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Google Analytics - What is a Conversion Rate?

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Google Analytics - What is a Conversion Rate?

Use Google Analytics to Look Both Ways for Traffic - Does Your Web Traffic Have Bottlenecks?

Brian Nunnery, photographer, Copyright September 19, 2009 Stock.xchng
Question: Google Analytics - What is a Conversion Rate?

The goal of using Google analytics to design a website is to change a visitor from someone who simply views web pages to someone who has established some type of relationship with the website. When a webpage viewer becomes a website customer, a relationship has been established between the visitor and the website -- a conversion has taken place. Some websites have several hundred thousand viewers a day and some websites just have hundreds of visitors in the same period. Only some of these visitors to the web are converted. Which visitors are converted and why are conversion rates of websites important?

Answer:

Using Google analytics can help with conversion rates. A first-time visitor may later be converted to a customer, a regular reader or contributor, a client, a subscriber, or a lead with the potential to change into a full-fledged member of any one of these roles. Statistics may be employed to provide a picture of the conversion process. The purpose of using these statistics is to show how well all the expenses of maintaining a web presence are contributing to business revenue. What is being measured is Return on Investment (ROI).

Let's take a look at some of the factors that contribute to conversion rate.

  • Using Google Analytics for an Advertising Campaign A website host may have an agreement with advertisers called pay per click (PPC). This revenue model is tied to search engine keywords that are relevant to products and services advertised on the website. A website host charges advertisers a fixed price for each click on keyword phrases anticipated to attract visitors from their target market. Knowing what works well on a website helps with decisions about spending for advertising. An effective approach is to use web metrics over the entire advertising cycle, including the times when improvements are being made to the website.
  • Using Google Analytics Helps with Acquisition Cost Advertisers examine the relative costs for attracting different types of online customers. For instance, visitors who enter a website via typed-in, '"unique" search words may cost more to acquire than those who enter a site by clicking on an advertising banner for which the website host is paid by the advertiser.
  • Using Google Analytics Helps Website Management When considering conversion rates, the primary tasks associated with website management are writing web content , advertising, promotion, writing meta tags, and search engine optimization (SEO) The dynamics of each of these tasks is impacted by their relevant web tracking metrics. In other words, don't guess about changes to the website; base any changes on an analysis of your web metrics.
  • Using Google Analytics Helps Achieve Desired Website Outcome Websites generally exist in order to elicit a desired outcome, often in the form of some action taken by the visitor to the website. The most common desired website outcome is an online purchase. Leaks, which are places where visitors leave a website when it is not the web designer's intent, can substantially lower the conversion rate. For more information on using web tracking metrics to identify leaks, troubleshoot bottlenecks, and improve web traffic flow, see this FAQ What is a Clickstream?

Google Analtics - Using Metrics to Improve Conversion Rates

If the primary objective of a website is an online purchase, it is important to make the clickpath to the desired outcome short, clear, and easy to navigate. Generally, the fewer clicks needed to accomplish a purchase, the better customers like it. Tracking the percentage of visitors to your website who are converted is important, but it is not sufficient. Study the attributes of visitors to your website and try to create a profile of those visitors who converted. Be able to answer these questions.

  • From where do your converted visitors tend to come?
  • How do converted visitors enter the website?
  • Do visitors from a specific search engine or advertisement return to the website?
  • What sources seem to drive the most interest in your website?
  • Does your website have any sticky bottlenecks or drop-off points?

Metrics that measure conversion rates are an important tool for improving the profitability of a website. Websites and brick-and-mortar enterprises are both best measured by establishing business objectives and monitoring progress towards those goals over the long term.

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