If you’re running a business online, you’ve likely heard about the importance of increasing conversions.
In fact, conversion optimization is the focus of The Daily Egg. But, some articles might leave you wondering:
- What metrics should you track—and what are good numbers for each metric?
- How much should you try to increase your conversion rates?
- What if your lead conversion goes up, but your sales conversion goes down…
- And more…
This was a conversation that came up recently with one of my consulting clients. He emailed because he was confused about conversions and the goals he should be setting. He wanted to know how to determine the “proper amount.”
The best way to help him was actually by responding with another question:
“How many conversions do you want?”
You see, you can always better your best.
Yes, at some point you’ll reach a plateau where more time and money invested won’t increase your conversions by as much. But don’t let that limit you or your business. You can always improve your conversion rates.
Why EVERY Business Needs Conversion Goals
It’s a widely accepted belief that setting goals is an important aspect for the future growth of your business. But, do you have clear conversion goals?
Most businesses don’t. Instead, they have a vague idea of what they’d like to accomplish:
- Double their traffic
- Double their opt-in rate
- Double their sales
These goals aren’t specific, actionable, or time-oriented. They also might not be realistic.
But, with a little thought and action, you can create real, attainable goals for your business. These goals, in turn, will steadily help you achieve higher conversion rates.
4 Steps To Setting Attainable Conversion Goals
Determining and setting your business conversion goals can be frustrating—especially if you don’t know your current conversion rates. That’s why step one is finding your “baseline.”
1. Find your “baseline” conversion rate
In other words, what percentage of your visitors completes your desired action? Your desired action might be a lead, sale, or anything else you ask your visitor to do.
If you don’t know your current conversion rates, install Google Analytics on your website. Here’s an article to help you set up your conversion goals in Google Analytics.
2. Find industry standards for the conversion goals you want to reach
Whether you want more leads or more sales, someone is out there writing about what they’ve done and the results they’ve seen. Knowing these numbers will give you something to shoot for—or fly right past!
Plus, just think how good it will feel to say your opt-in rate is double the industry average. Start by searching your favorite search engine for: conversion rates + your industry.
3. Set long-term goals
Let’s say your current opt-in rate is 4 percent. You did your research and found that other websites in your industry are getting closer to an 8 percent conversion.
What are they doing differently? Is there anything you could replicate over the next several months or years to catch up to them—or surpass them? If so, that could be your goal:
Go from 4% conversion to 8% conversion within 12 months.
This goal is specific, time-oriented, and—if others in your industry are achieving it—it’s likely realistic. It’s also actionable because there are specific actions you can take and test to increase your conversion rate.
4. Set smaller goals with shorter time deadlines
Small goals are great to build momentum as you work toward your long-term goals. Plus, smaller goals are easier to reach so they help motivate you to keep improving.
Using the example above—increasing from 4% conversion to 8% conversion within 12 months—here are a few ideas for breaking it into short-term goals:
You see that one of your competitors is getting better conversion rates with a pop-up. You’re using a sidebar form. Your first month’s goal could be to create and test a pop-up form. The following month you could test another version of the winner.
The next month try testing another strategy—or another new version of the new winner. Then keep going and you’ll see your conversion rates climb.
What about 100 percent conversion rates?
If you want your conversion rates to be 100 percent, you’re not alone. But, remember—goals are easier to reach and stick to if they’re attainable.
If your current conversion rate is 2 percent, 100 percent is a long way away. This makes you more likely to give up before you’re successful. Why not make your goal more realistic and give yourself the best chance to succeed?
Conversion Tracking – Beyond Sales Conversion
My coaching clients are often obsessed with increasing their sales conversions. They put all their effort into making more sales, but what they don’t realize is they could increase their sales by increasing other metrics in their business.
For example, let’s say you get 100 visitors per day and ten percent of those visitors opt in to your newsletter. This gives you 10 people per day to follow up with and potentially sell to. If your sales conversion is 10%, that’s about one new customer per day.
Now you could spend your time trying to increase your sales conversion and you might get another customer per day. Or you could spend your time increasing your conversion rates throughout your sales funnel and explode the amount of customers you have per day.
In other words, every step in your sales funnel is an opportunity for another conversion goal. A conversion is usually achieved when a visitor takes a desired action. Here are some common conversion actions:
Email Signup Conversions
When someone takes the action of signing up for your newsletter or email list that is considered a conversion. A majority of marketers are below a one percent conversion rate for their email signup form. This means one percent (or less) of the people who visit their site actually signup for their email list.
Does this mean you should only expect that amount of conversions? No! Many marketers do significantly better than one percent conversions on their signup form. These marketers are the ones who keep testing new ideas to improve their conversion rates.
One way to increase email signup conversions is to offer a bait piece. A bait piece is something you give away in exchange for your visitor’s email address. It could be a free sample, a report, a PDF, or even a consultation.
If you already have a bait piece, try making it sound more enticing. Remember, it should be something they feel they have to have.
Clicks to External Pages
Every time you ask someone to click a link, track it. This way you have a starting conversion rate and can steadily increase it by trying different calls to action, different link styles, or even different link text.
Some examples of potential links are:
- Promoting affiliate products. (By tracking conversions here you can send more visitors to better affiliates and increase your overall income.)
- Driving traffic to social media for engagement. (Knowing which of your social media sites are most effective is great data when it comes to tracking conversions.)
- Sending traffic to another page on your site—such as the “Shop” page.
All these are actions that can be tracked, tested, and improved.
If you offer free downloads, product guides, or other informational PDFs, what is your goal? Do you ask for their email address or ask them to share? Do you hope they’ll read the information and come back? And, are you tracking how many of them actually follow through?
If not, this is a great area to improve and, in turn, increase your sales conversions. How many people are downloading? Are they coming back to buy?
If not, try including specific calls to action in your downloadable information. Make sure you tell them the next step. Then, use a specific, “trackable” link so you can track, test, and improve your conversions.
Contact Form Completions
When people go to your contact form they probably have something they want to say to you. If a lot of your visitors are abandoning this page, try to figure out why…
For example, you could add a survey to the page or ask some of your friends to critique the page. Is it difficult to contact you? Do you come across as unapproachable? Setting a conversion goal for your contact form is a great way to increase customer feedback.
To help with conversions try adding some text to your contact page about how much you love to hear from visitors. And, remember, hearing from visitors is a good thing—the more people you hear from, the more information you’ll have. This will help you increase other conversions on your site and ultimately profit more.
Shopping Cart Completions
This is the biggie so if you’re not already tracking and improving it, now is a good time to start. How many people add a product to their cart and then abandon the cart before paying?
By increasing your conversion rate here you could capture those sales instead of losing them. Go here for more advice on your shopping cart page.
In addition to conversion rates—like the ones mentioned above—you should also track other metrics on your site like load time, bounce rate, visit length, and more. Basically, any information you can gather about your visitors and their behavior on your site will help you understand them better and increase your conversions.
To get a very visual idea of how your visitors use your site, but sure to check out Crazy Egg’s eye tracking technology. How your visitors behave on your site can make a huge difference when it comes to whether they’ll convert to sales or not.
So what about you?
Do you set conversion goals and track them? Do you have any questions? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Check out other Crazy Egg articles by Christina Gillick.
Latest posts by Christina Gillick (see all)
- Never A/B Test Without Doing These 2 Things First - December 4, 2014
- A/B Testing Your Content Marketing Strategy - November 14, 2014
- Test Your Call to Action to Boost Conversions by 13% - October 1, 2014