Conversion isn’t SEO, moreover it is an end point in the SEO journey, because if you’ve optimised your website suitably, you will have a good conversion rate. However, it is worth noting that good conversion comes from good SEO.
Conversion is a word typically used in sales, but in online marketing speak, confining conversion to sales is too narrow a definition. So conversion for digital marketing means everything a user is doing that you want them to do ie following a call to action (CTA), clicking through to another page on your website, signing up to your newsletter, or yes, purchasing one of your products.
The point is, conversion for you happens whenever your audience completes a desired action that you want them to do.
What is conversion rate?
The simplest way to measure conversion rate is to divide the number of users who do the action you want them to do, by the number of visitors to your site who saw what you wanted them to do, but didn’t do it.
For example, if you had 100 visitors to your site and they all saw your newsletter sign up form, but only 10 of them signed up for your newsletter, then your conversion rate is 10%. (10 / 100 = 10%).
The conversion rate percentage is a metric you can monitor to see how well your audience is reacting to your CTAs. If you have a high conversion rate then what you’re doing is working, if you have a low conversion rate it might indicate you have a problem with how you’re communicating what you want your audience to do, or you’re not giving them what they want.
What is a good conversion rate?
A good conversion rate depends entirely on your industry and what you’re wanting to get your audience to do. For example, across all industries, the average conversion rate for landing pages is 2.35%, for the unicorns – the top 10%, that number is 11.45%, 5 times the average.
What is conversion rate optimisation?
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a way of increasing the number of visitors to your site who do what you want them to do.
CRO isn’t SEO in that you aren’t optimising your site for search engines in order to improve your ranking in the results page, CRO is where you’re optimising the conversions on your website for whatever actions you want your audience to do. However CRO definitely benefits SEO because it:
- Helps you narrow down what your audience need
- Enables you to give your audience a better UX
- Demonstrates their trust in your site
In order to establish how to improve your conversion rate, you first have to understand the steps that a user takes working through your site before they hit your end goal, what actions they need to do in order to convert, and more specifically, what is preventing them from converting.
Basically, in order to optimise for your conversion rate you have to know what needs optimising, where it needs optimising and for whom it needs optimising.
How do you work on conversion rate optimisation?
Use Google Analytics to show you the data you require such as:
- What landing page do users enter your site on?
- What features on your site do users most engage with?
- How did users find your site?
- What device are users using to browse your site?
- What point on your conversion funnel do users abandon your site?
The answers to these questions will direct your efforts where they’re most needed. By optimising the pages that are most useful and engaging for your audience, the more likely you are to see an increase in conversion rates.
If you want to dig further down into your target audience and what they need, ask them. At the end of the day, there is only so much that raw data can tell you about a user, the rest of the information you’ll need to glean direct from the horse’s mouth.
- Use on-site surveys
- Try user testing
- Issue satisfaction surveys to users
There are few things you should avoid doing when it comes to CRO:
- Don’t follow your competitor’s lead
- Don’t optimise your site based on guesswork
- Don’t base your optimisation efforts on just one person’s feedback