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.

About kencook

Writer for hire, SEO analyst. American Soldier.
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  • Ozarksagent

    Man, do you have a hillbilly version for me?