Your conversion rate tells you how many of your visitors are ‘converting’ in the way that you want them to. In most cases, that is going to mean that they are buying a product from you – but it could also mean that they’re signing up to a mailing list or even that they’re clicking on an advert on your website. This is the point at which your site has achieved its end goal.
The way you track conversion rates is a little different, seeing as this is a flexible term that can mean very different things depending on the nature of your website and your business. The way you are normally going to do this, is by using ‘goals’. Goal tracking basically means that you place a script on your ‘goal page’ and this then leaves a cookie on the browsers of your visitors. That goal page will likely be the ‘Thank you for subscribing’ page, or perhaps your order confirmation page.
You know that once a visitor reaches this page, they will have to have converted. In turn, that also means that you can now track their trajectory through your website and you can see what proportion of your visitors make it to that page. Tracking conversion rates is incredibly important for the majority of online businesses because this is what is going to have the biggest impact on your ‘bottom line’.
A lot of people believe that they need to focus on increasing their views and engagement but if you are looking at your website from a purely business perspective, then conversion rates are really all that matter. How do you know if your advertising expenses were a good investment? Only by tracking your goals and looking at your conversion rates.
And likewise, tracking your conversion rates is the only way that you get more people to buy your products in a systematic way.
As with the previous metrics we’ve looked at, once you know your numbers in this area, you can then make changes to try and improve them and track whether or not your changes are actually making a positive impact.
How to Improve Your Conversion Rates
The great thing about your conversion rates is that you have full control over all of the factors influencing them.
When you’re looking at your visits for example, this is partly going to be dictated by your search ranking. While you can do everything you can do to improve your search ranking, the final decision ultimately lies with Google. The algorithm they use is a secret and thus no guarantees can be made.
Sometimes you will see spikes or troughs in your number of views, hits or page views and be completely unable to do anything about it. Your conversion rates might change inexplicably too and they might seem mysterious sometimes. But you still control all the factors – from your product, to the price, to the sales script, to the site design. And that means you can keep tweaking until you get the precise result you’re looking for.And there’s a great strategy you can use to accomplish this, called ‘A/B Testing’ or ‘Split Testing’.
Here, you essentially create two identical versions of your website with just one slight change and then you compare them to each other, while paying close attention to the metric. So for example, if your conversion rates aren’t quite as high as you’d like them to be and you blame your ugly header font, then you can try to make two identical versions of your site with only the heading being different.
You’ll then send a portion of your visitors to the new version with the new header and you’ll be able to compare the conversion rates. If the new site is making far more sales from the same number of visitors, then you can adopt that new change across all your sites. If it isn’t, you just reject the changes!
Conversion Rates Vs Views
A relatively new term in the world of marketing, sales and persuasion is something called ‘pre-suasion’.
The general idea behind this term, is to get the customer ready to want to buy from you. The argument is that people are much more likely to buy at certain times and especially if you have made the effort to get them in the mood for buying first. People are more likely to buy in the evening for example because when we’re tired, we become more impulsive and more emotional.
What’s more though, is that people are more likely to buy from you when they have gotten to know your brand and when they are convinced that you know what you’re talking about. The same logic applies to dating – you’re more likely to get a girl/guy’s number if you have spent longer chatting to them and showing them that you’re fun to hang out with!
So one of the best ways to improve your conversion rates is to show the right kind of person your sales page. You can do this by showing visitors your sales page only after they have racked up a number of page views for example, or by using strategies like remarketing.
Of course targeting is also important – and that means showing your site to the correct demographics. Are more of your buyers young men? Then target young men with your advertising and SEO! Find out what young men want to read and put that content on your website!
Of course there are also a ton of other factors influencing your conversion rates. Perhaps the biggest of these is your sales copy. The more persuasive you are in selling the positive aspects of your product and the better you are at applying sales pressure (i.e. showing your buyers that the product is limited in supply etc.). These are all things you can experiment with.
Obvious the product is also a VERY big factor and that means the desirability of said product, the target demographic and the price. These are factors you can play with, especially once you know the cost of your page views.
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