For most websites, the Onsite Conversion Rate (OCR%) is the most visible and important metric you will be tracking, at least in terms of reporting performance to business owners. A typical website converts at 2-3%, and a small improvement here can save companies a fortune in advertising. First you need to be able to calculate it, and luckily it’s a very simple formula! You should spend some time and thought on how you can best apply it to your own website however.
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OCR% is a calculation of how many prospects complete a desired action on your website.
Desired Actions / Prospects * 100 = OCR%
So far so simple, the nub is defining what is a prospect and desired action.
Defining a Prospect:
Web Analysts have a lot of choice in most tools about how to segment users. So what should you choose to calculate your OCR%? Avinash makes a good case for using Unique Visitors. That’s attractively simple, but I don’t feel it’s a good fit for all situations. I prefer to choose a metric based on the nature of your traffic and the goals you have set on your website.
For example, if you have a website selling luxury yachts with the goal of a contact form completion, you can reasonably expect people to browse extensively over a period of time and buy one yacht. In this case Unique Visitors is absolutely the way to go.
Another example: if you have a blog and your goal is for visitors to read more than one article (ie: >1 page views) then you could reasonably use Visitors, or even Visits.
Try on a few different metrics for size before choosing one and sticking with it:
The reports are easy to generate and compare, so you can always have a play around using different metrics and choose what feels right for your website, visits, visitors or unique visitors. Having said that it’s important that you be consistent. Once you choose a metric, stick with it so you can identify trends over time. If you come to find you chose the wrong one, go back and adjust all your reporting to reflect any changes you make.
Some other things to try around OCR%:
Qualified Visitor. I have seen some interesting results by creating a “Qualified Visitor” metric to use for OCR%. This might be as simple as excluding visitors who immediately bounce off your website, or you could use behavioral cues to exclude visitors based on intent. Not everyone is on your website to do what you want them to, some may be there by accident, some may be looking for a delivery address for your company, others for jobs; the possibilities are many and will be specific to your website.
Funnel Conversion Rate (FCR%). A typical website will have more than one goal. You may want people to subscribe to your newsletter, buy something and like you on facebook! Often there are a series of steps in a process to complete an action. This might be a shopping
cart, or a simple form completion. FCR% is calculated in the same way as OCR%, but instead of all prospects, you want to identify how many prospects started the process and divide by how many completed. This is a better metric for pushing overall OCR% by focusing on a critical user journey in your website.
Are you calculating OCR% in a different way? Are there any other conversion rates you have found useful? I would love to hear your thoughts below.