What is website conversion?

Understanding your website’s primary and secondary goals can help you increase its effectiveness and your return on marketing spend.

Website conversion

A website conversion is when a visitor to your website completes a desired business goal during their visit.

If you’re an ecommerce business, the main conversion for your website will most likely be a purchase, and a secondary conversion might be signing somebody up to your newsletter. If you’re a financial services business, then a main conversion may be somebody opening a current account or enquiring about a mortgage, a secondary conversion may be somebody asking a question via live chat.

When you divide your conversions by the amount of visitors on your website, that will give you your website conversion rate.

What’s a good website conversion rate?

A good conversion rate is completely relative to your industry, your audience, and your website so hard to make direct comparisons. You’re unlikely to find out what your competitor’s conversion rate is, and even if you do, you can and should always be trying to improve so it’s not really worth dwelling on whether your conversion rate is good or bad.

Instead you should focus on improving your conversion rate. Some companies are relatively happy with their conversion rate as they are making a profit, and returning enough value on their advertising spend, but this can almost always be improved even further. For the companies that aren’t converting enough visitors and are spending too much on advertising, improving conversions is vital if they want to grow online sales.

What if I can’t track my end goal?

Some businesses aren’t able to track their main goal right to the end of the sales process because the final conversion may happen offline. When this happens there are some workarounds, such as using intelligent tracking which can fire events to your analytics account for completed conversions. An example of this is when the conversion is completed after one call or a few calls. However, if there’s no feasible way of tracking your end goal, you can look into tracking micro conversions instead.

Micro conversions are exactly what you’d expect them to be, they’re smaller conversions which in isolation can help to identify if users are on a path to what you’d define as your main goal. These micro conversions can be:

  • Phone calls that could indicate interest in your product or service
  • People adding products to the basket
  • People going to the basket or checkout page
  • People reaching a certain stage of your sales funnel
  • Newsletter signups
  • Downloads of lead generation content

How can I get more conversions?

Once you’ve decided which metrics to track, and what your current conversion rate is (don’t forget to consider seasonality), then you can start to work on increasing conversions. To do this, you can either increase traffic and get a higher volume of conversions, or you can work on improving your conversion rate.  

Getting more traffic to your website is will involve increasing your Adwords or paid social spend or investing in content and search engine optimisation.

If you want to improve your conversion rate, then first you’ll need to research users and understand how people are currently behaving on your website (you can do this via analytics, heatmaps, event tracking), then validate your findings with qualitative data (you can do this via surveys, user testing, and customer interviews).

Once you’ve got some insights into areas that can be improved, you can then start making changes. If your website generates a lot of traffic and conversions (+1000 a month), then you should A/B test your changes where possible. If your website doesn’t generate many conversions, then you can use tools like UsabilityHub to validate your change ideas, then measure the impact of your changes using Google Analytics.

If you’re looking to improve your conversions and user experience, we can help. Give us a call on 0161 713 2434 for a free 15 minute CRO consultation with a senior CRO consultant.

Lee Preston

10th May 2019

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