When I talk to people about their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, they understand that conversion rate (% of the traffic generated from your PPC campaign that takes the action you want) is the most important metric – among others – that you can track.
When it comes to their websites, it tends to be a different story. When I ask about the non-PPC conversion rate, I usually get blank stares. Worse yet, when I ask about the “goal” for their website I usually get the “what do you mean” response.
You need to be converting traffic – from all sources – all the time. It’s the most important metric that you can track for both organic and PPC traffic. If you can’t quickly decipher the conversion rate for your website you’re missing a valuable piece of intelligence that will help you make informed decisions about how to improve your site and your value proposition on an on-going basis.
Here’s how I suggest that you start. First, think of one (or more) goals for your site. Write them down, and then come up with a conversion rate goal for all these objectives. Don’t worry about the number right now, just get something down to measure yourself against – you can fine tune things later. Next, get goals setup in Google Analytics – you are using GA, right? Finally, the easy part, sit back and wait for a few weeks, what you need to do is get a baseline. In the future, you can use this baseline number to measure your improvement.
Good luck, and remember to convert all the traffic!