Website Coversion Rate

  • Tuesday, 2 June 2009
  • By Catheryn York
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"WE NEED MORE TRAFFIC".....It is so common for us to hear these words from our clients. Sometimes clients are more worried about site traffic and what the search engines are looking for then the actual user experience! They forget that a real person (not a search engine crawler) is actually looking at the site and what they see is a reflection of your brand. How they interact with your brand, whether it be to call, subscribe to the database, or purchase product online, is based on what the experience is like.

Another consideration is your site's conversion rate.This seems to be a forgotten measure of a successful Web strategy. The conversion rate of a Web site is the ratio of the number of visitors who complete an action to the number of visitors who view the site. For example, if you had 20 sales out of 400 visitors your conversion rate would be 5% = 20/400.

At a conversion rate of 5%, you should be happy! The reality is most sites will have a conversion rate of less than 0.5%.

So before you drive more and more traffic to your site it makes sense to improve your conversion rate first. An average pay-per-click visitor might cost you around two dollars. Working with the .5% above, if you wanted 10 sales you need to invest $4,000 in pay-per-click advertising.

If you could improve your Web site conversion rate from 0.5% to 2% you would only need to invest $1,000 to achieve the same result. Likewise, for the $4,000 investment you’d yield 40 sales instead of 10.

Let’s say your objective for the year was to achieve 10 sales per week:

Scenario A (0.5% Web site conversion rate)
520 sales = 104,000 visitors @ 0.5% conversion rate
104,000 visitors @ $2 ppc cost = $208,000 investment

Scenario B (2% Web site conversion rate)
520 sales = 26,000 visitors @ 2% conversion rate
26,000 visitors @ $2 ppc cost = $52,000 investment

The difference in investment between scenario A & B to achieve 520 sales is $156,000

I know every Web site business is different. However the principle of conversion is universal. The bottom line is; if your conversion rate is low, it’s an expensive exercise to increase sales just by driving more traffic to your web site.

So what do you do! Look at the possibilty of allocating budget to improve your conversion rate through quality Web design & strategy that creates leverage and a significant return on investment. Some ideas may be the implementation of a blog, better shopping cart deisgn, direct marketing to your current database or database acquisition strategies. The list is endless but well worth consideration.

As a final note take a look at this video. Google’s Matt Cutts took questions from the audience on a wide variety of topics surrounding Search Marketing. Although some is quite advanced its well worth the time to listen.