Why conversion optimization brings your sales up even if your closing rate goes down


Isn’t better lead capture supposed to lead to more sales? Well, yes. Here’s why you might see lower closing rates even as your sales increase. 


Here’s the problem:

You’re getting more leads from your website traffic, thanks to AutoLeadStar’s personalized, targeted content and offers. But when you look at your analytics, you notice that before using AutoLeadStar, your conversion to closing rate was 20%, and now it’s 18%. What’s going on? Doesn’t this mean conversion optimization is hurting sales?

Here’s why your closing rates seem low even though sales are up:

Your closing rate is a ratio between number of internet leads (measured by conversions) and number of sales. It is a percentage that expresses the relationship between the two. Sales is a number– and it’s the number you care about. Wouldn’t you agree that 23 sales are better than 20? Take a look at the graph below comparing two different months. In the second month, the closing rate is lower, but the actual number of sales is higher:

conversion optimization

Remember, the closing rate is a ratio which expresses the relationship between leads captured and sales closed so don’t let the absolute numbers fool you. You’re doing better!


When you start using conversion optimization, don’t just look at the closing rate. Look at the increase in your sales. Even if a lower percentage of your new converted leads are turning into sales, your sales are still increasing.

But why are fewer of my new converted leads turning into sales?

This is a good question, and gets to the heart of what conversion optimization does. Think about a car shopper who lives in your area, or who is ready to buy, or who is already familiar with your dealership. This lead is ultra-qualified– someone who has often gone to your site deliberately, is extremely interested in your offers, and wants to buy. Customers like this still need relevant, targeted content, but they may be more proactive. Because they are close to buying, they all but convert themselves. Now think about a customer who is just starting the consideration stage of car shopping. Deciding to actually buy, and where, could take some time. This is where conversion optimization is most crucial: capturing these early-stage visitors who may have otherwise bounced, toward the beginning of their buying cycle. Fewer of these leads immediately turn to sales because they aren’t ready to buy– yet. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t good leads. It just means they need more time and nurturing. You want to be the one to provide that nurturing– not your competitor down the street. If you capture these leads and then offer valuable content to help them through the buying process, your dealership will be their natural choice when they are ready to buy.

One Thing to Be Careful Of: Cost-Basis

More sales are better than fewer sales as long as one thing holds true: your expenses don’t skyrocket. For example, if you’re paying per lead, then a flood of new opportunities might get pricey. If, however, you’re paying a reasonable flat fee to capture those extra leads, like you do for a service like AutoLeadStar, your dealership comes out a winner. Even though you may pay a bit more per month, your overall sales will improve to the point where your profit far exceeds the extra expense.

In sum:

Conversion optimization helps you capture more leads earlier in the buying process. This may make it seem like your numbers are going down, but actually your sales are going up. Follow up with these leads and nurture them and they too will become sales.


Want to get started with the best conversion optimization around? Call us for a free consultation today! 216-242-1320.