Monday, November 2, 2015

What is your online Conversion Rate?

What is your online Conversion Rate?

Conversion rate is a very important metric web businesses, used properly should analyze. Why is it important? Conversion rate, in percentage, equals Outcomes divided by Unique Visitors during a particular time period.

What are Outcomes: Any reason your website exists whether it is the total number of retail orders submitted or total number of leads and newsletter/email sign ups you garner.

Why use Unique Visitors: Using Unique Visitors is a better read of what is really happening on your website because it accommodates this dance and gives you “credit” for those prior sessions when the dance was on (Kaushik, 2006).

For example:
Last month, you spent $5,000 on advertising to send 8,600 visitors to your website and it generated 40 sales. Ask yourself did that activity move you closer to your goals? If you do not know, then you need to know! As an advertiser you will determine and set what expectations will come from a campaign, using reports to verify whether goals are being met or not.  At this point you will need to decide whether to renew a particular campaign, or spend ad dollars in other ways.

Online advertising is an essential element of your marketing mix. It provides numerous benefits, including lower costs, robust targeting, and valuable customer insights, which are not available through other advertising mediums. Your customers, competitors, and prospects are online – online advertising lets you know a customer’s exact level of engagement (

Here are seven best practices related to conversion rate:
Always show revenue next to conversion rate
It is imperative to show the outcome numbers next to the conversion rate % in order to guide your existing and future opportunities. You may not run a one day sale every month therefore it is important to label and analyze each campaign accordingly.

Segment your conversion rate
Select and show your top five segments by campaigns (Direct Mail-email marketing, Pay Per Click etc.), by visitor type (new vs. returning, repeat buyers) driving conversions to show where the preferred outcomes are coming from.

Don’t measure conversion rate by page or link
If you have customers coming to your site from two different pages and they can still get to checkout directly from both pages measuring conversion rate “of” each page is very misleading.
You should consider Path Analysis: A process of determining a sequence of pages visited in a visitor session prior to some desired outcome. The desired end goal is to get a sequence of pages, each of which forms a path, that lead to a desired outcome. Usually these paths are ranked by frequency.

Conversion rate by top five referring url's
You might want to set up a strategy to measure conversion from your corporate site and corporate blog. Setting up referring urls will give you great insight on where the traffic is coming from.

Understand exactly what the acquisition strategy of your website / company is
Customer acquisition is top of mind for many marketers, but many are unsure of where to find them and how to target them. This is not a report, figure out what is your core strategy and then measure conversion rate for those elements. Is your company heavily into Direct Marketing etc.

Trend over time and don’t forget seasonality
It is very important to trend conversion rate numbers with seasonality campaigns in mind. Pull trends looking at 13 months instead of 12, 5 quarters instead of 4, or 8 days instead of 7.

Start with overall site conversion rate
For example the goal, which has biggest impact on the bottom-line, is the visit to the ‘order confirmation’ page (the page which is shown to a visitor when he/she completes a transaction).
If you ignore this conversion rate and instead take the overall site conversion rate into account then you will never know how your website is really performing. So it is very important that you
look at the conversion rate of each goal.        

You cannot begin to measure a conversion rate without a goal! It is very important that you start here first because it forces you to think about where the revenue or other outcomes will come from as it pertains to your web business.

Please share your thoughts via comments.

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