We focus on conversion rate optimization with our clients. We want the site to be effective at it’s job, and the best measure of that is to measure how often a visitor “converts”.
When you are building a site, it is important that you decide – up front – the job of your site. Part of defining that is deciding what a “conversion” looks like for your site. After all, in order to improve conversion rates, you need to first measure conversions. And to measure conversions, you need to be able to describe what a conversion is for your site.
For an e-commerce site, that’s simple: a conversion is when someone purchases. Maybe there’s a secondary, lower priority conversion of signing up for a newsletter, but the primary conversion is clearly for someone to purchase.
For other sites, it may be less obvious. Maybe it’s completing a “Contact Us” form, maybe it’s signing up for a survey, maybe it’s something else.
And for other sites, there may be several different conversion objectives. In a discussion with a non-profit client recently, it became clear that they had many potential conversions. I suspect when we are done identifying them, we will end up with a list of somewhere between 8 and 12 different conversions.
It’s not until you’ve identified what a conversion means that you can then structure your pages to be effective. Each page has a job, and that job should be to help move the visitor towards one of your conversions. See how it would be difficult to design a page without knowing what it’s job is?
Once you’ve defined your conversions, you can then use Google Analytics to track conversions, and to calculate (quickly and easily) the conversion rate for each and every one of your conversions. Then, using Google Analytic’s tools, you can see where people are bouncing, where they are maybe getting stuck in loops, or where you are losing them in the conversion process.