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Understanding Conversion Rates

By Leah Sikora

To understand conversion rates, you first have to reach way back and remember the reason why you have a website in the first place. Take a physical store, for example. There’s a storefront that invites the customer in, then there’s a showroom in which products are displayed and sold. In a traditional store, you have associates to help customers find what they need, make suggestions, and otherwise encourage sales. With an online store, this sales aspect is much more difficult to achieve. Your website is a beautiful storefront that invites visitors, but do you know what those customers do once they’re there? Whether you are a retailer, a service provider, a non-profit, or an educational institution a website is pretty much useless if it’s not somehow helping you achieve your mission; for businesses, that’s making money. A conversion rate is an indication of how successful your online marketing efforts are. By tracking your conversion rates, you can identify what works and what doesn’t and adapt your strategy.

What Is a Conversion Rate?

A conversion rate is the number “goal achievements” divided by the number of page visits. A goal achievement can be a sale in your online store, a request for more information by filling out a webform, or another form of engagement. On our website,, for example, we measure conversion rates by dividing the number of webforms that are filled out by the number of visitors.

Why You Should Care?

The great thing about online marketing is that you can track everything that happens on your site. With tools like Google Analytics, you can see exact data on how many people visited your page, how many of those visits resulted in conversions, and how those visitors arrived at your page. This is valuable information because you can see if other digital marketing tactics that you are employing are working, like SEO, social media marketing, or paid search advertising. For example, if you have a blog that you are maintaining for SEO purposes, it’s helpful to be able to see how many people visited your site because they searched for something you wrote about in your blog. The next step is to identify which of those visits to your blog converted. You’ll then be able to find patterns of blog topics and keyword combinations that are most effective in earning conversions.

Ways To Improve Conversion Rates

Aesthetics, branding, product demand and quality, etc. are all factors that influence customers to buy or browsers to fill out webforms. Since all of these factors depend on each individual company, we’re going to focus on technological and structural ways that you can improve your conversion rates. The most important factor in transforming your website from “just a storefront” to a valuable tool that converts, is usability. Your website must absolutely be functional and efficient. If the user experience of your website is frustrating, confusing, or inefficient, visitors will search elsewhere for the information, products, and services they’re looking for. Here are our top three tips for improving user experience and conversion rates on your site:

1. Be Responsive

We can’t stress enough the importance of a responsive website. Consumers and Internet users are turning to their mobile devices more than ever to research products. If the user has to pinch-to-zoom in order to view content on your site, they are probably going to look elsewhere for what they need. In addition to your site being available on a variety of screen sizes, it also needs to be designed for a variety of browsers not just the most popular one or two.

2. Be Fast

Huge, clunky pages load painfully slow. In the age of Google Fiber, the average internet user is accustomed to websites that load almost instantly. The average customer is also on-the-go and doesn’t have time to sit staring at a blank screen and the spinning wheel of death while your page loads. Delays like this can be frustrating to your website visitors and drive them away.

3. Be Intuitive

Navigating your website should be like second nature to visitors. They shouldn’t have to think too hard about finding the information they are looking for. The best place to start for this is the page navigation either at the top or on the side of your page. Tabs included in the main navigation should be based on keywords that are most often searched within your website. For example, if your business has a special method for manufacturing a product that interested visitors search for once they reach your site, you will need to include a tab directing to a dedicated landing page. Also, when directing users to your site via paid search advertising, social media, or other marketing promotions, direct them to a page that makes sense. For example, if you were advertising a particular service, direct them to a page that explains that service or a contact page where they can request more information.

In digital marketing, the conversion rate is a valuable tool that can help you analyze and adapt marketing strategies. For more information on conversion rates, or how to improve them, give us a call today.

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