Driving prospects into your sales funnel is the first step in turning those prospects into customers. The way you market your products or service, the experience customers have when they visit your website, the marketing messages you use, and the offer you make are all crucial in getting conversions.
What Is a Conversion in Marketing?
In marketing, a conversion is any action where an unknown user becomes known to you. You have converted someone when they visit your website or store and buy your product or service. You have also converted someone when they click on an ad, go to your landing page, and then take an action like downloading a Whitepaper.
Examples of Web Conversions
Conversions take many different forms. It’s important to know the difference between the types of web conversions so you can track them against your marketing goals.
There are two categories of web conversions: micro-conversions and macro-conversions. Macro-conversions would include:
- Purchase of product
- Requesting a quote
- Subscribing to a service
- Making a sales query
- Newsletter signups
- Sharing content on social media
- Customer registrations or logins
- Filling out a form or sending an email
- Downloading content
- Adding a product to a cart
What Is the Purpose of Tracking Conversions?
Each website page or landing page should have a specific goal. Conversions track whether you’re hitting the goal.
As you can see, conversions are broadly defined. When a visitor takes an action, you’re moving them into and then (hopefully) through the sales funnel. You want to track different web conversions to have a complete picture of the buyer’s journey. For example, knowing how often someone responded to an ad, signed up for your newsletter, and later bought your product can help you track their journey to make decisions about where best to focus your marketing efforts.
If you’re an eCommerce site, you want to know the exact path customers take before buying, so you can measure the effectiveness of each part of their journey.
How Do You Implement Conversion Tracking?
Your conversion marketing strategy must include conversion tracking. This information will be vital to measuring success and optimizing your campaigns. By setting up conversion tracking, you can measure what actions are taken after your marketing message is viewed, including:
- Number of clicks and clickthrough rates
- Conversion totals, including sales and web leads
- Revenue from conversions
- Phone queries
If you’re using Google Ads, the easiest way to track conversions is by setting up a conversion in Google Ads. This will create a conversion-tracking tag that you add to your website or app. When a customer converts (clicks on the ad and takes action), the ad tag will send data back to your Google Ad Manager account.
You can also measure conversion rates by doing a log analysis on your web server. While this will tell you the number of visitors, it won’t tell you what created the conversion or help you optimize your marketing.
How Do You Measure Conversion Rates?
Marketers need to track conversion rates to gauge the effectiveness of marketing content. The formula is straightforward.
Conversion rate = number of conversions / number of interactions
For a website with 1,000 visitors and 20 conversions, the conversion rate would be 2%. To measure these factors for an ad campaign, track the traffic resulting from a click and the conversions that occurred.
Web conversions will vary by industry and brand. Across all industries, online shopping conversion rates were at 2.49% in 2019. Online grocery shopping converted at 5.08%.
What Affects Conversions and Conversions Rates?
There are lots of variables that impact your conversions. One of the main reasons you need to measure your conversion rates is to understand which variables will help or hinder your efforts.
Think about all of the different variables that might affect whether someone takes an action when visiting your website. These include:
The number of people coming to your website impacts your conversion rates, but your goal isn’t just to get as many people as possible to visit your website. The goal is to get your ideal prospects to visit your website. If you can do that, your conversion rates will increase.
Did your marketing efforts attract the right visitor? If you’re selling a B2B service to enterprise-level companies that typically have hundreds of thousands of employees, it won’t do you much good if your marketing is attracting small-business owners.
Your Product or Service
If you’re selling only blue widgets and visitors want to buy a red widget, you’re not getting a sale. Having the right product for the people on your site is as important as attracting the right kind of buyer to your site.
Once you’ve brought the target prospect to your site, your offer has to be appealing and affordable based on your prospect’s needs. Many variables affect the effectiveness of an offer, including:
- Terms and conditions
- Shipping costs and delivery times
- Payment methods
The way you present your offer, the way you showcase your products, and the language you use also impact how it is received. In other words, how effectively are you communicating your value proposition?
There are so many things that can impact conversions. You may think, for example, that having more products featured on your eCommerce site would help increase the likelihood of a purchase. That may or may not be the case. A study by Columbia University showed that in some cases, reducing the number of product options can dramatically increase conversions. Will that work for you? The only way to know is to test and track conversions.
Don’t underestimate the impact of a great user experience (UX) on conversions. UX refers to how easy and inviting your website is for anyone to use.
A Forrester Research report revealed that a well-designed and frictionless UX can potentially increase conversion rates by up to 400%. Conversely, a poor UX may not be enough to convert visitors even if you have the product or service they want at the price they want to pay.
53% of mobile users abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile browsers or your site isn’t easy to navigate, you’re asking for trouble. One study showed that 25% of customers who abandoned items in their shopping cart did so because the checkout process was too long or complicated. Are you making it easy for customers to convert?
What Happens After Conversions Take Place?
Here’s a hint: After a conversion, it’s time for your marketing and sales teams to get to work. As you get prospects into your sales funnel, your marketing team needs to nurture them through the buying journey and turn them from Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) into Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), so your sales team can close them.
How Do You Improve the Number of Conversions You Have?
More conversions means there are more people entering your sales funnel and moving through it.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors who will take the desired action. CRO is where your tracking will be most important. By understanding how visitors move through your site, what actions they have taken, and where their journey stopped, you can optimize your content to help move them to your macro conversion.
CRO helps you understand your customers better. When you know what leads to a conversion and where the roadblocks are, you can continuously hone your marketing message to improve conversions.
More conversions = More prospects into your sales funnel = Better ROI
As you optimize your marketing efforts, everything works more efficiently.
To get started with CRO, you need to do a deep dive into the metrics. If you set up conversion tracking in Google Ads, you can get the information you need in Google Analytics. Google just rolled out its latest iteration (Google Analytics 4) that helps track conversions and even tries to help predict trends.
CRO metrics help you answer important questions about how and where visitors interact with your site, including:
- Where do visitors enter your website?
- What do visitors engage with?
- What marketing channel brought them to your website?
- What device and browser are visitors using?
- Where do visitors abandon the conversion funnel?
- Where do visitors leave your website?
By tracking the entire journey as visitors interact with your website, you can see which areas lead to conversions and where the process stops. Tracking helps you pinpoint where you need to optimize your marketing messages.
Once you have identified the key areas where conversions occur (or don’t), you should perform A/B tests by rotating content and assessing which content performs best.
You can also use multivariate testing, which tests variants of two or more elements simultaneously, to see if different combinations will lead to better outcomes. Rather than just testing website copy A vs. website copy B, for example, multivariate testing can look at combinations of different headlines with different images to see if specific combinations lead to more conversions.
Improving Your Conversion Rates
Managing, measuring, and optimizing your site for conversions can be complex. There are a lot of variables you need to account for. With the right plan and process, however, you can improve your conversion rate and improve your ROI.