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Tracking Single Page Conversions

By Kim Wingate
Posted Saturday, June 19, 2004

For e-commerce sites, it is very important to track and improve
conversion ratios. And, in Turning Visits Into Action, many
conversion ratio improvement tactics and techniques are explained
in detail. But for some e-commerce sites, conversion rates need
to be tracked one page at a time.

An overall site conversion ratio may not provide the level of
detail needed to make the greatest possible improvements. An
overall conversion ratio would be calculated by taking the number
of orders generated and dividing it by the total number of
visitors to arrive at a percentage. But some sites may have
traffic coming to many different areas for reasons other than
purchasing - content areas of general interest, financial
information, job seekers, etc. To really expose specific areas
of improvement, it might be necessary to break the stats down to
further level of detail.

For example, you may want to calculate a conversion ratio based
on the number of visitors reaching your "shopping cart" page.
This way, you can make improvements to your shopping cart page
and know that your results aren't being skewed by traffic to
other areas of your site. You may have 500 visitors reaching your
shopping cart page while at the same time you are generating 10
orders. Your conversion ratio is 2% for this comparison. By
making improvements to your shopping cart page, you may see this
ratio improve to 5% - generating 25 orders for every 500 visitors
to this page.

Similarly, you may want calculate a conversion ratio for sales of
a specific product based on the number of visitors coming to that
specific product's information page. You may have 10 Widget
orders for every 250 visitors to the Widget overview page. This
works out to be a conversion ratio of 4% for this comparison.
Improvements to the Widget overview page may yield 25 Widget
orders for every 250 visitors - increasing the conversion ratio
to 10%.

If your sales process requires multiple steps, you might want to
track conversions from one page to the next. The first page of
your sales process might get 1000 visitors, while the second page
shows 500 visitors - you have a 50% conversion rate from the
first page to the next. You can make improvements to the first
page and try to get the ratio up to 60%, or 75%. In this manner,
you can improve the conversion ratio of a multi-step sales
process one page at a time to finally increase your sales
ratio overall.

You can track these multiple comparisons in a spreadsheet by
pulling visitor information from your site traffic reporting
tools and combining it with order information. Of course, visitor
information is rarely exact, but it is intended to provide a
relative data point - if the data is off, at least it will be
off consistently. A spreadsheet like this, developed over time,
can provide you the detailed type of analysis necessary to
improve the critical "cogs" of your online sales machine.

About the Author
Kim Wingate of AvidSurfer, is the publisher of "Big Time Banner
Advertising" and "Turning Visits Into Action." Both of these
informative Web business manuals, as well as a FREE conversion
ratio case study, can be found online at:


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