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How To Measure Website Conversion Rate

July 20th 2017

Your website conversion rate is a crucial figure when it comes to measuring the success of your website.  Being able to measure the success of your website, will underpin how scale-able your digital marketing plan is.  Unless you able to see which parts of your digital marketing is working (and which is not), dividing budgets, splitting campaigns, and understanding ROI will be almost impossible.

What Is A Website Conversion Rate

The way a conversion rate is calculated differs from website to website.  If you are selling products on a bog standard e-commerce website, your conversion rate will generally equate to the number of website sales divided by the number of website visitors, times by 100.  For example, if your website has 100 sales, from 1,000 visitors, the calculation would be;

(100 / 1,000) * 100 = 10%

Things become a little more complex if you are not selling something, but instead generating leads.  For example, imagine a business to business website providing accountancy services.  Clearly this is not an off-the-shelf product and conversion rate cannot be measured in the same way.  With this type of site, a conversion would normally be classed as a lead / enquiry.  For example, someone asking for a call-back, or a written quotation.  This type of lead is not as clear cut, as the customer is simply coming into the sales funnel, and may not actually become a paying customer.

What Should My Conversion Rate Be

This is a question you really need to answer yourself.  Every business will have a different figure in mind, and it essentially boils down to your cost-of-sales, as well as your customer life cycle.  For example, if you are selling watch straps for £10, and your margin is 50%, you need to have a cost-per-conversion of less than £5.  If your advertising method is Pay-Per-Click, and each click is costing you £0.50p, it means that your conversion rate needs to be a minimum of 10% in order to be in profit.  If you have tight margins, and high cost-per-click, your website will need to convert extremely well in order to make a PPC campaign profitable.

How To Measure Website Conversion Rate

There are a number of tools which can help, but the industry standard method, and ours, is to use Google Analytics.  By setting up goals, you can track every action on your site, including sales and form completions.  For e-commerce sites you can also track sales figures against the goals.  Adding the Google tracking code to your website is fairly straightforward, but does require some technical ability.  There is also some work to undertake within your Google Analytics account in order to setup your goal markers, which again requires a certain degree of technical ability.  Once setup, they can be left alone, and data will continuously be tracked.

How Should I Use The Conversion Rate Data

Conversion rate data becomes especially useful from Google Analytics when run in conjunction with Pay-Per-Click advertising, Social Media Advertising or Organic Search.  Why?  Because you can see conversion data combined with any other data within Google Analytics.  A few examples….

  • See your conversion rate on mobile phones compared to tablets
  • See your conversion rates of different age groups
  • Compare conversion rate of Twitter to Facebook
  • Compare conversion rate of different campaigns within your Adwords account

This data then allows you to target your budget to the areas which convert the best, or of course to improve under performing areas.  We have had many clients where it is identified that their mobile phone traffic is converting at a rate far less than their tablets and desktop visitors, which can be rectified and measured.

So, What Should My Conversion Rate Be?

As mentioned above, this is different for every business and every website.  It really depends on your margins and cost of sales.  However, as a bare minimum we would consider 2% to be a bottom line conversion rate.  On the opposite end of the spectrum we have clients running campaigns at close to 15% conversion rate.

If you need some help with conversion optimisation, or getting your website moving in the right direction, drop us a line.