Understanding Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate
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What is conversion rate?  In electronic commerce, conversion marketing is the act of converting site visitors into paying customers.

Many sites may consider a "conversion" to be some sort of result other than a sale.  One example of a conversion event other than a sale is if a customer were to abandon an online shopping cart, the company could market a special offer, e.g. free shipping, to convert the visitor into a paying customer. A company may also try to recover the abandoner through an online engagement method such as proactive chat in an attempt to assist the customer through the purchase process.

When talking about conversion, a visitor to your website takes an action that you want them to take or not.  Having a plan for the process in which the consumer experiences his/her online session. This experience could mean signing up for an email newsletter, creating an account with a login and password, making a purchase, downloading an offer/coupon, or something else that has initiated the web visit.  Whatever it is you want your visitors to do, this action is what you are going to measure and how you are looking to optimize it. You’ll need to know a few things to help you get up to speed on all the variables that help you measure and pinpoint actions taken by the visitor.

Call to Action (CTA)

The primary button, link or other user interface element that asks the user to take an action that leads to (or towards) a conversion. A “Buy Now” button on Ebay.com, a “Sign Up” button on an email registration field, a “Download Now” on an app landing page are examples of different Calls to Action.  

Purchase Funnel

Purchasing funnel is a consumer focused marketing model, which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service.  In 1898, E. St. Elmo Lewis developed a model, which mapped a theoretical customer journey from the moment a brand or product attracted consumer attention to the point of action or purchase.  St. Elmo Lewis’ idea is often referred to as the AIDA-model - an acronym that stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. This staged process is summarized below:

  • Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of a product or service
  • Interest – actively expressing an interest in a product group
  • Desire – aspiring to a particular brand or product
  • Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product

With a basic understanding of the terms we can move to understanding gaging/measuring your current numbers so that you can get started on a plan of action to help you focus efforts in areas you need to improve.

TIPS:

Web tools like Google Analytics, a powerful & free service with limited to no support.  Crazy Egg, an available paid service from $9-$99 bucks per month.  Those are two of the mostly used analytics tools on the web.  Make sure that before you sign up with any service that you try the free ones first.  Then look into others as you familiarizing yourself with the free tools, other services may offer more detailed reports or completely different tools that you might find useful for your specific business. Once you have the numbers, you’ll be able to do the math.  To get your Conversion Rate, you’ll divide the above total number of conversions by the number of visitors to your site. Example: 1000 visitors and 10% conversions has a conversion rate of 1%. As you familiarize yourself with these tools and start to understand all the data and you’ll be able to focus on other important parts of conversion.

TO WORK ON: Bounce Rate

Your Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who leave after viewing a single page. A high bounce rate is not a good thing–for whatever reason, people aren’t finding what they’re looking for so they leave almost immediately.

Exit Rate

You also have a specific Exit Rate for each page; it’s the percentage of people who leave after viewing the page. Your exit rate lets you know the last page that users view before they move on. A very high exit rate on a specific page can be a red flag.

Average Time on Site

An Engagement Metric, the Average Time on Site of users gives you a general idea how long people are sticking around. A high bounce rate means a low average time on site—visitors aren’t sticking around long enough to do whatever it is you want them to do.

Average Page Views

Similarly, Average Page Views is an Engagement Metric that tells you how many pages the average visitor through before leaving. More page views can mean engagement but also can mean a lack of clarity in your conversion funnel, if there is no conversion.

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