Your website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action. For example, if you have an eCommerce website, you want your visitor to checkout and buy something. If you are a B2B company, you want your visitor to request a quote or become a lead.
What Is a Website Conversion?
Here are common examples of actions you may want a visitor to take.
Completing A Purchase
When the company makes products or services available for direct purchase online, the desired action (conversion) is the website visitor checking out and completing a purchase.
Submitting A Contact Form
Nearly every website has a basic contact form. In fact, a common website mistake is relying solely on your contact form for generating leads!
Submitting A RFQ
Like the contact form, you shouldn't rely solely on an RFQ form to generate leads.
Email Newsletter or Blog Subscription
These two require you to have a) a regular email newsletter and/or b) a blog that visitors can subscribe to. This can help increase your website conversion rate because it's lower commitment - it doesn't require a purchase or direct contact with a sales person.
Inbound Marketing Campaign
In inbound marketing a conversion happens when a website visitor exchanges their contact details (usually name and email) for a premium resource. Examples of premium resources include eBooks, webinars, case studies, and tool kits.
These conversions are very valuable because they indicate the website visitor's context. When you know the topic they're interested in, you can engage with leads directly on that topic. Inbound marketing campaigns are also geared towards educating a buyer during their buying process, which adds a ton of value and makes closing a sale much easier.
Unlike the conversions above (except for the newsletter/blog subscription), inbound marketing campaigns are a simple exchange of value, not an expectation of sales contact. Your lead gets valuable information, and you get their contact info so you can stay on their radar. Lower commitment, easier conversion.
Now, Calculate Your Conversion Rate
Now that you understand what the various conversion opportunities are, let's calculate your conversion rate.
If you use Google Analytics, which is FREE, you have all of the information you need. What's trickier is calculating how many conversions you actually had over a certain period of time.
If you get notified of website inquiries or RFQs, you can search your inbox for all of the emails you've received in the same time frame. If you have a WordPress website, there are some great plugins to track leads. Even better, if you use HubSpot, your conversion rate is front and center on your dashboard.
Once you have a reliable way to get the numbers you need to calculate your website conversion rate, you should look at the last six months and start tracking bi-weekly going forward. Comparing month over month numbers will help you identify trends and make improvements.
To calculate your conversion rate, you need to divide the number of visitors that took the desired action by the total number of website visitors in that time frame. Then, multiply that number by 100 to get your website conversion rate.
For example, if you have 3,000 website visitors and 40 take the desired action, you would divide 40 by 3,000. The result is 0.0133. Now, multiply that by 100 and you have a conversion rate of 1.33%.
If 1.33% of your website visitors took the desired action, that means 98.67% did not. Clearly, that means there's room for improvement!
Does Your Website Conversion Rate Suck?
The answer depends on which industry you're in and your position in it. I know as a baseline, we want to see at least a 2% conversion rate for all of our NEW clients. Over time we want to optimize that to be closer to 4-5%.
While those rates may seem low, the difference from converting 0.5% of your website visitors into leads and 2% into leads can be business-changing. Consider a website that generates 2,000 website visitors per month with a 0.5% conversion rate. That means they are converting 10 visitors to leads per month.
If the conversion rate is increased to 2%, they are now converting 40 visitors into leads. At 4%, that's 80 leads/month.
I'm sure you and your sales team would be very thankful to have 80 opportunities instead of 10.