“Website conversion rate”: it’s probably one of the first internet marketing terms many newbie marketers end up scratching their heads over. The term comes up a lot. Website conversion rates are important. When conversion rates are poor online income will also be poor, but although the popular phrase “convert to sales” may suggest conversion rates are just about money this is not so. Some internet newbies may struggle to understand this, so for the benefit of any newbies who needed to Google the term, and ended up here, we will endeavor to explain the real meaning of the term “website conversion rate”.

Most websites (or webpages) share something in common: they are designed to encourage visitors to perform a specific action.  There are exceptions of course (such as hobby sites and some online information portals), but such sites are in the minority.

Review sites—an obvious example—are usually designed to generate an affiliate income for the site owner. The revenue might be generated through a pay per click partnership, such as Google Adsense, or via an affiliate partnership with a product supplier. In the case of a diet review site the internet marketer who owns the site will have specific affiliate partners and—good or bad—at least one of their products will be a “recommended product” and the site will be designed to drive traffic to the desired sales pages.

Did you think all review sites were impartial? Think again. Even the negative reviews sell the site’s favored product(s) because they highlight everything that is supposed to be wrong with the “rejected product” and then invite visitors to read a review of their recommended (money) product. When visitors click through and purchase from the recommended product sales page they have been “converted to a sale”.

But website coversion rates are not always about the money—not directly anyway. Some pages are designed to entice visitors into signing up for a mailing list and if a high percentage of page visitors complete the desired action, by opting into the list, the page is said to have a high conversion rate.

Other pages may be designed to get visitors to add their name to an online petition. If the page receives high amount traffic, but very few visitors complete the desired action, and leave the page without adding their name, the page has a low conversion rate.

In a Nutshell:  Websites/pages are usually created for a specific reason.  The website conversion rate provides an insight into how well the site/page fulfills the desired task.