An Introduction to Conversion Rates

It’s time to analyze a buzzword that seems to pop up all over the Internet these days. Conversion. What is conversion and why does it matter? Simply put, an online conversion occurs when a website visitor does what you want them to. Conversions can take many forms depending on what type of website you’re running. Whether it is a monetary transaction, inputting an email address, utilizing a free service, or clicking through to another site. No matter what type of business you’re running, if you’re doing it online your conversion rate matters. Period.

How do you calculate a conversion rate? First you have to define what a conversion is for your website. Here at a conversion occurs when a user purchases a domain or a product from our website. Once a conversion has been defined calculating the rate is a breeze. Divide the number of conversions by the number of unique visitors your website had over the same time period. Viola! Now you know your conversion rate.

You may be wondering how to go about obtaining a count of your unique site visitors and conversions. Well, you’re in luck. There are a number of useful tools out there to help you do just that and through the wonders of the web you can access a few of them for free.

The ecommerce dashboard in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service that calculates and summarizes website statistics. Once configured, you can see how people arrive on your website, how long they stay, where they go, calculated conversion rates, revenue generation, and so much more. If you don’t already have this service enabled we strongly recommend it. Learn more about Google Analytics here.

PadiTrack is a sales funnel calculator that plugs into Google Analytics and allows users to set up specific conversion funnels. It is particularly useful if you are selling multiple products with separate pages and flows.

So, you have gone through all the trouble outlined above. You defined a “conversion”, set up Google Analytics on your website (which is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself), and calculated the conversion rate. Whew, that was a lot of work! Now, what do you do with the information?

This is the age-old problem that a lot of companies face. We know our conversion rate, but what do we do with it? The answer is both simple and complex. You know the conversion rate, now INCREASE it! That was the simple answer. Things get complex when you ask, “How do I increase conversion?” There is an entire field devoted to accomplishing this task, known as conversion optimization. Conversion optimization attempts to analyze user behavior, provide marketing insights, and establish recommendations to help your site get an increased conversion rate.

Thus begins a series of blog posts about conversion optimization. Today is the introduction to the concept with more specific concepts and topics to follow… all designed to make sure you know how to build a website, setup hosting, get more traffic, and convert that traffic into revenue. Be sure to tune in!