Measuring and tracking your conversion rate can be the difference between having a successful, engaging website that delivers results and one that consistently underperforms and never reaches its potential. In this introductory guide, we'll discuss the importance of setting a conversion goal for your website and show you how to measure and track your conversion rate.
Of the 200 million active websites on the world wide web today,the overwhelming majority fail to reach their goals. Why is that?
It's common for website owners to invest a disproportionate amount of energy into acquiring website visitors, while overlooking how those visitors behave during their visit.
If you're paying for traffic on ad networks such as Google and Facebook, or acquiring visitors organically by creating valuable search-engine-optimized content, you’ll be already aware of the substantial cost involved in customer acquisition. Therefore, it should follow that what your visitors do next is of utmost importance.
When visitors land on your website, are they at the mercy of the website builder theme that caught your attention while starting your business? Or the ecommerce template that looked most suitable for your online store? Or the web designer who, having created a beautiful and functional website, may not be held accountable for it reaching your business goals?
Website builder themes and bespoke websites can appear to check all the visual and functional boxes and are a great starting point to get your business online quickly. However, without following an ongoing and systematic process of conversion rate optimization, it is at best a shot in the dark as to whether enough of your visitors will complete the goals you need for your website to be successful.
"You can't hit a target you cannot see, and you cannot see a target you do not have."— Zig Ziglar
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for websites. Neither does website design based solely on opinions, best practices or following the leaders in your niche. That’s because none of these approaches consider the unique nuances of your visitors, your business goals or your marketing environment.
For example, a popup window offering a 10% discount that works for an online department store may conversely drive visitors away from a dental practice website. Without testing and measuring the effectiveness of techniques, it’s mostly guesswork.
Understanding your visitor’s motivations and objections, watching their behavior on your website and testing the performance of each change you make is key to shaping an experience that maximizes the likelihood of your visitors converting.
To get started, there are two fundamental concepts to understand. Conversion Goal and Conversion Rate.
What is a Conversion Goal?
Conversion goals can vary depending on your website and type of business. Your conversion goal should reflect the primary purpose of your website and can be anything from subscribing to your newsletter to completing a purchase.
Some common website conversion goals include:
- Purchased a product
- Created an account
- Watched a video
- Completed a form
- Downloaded a PDF
- Viewed your pricing page
- Subscribed to your newsletter
- Requested a quote
What is Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate is the percentage of your visitors that complete your conversion goal.
How to calculate conversion rate
Your conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of visitors who completed your conversion goal (conversions) by the total number of visitors and multiply it by 100%.
For example, let's say your conversion goal is to subscribe to your newsletter. if your landing page received 1000 visitors yesterday and 20 visitors subscribed to your newsletter, your conversion rate for that landing page yesterday was 2%.
How to measure and track conversion rate
If this sounds like a lot of work, don't worry. You can automatically measure and track the conversion rate for all of your website landing pages in Statcounter. All you need to do is set your conversion goal and Statcounter does the rest. See our guide to tracking your conversion rate in Statcounter.
In our next guide in the series, we'll talk about Conversion Rate Optimization. Now that you understand how to set a goal and track your conversion rate, you can begin to apply techniques to influence the percentage of website visitors who reach your conversion goal.