Einstein’s guide to conversion rate optimization

OK so Albert Einstein really didn’t write a guide to increasing conversion rates. Instead, he just unlocked a few secrets of the universe 109 years ago (when he was 26, by the way).

Throughout his career, Einstein came up with some brilliant quotes and in reading through some of his best it’s clear he could’ve mastered the science (and art) of conversion rate optimization. Of course, it’s also silly to say that because if he were alive today he’d probably be giving back to humanity in some way other than trying to get us all to buy more stuff.


Here are some of his best quotes and how they apply to the world of optimizing conversions:

1. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This is probably his most famous one. At least it’s the one I see being referenced by professionals in almost every field where it’s important to test new theories and shake things up.

Are you having trouble converting visitors to paying customers? When’s the last time you tried something – anything – different? What about real images of real people instead of the same boring stock photos? How about tweaking the message? What about the headline? Have you thought of different verbiage on your call to action? If you’re about to launch a new version of a product, did you learn anything from the previous launch that applies here?

2. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” If you’re trying to make your business better, then you’re going to make mistakes. When you try out some different messaging on a landing page you’re going to be dead wrong once in awhile. When you try to improve the call to action, sometimes it’s just not going to work. You may find out that what you had originally was actually better.

I’ve come up with some ideas that looked great on paper, but bombed horribly when tested. I make no apologies because the ideas were based on data and solid assumptions that seemed to make sense at the time. Plus, at least I tried something new.

3. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So……. this site of yours that is confusing to potential customers, doesn’t convert, and has atrocious bounce rates…maybe the thought process that went into it made perfect sense at the time. I’m sure no one intended to build a bad site that is more reflective of your corporate org chart than your customers’ needs.

However, don’t make that same mistake again. If you designed by committee last time and you fell into the trap of letting corporate politics dictate your user experience, don’t let anyone use that same line of thinking again. Please.

4. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I’ve had the privilege to meet some people who are really, really good at conversion rate optimization. They’ll be the first to tell you that they aren’t necessarily any smarter than anyone else, they just persist in trying to solve the problem.

It’s fun to see some of the landing page case studies at conferences where a result will seem so incredibly obvious once you see it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was quick and easy to get there. These things can and often do take time.

5. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” This is my favorite quote of his. The message here is basically this: “Hey, you’ve got something great – keep it simple and get to the point already!”

6. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Looking at your analytics can usually tell you if something worked or it didn’t. However, it takes more than the logical conclusions drawn from data in order to really make a difference. You have to imagine what might make a better headline or a more enticing call to action. You won’t realize the potential until you start to use your imagination.

7. “Information is not knowledge.” Your analytics can tell you almost anything you want to know (except for keyword data, of course). You can log into your web analytics and find tons of information. However, a lot of what you find won’t really give you any additional knowledge.

If you want to improve conversions, you need to determine what information really matters. You need to understand the context behind the data in order to really gain any sort of knowledge from it. And lastly, that knowledge is useless unless you can actually take action on it.

My Favorites…..What are yours?

The seven Einstein quotes you just read were my favorites of his. He had so many good ones that it’s honestly hard to pick out the very best ones. I’d love to hear what some of yours are and how you might apply them in your profession.

Written by: Adam Proehl