Jarrod Morris
Reading Time: 5 minutes

When you're trying to grow a small-to-medium sized business, online conversion rates may not be the first thing on your mind.

But online conversions will be essential if you want to scale. And companies everywhere are doubling down on conversion rate optimization (CRO) to realize new growth opportunities.

On average, companies are spending over $2,000 a month on CRO tools.

Not every business understands online conversions. Many don't know how to calculate conversion rate.

This is a common problem among small businesses. Often, they are still nailing down their processes and haven't developed a holistic, tactical approach to digital marketing yet.

But even if you've approached marketing and web design in a haphazard way, you can still backtrack to calculate, monitor, and optimize your conversion rates. Then, you can set up best practices to do so moving forward.

Read on to learn how to calculate and optimize conversions on your website.

How to Calculate Conversion Rate

Calculate your conversion rate is simple. It involves three easy steps:

1. Determine the number of conversions

2. Determine the number of sessions

3. Divide number of conversions by number of sessions

Here is what the conversion rate formula looks like:

(#) conversions / (#) sessions = (%) conversion rate.

For example, if you convert 5 out of 100 sessions on your website, that's a conversion rate of 5%.

You can calculate the conversion rate for your entire website, or for specific pages. If you use landing pages, for example, you'll want to track conversion rates continually and test them to identify areas for improvement.

Not all conversions are equal, however. There are multiple components to each conversion. By piecing them together, you can tell a story about how people are interacting with your website.

Here are a few metrics to stay on top of:

  • Traffic source (direct, organic, or referral)
  • New visitors
  • Returning visitors
  • Current customer conversions
  • Cost per conversion (CPC)
  • Value per conversion
  • Bounce rates
  • Entry and exit pages
  • Interactions per visit

For example, if you receive several new visitors who find your website organically (through search), you know our SEO is probably on-point. But if those visitors aren't converting, you may need to restructure or rethink your conversion opportunities. Maybe they'd rather get access to a free tool and not schedule a free consultation.

With the right tools, you can even track how people are exploring your website. If all those new visitors are entering your website on a single page, try to replicate that page's success elsewhere. If people are leaving your website before converting, your conversion paths may not be clear enough.

What is a Conversion?

The definition of a conversion varies depending on who you ask.

But the consensus is that a conversion occurs when a recipient of your marketing messaging takes an action.

That action can be large or small. If someone purchases a subscription to your entire SaaS suite, that is considered a conversion. But so is someone opening your email or clicking on a call-to-action button on your homepage.

If you're a B2B business, you typically want to create a steady stream of conversions for each lead that result in a sale. You might convert a visitor to your website and get their contact info. But you'll need to nurture them for weeks, months, or even years before they purchase.

In the B2C space, conversions tend to occur faster. A consumer downloads your coupon or signs up for a discounted SaaS subscription through a promotional email you sent them.

Depending on your goals, you could consider it a conversion if a visitor lands on a specific webpage. Depending on the context, you could consider it a conversion if a visitor clicks on the button you want them to.

Here are some types of conversions to consider:

  • Email opens
  • Email click-throughs
  • Online form submissions
  • Page views
  • CTA button clicks
  • Social media likes, shares, and comments
  • Scheduled consultations or demonstrations
  • Event registrations
  • Phone calls

If you understand what action you want people to take and why you'll be able to develop a framework for CRO.

How to Make a Conversion

Even if you're still learning how to make conversions, you've probably already converted plenty of people. Conversions are built into a business's DNA.

Many small businesses start by networking and hitting the pavement. Even if your first few sales were to friends and colleagues, those are still conversions.

But if you want to grow, you'll need a steadier stream of conversions than that.

Mainly, you'll need to get conversions through your website.

There are plenty of ways to make a conversion online. Perhaps the most basic is through a landing page.

Landing pages are pages built specifically for converting leads. They may be attached to a PPC ad campaign or an organic lead generation campaign.

Regardless, you should never use your homepage as a landing page and you should never include your navigation menu on a landing page.

There are 5 main components to a landing page:

  • A headline (and sub-headline)
  • A description of what is being offered
  • A supporting image or video
  • A form and call-to-action (CTA) button
  • Social proof

Most companies remember the first 4 components, but not everyone considers the importance of social proof.

Social proof is perhaps the most important component of a landing page in terms of conversions. It can exist in a variety of forms, such as a testimonial, a badge representing an award, embedded third-party reviews, or even a social media feed.

Social proof is a type of psychological marketing. Plenty of things go into a purchasing decision, but what other people say and do regarding a product or service is also a deciding factor. In fact, 70% of consumerssay they look at reviews before making a purchase.

Don't stop with landing pages, however. You can build conversion opportunities, complete with social proof, into other parts of your website, as well.

Optimize Your Conversion Rates with Social Proof

Now that you know how to calculate conversion rate and build conversion opportunities, you're ready to optimize.

Small web design tweaks can help improve your conversion rate, but they may not show long-term improvement.

Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process that involves testing and innovation. In some cases, you may need to dramatically rework conversion opportunities to get them to perform better.

But incorporating social proof into your website is always an ideal way to boost conversion rates.

Get equipped with the tools you need to leverage social proof. Register for a 14-day free trial of Evidence, the social influencing platform.

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