SEO glossary: Conversion rate

In a nutshell: What is the conversion rate?

The conversion rate is used in online marketing and is used to define and achieve goals. For example, it can be used to calculate the ratio between visitors and newsletter registrations or purchases.


What is a conversion rate?

The conversion rate is also often referred to as the conversion rate. It tells website operators how high the ratio of visitors to actions (e.g. registrations or purchases) is. However, it is also used for numerous other objectives. It is also expressed as a percentage.


Examples of where conversion rates are used:


  • Free registrations on a portal (leads)
  • Sales achieved for a product
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Downloads


To determine how high a conversion rate is, website visitors and actions must be measured. Accordingly, there is also the possibility of CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION (CRO) can be carried out.


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How is a conversion rate calculated?

To perform a simple calculation of the conversion rate, the conversions (actions) achieved are divided by the impressions.




10 conversions / 1000 impressions = 1% conversion rate


It is important to note that the impressions are all page views. This also includes repeated page views and traffic from bots. It therefore proves to be rather inaccurate.


However, if you want to calculate a more precise conversion rate, you should work with unique visitors. Unique visitors are visitors who have only been counted once.


Example of the exact conversion rate calculation:


(Conversions x 100)/(number of unique visitors)


(10 x 100)/(1.000) = 1%


Different time periods can also be selected to calculate a conversion rate. The rate can be calculated for a day, a week or a month.


What factors can worsen the conversion rate?

There are many factors that can cause a conversion rate to deteriorate.


Some of these are listed below:


  • The sales page and general website has a slow loading speed
  • There are too few payment options for the customer
  • Wrong target group or wrong product: The visitor imagines something other than what is shown in an ad
  • The registration process for an account is too complicated. Are there possibly too many fields to fill in or are too many clicks required?
  • The website appears dubious or the connection is not encrypted (without https)
  • A redirect to a thank you page or to a payment service provider does not work
  • Captcha queries from the server do not work properly or take too long
  • The page with the offer is not trustworthy enough
  • Texts are grammatically or stylistically incorrect, fonts and/or colors are illegible


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Conclusion: What is a conversion rate?

The conversion rate shows the ratio of visitors to actual actions taken (e.g. newsletter registrations or purchases). It is given as a percentage and is used, among other things, to monitor a clearly defined target, for example how many sales should be achieved per 1,000 visitors. The factors for a positive or negative conversion rate vary depending on the industry and niche.

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