O'Reilly logo

Web Site Measurement Hacks by Eric T. Peterson

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Hack #39. Define Conversion Events

Measuring conversion events and conversion rates is one of the most popular uses of web measurement tools.

Loosely defined, a conversion rate measures the number of visitors who took the action you wanted on your site divided by the total number of visitors. Every end-goal conversion, like a purchase, is composed of many other conversion points, like the click-through path in a shopping cart. Before you can measure conversion rates and determine how to improve conversion on your site, the ultimate goal, you first need to establish a strategy for defining conversion events.

Identify Your Conversion Events

Most people don't really give the identification of conversion events enough thought. They simply think "Well, if a visitor makes a purchase or generates a lead, that is good enough for us," but while purchase is a very important conversion event, it is by no means the only one worth measuring. You should define conversion events as any activity visitors can engage in that is valuable to your organization. Here are some example conversion events you may want to measure once you recognize that the definition of conversion is broad.

  • Makes a purchase

  • Opts into a newsletter

  • Submits some type of personal information

  • Subscribes to an RSS feed

  • Prints a page

  • Uses "email this page to a friend" functionality

  • Spends more than 10 minutes browsing the site

  • Downloads a document or application

  • Looks at a set of important pages

  • Views a set number of pages during a visit

  • Clicks ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required