Conversion rates are an extremely valuable metric for all of those with an online business. What they can tell us is invaluable to what we are doing right (or wrong), and what we need to do next to improve our online presence.
What is a good conversion rate? Well, the answer is a bit more complicated than its sounds, so first I’ll go through a few things that determine how a conversion is made.
What is a Conversion?
In short, a conversion is a sale/goal completion or any other defined action that is completed successfully. After a user has looked through the list in their search results, and decides to click on yours , it means that the rest is up to your website. How likely you are to make a conversion depends on a lot of different things, mostly related to the presentation and usability of the page. A conversion is anything that counts as the user becoming your ‘customer’, such as filling out and submitting a form, clicking the Buy Now button, or clicking other links on your page.
What is a Conversion Rate?
The conversion rate is the number of people that make a conversion, in relation to how many landed on the page. What’s a good conversion rate? You ask. Sorry, not yet. Conversion rates are how most online companies measure the success of their page, and it’s definitely what they want to optimise for most. However, it’s not the only thing that users can do.
Bounce Rate and Dwell Time
If a user visits your page and then leaves without doing anything else, that is called a bounce. A bounce is not determined by the amount of time spent on a site, nor does it count as one if they go anywhere else on your site. Bouncing generally means that the user found your page and then clicked the back button (or used the url bar) to leave.
Conversely, when a user visits your page and does nothing at all, whether that is going off to make a cup of tea, or just staring at the screen, this is referred to as Dwelling.
When on our page, we want people to do one thing, to fulfil the act that counts as them converting. These two actions are in opposition of that goal, with one being inaction, the other opposite action. The worst possible outcome is for a user to visit your site, dwell for a while and then bounce. This uses up your resources for ultimately no return on investment.
Now that we know what we do, and do not want, we can begin to answer the question. But first we must understand a few more things.
Simple rule of thumb is that if your website takes more than 2 seconds your first problem should be website speed and not conversion rates.
Over 2 seconds is bad, above 5 seconds is abysmal and above 10 seconds means that one single thing is hindering your entire web/search/marketing progress.
What Does Conversion Mean for Your Website?
While it is true that conversion rates are important to all online fronts, they do mean different things to different types of websites. To decide what this means for your website, you should be clear on what a conversion means for you. Here are few types of websites/use cases, as well as possible conversion measurements for each.
The big one, and the type of website in which anyone is trying run an online store is called E-Commerce. There will often be other, more informational pages on the website, but they are all there with the goal of funneling the user to the ‘purchase page’. These pages often include an online mechanism where the user can directly make a transaction, such as a Buy Now button.
- Buy Now: This kind of conversion is completely function driven, meaning once the user has made a conversion, that’s money in your pocket.
- Quote: A form that a user can fill out and submit. This can include contact information, and the details of the intended purchase that can be used to contact the customer.
- Contact: Providing information for the user to make contact, such as a phone number or email address, can gain a potential conversion. These aren’t counted as accurately as a button, or any other kind of submission, but it’s a good idea to give the option.
Whether it’s a personal project, or a weekly outlet to promote your main website, blogs are a valuable tool. The biggest hurdle when running a blog is to get people to read and visit your site on a regular basis. Conversions for a blog relate to page visits more than anything else.
- Pageviews: Getting a user to find your blog is one thing, having them decide to stay after reading that one post is another. If you can convince someone to keep reading, say, 3 more posts, then that’s a decent conversion.
- Newsletter Subscription: Getting a user to give you their email address so that they can be marketed to at a later stage.
Where Social media was once thought to be a fleeting form of entertainment at best, and a fad at worst, it has become a key part of how businesses communicate to the masses. You are always trying to build more and more audience with which to spread your message.
- Follows: Getting as many people to subscribe to your social media account is key to its effectiveness. Having a user decide to ‘follow’ your account is an important conversion.
- Links: On sites like Twitter or Facebook your post might be about a specific feature of your business, to which you will provide a link. When a user follows that link, consider it a successful conversion.
News and Entertainment
Informational websites like news, or topic based sites are similar to blogs in that they want a user to read and see as much as possible. These sites are a little more professional, however, and have a strong promotional aspect as well.
- Pageviews: People will often visit a site just to get the information on that specific page. However, this isn’t a clear indicator of a regular consumer. If a user decides to view at least 5 pages per visit, then they can be considered a conversion.
- Ads: Informational websites are a good place for businesses to place ads where their relevant audiences will see them. While the side and top banners are a good place for this level of exposure, it isn’t really possible to know if a user viewed them or just looked at the rest of the page. If a user does something that indicates a degree of attention such as clicking on it, or viewing a video with an ad, then that is a reliable conversion.
We all use them, and some of us contribute to them. Wikis are informational, but in a way that is community driven and ever changing. They are always benefitting from users visiting and updating the vast arrays of informational collected within its digital archives.
- Library: Wikis have two main functions. The first is to spread the information that it contains. Every time a user visits a page, that is the wiki working as intended. When a user decides open more than a few pages in one visit, that is a good level of conversion.
- Collection: The second function of a wiki is to collect information. If a user visits and alters just one piece of important data, then that is a useful conversion as well.
Now I know that you’re here for a different question to be answered, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what the answer will mean for you. Still, I think that’s enough preamble, so let’s get into it.
What is a Good Conversion Rate?
This is the meat of this article. The problem that you’ve all come to have solved. Unfortunately there isn’t just one solution. Is there an answer? Of course. Is it simple? Absolutely not.
What is a good conversion rate? Well, how long is a piece of string?
The answer to both questions, is that it’s all relative. What is considered a good conversion rate, depends on two different factors; how many people made the query, and what kind of search query the user is making. In this way, perhaps a better analogy is the question; What is a good amount of money to be making.
- 5 people are on your page. 2 click the Buy Now button = 40% conversion rate = Good conversion rate.
- 500 people are on your page. 5 click the Buy Now button = 1% conversion rate = Mediocre conversion rate.
- 10,000 people are on your page. 1 clicks the Buy Now button = 0.1% conversion rate = bad conversion rate.
The answer to the question, what is a good conversion rate, is not absolute.
Generally, conversion percentages are defined by this metric:
(Percentages will generally be higher for low visitor numbers)
- <0.7 %: Poor: This is a bad rate, you need to take a good look at you page.
- 1.0%: Okay: This is an alright rate, there is definitely room for improvement, but things are not too dire.
- 1.5%: Good: This is a fine rate. There is some room to improve your page, however you can be happy with this result.
- 2.0%: Great: Whatever you are doing is working. Keep making your page better.
- 4.0%> Fantastic: This is a very good outcome. While there’s always ways to make a good thing better, you my friend, have a great thing. Keep this up and make small adjustments based on data.
Unless you have a 100% conversion rate there is always room for improvement.
How to Improve Your Conversion Rate ?
So now that you know what a good rate is, you probably want to learn how to get it right?
Here are a few ways to improve your page for a better conversion rate:
- Analyse the queries that lead to the page click. Are you answering the intent of the search query ?
- Is you page usable ?
- Are there proper CTA’s at the top of the page ?
- Is you website fast or blazing fast ?
- Does you website work on all browsers your users use ? Check the G Analytics browser report.
- Are the visitors on mobile behaving differently to your desktop website ?
- How are you measuring success or conversion ?
- Are you showing obstrusive popups when a user lands on your page ?
- Is your title and other aspect of the page relevant to the content ?
- Is the product in stock ?
- If using banners , have you experimented with neutral colours for your banners ?
- Have you run any A/B tests ? Google Optimize is here.