Solar Power Business Case Study: Increase Conversions by 63%

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Increase in Conversion Rates with 3-Step Program

Keith Hagen, Michael Kuehn, Devon Cox - the Inflow CRO Team

From our CRO Team


Increase in Leads


Result: Overall Conversion Rate Increased by 63 percent

Case Study Details

Real Goods Solar was receiving a decent level of organic search traffic from its target states of California and Colorado, but the site was not converting organic traffic into leads. When they started a new SEO program, Inflow recognized the need for the site to be optimized, not only to get more traffic, but also to convert traffic better.

Converting SEO traffic was very important because it was Real Goods Solar’s main source of traffic, and is typically the best-qualified traffic. For Real Goods Solar’s target demographic (Generation X, Younger Boomers and Older Boomers), search engines are the No. 1 way those target demographics reach websites.

Real Goods Solar, just weeks into its website conversion optimization program, decided to change the company it outsourced web development to and changed internal contacts twice before deciding to change content management systems from Joomla to WordPress. Due to all this change, conversion rate optimization recommendations had to be limited to content and imagery changes. No site templates could be modified.

The Inflow CRO Solution

From our standardized setup process, Inflow’s CRO Analysts immediately recognized many of the obstacles that users faced in their site experience and quickly issued recommendations around the following:

  1. Navigation cues
  2. Trust factors (elements that lead visitors to trust the site, such as Norton and McAfee badges, etc.)
  3. Call to Action (CTA) buttons
  4. Content readability

In response to the client’s need and request, Inflow issued an extra amount of initial recommendations that could be implemented immediately to improve website lead conversion rates in three steps:

Step 1

Our CRO Analysts delivered detailed requirements for each recommendation.

Step 2

The CRO team met with Real Goods Solar stakeholders, web development resources, and Inflow’s SEO team to explain each recommendation in detail and to plan implementation.

Step 3

CRO Analysts supported the Real Goods Solar web development resources in implementing the recommendations.


Due to its website Conversion Rate Optimization Program, Real Goods Solar saw major success in converting more organic search engine traffic and return visitors.*

Organic Search Conversion Rate Increase: 167%

With organic search results being the major source of traffic for the website, this is where our CRO Analysts placed this attention initially, not only for first-time visitors, but also return visitors using search to get back to the site.

Return Visitor Conversion Rate Increase: 74%

Due to the excellent design of the website, people interested in solar energy often looked at the site quickly to qualify the site with the intention to return later and make their decisions, which is typical behavior for such complex and significant purchases. Upon returning to the site as a “qualified visitor” showing higher intentions and in the later stages of their decision process, users rarely became leads. As a results of “late stage analysis” and recommendations made and implemented, return visitors now are 242 percent more likely to request a quote for solar than before.

  • Conversion Rate BEFORE: 0.89 percent
  • Conversion Rate AFTER: 1.56 percent

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New Visitor Conversion Rate Increase: 75%

The overall conversion rate when volatile and low-quality traffic was removed increased 62 percent. Most of this increase can be attributed to increases in converting natural search traffic and return visitors; however, significant conversion rate increases were also seen for new visitors.

  • Conversion Rate BEFORE: 1.41 percent
  • Conversion Rate AFTER: 2.30 percent

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Overall Conversion Rate Increase: 63%

With organic search results being the major source of traffic for the website, this is where our Analysts placed this attention initially, not only for first-time visitors but also return visitors using search to get back to the site.

Return Visitors

Not only did return visitors to the site start converting better, but people were 67 percent more likely to come back to the site after visiting.

Phone Leads Increase: 97%

The client wanted more people calling. Real Goods Solar felt their phone call leads were better quality than web form leads, so ConversionIQ focused on transitioning and increasing leads into this channel specifically. During the first six months of tracking calls, Phone Leads increased 97 percent and Form Leads decreased only 14 percent, with an overall conversion rate increase of 33 percent. This means not only were leads transitioned to a more effective channel, but they also increased greatly at the same time.

*All statistics were pulled from Google Analytics, filtering out volatile and low-quality traffic for a period from December 2010 to Jan. 17, 2011, to the same date range a year later

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