Your True Conversion Rate: A better way to look at goal conversion

by Jim Cain

If you ran a telemarketing company booking attendees for a conference, would your success rate depend on the people on your list, or every person in the world with a phone?

If you were a car dealership, would your close rate be based on people who came into the dealership, or everyone in town with a driver’s license?

Fairly easy answers. Let’s start applying the same principles to your web business.

When you open up your web analytics tool, one of the first numbers you look at (or should look at) is your conversion rate. Your site has a defined goal, regardless of whether or not you sell something direct, or generate leads, names, or donations.

This goal conversion number most likely is generated by answering this question:

What percentage of all the people that came to my website completed a defined objective.

This doesn’t take into consideration the fact that many of these visitors are unable to complete this objective at all … and frankly you don’t want them to.

Quick example: Let’s say that the car dealership mentioned above had a website, whose goal was to generate names and requests for contact from a sales person. This dealership really only wants to generate names in the defined geographic region in which they can sell cars. When then does their goal conversion rate include visitors from Asia? They won’t be buying a Passat in Texas any time soon.

eCommerce conversion numbers suffer from the same issue. If you don’t ship outside the continental United States, why does your conversion rate include every visitor in the world? Not only does this make your numbers inaccurate, in many cases it makes the goal conversion numbers lower than they should be.

I was doing some work last week for a new client whose primary goal is signing up for trials of their software online. While anyone can sign up, their exclusive sales focus is on the North American Market. After creating a quick custom segment in Google Analytics, it was easy to see how they were really performing at achieving this goal.

Once you know what the purpose of your online presence is, think about who you want to achieve it. The associated reports might surprise you, and delight your boss.



This week’s takeaway: Try building a filter in your analytics tool around your primary conversion segment. If you need some assistance, drop us a line.

Jim Cain

Founder and CEO, Napkyn Analytics

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