Conversion

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In this article I talk about what conversion means and what types there are. In addition, I elaborate on how to ensure that a website generates more conversions (which is often the main goal of a website).

What is a conversion on a website?

When talking about the concept of conversion, it refers to the desired action to be taken by the visitor on a web page. For example, if you offer a manual on a landing page, conversion occurs as soon as a visitor downloads the manual. A conversion is expressed in percentages (conversion rate). This ratio indicates the relationship between the number of visitors and the number of completed conversions.

Examples of conversions:

  • purchase of product or service;
  • The time the searcher spends on the website;
  • The number of pages clicked on;
  • subscribe to a newsletter;
  • download a white paper;
  • contact.

Two types of conversions

Two types of conversions can be distinguished, micro and macro. Micro and macro conversions are also called soft and hard conversions. A micro conversion is a form of conversion that indirectly leads to an increase in sales. An example is downloading a white paper or creating an account. This indirect conversion can cause the visitor to proceed to a purchase at a later stage.

Macro conversions directly generate revenue. When ordering online, there is an immediate increase in profits. Requesting a quote also falls under a macro conversion.

Want to read more about conversion?

Conversion optimization

Conversion optimization is all about all the improvements you apply within the visitor’s user experience on your website. To achieve this optimization, make targeted adjustments to pages on the website. Then you test the applied adjustments in a targeted way. This is a continuous process of analysis and adjustment.

Conversion optimization for B2B differs from B2C. Below I briefly discuss both of them. Note that for the processes below, the website does need to have a certain basic level. A start-up website cannot begin this process right away.

Conversion optimization for B2B websites

My roadmap for optimizing a B2B website for conversion is (in brief) as follows.

  1. Qualitative customer research. This is an important step in this, where I look for what potential and current customers give as feedback on the website.
  2. Establish hypotheses based on customer feedback.
  3. Testing things in the website.

The difference with B2C conversion optimization is that you often have less traffic to a website. So hypothesis testing in many cases is not possible through A/B testing (unfortunately).

Conversion optimization for B2C

The roadmap differs slightly from the roadmap for B2B websites. One big difference is that more is possible.

  1. Customer research is done differently here. You can use tools like Clarity to develop hypotheses.
  2. Establish hypotheses using the data from tools like Clarity (and possibly qualitative customer research to supplement it).
  3. Business A/b testing through tools.

Many web shops have enough traffic to test certain things on a website within a short time, take advantage of this. Of course, it’s a waste to let traffic pass through the website without actively A/b testing.

Conclusion

Optimizing conversion on a website creates a 1 + 1 = 3 effect for all the channels you invest in further. When you invest in SEO, for example, but not conversion rate optimization, you are missing out on a large part of what you could achieve by investing in both channels.


Frequently asked questions about conversion

How do you calculate conversion?

If you want to calculate conversion into a percentage, use a simple sum. You calculate as follows: (number of conversions / number of visitors) x 100. Imagine you receive 3,000 visitors to your website every day, 125 of whom proceed to make a purchase. The calculation then looks like this: (125 / 3,000) x 100 = 4.16. Instead of the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors, it is also referred to as the number of goals achieved divided by the number of sessions.

What can you expect from a conversion specialist?

A conversion specialist, also called a CRO specialist, deals with conversion optimization. So this person focuses on customizing and improving a website. In this way, usability will increase, the customer journey will be more pleasant and more visitors will take action. A conversion specialist starts by analyzing the current process and then establishes a strategy. He or she closely monitors statistics during the implementation of improvements. Typically, you will work with a conversion specialist on a longer-term basis and receive monthly reports regarding progress.

What is the impact of conversion on SEO?

The impact of conversion on SEO is that it can improve website quality and increase ranking in search results. Conversion is the process by which a website visitor performs a desired action, such as filling out a contact form or making a purchase. If a website has a high conversion rate, it means that many visitors are performing the desired actions and thus the website is useful and relevant to the visitors.

Search engines, such as Google, consider the quality and relevance of a website when determining its ranking in search results. If a website has a high conversion rate, it can mean that the website is relevant and useful to visitors, which can lead to a better ranking in search results.

In addition, a high conversion rate can also mean that the website is user-friendly and accessible to visitors, which can also contribute positively to its ranking in search results. Moreover, a high conversion rate can also lead to more repeat visitors and more backlinks from other websites, both of which can contribute positively to a website’s SEO.

Is the effect of improved conversion immediate?

The effect of improved conversion on a website’s performance is often not immediately apparent. This is because improving a website’s conversion rate is a process that can take some time and depends on several factors.

Which components are most important for conversion?

There are several components that matter for conversion, depending on the purpose of a Web site and the desired actions of visitors. Some key components are:

  • A clear and attractive homepage that quickly tells the visitor what the website does and what the benefits are for the visitor.
  • An easy-to-navigate website structure that guides visitors quickly and easily to desired information or actions.
  • A clear and compelling call-to-action that encourages visitors to take action, such as filling out a form or buying a product.
  • A trusting and professional appearance of the website that convinces visitors that they are coming to a reliable and knowledgeable organization.
  • Creating an account on the websiteA good usability and accessibility of the website so that visitors can easily use the website regardless of their technical skills or device.
  • It is important to consider which components are most important to your website and to take them into account when designing and developing the website. This can help increase conversion rates and improve website performance.

Is investing in conversion worth it?

Yes, investing in conversion can be worthwhile. This is because conversion is the process by which visitors to a Web site perform a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. If a website has a high conversion rate, it means that many visitors are performing the desired actions and thus the website is useful and relevant to the visitors.

Investing in conversion can provide several benefits, including:

  • Increased revenue by increasing the number of desired actions by visitors, such as making purchases or subscriptions.
  • A better user experience by improving website functionality and design. This can make it easier and faster for visitors to perform desired actions.
  • Better ranking in the search results of search engines, such as Google. Search engines consider the quality and relevance of a website when determining its ranking, and a high conversion rate can mean that the website is relevant and useful to visitors.
  • A greater amount of repeat visitors and more backlinks from other websites. This can contribute positively to the SEO of the website and can lead to better ranking in search results.

So investing in conversion can be beneficial in several ways and can help improve a website’s performance and provide more value to visitors.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 75 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 18 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 29 May 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.