A conversion in analytics is a valuable action taken by a website visitor that you want to track. Conversions relate to visitor actions or events that are linked to some form of business value. Examples of conversions include clicks, downloads, purchases, demo bookings, and anything you believe leads to value.
With most analytics tools, you can track different conversion events by defining the various actions you want users to take on your site and assigning those actions a unique conversion label.
Tracking conversions is important for every content team because it’s how they learn if their marketing funnel and calls-to-action are working.
What are the different types of conversions that can be tracked?
Conversions are always linked to business value, but a conversion is not always a sale. In fact, conversions often refer to actions that happen before a purchase. In the simplest terms, a conversion is a sign that a recipient of a marketing message has progressed down a sales funnel.
A click conversion occurs when a user clicks on a specific asset—e.g., a button, image, or link—on your website or app. While every conversion is a click, every click is not necessarily a conversion. It depends on how you set up your analytics and what actions you decide to define as conversions.
For example, if your site has a “Book Demo” button that takes users to a page where they then submit a contact form, this initial click could be labeled a click conversion. If that user completes the form to book a demo, the action of completing the form could be labeled a form fill conversion.
Tracking click and form fill conversions is useful for understanding:
- When users take mid-funnel actions that indicate interest in your product or service.
- When users create accounts based on signing up for a newsletter, forum, or other service.
Purchases or items in a cart
A purchase conversion (also known as a sales conversion), is when a customer completes a transaction on your site, paying for a physical or digital product or service.
You can also designate a conversion event to track when users add items to their shopping carts but don’t complete a purchase.
Appointments or downloads
If your business allows users to book appointments (e.g., with sales reps or medical providers) or download content (e.g., ebooks, whitepapers), you might designate a conversion event to track when a user takes either action.
Ways to analyze conversion data
Collecting, tracking, and analyzing conversion data is essential to any successful content program because it helps you understand how effectively your site and content encourage user actions.
Defining and labeling touchpoints as conversion events throughout your sales process and analyzing the related data allows you to differentiate between visitors who are interested in your brand and those who are not.
With the right tools, marketers can also use conversion data to analyze customer journey issues, identify bottlenecks, and highlight the channels that bring the most valuable traffic.
- Topic: Which content subjects bring the most converting visitors?
- Content type: Which content format is best at converting users?
- Source: Which channels generate the most conversions?
- Device: Are more conversions coming from desktop or mobile?
- Location: Are conversions coming from specific countries or regions?
- Day of week: Are there certain days when more conversions take place?
- Time of day: Are certain hours better at driving conversions?
Parse.ly goes further by offering conversion various attribution models that highlight either the content that first influenced a reader, the last page they touched before converting, or every page in between.
- First touch: credits the page seen first in the 30 days before conversion
- Linear: credits every page seen before conversion (including where the conversion occurred)
- Last touch: credits the page where conversion occurred
- Last post touched: credits the last post seen before conversion occurred
Conversion rates generally vary by industry. For example, the average conversion rate for online retailers is about three percent vs. two percent for B2B companies.
These are the most common formulas for calculating conversion rate:
Conversion rate = (Total number of conversions / Total number of sessions) x 100
Conversion rate = (Total number of conversions / Total number of unique visitors) x 100
Conversion rate = (Total number of conversions / Total number of leads) x 100
With relevant data, you can begin conversion rate optimization. The term CRO describes making changes to your website to increase conversion rates. It is worth investing in because even a one percent increase in conversion rate can significantly impact revenue.
Here are tried and true tactics for boosting CRO:
- A/ B test different CTAs on your site
- Develop conversion funnels
- Use benefit-driven headlines on landing pages
- Optimize for mobile device users (e.g., remove pop-ups)
- Build trust with security features like SSL certificates
- Add customer testimonials and reviews
- Use images and videos to explain information about your products or services
- Offer free shipping or other incentives to streamline the checkout process
- Leverage social media and use social proof examples
- Make the user experience as smooth as possible