A Fresh Look at Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the one of the most critical macro-level statistics and trends monitored by Web marketers. Simply put, conversion rate is the relationship between two easily measured quantities:

conversion rate formula

Tools like Webtrends, Omniture and Google Analytics simplify the collection and calculation of raw Web traffic and conversion rate. Investment decisions on lead generation campaigns and programs are now based on hard numbers such as conversion rate and program cost.

The easy job for the marketing team is establishing a “natural conversion rate” for your brand, products and company. Just implement an analytics tool, create conversion forms on your site or e-store and measure the results. The harder job, and the true measure of marketing success, is to steadily improve your conversion rate over time.

Improving your conversion rate at the macro level means that you’ve improved your effectiveness in one or more of identifying prospective customers, creating affinity with your brand and changing the individual behavior of Web visitors.


Conversions happen in buyers’ heads and are only measured on your web site. Changing people’s behavior by getting them to consider and purchase a new product is a difficult and worthy marketing task. Think about it: do you give out your email address and name with each and every site you visit? Do you want site owners to contact you after your first visit to the web site?

Improving Conversion Rate: the Real Job of Marketing

Knowing your conversion rate is one thing. Having the skills to improve and optimize conversion rates over time is the real job of marketing. Communicating information of value, establishing trust and persuasion are the critical and harder tasks that require significant attention, deliberation and skill. Without an analytics tool hard-wired to customer brains, skill, experience, artistry and tenacity remain essential marketing skills.

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