What is a website conversion and conversion rate?

A website conversion is when a user (website visitor) performs an action on your website that you consider to be important.

Commercially the most important conversions for an ecommerce website is an order or contact conversion.

This means that someone has visited your site and placed an order or contacted your business.

Other conversion types

  • Video plays
  • Downloads
  • Page views
  • Time on site

Why is it important to know how many conversions your website has had?

Understanding your conversion rate helps you to understand how well your site is performing. Of those people that visit how many are actually doing what you want them to do.

Once you have this figure you can benchmark individual marketing channels, campaigns and technical implementations.

Do you have a particular marketing channel that has a lower conversion to the rest, it would be worthwhile investigating why this might be.

Improvement of your conversion rate means that your business is going in the right direction.

A slight improvement to your conversion rate can reduce marketing costs and increase sales.

How to calculate a conversion rate

Number of conversions divided by the number of sessions, shown as a percentage. For example

If you have:-
500 sessions
10 conversions
Conversion rate = 2%

How to benchmark a conversion rate

Each business sector and website will perform differently. What you consider to be a conversion will also impact how easy it is to obtain a conversion; for example if you consider a brochure download as a conversion this is going to be simpler to achieve than a sale for a £50,000 car.

The best way to benchmark your conversion is against last year’s conversion rate. If you don’t have last year’s data then you could use month on month. You need to consider that comparing your conversion rate month on month will not take into consideration seasonality.

What else to take into consideration when considering your websites conversion rate

When comparing your conversion rate to previous time periods you need to take into consideration what happened this year that is different to what happened this year.

For example a client has seen a significant spike in the sales or a certain type of fibre optic cabling. The reason for this is that there is a stock shortage and luckily for them they have stock.

As a result their conversion rate has seen significant growth. It is unlikely that next year the team will be able to anniversary this month’s performance.

I tell all my customers to create a website diary where you can make a note of changes to the site and any impact the site experienced so that when you review the data next year you won’t forget.

Have fun calculating your Conversion rate – download my free reporting template with pre populated calculations to calculate conversion for you.

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