The Art of Setting Effective Conversion Goals: Strategies for Success

When it comes to your eCommerce business, having conversion goals is key to optimizing your business’s online presence and improving its conversion rates. However, not all goals are created equal: how do we create conversion goals that truly work for us and generate results?

What are conversion goals?

Conversion goals are created by putting yourself in the shoes of your users. Conversion goals are the specific actions that you want your users to take when they interact with your website and marketing material. Some common actions you may want your customer to take are:

  • Purchasing your product or service.
  • Generating a lead by signing up for your newsletter, downloading a freebie, or requesting a quote.
  • Signing up or registering for an account on your site.
  • Submitting a form for inquiries, feedback, or support.
  • Engaging with your site for certain periods of time and/or multiple times.
  • Following and reacting to your business’ social media accounts.
  • Booking appointments, reservations, or consultations.
  • Donating or volunteering (for nonprofit organizations.)
  • Providing feedback or filling out a survey.
  • Referring a new customer to use your products & services.
  • Requesting a free trial or demo of your product or service.

Types of Conversion Goals

Primary Goals

Primary goals are the most important actions that you want a customer to take when interacting with your business. For many companies, “making a purchase” tends to be the most common primary goal. Other common important conversion goals could be “generating a lead” or “requesting a trial or demo of your products.” Overall, your primary goals are actions that have a high chance of turning visitors into customers.

Secondary Goals

Secondary goals are actions that support your primary goal. If your company’s primary goal is for customers to “make a purchase,” you may be tracking events such as downloading a freebie, interacting with your site for long periods of time, or following you on social media. Secondary goals note important steps in the customer journey that bring visitors closer to our primary goals.

What makes a good conversion goal?

Clear & Concise

Having clear goals is the first step to creating a good conversion goal. Your goals should be specific and actionable. For example, “increasing engagement” is not a clear goal. It is too vague to measure and could apply to multiple aspects of your users’ experience. Instead, your goal should be “increase email signups.” This latter goal is easier to focus on and clearly tells you what part of your site you will be working on.

Aligns with Business Objectives

Your conversion goals should be in line with your business objectives as a whole. Afterall, working on a goal that isn’t relevant to your business goals could lead to wasted resources and unimpactful results.

Takes into Account User Intent

When creating conversion goals, you need to understand not only what you want from your customers, but what your customers want from your business. What are your customers’ needs right now? Where are they looking for solutions? When are they ready to make a purchase? Understanding where your customers are on the customer journey and how to give them what they want while also achieving your own goal is key to a successful conversion goal.

Quantifiable & Measurable

Your goals should not only be clear but should also be something you can track and make data-driven decisions on. For example, if your goal was to “increase email signups,” you can make your goal much more specific by making it to “increase email signups by 20% in the next quarter.” With your improved goal, you have a percentage number to quantify the goal’s success against. You also have a time-limit that you can use to measure how realistic your goal is compared to the efforts your company could manage in that time-span.


When it comes to setting our goals, you need to make sure that you aren’t being unrealistic. For example, if our conversion goal is to “increase profit”, we may ideally want to increase profit by a very large margin. However, is that realistic? Setting unrealistic goals results in your goals never generating successful results since the goal itself isn’t achievable. Use past data and research to set achievable goals and adjust as needed.


When putting resources towards your conversion goals, it’s important to prioritize them. Which goals are your primary goals? Which are your secondary goals? Arrange them according to the impact they will make on your overall business objectives. Another way you can arrange them is based on the customer’s journey: What will your customer do first? What actions will they take next?

Testing & Iteration

Often times, we can’t say for sure if our conversion goals or the efforts we put towards them will be successful. That’s why it is important to consider the variety of efforts we can put towards our goals and conduct tests to see which approach is most successful. For example, let’s say one of your conversion goals is for more customers to “sign up for my newsletter.” You may have a variety of Calls-to-Action (CTAs) that you and your team feel could make your newsletter signup button more attractive. Test multiple CTAs and see if there is one CTA that gets more clicks than the other!

Tracking & Analytics

Measuring your conversion goals can be hard, but with the help of tracking and analytics, you can better measure if your conversion goals are being met. Using tools such as Google Analytics 4 can help us monitor key metrics that relate to our goals. For example, if we are tracking how long users visit or interact with our site, we can track “User engagement” to better understand what holds their attention and what doesn’t.

Want to learn more?

Conversions goals act as a roadmap to achieving your business objectives! Read our blog or listen in to our podcast for more tips and guides on making your business the best it can be! If you want more hands-on guidance for improving your website, join the waitlist for Carrie Saunders’ upcoming course, “The Converting Website.” In this course, she will dive into a variety of important factors that aim to optimize your website.