Conversion rates are statistics that inform marketers and advertisers about the effectiveness of their Internet marketing campaigns. The way conversion rates are measured can vary between marketers and advertisers. For example, conversion rates can hinge on specific actions taken by prospects, or they can be measured by completed sales.
A conversion rate statistic can be defined simply as the number of prospects who have taken a specific action divided by the number of prospects who have visited a website. Actions are determined by marketers, advertisers and the creators of content. Many marketers consider completed sales to be the ultimate conversion, but some marketers and advertisers might include other actions when computing conversion rates. These actions often are an extension of marketing campaigns such as website registration, newsletter subscriptions or downloads of free products. A prospect's decision to act or not act usually is influenced by subtle or direct marketing and advertising cues contained on a website.
Marketers can increase conversion rates by first identifying who their target audience is. When a target audience is identified, marketers can then formulate campaigns that are desirable to it. For example, knowing who the target audience is can help a marketer put together content, such as text and images, that is specifically tailored to the target audience's sensibilities. This can increase the chances that the target audience will take a desired action. Of course, there also are simple changes that can be made to a website that can increase conversion rates. These include increasing usability, making a website easier to navigate and establishing trust with the consumer.
To increase conversion rates, marketers might also try to test the effectiveness of different landing pages. Landing pages, or lead capture pages, are the pages on which a prospect arrives after clicking on a link or an advertisement. Testing effectiveness can include changing the attributes on each landing page, such as copy, images, calls-to-action and other marketing-related elements. The most successful landing page is the one that has the highest percentage of prospects take a specified action.
High conversion rates are the result of many elements that have been weighed and measured by both marketers and prospects. However, it could be said that a successful conversion depends on three things: a prospect's interest level, the offer's attractiveness and the simplicity of the conversion process. A reduction in any of these elements can severely and immediately lower conversion rates.