When it comes to digital marketing metrics, conversion rate is one of the biggest indicators of success. (It’s right up there with ROI.) Understanding how conversion rate affects results and knowing how to interpret the insights it can give you into user behaviour is key to edging out your competition.

We specifically talk from a Google AdWords / PPC perspective in this article. However, many of the principles can be applied to other channels (e.g. replace ‘ad copy’ with ‘meta description’ if you’re thinking about organic conversion rate).

Let’s take a deep dive into:

  • What conversion rate is
  • How to track conversion rate
    • with a quick and important tangent about UX
  • How to improve conversion rate.

 

What is conversion rate?

In simple terms, conversion rate represents the percentage of traffic to your website that completes a specific goal. A conversion doesn’t have to designate a sale – it can refer to almost any act that underwrites your business objectives. Since every organisation has unique business objectives, you get to decide what goals to set.

The type of conversion rate that’s relevant to your business will depend on a range of factors, including the product or service you provide and the overall aim of your marketing campaign. For instance:

  • Dentists need bookings
  • Builders need quote requests
  • Retailers need sales.

Each of these objectives is driven by different goals.

 

How do I track conversion rate?

Keeping a close eye on your conversion rate is vital for confirming whether your marketing strategy is working. You can use a wide range of goals to track conversion rate, including:

  • Enquiry submissions
  • Online sign-ups
  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • Sales
  • Time spent on site.

Every time a user completes one of these actions, it counts as a conversion. Some of these goals may not sound all that important in the scheme of things, but they’re essential for monitoring the performance of your website and marketing campaigns.

 

What about user experience, though?

While conversion rate is important, it doesn’t tell you the whole story. No matter how much time you spend analysing your website’s metrics, there’s only so much you can learn from looking at users you managed to convert. Studying those you failed to impress can provide you with equally valuable insights.

Consumer behaviour is the driving force behind conversion rate, so it’s essential to understand how people interact with your website. If your conversion rate is less than ideal, the root cause of the problem can usually be found in poor user experience.

The following behaviours are classic symptoms of a poor user experience:

  • High bounce rate
  • Low click-through rate
  • Cart abandonment.

If a large percentage of your online traffic is failing to convert, you may need to alter the way consumers experience your website.

 

How do I improve my conversion rate?

When trying to improve your conversion rate, looking at your click-through rate (CTR) is a great place to start. CTR is the percentage of users who click on your ad/listing from the total number of impressions (an impression refers to the number of users who see your ad/listing).

The better your CTR is, the more people you’ll potentially be able to convert – and the more data points you’ll have access to for measuring your conversion rate.

There are several techniques you can use to improve CTR, including:

  • Using persuasive and clear calls to action in your ad copy
  • Using ad extensions to add detail and visibility
  • Including the keyword you’re bidding on in the ad URL (this will reassure users that your website is relevant to their search).

Once you’ve caught the attention of more users with your ads, you’ll need to ensure your site is optimised to turn those clicks into conversions. These are some essential aspects of conversion rate optimisation:

  • Engaging content
  • Mobile-friendly design
  • Uncomplicated form fields
  • Above-the-fold calls to action
  • Easy-to-find contact details
  • Clear and uncluttered navigation.

Even if you need to make some major alterations to your website, the optimisation process is an essential part of building a competitive conversion rate.

Discovering what works for your conversion rate can take time, but it’s essential to ensuring success in today’s digital marketing landscape. If you’re not sure where to start with understanding conversion rates, Search Factory’s Paid Media team can provide you with expert advice.

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