What is a Conversion?

What does conversion mean? How to boost your ecommerce conversions.

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A term used in marketing that is used to describe when a visitor achieves a marketing goal or completes another action. When used in online retail, conversion is generally used to describe the conversion that takes place when a visitor on a site makes a purchase.

When running an ecommerce venture, your conversion rate is the key to the success of your business. It is important to remember that your aim in online retail is not just to attract traffic to your site but to ensure that these visits result in sales. 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 registration form to read your content is a conversion. And, of course, buying your product is the ultimate conversion.

The number of visitors that take your desired action is known as your conversion rate. This can be improved through conversion rate optimization, or taking steps to increase the number of visitors who convert. Marketers may use A/B variance testing to improve conversion rates of various landing pages or calls to action.

Let's picture this.

You just launched that killer WordPress blog or an ecommerce store on Shopify or WooCommerce. And you are ready to get your business started. But all of a sudden, your sales and other website actions are a bit receptive despite the high web traffic. The conversions are seemingly letting you down.

So, what’s the way out? And what makes a good conversion rate?

Converting leads can prove to be one heck of an overwhelming task for many online business owners. But once you catch up to speed with all the CRO tips, everything else should perfectly fall in place.

Even if you are not an experienced marketer, you can learn about conversion and optimize your website’s conversion rates using simple hacks.

So, how do you go about converting potential customers into actual customers?

In this article, we are going to take a detailed look at what conversions are, best practices for increasing conversion, and how to measure conversion rates to track your business' performance.

Let's get down to it.

What’s a Conversion & How Does it Work?

Before we go any further, it is important to first understand what conversions are.

But if perhaps you’re not new to this, you have probably heard about several conversion-related terms — conversion rates, conversion rate optimization, CRO, cost per conversions, conversion tracking, and the likes.

All these concepts might seem hard to get along within the first instance. They’re however key metrics to help measure actions that run on your website. If any lead is successful, the right term for such an action is conversion.

But don’t get zoned out yet.

A conversion takes effect when a visitor completes a desired action on a website. An action, in this context, can be in many forms. It all depends on your website's objectives and goals. Most often, a conversion can typically be making an online purchase or email signup.

Conversion funneling, on the other hand, is a centric method used in online marketing that’s easy to grasp. It’s more like a workflow technique you need to set your website, for visitors to highly convert.

So how much does it cost to make a revenue projecting funnel?

Well, the truth is, not so much. But it requires significant effort at the same time.

While the quest to build a winning conversion funnel hangs on the realm of your key objectives, leading all your customers to the conversion point can’t happen overnight. There are quite a handful of tweaks you need to optimize the conversion rate.

And we’ll get there in a moment.

Other underlying strategies such as cross-selling and up-selling seem to help generate revenue and rack up a bunch of returning customers for ecommerce retailers. Such marketing add-ons optimize the conversion goals in the most complimentary way.

Conversion, in a more cognitive perspective, means realizing an up-front, or rather, the desired goal.

For ecommerce transactions, a good conversion would mean straightening out a user’s action to reach the next ultimate step like making a purchase, subscribing to your newsletter, and setting sail all the savvy triggers to keep regular customers on the buying cycle.

As such, there are several types of KPIs to monitor– which all depend on the type of online business.

Your website’s overall traffic says so much about the expected conversion. Conversions are mostly contingent on the kind of leads you build for your customers. Leads, especially in digital marketing, refers to the link you have with your potential customers.

To set better odds for a better conversion potency, leads are generated through SEO content, social media marketing, call-to-action, email sign-ups, and much more. It works both ways convert to first-time buyers into repeat and loyal customers which is a highly visual concept for revenue growth.

Aside from conversion, another term you will come across regularly in eCommerce is conversion rate. Simply stated, the conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who take the desired action.

How to Calculate Your Overall Conversion Rate

So let’s do the math.

If we presume that your site hosts about 10,000 visitors per day, and 1,000 of them execute an action by making a purchase, or a subscription to your site’s newsletter, you have to divide the actual conversions by the overall number of visits.

Here, your typical conversion rate would be 10%. You just need to take the total number of leads (or traffic) and compare it to the number of conversions. It’s that simple.

But not all traffic is relevant.

Most of it doesn’t convert. Other similarly relevant metrics to measure include:

  • Overall traffic conversion rate – this means measuring the conversion rate of your website for all traffic sources. In other words, you can tell how well or bad your website gets at converting leads and other related prospects.
  • Marketing channel conversion rate – by measuring the conversions for various marketing channels and comparing them, you can be able to identify the channels that are more likely to convert, thus allowing you to focus your efforts on these
  • Page conversion rate – you can compare different pages and identify which ones are performing well or poorly
  • Keyword conversion rates – you can compare conversions for different keywords and identify the high-performing ones
  • Campaign conversion rate – you can be able to tell whether your marketing campaign is bearing results or not.

Why is Conversion Rate Optimization so Crucial?

Why the heck should you care about optimizing your conversion rates, you might ask? Well, there’s a whole lot of plus points to yield by optimizing your store’s conversion rate.

CRO generates more revenue for the site owner: One of the biggest loose slacks that many online retailers face is the rising cost of digital advertising. Businesses shell out large sums of money for advertising strategies such as SEO, Google AdWords advertising, content marketing, email marketing pay-per-click, and others.

Unfortunately, some businesses fail to focus on the conversion side of marketing, meaning that their marketing tactics only result in dismal results.

Optimizing conversion rates helps to increase the return on investment for these marketing strategies. In fact, with optimized conversion it is possibly able to earn huge from simple marketing efforts, thus saving business owners money.

So long as your leads are well structured, the conversion bit shouldn’t be much of a strain. What you’re left to focus on is the scale at which you want to boost your sales.

Allows you to analyze your conversion funnels: This is one useful factor to help the merchant put their online business on a far more competitive edge.

By conversion funnel, we’re referring to the entire channel which a customer takes from landing on the product page to hitting the checkout button.

Broken funnels eventually result in a high cart abandonment rate. Customers are quick to bounce from a website if they face any technical issues. And sometimes, it could be trivial elements such as vague shipping rates, which in the long run, snaps the customer’s engagement with your online store.

To give a more descriptive way out, these are some of the tested takeaways to help you deal with conversion funnels:

Customer Awareness

The conversion journey starts with an individual becoming aware of your business, thus turning them from normal internet users to website visitors. This process is also referred to as traffic or lead generation.

There are several marketing strategies that you can use to generate traffic or leads. The most common ones include search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, pay-per-click marketing (PPC), email marketing, and more.


Once an individual becomes aware of what your business is offering, the next step in the conversion process is to make them interested in the products or services you are offering.

Gaining the interest of the website visitors is a vital step in the sales funnel, as it makes it more likely for them to complete the process. Surprisingly, this is where many online businesses lose potential customers, as they are unable to attract and maintain their attention.

As an online business owner, you can use many strategies to capture the attention of your website visitors. Customers want to see positive product reviews, responsive product pages, and robust support at all times.


As soon as you capture your visitors’ attention, the next step is to make them desire what you are offering.

For this to come out quite easily, you'll need catchy elements that make them imagine the satisfaction they will receive once they acquire what you are offering.

Some of the strategies you can use to increase desire in your visitors include quality product images, quality product videos (and training videos, tutorials, and webinars for services and software products), appealing descriptions, sales deals, and exclusivity (for example, limited edition products or services).


The action stage is the most crucial part of the conversion funnel. It’s where you guide the potential customer to convert which in this case, can translate to simply making an order. It involves a lot of aspects, all of which make it easier and enticing for the visitor to take action.

Some of the points to optimize include making sure all your pages load in less than 2 seconds, the ease of use is convenient for a smooth checkout, and that the calls to action are clearly expressed.


So, you’ve finally converted your website visitor, which means that your work is done, right? Well, it all doesn't end here.

Sadly, most online businesses don’t bother to keep an engaging relationship with customers often which leads to a poor customer retention rate.

Instead of trying to land new customers, you should put a good portion of your marketing effort towards re-engaging your current customers after converting them.

Some of the top strategies you can use for this purpose include customer loyalty programs, feedback and reviews programs, newsletters, customer support, positive testimonials, improving the user experience, and so on.

Conversion Tracking Tools

A typical website garners traffic and leads from different sources. Therefore, to accurately measure conversions, here’s another strategy you must work with–conversion tracking.

Put simply, tracking allows you to access real-time reports on the number of conversions to get a detailed analysis of your marketing performance.

Conversion tracking is carried out using special digital marketing analytics tools; it would be impossible to manually track all conversions. Most of these apps are also used to measure and analyze conversion rates.

Some of the top-ranking tools for conversion optimization and tracking include;

  1. HubSpot
  2. Google Analytics
  3. CrazyEgg
  4. Optimizely
  5. Sumo
  6. Hotjar
  7. Unbounce
  8. Google Pagespeed
  9. Kissmetrics

Best Practices to Help You Boost Your Ecommerce Business’s Conversions

In digital marketing, the conversion process is not a one-step action; it is a gradual technique, with a bunch of stops along the way. The right term for that is ‘conversion funneling’. Other experts refer to it as the sales funnel.

It all starts when a user decides to visit your website and ends when they take the intended action. So let’s breakdown the key elements that help optimize better conversions:

Test Your Site’s Loading Speed

Optimizing your website for speed is one of the key strategies to retain your audience and reduce the bounce rate.

You can use a tool such as GooglePagespeed to get insights on any missing links in your online store. About 47% of customers expect your landing page to take nothing more than 2 seconds to load.

It’s also worth working with the most robust hosting plan for your website. Your hosting plan, at any rate, affects how your website performs– which also trickles down to the security standards, SEO, and speed.

Optimize Images 

Let’s put this clear– there’s nothing more visual in today’s ecommerce age than high-quality images.

Instagram influencers now make posts to drive conversions for whatever products they have to market. And the numbers seem to back this theory up. Over 65% of humans are visual learners.

The only homework left for the site owner is to catch the consumers’ emotions using nothing but high-caliber images that capture the whole marketing context.

Straighten Out the Checkout Process

The overall cart abandonment rate keeps on escalating due to shoppers’ lack of confidence in the payment streams.

If this part is left unattended to, it’ll undoubtedly kill your conversions since the number of visitors isn’t necessarily equivalent to the number of sales you’d wish to make.

Every online retailer wants the buyer to press the ‘buy’ button without any reservations. But if the customer doesn't’ trust your website with their credit card information, that’s a clarion call you shouldn’t ignore.

Other possible reasons that’ll potentially suppress your conversions include high shipping rates, complex checkout process, and few payment options.

Make Sure Your Pages are Responsive

About 79% of consumers shop for products online using their mobile devices. It’s not safe for the retailer to overlook such a steady trend.

A responsive website layout works as a lead magnet with a greasing potential to cash in a better conversion rate. Responsive designs are just one way to help the retailer feed on the growing number of mobile traffic.

Your site should, therefore, adapt to various screen dimensions and resolutions to maintain the desired conversion rate.


To sum it up, it’s accurate to indicate that optimizing your webpages for a higher conversion rate racks up as a basic element for any online business.

While the process might seem a little daunting, the outcome is proven to be outrightly rewarding in the end. With the right KPIs and tools at hand, nothing should block your prime efforts to measure all actions from visitors on your website.

To improve your conversions, you might need to start with the basics. For a beginner, it’s recommended that you often check on your site’s speed, create a better copy, and use high-quality images.

You also need to use data while analyzing your funnels to optimize the overall conversion rate.

If we missed out on anything useful, please hit us up in the comment section right below.

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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