The Quick and Dirty Guide to Website Conversion

Anyone that is doing business online needs to have at least a working knowledge of website conversion. By understanding a few basic principles of website conversion, we can measure the success of our websites and make calculated improvements that turn visitors into customers.

What is Website Conversion?

Website conversion is the process of getting visitors to your website to take whatever action it is that you want them to take.

For eCommerce marketers, a conversion typically equates to an online sale. For non-eCommerce businesses, a conversion may be a visitor filling out a contact form, signing up to receive the company's newsletter, or downloading a whitepaper.

It's important to note that not all conversions relate directly to sales. For example, a company that is trying to build brand awareness may count shared blog posts as conversions.

How to Calculate Conversion Rates

In the case of the eCommerce company, calculating conversion rates is a fairly straightforward task. A simple conversion rate may be calculated by dividing the number of visits by the number of orders.

Unfortunately, marketers who are not involved in eCommerce have muddier waters to navigate. Instead of dividing the number of visits by the number of orders, lead generators may try dividing the number of visits by the number of contact forms and calls received.

How to Increase Conversions

Conversions are like alibis: you can never have too many. Here are a few tips to help start you down the path towards improving your conversion rates.

1. Know Your Goals

If you've read some of our past articles, such as this one about making your website a stronger marketing tool or this one about email marketing campaigns, you know that we're big on goal-setting here at Profile by Design. After all, you can't measure what you can't define. More importantly, you can't improve how something functions if you don't know what it is supposed to do in the first place.

While you can have multiple conversion goals, you should only have one primary goal for your web site at any given time. Having more than one focus when developing content and making design and navigation changes often results in confusion, fragmentation, and general pandemonium.

2. Define Your Conversion Funnel

A conversion funnel is the track a website visitor takes from point of entry to your end goal. For example, if you own a website for a custom widget building service, your funnel may look like this:

Internet users see a search result for your site. They click on the link.They land on the home page of your site. They click to read more information about your products. They either a) contact you or b) leave your site.

The end goal of this particular website conversion funnel is to get your visitor to contact you regarding your service. From the first point of contact with your company to the form your visitor fills out to request more information, your website should be designed and written to engage your viewer and push him towards the end goal.

3. Create a Positive User Experience

From point A to point B, visitors to your website should have an outstanding online experience. Ask yourself the following questions before designing your site or developing content:

  • Do I deliver what I promised? Do visitors clicking through to your site from a search engine result see what they expect to see?
  • Do I provide my visitors with relevant information? Stop to consider what your audience wants to know.
  • Do I present my information in a user-friendly way? Intuitive navigational structures and highly readable layouts go a long way in ensuring a good user experience.
  • Do I offer my visitor a clear call to action? Let your visitor know what you want them to do next.


4. Adjust, Test, and Repeat

By making calculated changes to key pages in your conversion funnel and testing them, you can see what is working and what isn't. An easy (and free!) way to test the outcome of your adjustments is to set up an A/B split test in Google Analytics Content Experiments.

What Now?

The Internet landscape is constantly changing and the challenge to provide your market with exactly what they are looking for. Through regular research, frequent experimentation, a dollop of creativity, and some simple math, you can make the kind of ongoing improvements to your website that will boost its conversion potential.

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About Profile by Design

We are a Sacramento marketing agency serving Northern California and Nevada. Specializing in Internet marketing, email marketing, and web design, our team is passionate about exploring new ways of increasing marketing ROI. Contact us today to request a free quote.