Click Through to Conversions


“Wow! Look at this”, my client said excitedly, “I had over 250,000 unique visitors in September.”

Forest, meet the trees. Sometimes it’s all noise. Raise your hand if you would rather have 250,000 visitors and 0 sales that 100 visitors and 1 sale. That’s what I thought. So how do you get enough traffic to convert without going nuts? Ah, good question grasshopper. The straight up answer is, “I don’t know”. And neither does that company with the really recognizable name that gives your hub a great spot. It’s all semi-guesswork in the beginning and the cure can take quite some time.

Calculating Conversion Ratios

Before you decide if and how much improvement your conversion ratio needs you must be able to track it. Google Analytics provide several great tools for this and you may have something built in you your CMS or hosting account. Explaining in detail exactly how to use even one of these systems is beyond the scope of this short article so please refer to your system’s documentation.

In any event if you know the number of visits to your site and the number of actions, be that mailing list members or sales, you can easily count your conversion ratio. The first number you need is your number of actions. For our example let’s say that is new subscribers to the mailing list represented with N. For our purposes we’ll say we had 31 new subscribers in January. The second number you need is either (recommended) first time unique visitors or unique visitors. We’re going with first time visitors and for January we had 217 represented with F. We’re going to “solve for x and c”, your favorite 5th grade algebra, where x equals the decimal representation of conversions and c = conversions expressed in percent.

The formula is very simple and looks like this: (N/F = x)*100=c

Use your Transaction numbers (N=31) and divide that by your first time visitor numbers (F=217). The result will be x=.1425 which when multiplied by 100 will return c=14.28 rounded to 14% conversion. We should all be so lucky.

Subjectivity Dominates

Clients always ask, “what is a good conversion ratio?” My reply is the same in every case because that answer is highly subjective and based on many variable. Product, service, price range, and even site function all play a major role in that determining factor.  There are also products and services which are purchased entirely offline though presented online. There are products with a high perceived value offered for pennies on the dollar which sell “like hot cakes”. A good example is a person I know offered a book on how to increase Twitter followers by 10,000 and sold it for $3.14 and sold a “ton” of them. In fact he left his former industry and is now a Social Media Guru.

Address Your Audience (Leave The Others Out)

How dare you! Photo: emutold

How dare you! Photo: emutold

This morning I was sent a link to a YouTube video about a news event in Iran. I decided to watch it because of the title in the video and expected a professional news report. Instead of my expectations I was met with a rant about how people never listen to what the video poster says. He continued by repeatedly saying, “you people”, “most of you” and “Americans” in his dunning of those who actually took the time to listen.

He got my thumbs down and a comment address his approach received my thumbs up.

When I was a teenager I made a purchase at a local electronics store. The item I purchased did not work right out of the package. When I returned it to the store later the same day for an exchange the attendant (assuming he was the owner) who had apparently faced returns from other young men scolded me about making the return and then called me “you guys”.

I reached a realization at that time about lumping people together.

Speak to the audience in front of you. Address those who are actually reading your blog post. Berating those who did not take the time to read or attend does nothing to empower the audience you have nor add value to your presentation. If someone takes the time, spends the resources and is interested enough to listen to or read what you have presented they deserve your very best and not to listen to your rant about the others.

Thank you for investing your time in reading my words.