In simple language, conversion is when your target audience takes a desired action on your website. The percentage of your website’s visitors that convert is the conversation rate. It is the rate at which you convert users from visitors to leads (customer). And it is usually used to effectively measure the performance of a website or an advertising campaign.

Generally speaking, conversion rate is used to measure how good your marketing campaign is at getting visitors to do what you want them to do. The desired action might not necessarily mean a purchase. It can also be any of the following. 

  • Submitting a form (contact us form, lead gen form, etc.)
  • Calling your business
  • Engaging with your online chat
  • Signing up for a subscription (either paid or free)
  • Registering on the site
  • Downloading something (e-book, mobile or software trial)
  • Using something (new/advanced feature on your software or app)
  • Upgrading their service
  • Engaging with your site in some way

How to calculate conversion rate

It is not difficult to calculate conversion rate. You have to divide the number of conversions you get in a given period by the total number of visits you received on your website or landing page.  Then you multiply it by 100 to take it to percentage.


Conversion rate = (conversions / total visitors) * 100%

Let’s take for example if, in a month, your website had a total of 18, 840 visitors, and 3,504 conversions. Then, your conversion rate is 18.60%. The higher the conversion rate, the better your marketing campaign. Most tracking and analytics tools such as AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Google Analytics can show you the conversion rate of your site in their interface. 

And in case you have more than one conversion opportunities, you can calculate your conversion rate in two ways. Either separately using the session for a particular conversion or combined using all the sessions for the entire website.

To calculate your conversion rate using Google Analytics, start by setting up your conversion goals. You can use the following metrics to analyze conversion rate optimization:

  • Pageviews
  • Traffic source
  • Page load time
  • Average time on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Unique page visitors
  • Number of customers

The purpose of Setting Up a conversion 

The main essence of setting up conversion is to track unique events that serve as the yardstick for measuring website performance. Normally, conversions should be a measure of how your bottom line is performing. Conversions are expected to increase from time to time. If at any time you experience a drop in conversion, it means something is wrong with your campaign. You need to check your website’s message, user experience, search engine rankings, navigability or any other external influencers.

Setting up a conversion rate for your website

There are many analytics tools that you can use to set up conversion rate for your website. The choice of conversion optimization data-gathering tool to select lies solely on you. Examples of such tools are:

  • Google Analytics (a basic user analytics tool)
  • KISSMetrics or Mixpanel (conversion analytics tools)
  • CrazyEgg (user interaction software i.e heatmaps)

Once you’ve installed any of them on your website, allow it to run for some days in order collect data. It is better for an analytics tool to have much data than having insufficient data.

Setting up conversion goals is one of the best ways to effectively manage the performance of your website. Tools such as Google Analytics can be used to set up simple conversion goals. A conversion will be recorded each time your website users take a desired action on your website. 

What is a good conversion rate?

What qualifies as a good conversion rate varies considerably from person to person.  A good conversion rate will be specific to your business and marketing campaign. You should understand that the goal of most campaigns is to generate sales not to produce conversions. Conversion rate is just a handy metric used to check the performance of a website. 

High conversion rate means three things:

  • your campaign or website is attracting the right audience for your product or service. 
  • you’ve made the journey of your website visitors easier (good user experience) 
  • your web contents (messaging, graphics, call to action) are getting enough engagement

There are many factors that could be responsible for a low conversion rate. These include slow page load time, low engagement, attracting the wrong audience, broken form or bad user experience.  

Specific Conversion Rates 

Now that you’ve known how to calculate conversion rate and that its essence is to know how well you are converting your organic website traffic. There are several types of specific conversion rates that you also need to know about.

  • Overall conversion rate – The overall conversion rate is when the total organic website traffic is used to measure your success towards one conversion goal. It is the percentage of your website visitors that were really converted.
  • Channel conversion rate –This depends on whether your website have multiple channels for generating organic traffic. The channel conversion rate provides the channel by channel breakdown of your conversion. This will help you to know how the different traffic sources are performing. 

For example, if you are generating traffic to your site through Facebook Ads and Goggle SEM. Channel conversion rate will let you know from which of the two you’re getting more conversions. 

  • Keyword Conversion rate – Generally, some keywords perform better than others in search engine optimization. Knowing the conversion rates of your keywords will help you to identify those that have less volume but higher conversion rate and vice versa. You will be to know what’s working and what’s not. 

How do you improve your conversion rate?

It is one thing to know what conversion rate is and how to track it. It is another thing to know what to do with it. This is what brings us what we called Conversion Rate optimization (CRO).  

Conversation rate optimization is the process of using your organic website traffic or landing page to produce conversion. It helps you to get the most out of the organic website traffic you’ve already generated. With CRO you can double your conversion and improve your conversion rate even with no increase in the traffic of your site.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) might sound like it requires some kind of technical skills that you don’t know about. The truth is, it only requires two simple things 1) know and understand your buyers and 2) get more of your website users to do what you want them to do. These are what you should be thinking about if you want to improve your conversion rate.

There are two ways in which you can optimize your conversion rate, these are:

1. By testing your website

2. By testing your traffic

Testing your website

Below are some of the ways you can start doing conversion rate optimization by testing your website

Create a dedicated landing page

One of the easiest ways to do conversion rate optimization is to direct traffic to a dedicated landing page. If you’re using paid advertising such as AdWords or Facebook Ads, you should be directing traffic to a page designed to sell. There are many good reasons to do this, some of which are for page optimization and to improve conversions. 

 A and B Test

Most website business owners found the use of A/B test as the easiest and most effective way to do CRO. To do an A/B test, you need to set up two different variants of a page and then share your traffic between them. Half of your website organic traffic does to variant A while the other half goes to variant B. 

You will need some sort of CRO tools to help you split your traffic to the two variants. Each of the variants will serve as a platform where you can test the different versions of your site or landing page. From there, you’ll be able to identify which version has the best conversion rate. Here are some examples of CRO software for A/B test – Google Content Experiments, Optimizely, Unbounce and Visual Website Optimizer. 

Testing your traffic

You can also improve your conversion rate by testing your traffic. The essence of this is to be sure that you’re sending the right traffic to your landing page, because wrong traffic won’t convert. If you’re running a PPC campaign, you’ll have control over who is visiting your website or landing page. But traffic from organic search results on Google won’t really convert because you don’t have control over it.

Consider the following things to ensure you’re driving the right traffic to your landing page. 

Know your target audience – You need to do a little research on your target audience before you start working on an ad or a landing page. Know what works and what doesn’t, where to reach them, the keywords they use, income level etc.

Create the scent – You must ensure that your message is crafted in such a way that only people who would be interested in your content will click on your ad. So that when they reach your landing page they should they are in the right place.

Pay for what works – There’s no need to keep investing in the wrong traffic. You should quit spending on traffic source with poor conversion rate. Instead you should focus on the ones that are working and explore new opportunities.  


As mentioned earlier, conversion rate is one of the most important marketing campaign metrics. It enables you to know the performance of your campaign and what percentage of your traffic is actually being converted.

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