SEO glossary: Conversion rate

In a nutshell: What is the conversion rate?

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


What is a conversion rate?

The conversion rate is often also called 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 given as a percentage.


Examples where conversion rates are used:


  • Free registrations on a portal (Leads)
  • Sales achieved for one 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 to calculate a conversion rate?

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




10 conversions / 1000 impressions = 1% conversion rate


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


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


Example of the exact conversion rate calculation:


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


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


In order to calculate a conversion rate, different time periods can be selected. Thus, 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.


The following are some of them:


  • The sales page and general website has slow loading speed
  • There are too few payment options for the customer
  • Wrong target group or wrong product: the visitor imagines something different from what is shown to him in an advertisement
  • The registration process for an account is too complicated. Are there possibly too many fields to fill in here or are too many clicks required?
  • The appearance seems unserious 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 are too lengthy
  • 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 how large the ratio of visitors and actions actually taken (for example, newsletter sign-ups or purchases) is. It is given as a percentage and is used, among other things, to control a clearly defined target, for example, how many sales are to be achieved for every 1,000 visitors. Depending on the industry and niche, the factors for a positive or negative conversion rate vary.

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