Why is conversion rate (or the percentage of your traffic that completes a purchase) being bandied about like it is the new panacea for web analytics? Is it really all that great? The first thing to look at is there are three main ways to increase the revenue coming from your website: increase the traffic, increase spending level, or increase the conversion rate.

The main reason to increase traffic is the assumption that the percentage of people who make purchases will remain stable and so more traffic means more people making purchases, which isn’t always the case. Most ways for increasing traffic cost money: pay-per-click campaigns, banner ads, promotions, public relation campaigns, etc.

Increasing the level of spending entails getting your current customers to spend more. Sounds great, doesn’t it? This can be done in a variety of ways like packaging services or products or cross-selling.

Increasing your conversion rate can be accomplished by implementing small changes that usually cost nothing, which can have a dramatic result on your bottom line. The allure of the conversion rate is becoming clearer!

Optimizing for conversion rate has definite appeal, but all three areas have valuable things to offer. By using a combination of all three methods your site will benefit the most. Google Analytics makes checking the progress of your conversion rate easy with the Conversion Summary Report in the Executive Dashboard, which compares two separate data ranges.

The Google Analytics Conversion University has an excellent article on conversion rate and how to achieve a higher conversion rate by Lance Cotton called “Preaching to the Converted: You Can Create Online Customer Loyalty”.