What is a conversion, anyway?
You know when you know something so well, that you forget what it's like not to know what that thing is? The 'curse of knowledge'. We talk a lot about conversions here, but maybe we're a little cursed with our own genius (chortle) so we're gonna go back to basics today.
What is a conversion?
Before we can talk about conversions, we need to talk about your goals. Every website has a goal or a mission in mind. You might be an e-commerce website, and so likely your goal is to make sales. But maybe your website is a blog, so your goal might be to gain subscribers. Or you might be a service provider, with an aim to get enquiries about your services, via phone, email or contact form. Yours could be an information based website, and your goal is to funnel your visitors to a particular page. Whatever that goal is, each time you achieve it = you get one conversion.
How do we measure conversions?
So now we know what we're tracking, we need tools to measure it. Firstly, it helps to know how many people are visiting your website, so you know the total amount of potential conversions you could have. Google Analytics is the most widely used tool for this, and it's simple and straightforward to use. This can give you a real idea of how people are engaging with your site.
The best way to measure conversions depends on what you're tracking. Sales are typically easy to track through your CMS or ordering system. Contact form enquiries are similar. Phone calls are a little more tricky, but you can use tools like ResponseTap to help you track this.
Google Analytics also offers some tools for this. What's a normal conversion rate? I hate to give you another not-so-straight answer, but there's not right or wrong answer here. It depends on your industry, what you're tracking and what your market is like. We can make sweeping generalisations, like that more expensive items tend to have a lower conversion rate than cheaper items, but of course a site selling cheap items with terrible UX and a poor checkout system will most likely have a low conversion rate for other reasons.
The main thing is to not get caught up worrying about how your conversion rate compares to the industry, but how it relates to your own ROI and profitability. Don't get caught keeping up with the Joneses! Now you're on your way to understanding conversions, it could be time to start thinking about how to boost your conversions and in turn your profitability. I wonder where you could find out more about that? I'll just leave this here.