There are lots of different ways to measuring your marketing efforts and see what is working and what isn’t. One that has enduring popularity is conversion rates but what does this mean and how do you measure it?
Conversion Rate Basics
A conversion is when someone visits your website and takes the action you have laid out for them to take. This could mean signing up for an email newsletter or an opt-in freebie, it could mean making a purchase, creating an account to download an app or any one of a number of other variations. Whatever you have set up your website to get visitors to do is a conversion and you can then measure the number of people who take this action.
Optimised conversion rates are a structured and systematic approach that helps improve the performance of the website and are based on insights such as analytics and user feedback. It works around the KPIs and unique objectives of the website and helps make the most of the traffic your website received. It isn’t opinion based or just about getting lots of people on the website, regardless of how interested they are in your product or service.
When you start talking about conversion rates, there are a few key terms that are near-universally used to deal with the different approaches and tools:
- Call to action (CTA) – this is usually a button, link or other element that prompts the user to take the desired action: buy now on a product page, sign up for an email newsletter
- Conversion funnel – this is the series of steps that a user experiences moving through the processes to making a purchase. An example could be visiting the home page, searching for a product, visiting the product page then the checkout to finalise the purchase
- A/B or split testing – this is where you change one thing on a page, funnel or process at a time to judge what works best
- Multivariate testing (MVT) – this is where you use a number of different pages or elements in different combinations to see what works best
So now you know what conversions are and what tools are used to measure them but what statistics should you be paying attention to? Of the many pieces of information analytics software can provide, which ones should be used to base your conversion rates on?
To find the basic conversion rate, you need to take the number of people who converted (i.e. signed up for that newsletter or bought the product) and divided by the total number of visitors to the site. So, if you have 1000 visitors and 10 conversions, you have a conversion rate of 1%.
There are also other stats that help embellish this picture and allow you to better understand what people do on your website. Bounce rate is one – how many people visit one page and leave or go to other pages on the website? Average time on site and average page views work alongside this – do they quickly view a product and leave or do they read the attached
Tools like Google Analytics help paint a clear picture of how your marketing efforts and your website processes are working. But remember, what might be great for one company might not be so great for yours so ensure you individualise those results for your goals.
David Elliot is the founder off Instant Print. They provide businesses with marketing both through traditional and online avenues.