Conversion Rate Optimization

What Sports Can Teach Us About Conversion Rate Optimization

Sports is  all about how consistent and persistent you are, when you are in a tough competition with your counterparts.


Sports can teach about business and conversions too?

Yes, indeed! A few dots are to be connected.Conversion optimization involves making small, measurable tweaks to ultimately produce greater returns. So let's explore..

Here are two famous brand competitions :

Ford & General Motors, McDonalds & Burger King.

The highlight though, is both use 'competition' to make their own brand better.

Isn't sports all about that? Making your own self better?

We have witnessed these brands outdoing each other with their ad campaigns. 'Competition' is good for any business that embarks to grow and also fun to watch as a consumer.

So, what are the key lessons  that can be learnt from sports to improve your conversion optimization?

Dig in and Observe

Keep an eye on the reviews. Each customer naturally has a lot to say about the product or service that they are using. Reviews tell you everything about whether or not your product or service is doing well. When it comes to buying, your customer will take a product review indeed very seriously.

Did you know? 70% of consumers look at a review site at least once before making a purchase.

Get to know what your customers think about you and your products. In another perspective, it does reveal numerous ways your competitors are outperforming you.


"If you’re looking to find out why people are buying from them and not you, look at the reviews."


Dig in : Make a Google search of your top competitors.

Let’s say you want to learn about HubSpot, to know what people are saying about - google for “HubSpot review”.

What do you get by this?

You will notice patterns emerging from the reviews.

Ex: some people loved HubSpot’s product, but they have some sort of dissatisfaction with customer support. Or they loved the support but they found that the software hard was to use. You can  figure out what people love about HubSpot, and what they would like to see improved.

Look out for opinions. Find reviews that give enough detail. Google star rating isn’t enough. Get to know about that biggest complaint  they had about the product or service.

Ranks matter

It is needless to say that a huge part of conversions is also about doing your SEO right. Your customers have to find you, to buy from you. Your business name up there in SERPs is important. If you’re a newbie, you might struggle with SEO.

Ex: You're a new business starting out with your own inbound marketing software.A search for “inbound marketing software” will result in most pages taken up with paid ads for bigger brands, like HubSpot.

So, if you want to keep up with bigger competitors, you need to improve SEO.

What should you do? Focus on backlinks -  equivalent of 'vote of confidence' for the content on competitor sites, if you're getting links from high-authority sites.

Get a list of the top 10-20 backlinks and learn:

  • What content attracts attention for your competitor?
  • What are the SEO trends and keywords related to their content and website?
  • Which other sites and competitors are linking to them?
  • What strategy they’re using to rank?
  • Who’s writing content about their product or service?

Result: You can come up with a content strategy of your own to match.

Just think You Have Nothing to Lose, but know the science

These are the times that you often come up with your best ideas, as a result of free thinking. Use strategies that are not intended for fast catch but the one which strives towards accuracy. Try out-of-the-box thinking coupled with unconventional thinking to keep repeating experiments—not once, but twice. Wait for a calm day to test them. Observe the results.

Where are the customers landing?

Is everything performing close to what you exactly. Try to adjust as it is crucial to understand the science behind what you’re doing. Just like with a boomerang throwing involves Bernoulli’s Principle of Lift, gyroscopic precession and centripetal force, ...

Adjust and Be Proactive

Make more optimization tweaks than any other competitor. Try different methods hundreds of times. Whatever consistently provides the best results, becomes the method of choice. There is no one right way. You also have to realize, there can be multiple best ways to do things and you ultimately have to determine what’s best for your style. Always remember to re-test. Remember what worked in the past may not work in the future.

Learn something valuable that will really put you ahead of the game

Observe the competition. It can tell you a lot more than you think. The major key is to do competitive research that helps you take a look at what you are doing, from multiple angles. What are you doing well? Why aren’t you doing well? What are customers complaining about and what do they say they love? How are other competitors pricing their products? Could you be more competitive than them? Know who’s willing to pay for a product and price it accordingly.

Understand how competition is viewed in the marketplace to know how you will be viewed.

Determine what’s being said, where and how it’s being said, so that you are able to control the conversation about your brand.


Although each athlete has his own unique style, there are strategies in common: Have a clearly defined goal, iterate, educate yourself and embrace intuition. Conversion is a science, but it is also a finely-honed art.