Let’s Define Conversion as …

The standard definition of conversion goes something like, “The point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.” In other words, conversion is simply getting someone to respond to your call-to-action.

Getting someone to open an email is a conversion. Having them click on the call-to-action link inside that email is another conversion. Going to the landing page and filling out a form for a quote is a conversion. And, of course, booking a gig is the ultimate conversion.

How do we get people to buy more?

That’s a good question, of course, but sometimes it’s not the right question. Often, it’s wiser to break down a conversion into its many steps and elements. To do that, however, means you have to understand your conversion funnel.

Hand pouring water from a glass into a leaking pailThink of your website as a bucket. All of those marketing efforts we discussed earlier, from search engines to social media, were designed to fill your bucket with visitors. And each of those visitors is a prospective client. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every one of them booked a gig?

The trouble, however, is that your bucket is bound to have a few holes. Traffic fills the bucket but leaks out of holes. Every time a visitor fails to click through to the next step in the conversion funnel it’s because he fell through one of those holes. You need to plug as many holes as possible.

The fewer steps required in the conversion funnel, the greater the likelihood of a sale. Your website should employ the fewest number of pages necessary between the point where the visitor arrives and the point where the show is booked. As we’ll discover later, there is no single path through the conversion funnel.

Every page on your site should focus on getting the visitor to take an action, even if that action is simply to move on to the next step in the process. Conversion rates suffer when sites fail to drive micro-actions and maintain momentum through the conversion path. Once a path is defined and each of the micro-actions described, you can work on optimizing the most effective call to action for each step.

Conversion Goals, Aggregate Goals and Ultimate Conversion Goals

A Conversion Goal is the measurement of some action an individual user has done on your site. A few examples include:

  • A completed purchase
  • A submitted form
  • A button or link click
  • Reaching a particular page

An Aggregate Goal is typically an average of some set of numbers across users. Time on site, revenue per visitor (RPV), or page views are Aggregate Goals because they average values across several users within a given experiment variation. A few examples include:

  • Time on site
  • Average Page Views
  • Average Revenue Per Visitor
  • Articles read

An Ultimate Conversion Goal is the primary goal you have for your site. In our case, it’s probably going to be booking the gig.

Identifying what constitutes a conversion for your website is part of building out your testing strategy. Pin pointing the specific action you want people to take most on your site will lead you to the tests that have an impact.

Remember when I insisted you need to install Google Analytics on your website? I hope you’re now beginning to understand why.


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