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Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate


The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a primary objective of the website, such as registering for an account, buying a product or downloading a white paper. By analysing your conversion rate for different pages and by continuous (e.g. temperature) and discrete variables (e.g. source of traffic) you can identify where pain points exist and what are the main factors that influence conversions.

Image of Google Analytics report showing conversion rate

Google Analytics showing conversion rate by acquisition channel

It is important not to solely focus on the conversions as it is only one metric and must be put into context with how it affects the bottom line. For example, an e-commerce retailer also needs to monitor calculated metrics, such as average order value, returns and revenues to optimise the site.

As explained in our post, ten SaaS marketing metrics for a lean business, ratios are often the most useful KPIs to monitor because they link two related metrics. Valuable metrics must be understandable, meaningful and actionable. If you can’t influence a metric then it is probably not worth monitoring it.


Conversion rate optimisation is not necessarily about optimising conversions because this can be too simplistic a definition and could in fact be counter productive for the long-term sustainability of a site. It is important to agree a single success metric (i.e. North Star metric) for a site so that everyone understands the objective for optimisation. This helps create a strategy to improve the performance of a site and avoids conflicting optimisation activities. A good North Star metric will be aligned to customer goals and the business model.

Align business objectives with website goals and targets

For example, Amazon’s North Star metric is that users should want to become a Prime customer. This is because Prime customers have a much higher conversion rate and frequency of purchase than non-Prime customers. For more details about how Amazon out performs most ecommerce websites see our post Be like Amazon!

You can calculate your conversion rate for a specific journey by measuring the percentage of users or sessions who proceed to each step (micro conversion) in the funnel. This can be problematic if you have multiple options at a single step in the journey because goals in Google Analytics don’t give you an ‘or’ option. However, this is not a problem if you follow our method for automating a complex funnel visualisation using Data Studio.

If you need help with digital optimisation it is worth considering hiring a conversion optimisation consultant who can provide the expertise to help create a sustainable strategy to grow your digital business. A good consultant will help define a framework for optimisation and transfer skills to your business so that you can take the process forward.


Conversion rate strategy – 10 strategies for successful conversion rate optimization. 

Process for CRO – 8 steps guaranteed to improve your conversion rate.

Web analytics – 18 free & paid web analytics solutions.


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