoring.

In this case, your conversion goal is for people to visit a product page and purchase something. So, you need to know how many people are reading your blog and how many are clicking the button that would take them to the product page.

Step #4: Optimizing and improving the metrics

Each optimization test you have must be directly related to your overall business goals in order to track the measurable success. Testing would come into play here. But don't just create tests for the sake of testing. They need to have a purpose.

The metrics you can improve on are varied and many. But by identifying them, tweaking them a bit, and performing tests to see which work, you can easily see the positive effects.

Depending on your business goals, you should know which metrics to study, which ones to overlook for the time being, and which ones you can improve on in regard to your conversion rates.

The Takeaway

Having goals is important to determine which direction you'll be heading to with your business. But whether you're looking to get more customers, sell more products, drive more engagement for your site's content, or some other customer action for success, remember that you need to have your conversion goals in place.

It's also important to understand which goals should be set for your type of business model. Your primary conversion may or may not be sales, but in order to achieve that final conversion that you want, you need to set smaller conversion goals for relationship nurturing with your customers first.

About the author:

Al Gomez is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Dlinkers and Sagad. With more than twelve years of digital marketing experience in search engine optimization, paid search and email marketing, he has contributed to a variety of online publications including Moz, Semrush, and Wordtracker.

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