Conversion refers to website visitors performing a targeted list of desired actions. This can include clicking on a specific links, downloading a desired program, subscribing to a newsletter list, providing personal information as a business lead or purchasing a product or service. Conversions are customized to the specific needs of the website and can be assigned specific values. Conversions are vital to the success of a website as traffic alone does not guarantee a website’s success. Commonly a conversion that translates directly to revenue, such as a purchase, is considered an acquisition.
The conversion rate is the ratio at which visitors convert to your predetermined conversion goal. If your conversion goal is to have your websites visitors send their contact information as a business lead and three out of a hundred do so then your conversion rate is 3%. Conversion rates tend to be higher when the website is niche related. The average internet conversion rate is around 2.5%.
Increasing the conversion rate of your website depends on a number of different factors. Modifying your website to increase conversions is called Conversion Optimization or Conversion Rate Optimization. Certain elements of your websites can cause people to perform an action better than others such as providing a text link or an image link. Also positioning of your content, buttons, images and the overall layout of your website can greatly affect the conversion rate as people may find your website hard to navigate, your content hard to read, your site confusing or even ugly. The internet has caused people to have very low patience with websites which makes it ever more important to provide what they’re looking for quickly and concisely. There are some common techniques for improving a website’s ability to convert. These include:
Using two variations of a page (an A and B version) served to end-users to determine which converts at a higher rate. One the better converting page is decided it then becomes the new A version and a new B version is then created with some level of modification and the process is repeated. A/B testing can be a valuable tool for determining the best layout, color usage, etc to use based on trial and error. Multivariate Testing is similar to A/B testing but it happens within the same page. By issuing slight modifications on the same page you are able to track which perform better. This can be handled dynamically on the server side and tracked using analytics. Varied web analytics programs (e.g. Google Analytics) have conversion tracking included which can allow you to setup specific conversion goals and paths to reaching them. Therefore if you wish to track how many people came from a particular website from a particular geographic region using a mobile device that clicked on a link to a specific page and filled out a form then you can set this up and track it with a monetary goal valuation applied to the goal. Analytics are vital to the successful management of a website and should be utilized by any serious webmaster or SEO.
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