What Are Conversions and How Can It Increase Online Sales?

2,098,264,889. Think about that number for a second.  It’s the number of searches that Google has had for TODAY…just today! Did you blink because now it’s 2,102,392,578! If your business isn’t online or investing time and money in online marketing then you’re out of the game. Content, Content, Content followed by Conversions, Conversions, Conversion. Understanding conversions is the first step in improving the performance of your website and to increase online sales and enquiries.

Business owners often refute the importance of a website and online marketing and I’m quickly told it simply doesn’t work for them.

  • “I don’t receive any customer enquiries through my website”
  • “I don’t see the value in SEO services or having a website”
  • “Social media is a load of [email protected] and I’m not wasting my time on it” (2,139,029,741 Google searches)

Sound familiar? It’s not long after that I’ll ask about conversions and ask how often the site converts? “Conversions? What the hell are you talking about Byron“.  So what exactly are conversions and how do you optimise and transform your website into an income/lead generating machine.

What are conversions?

A website conversion is the single most important factor to the success of your online marketing strategy and goals. If you don’t track it then start doing so now, it will change the view you have of online business. Conversions are your way of tracking that your visitors are doing what you want them to do.

what-is-conversion-optimisationThe types of conversions your business wants will vary from any other business, it’s totally dependant on you. There are many different types of conversions that your goals will fit however and you’re not just limited to one. Your business may need one or any combination of the following conversion type examples:

  • A customer enquiry via email
  • A customer enquiry via telephone
  • A completed purchase
  • A submitted form
  • A button or link click
  • Reaching a particular page
  • Signing up to a newsletter
  • Receiving a subscriber on social media
  • the list goes on…
  • there are 1000’s of possibilities

The first step with a new website, or any website for that matter, should be to configure your goals within Google Analytics. Go on, put it on your list to complete this week. Google Analytics is a way of tracking the traffic you receive while also providing you with the tools implement your goals and track conversions. (2,202,929,773 Google searches)

Conversion optimisation

Once your conversion goals are configured, in Google, you can understand and track the performance of your website while gaining a better understanding of your investment in traffic referrers such as social media and search engines. Bewareconversion-tracking-google-analytics1 though conversion optimisation is addictive and as soon as you start tracking it you’ll want to achieve the highest conversion rate you can get, that’s not a bad thing.

There is no average conversion rate number as it varies so greatly between goal, product and business. Just start tracking it and then your aim is to improve your % ongoing. So how does one “conversion optimise” themselves?

  • Build a website with SEO and conversions in mind.
  • Provide a clear call to action i.e. what do you want your visitors to do?
  • Focus on above the fold content – the area of screen visitors see upon arrival.
  • User colours to bring attention to your call to action
  • Reduce the clutter on your page, focus on products and services that sell
  • Tell visitors your unique selling points
  • Improve your about page, connect with your audience, tell them about yourself including appropriate personal traits.
  • Use heatmap tools such as clicktale or crazy egg to show which parts of your site are used (or not)
  • Use google analytics to understand bounce rates, time on site and other metrics which help you understand the engagement you’re receiving from visitors.
  • plus many many more ways…..

Using conversion tracking to increase online sales

So you’ve created your business goals, you’re tracking your conversions, and you’ve started to optimise your website what is next? Now that you’re tracking your goal you simply need to continue to improve upon it. If you’ve created your goals correctly you’ll realise that each time your goal converts it will generate into better visitor engagement which leads to more enquiries/leads and will inevitably increasing sales and income.

It’s important to remember that in order to do conversion optimisation well you must have enough time and traffic to understand whether your page and website is effective or not. Don’t go changing unless you’ve got a solid range of statistics and history to provide you with a reason to do so. You may have also heard about A/B split testing where you’re constantly presenting visitors with different content to gain a better understanding of what has higher conversions. It can be challenging to find the time for A/B split testing however it’s highly recommended as it’s one of the best ways to improve your conversions by trying to constantly beating your personal best.

Don’t settle for good enough continue to find the best because it’s always changing too.

Once you’re receiving a solid conversion rate across your website and content you can then focus on your content marketing and how you will bring more traffic to your website. Any referrers such as social media, search engines or other websites that send traffic to you should only been seen as traffic, that’s all it is. Social shares such as Likes, shares, tweets are a way to understand engagement with your audience on those platforms but your aim should always be to bring people back to your website when you can convert.

Goals and analytics will help you to understand your social media engagement in a different way to what you have in the past. While you might be slumped into your chair staring blankly at your social shares wondering where you’ve gone wrong you might find more value seeing that your Facebook traffic converts at 0.5% for each visitor your receive. How many social media visitors do you need to make it worth your time? Alas, social media conversions are a story for another day.
The google searches for today is now 2,297,604,020.

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