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Vital Metrics for Conversion Rate Optimization, with Courtney Lindau Lee

Courtney Lindau Lee Deal Closers Podcast

One of the KPIs buyers are looking for when analyzing a business is its conversion rate – the number of users who converted as a percentage of the total number of users that visit your site. A steadily increasing conversion rate can mean that your brand is becoming better known or your messaging is more attractive – and that’s something that’s attractive to the buyer as well.

A decreasing conversion rate – unless you’re getting a lot more users to the site – that could indicate something’s wrong.

So what are the vital metrics we need to analyze to move towards maximizing CRO?

Courtney Lindau Lee is the Partner and Head of Practice at Nimble Gravity.

This episode of Deal Closers is hosted by Izach Porter, brought to you by, and is produced by Earfluence.


Izach Porter – 00:00:03:


We helped them by setting up full tracking across all of their domains, all in one place. So you didn’t have to go to a bunch of different Google Analytics properties. And then we supported them with A/B testing. So we had a lot of assumptions of at the time their website looked like it was from 2001 and needed to be brought into the future. So we had these initial ideas of, okay, we know that these best practices exist for e-commerce. And within the first six weeks of having A/B testing and analytics, we increased their revenue by 50%.


Courtney Lindau Lee – 00:00:43:


All right, you’re listening to the Deal Closers podcast brought to you by, a show about how to build your e-commerce business to be profitable, scalable, and one day even sellable. I’m Izach Porter, and on today’s episode, we’re talking about tracking vital metrics for conversion rate optimization. One of the KPIs buyers are often looking for when analyzing a business is its conversion rate, the number of users who convert as a percentage of the total number of users that visit your site. A steadily increasing conversion rate can mean that your brand is becoming a better known brand or your messaging is just more attractive overall, and that’s something that’s attractive to buyers as well. A decreasing conversion rate, unless you’re getting a lot more users to the site, could mean that there’s some type of a problem that needs to be addressed. All right, so let’s bring in an expert on conversion rate optimization, partner and head of practice at Nimble Gravity, Courtney Lindau Lee. Hey, Courtney, how you doing?


Izach – 00:01:42:


Hi, I’m good. How are you? Happy to be here.


Courtney – 00:01:45:


Yeah. Great to have you on the show. So I’m really interested in talking to you about conversion rates because a lot of my clients over the past year have struggled with kind of declining conversion rates and increasing. Ad expense and decreasing return on ad spend. And I’m just really interested to find out what metrics are out there, what the newest tech is, how business owners should be thinking about improving their conversion rate and what it is exactly that you guys are doing at Nimble Gravity. So maybe that’s a good place to start. Can you just give me a little background on what you do and what Nimble Gravity does?


Izach – 00:02:28:


Yeah, absolutely. So Nimble Gravity is a data science, e-commerce analytics consultancy. So we focus on helping our clients grow their business through the power of data. So everything we’re doing has a focus on being a data-driven decision-making support system. So as consultants, we will help with everything from the web development side, if you have a need for A/B testing and making changes on your website for CRO, that’s something we would help with from both analytics and development. But we can also help with things like your general strategy for your business. So where are you looking to go in the next 1, 5, 10 years? And how can we help you grow to those goals?


Courtney – 00:03:15:


I want to dig in and unpack a few things there a little bit more. What are you guys doing with AI? How are you using generative AI? And what does that really mean? To you in the context of how Nimble Gravity is working with its clients.


Izach – 00:03:31:


Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve been working with AI since GPT-2. So we’re big fans of the AI space and using it to help our clients. A lot of times it’s cases that are more helping to answer broader questions that are offline questions, more of like backend data. But from an e-commerce perspective and related to your e-commerce metrics, generative AI can also be super supportive in speeding up processes. So if you have a lot of content you want to write on your website so that you get your pages all filled up with some interesting content, generative AI can be a great place to start building out those content pieces, at least to get you a framework. So then the human can come and clean it up. But having that initial starting point, or it could also be for marketing campaigns. I know I want to run a marketing campaign across all my social platforms, but I don’t want to have to write every single blurb for my campaign, that’s a great place to go use something like ChatGPT to help write those campaign content. But yeah, there’s a lot of use cases in terms of AI. We’re working with clients to help build out their own generative AI models where it’s relevant as well. So we’re helping with either starting from scratch, building something that’s relevant with their specific data to build a model that then they can use for generative AI, all the way out. There’s analytics tools that use AI now that we also leverage to help speed up the process of getting to your insights and helping with that CRO perspective.


Courtney – 00:05:09:


Okay, so I talked about conversion rate optimization in the lead-in a little bit, and we’ve thrown it around a bit. But just in your mind, is that kind of the top KPI that you’re focused on? And what’s the good, the bad, and the ugly with the CRO?


Izach – 00:05:29:


Yeah, I think CRO is super important, especially from the context of general business growth, but also if you’re looking to sell your business, obviously being able to show that optimization and increase in conversion rate over time, huge value from both your general growth as well as making your business appealing to potential buyers. I think there’s a lot of common misconceptions. Probably the first one is that CRO is a one-time fix. Like, oh, my conversion rate’s bad. I just need to do this one thing and then I’ll have a great conversion rate and that’s it. I don’t have to worry about it again. CRO is really an ongoing effort. It’s something that needs to be baked into your weekly practices and your monthly strategies and really should be something kind of driving throughout all of your e-commerce business. So I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions is, oh, we fixed that problem we had. Now I don’t need to worry about it until some new problem comes up and then I have to consider it again. Just making it part of your day-to-day is a big misconception.


Courtney – 00:06:37:


Okay, because I think people think about search engine optimization like that quite a bit as an ongoing continuous improvement project. But you’re right. I don’t really hear people talking about conversion rate optimization trends over time as much. So that’s an interesting point. And then the other thought I had while you were talking is, how would you kind of link… CRO together with something like return on ad spend. How do those work together?


Izach – 00:07:08:


Yeah, absolutely. I think connecting the two between your marketing performance and your CRO is so important because if you have… An incredible campaign, but you lead them to a page that’s broken or has a button that doesn’t work, you’ll see that… Your return on ad spend is terrible, but it’s not a true reflection of your actual ad. It’s a reflection that something’s broken on the site. So being able to monitor your website with things like web analytics tools and qualitative analytics tools, which is something we’ve been recommending more and more, which is like your SessionStack, your FullStory, Hotjar session recorders to help find those bugs for you.


Courtney – 00:07:55:


Did you say Hotjar session recorder?


Izach – 00:07:59:


Hotjar. Yeah.


Courtney – 00:07:59:


What does that mean? I don’t know.


Izach – 00:08:01:


So Hotjar, SessionStack and FullStory, they’re all like these session replay tools that help with more of your qualitative analytics. So for example, Google Analytics, I can go see how many people clicked on a button, but I won’t know if that button actually worked. So I might go into my qualitative analytics tool and see, yes, we had a lot of people click on it, but it’s what’s called a dead clicked where it didn’t take them anywhere. And you see them like clicking it a bunch of times, really frustrated, and then they might leave the site. So those tools are really helpful from a CRO perspective because they can pinpoint, oh, people are dropping off at this point in my funnel because I have a button that’s like our key CTA and it’s broken. So maybe from the marketing side, I had this incredible ad campaign that was super well targeted, was hitting the right users, but I sent them to this page where a button doesn’t work.


Courtney – 00:08:59:


So important.


Izach – 00:09:01:


Yeah, it’s key. It’s key to get that whole picture.


Courtney – 00:09:04:


Especially when, you know, as the, and I’m glad we were talking about this because, you know, as brands grow. And their ad spend can be the second biggest line item on a P&L. And if your site’s not converting, you can pump as much money into ads as you want, and you’re not going to see the lift in your return because people can’t ultimately check out. Or there’s something there if the images are bad on the site or whatever the case. So it’s like if that foundation is broken, you really can’t build the house on top of it.


Izach – 00:09:40:


Yeah, exactly.


Courtney – 00:09:41:


Yeah. So do you guys come in when you start working with a client? Do you come in and are you doing kind of like an audit of this? Like what’s that process look like for somebody who comes to Nimble Gravity and says, hey, I want to work with you guys. How does that work?


Izach – 00:09:56:


Yeah, absolutely. So we do start with an audit. So we’ll look at your overall web analytics setup for that audit to make sure that you have your KPIs tracked and can measure your whole funnel. And then we’ll also go through an audit of the website. So we’ll look at things like your SEO and your site performance, make sure that there aren’t things slowing down your site. We go through everything from your website to understand what’s working and what isn’t. And then we’ll work with our clients or prospective clients to determine what specifically it is that they’re interested in, or how much they want to engage. So we’re very flexible in style of engagement with our clients. So whether that’s a… Hey, I just need someone who I can bounce ideas off of once a week, or I need a whole team of web developers to help fix my entire site, or I want an A-B testing team from your side to come help us. We can help with all of that, but usually we’ll start with that audit and determine where you’re at, and then go from there in terms of, okay, let’s figure out what your goals are, how we can go achieve those goals together.


Courtney – 00:11:08:


Okay. So when you’re doing these audits, in your experience, what are some of the common… Red flags or problem areas that you see coming up. You know, on a regular basis. And maybe, maybe can you give us some examples of what that’s looked like with, you know, some, some recent examples.


Izach – 00:11:29:


Yeah, so the biggest problems I see regularly are something’s wrong with how your analytics is set up. So either you’re not capturing all of your conversions, or you’re over reporting sessions or under reporting sessions. So if there’s a problem there, you might not have that true full picture of how people are behaving. The other item that I see really regularly is companies running marketing campaigns without UTM parameters. So thinking from a Google Analytics perspective, a UTM parameter is essentially a code in the URL that tells Google Analytics what campaign the traffic source came from. And oftentimes, that’s the biggest gap where campaigns are being run, and they’re not marked somehow. Especially with things like QR codes, which are more common, or uncertain social media campaigns. And then they just get looped in with direct traffic. So we don’t have any perspective as to how those users are actually coming to the site. So often we’re seeing there’s this huge gap in what we know the campaigns are that are being run, and then what we’re actually seeing the campaign performance in GA. So that’s one of my biggest kind of quick win takeaways is, make sure to track UTMs on all your campaigns so that you have that data to measure performance.


Courtney – 00:13:00:


I love that so much because one of the things I hear all the time when we’re talking to founders and owners is, hey, my return is actually better. This campaign is actually performing better than how we’re tracking it. But there’s just often a disconnect of like, how do we actually track it correctly? It’s good to know that. I can send those folks to you now and you can help them with it.


Izach – 00:13:21:


Yeah, absolutely.


Courtney – 00:13:23:


That’s cool. So yeah, do you have any case studies that some successes or wins that you’ve had that I just think people love hearing about real examples and real companies and what you’ve done and it’s an easy way to connect the dots and help people understand what the potential is.


Izach – 00:13:40:


Yeah, absolutely. I think one that’s really interesting to talk about is we have a client that is essentially a funeral home website builder. So super… Random industry, something you’re not typically thinking about or hopefully not thinking about.


Courtney – 00:13:58:


I heard that’s a dying industry.


Izach – 00:14:00:


Yeah, right. So… This company has a really unique case where they’re a website builder. So they have over 15,000 domains, thinking of a domain as an individual funeral home. And they have kind of five primary brands of these funeral homes. And when we first started working with them, all of their data was tracked individually per domain or not tracked at all. And their main goal was conversion rate optimization. And so we started by tracking all of their data with a unified tracking system and Google Analytics. So we tracked over 90 custom dimensions to help them understand which funeral home is it? What type of obituary is it and details about the obituary? And essentially, their metric for revenue was sales of flowers and trees. So if someone passed away, they had a page on the obituary that kind of looks like a Facebook page. And you could go buy flowers in honor of the deceased. So instead of having to go somewhere else to go buy flowers to bring to the funeral, you could buy them directly from the funeral home website. So. We helped them by setting up full tracking across all of their domains, all in one place. So you didn’t have to go to a bunch of different Google Analytics properties. And then we supported them with A-B testing. So we had a lot of assumptions of, at the time, their website looked like it was from 2001 and needed to be brought into the future. And so we had these initial ideas of, okay, we know that these best practices exist for e-commerce, of where to put a call to action or how to title something. And within the first six weeks of having A/B testing and analytics, we increased their revenue by 50%. So a huge growth just by starting to get that data tracked. And being able to measure the changes we were making. And we probably if you know, there are probably things they could have made changes on without the data, but then they wouldn’t have been able to measure it directly back to those A-B tests. And I think that’s such a key point as well to share is having that measurement in place. So you could say, this change I made drove a 1% increase or a 10% increase in conversion rate, or I thought it would be great. But actually, everyone else hates it decreased my conversion rate.


Courtney – 00:16:39:




Izach – 00:16:39:


It’s so awesome.


Courtney – 00:16:40:


Yeah. Because then you can make decisions with confidence. And then when you’re making investments, you know you’re making investments with highly quantifiable results. So that’s just really powerful. I’m a huge proponent of data. And I think one of the things I love about e-commerce is there’s so much data. One of the challenges is it can be really hard to sort through all that data and figure out. What’s accurate, what matters, and what really drives the results you’re going towards. So I think having some simple KPIs like CRO that you can measure. Effectively and consistently, it can be such a powerful tool for people to really grow and scale their businesses.


Izach – 00:17:27:


Yeah, absolutely. And I think with that, towards CRO is having your whole checkout funnel from people landing on your site through to purchase. People are overwhelmed with the idea of where do I even start with understanding CRO? Or how do I prevent myself from tracking every possible thing and then panicking because I have too much data that I don’t understand?


Courtney – 00:17:51:




Izach – 00:17:53:


Really starting with, let’s just focus on the checkout funnel and make sure that any of those key CTAs through the funnel are tracked. Make sure that we know where drop-off points are happening. Then you can focus your energy on, okay, I know people are dropping off between the product page and adding to cart. All right, let’s go look at the product pages, figure out what’s going on there so that you’re not trying to look at the whole website, but you can focus on those specific areas for where you can improve.


Courtney – 00:18:24:


Very cool. What’s a sweet spot for a business that you would work with? How big does the company need to be to effectively utilize these services? What would be an ideal client for you?


Izach – 00:18:37:


Yeah, our ideal client is probably a larger size, maybe 100 million or more. But from a web analytics perspective, I’ve worked with clients much smaller than that. So I’ve worked with more startup to help them get their analytics in place. You know, I’ve helped with more mid stage. But when we’re looking at bigger projects, or including more development size, it might be, you know, 50 million to 100 million is kind of our starting point for really driving, you know, a client that has enough budget to really go forward with that type of scale working with Nimble Gravity.


Courtney – 00:19:17:


Gotcha. Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. And then the other thing I was thinking about, I made, I guess, a reference to search engine optimization. And one of the things I think about with SEO is kind of balancing short-term gains with long-term gains and how to kind of balance that investment. Do you think about conversion rate optimization in the same way? Are there some quick wins and some things that you put into place that are kind of a longer-term strategy? And how do you prioritize what to do first?


Izach – 00:19:51:


Yeah, I think this is a great question. I definitely think there’s a balance there between the short term and long term goals. Thinking of short term, that might be something where you’re looking at it for, I have this awesome campaign, and I think I’m going to drive a huge conversion rate, because I’m able to discount certain products, or I have this big sale going on. And that’s going to drive this nice big bump in my conversion rate and revenue. And that’s kind of your short term goal of, okay, I know this campaign is going to do well. I think there’s sometimes a slippery slope when it comes to campaigns or specific marketing where companies will see, oh, this worked really well. We had this certain product that went on sale. Let’s just repeat that. But then you run into challenges where either you start to train your customer to wait for a sale, which no one wants to do if they can avoid it, or you get too reliant on sending similar types of campaigns regularly. So then people just get annoyed. They’ll put your emails in their spam folder or unsubscribe. And I’ve seen cases where companies were sending emails every day, and then their customer base just gets so overwhelmed with marketing that they were losing customers and the retention was going down dramatically. So the long-term focus is making sure to build that campaign plan that’s a bit broader. So not just looking at, what can we do this week or this month? But how are we going to focus our whole year of campaigns in terms of those big ones? How do we want to structure our normal marketing plans so that those are regular? So that from an outset, you know that your users aren’t getting overwhelmed there. And then once they get to the website, the long-term perspective for CRO is always that focus of… We should be looking at this data daily and weekly and monthly. And we should know what our metrics are on our website. That’s one big thing that I’ll suggest is making data a part of your daily business conversations with your colleagues so that your team knows what a good traffic day looks like. Your team knows what a bad traffic day looks like. And you can start understanding internally what’s good and bad, how your campaigns had an impact on the site or didn’t have an impact on the site so that you could start understanding when you make a change from the product side for CRO, how is that impacting with everything else? Because if you’re not looking at the data regularly, it’s easy to either see the data and panic and say, that’s too much. I’m not going to go into it or not even know where to start.


Courtney – 00:22:39:


Yeah, and I think as you get more familiar with what… You know, kind of your long-term trends are, right? And you make small changes, then you can appreciate. The changes that you see in the tracking analytics. But if you haven’t been watching that data, if something moves a half a percent, you just might not pay attention to it or realize that you actually impacted that change. But I think it’s super cool to be able to make changes in the business and then see the KPIs change as a result and then go back and iterate on those changes. And it’s A/B testing, but around other types of data inputs or changes you can make in the business.


Izach – 00:23:19:


Absolutely. It’s the most satisfying thing to be able to see that direct. I did a thing and I have data to say that it was positive. That is just the best feeling.


Courtney – 00:23:31:


Or it sucked, you know, but either way, it’s like really good to know because the worst thing is you’re doing something that doesn’t work and you don’t know it.


Izach – 00:23:37:




Courtney – 00:23:38:


And people can just, you know, and then to know it quickly also is important. So like if you try it, you know, I guess it’s like the fail fast mentality, right? If you’re going to try something, it’s really important to know, okay, that didn’t work. Or, hey, we have other things that just work better. Maybe it wasn’t a total fail, but it wasn’t as good as some other things. So, anyway, that’s cool. I love the data. I geek out with you on the data all day. Well, how can our listeners connect with you and Nimble Gravity?


Izach – 00:24:08:


Yeah, so you can find Nimble Gravity at And then you can connect with me on LinkedIn. So my name is Courtney Lindau on LinkedIn in terms of my URL, but you can find me at Courtney Lee. So that’s probably the best way is if you have a question, go ahead and find me on LinkedIn.


Courtney – 00:24:30:


Cool. All right. Well, I will find you on LinkedIn and connect. Look forward to talking with you and working with Nimble Gravity with some of my clients. And it was really great to have you on the show.


Izach – 00:24:41:


Awesome. Yeah. Thanks for having me. It was really great.


Courtney – 00:24:50:


All right. That was Courtney Lindau Lee. You can find more about Nimble Gravity at Thanks everyone for listening to this episode of the Deal Closers podcast brought to you by If you like the show, be sure to rate us, write a review, press the follow button. Share it with your network. And of course, if you’re looking for help selling your e-commerce business, be sure to visit This episode was edited and produced by Earfluence. I’m Izach Porter. Follow me on LinkedIn, and we’ll see you next time on the Deal Closers podcast.