How do you figure out what “effective” means when you’re talking about an effective landing page? Through metrics, of course! There are three sets of numbers involved in figuring out how you’re doing and where you could be doing better.
The first number is your conversion rate, which calculates your success in persuading visitors to take the goal action for your site. For an e-commerce site the goal actions is a sale, of course, but there are other desired visitor outcomes as well. Depending on your company or organization’s mission, you might want your visitor to register as a member, sign up for a newsletter, watch a video, or download software or a white paper PDF.
Whatever the goal action is, take the number of visitors performing that action and divide it by the total number of visits. This gives you your conversion rate.
A “good” conversion rate varies according to what you’re hoping to convert. An average online retail rate is around 1 or 2 percent, so high single digits is “good.” An average for lead generation sites is around 5 or 6 percent, so mid teens is considered “good.”
Note that because these percentages are generally quite small, your challenge is to increase them. What seems like a small increase in conversions can have a big effect: If you go from 1 to 2 percent, you’re actually doubling your success rate.
The second number you should know is your home page abandonment rate. This is the flip side of your conversion rate — instead of measuring how many people follow through on doing what you hope they’ll do, you’re measuring how many people bail before they reach a decision-making point.
Around 10 percent of the visitors to any site leave after the first click — they either arrived there by mistake or are not good prospects anyway. In addition, according to Practical Ecommerce, on average 55 percent leave after the second click, and 80 percent after the third click.
Obviously, the numbers here run higher than your conversion rate, and your challenge is to lower them.
The third number is cost per sale. Unlike the other numbers, this one ranges so widely that it’s not meaningful to talk about averages. Divide your advertising costs by the amount of sales to determine what this is now, and set a target to what you think it should be. Obviously lower is better than higher, but what is “too high” depends very much on the nature of your business — does your typical customer make a single lifetime purchase, or are you trying to attract customers with whom you’ll have ongoing relationships?
Gathering all of this essential data can be done with standard analytic tools. Here at Delphic Sage, we recommend getting your feet wet with Google Analytics before you start using the more complex tools that are available on the market. With it, you will have all the data you need to begin optimizing your campaigns in no time.