Conversion Rate Optimization: A Beginner's Guide

If you’re not familiar with digital marketing terms, the language can be a bit confusing at first. What’s a conversion? And, how do we optimize for it? Don’t worry—we’re here to help.

Here, we’ll discuss what counts as a conversion, how to calculate the conversion rate, and how to optimize your conversions to improve website performance.

What Counts as a Marketing Conversion?

A marketing conversion refers to any time on your website when a customer completes a desired business goal. Conversions vary by business type. For eCommerce sites, a conversion may be a sale; a hospital, on the other hand, may count clicks to donate or shares on Facebook as a conversion.

You can have multiple types of conversions, too. Not all conversions have to be monetary. There are many types of engagement, including:

  • Making a purchase
  • Adding items to a list
  • Downloading a podcast
  • Participating in a poll
  • Adding a comment
  • Sharing on social media

And, this was just to name a few. Depending on your business, what you count as a conversion will vary. Just make sure you’re tracking your conversions along the way and staying consistent with what you count as a “conversion”.

How Do I Calculate the Conversion Rate?

To calculate your conversion rate, you’ll need to do some simple divisions. Divide your number of conversions by the total number of people who visited your site in a given time frame. Multiply that number by 100. Got your answer? That’s your conversion rate.

For example, let’s say you’re a shoe retailer. Focusing on a one-month period, if you had 200,000 visitors navigate to your site during this time and 4,320 of them purchased a pair of shoes, your conversion rate would be 2.16%. Easy enough, right?

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (commonly shortened to CRO) is the process of updating and changing website content to encourage users to take an action. When “optimizing” for conversions, you can design or modify certain elements of a webpage to improve the chances that site visitors will "convert" into a lead before they leave.

Let’s go back to our shoe retailer example: with a conversion rate of 2.16%, you’ll want to optimize your website to encourage more sales. You might test things like page layout, call-to-action buttons, or different copies.

Often, CRO goes hand-in-hand with A/B testing. For example, you might run a test for button color on your homepage or the product page. You might hypothesize that blue call-to-action buttons will be clicked 50% more often than orange call-to-action buttons. You’d run a split test for a short period of time (likely 2-weeks) and compare the results. Whatever button got more clicks, would be the winner and implemented permanently on the site. That’s what conversion rate optimization looks like in its simplest form.

Never Stop Testing: Increase Conversions with Beyond Blue Media in Fort Collins, CO

Want to know the secret to improve your overall conversion rates? Never, ever stop testing. There is no such thing as failure when you are A/B testing—there are only lessons learned. Let the team at Beyond Blue Media help you decide what counts as a conversion and start the testing process. As a full-service digital marketing firm in Fort Collins, we employ professional conversion rate optimization specialists that are ready to assist you in improving leads and sales. Give us a call today to learn more at 970-691-6149 or contact us online.

Located in Fort Collins, we also provide full-service digital and social media marketing for local businesses and large-scale companies throughout Northern Colorado and specifically in the following areas: Fort Collins, Loveland, Ault, Greeley, Denver, Windsor, Boulder, and Longmont.


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