How To Boost Conversion Rates Instantly Without Making a Single Change to Your Site

Sound too good to be true? You can absolutely change your site conversion rate (or any other important success metric) by simply optimizing…your web analytics reports! By default, Web analytics track anything and everything that happens on your site – from both quality and garbage traffic. What if you could exclude all of the garbage traffic from your report? You would get a clearer (and fresher smelling) picture of how your site is performing. The throw-away traffic would no longer be polluting your conversion rates or skewing your other key metrics like bounce rates. Cleaning up your analytics reportsThink of what types of site visitors are very unlikely to buy from you, such as:

  • Visitors from countries you do not ship to or do not accept credit card payment from
  • Visitors arriving from non-commercial referring sites
  • Visitors from mobile devices (if you are not m-commerce enabled)
  • Visitors from certain social networks

In Google Analytics, you can create a new Profile and add the appropriate Filters to exclude country, region, referring domain and operating system, to name a few. Creating Profiles:

Adding Filters to Profiles:

Advanced SegmentsIn Google Analytics, Profiles and Filters are great, but they don’t give you as much drill-down power as Advanced Segments (if you use a different web analytics tool, this feature, if you have it, may be named differently). In addition to weeding out the long-shots, you may wish to segment out visitors whose on-site behavior indicates their intent is not to purchase, but to use your site for a different purpose. For example, visitors who enter your site through your Company or Careers page, exit after viewing your Store Locator or Online Flyer, use your order tracking tool, or surf your online forum. Let’s put this all together by applying the above segmentation criteria, including the assumptions your online store sells only to North America, is not m-commerce enabled, and receives a lot of non-converting traffic from Wikipedia, Facebook and PR Web.

With segments that represent traffic with highest likelihood to purchase, your KPIs (key performance indicators, or metrics of success) are guaranteed to improve. You will have a better understanding of your “adjusted” KPIs, and can set much better goals for improvement. You’ll also have a better understanding of your customers, not just your site visitors. You can then further segment by campaigns, referral source, keywords and other attributes will truly uncover insights, not just metrics.

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11 Responses to “How To Boost Conversion Rates Instantly Without Making a Single Change to Your Site”

  1. Rob Smith says:

    Really like this piece of advice. You would need to be careful what you assume though in terms of sites that send poor quality traffic / not with the intent to purchase, but as it’s segments you can always remove that rule to see what difference it makes.


  2. Jay says:

    That’s a lot of work to make zero improvement!

  3. John Hyde says:

    Thanks for this tip.

    Always interesting to see what people are doing to try and see what’s *really* going on.

  4. Hello Linda,
    I have some concerns about the proposals.

    [Visitors from countries you do not ship to or do not accept credit card payment from]
    How can I create a new strategy for them If I ignore those statistics? (Let’s assume that they have good/big potential If I could ship or accept payment.)

    [Visitors from certain social networks]
    If I have good traffic from social networks then I have a good/big potential to use them. I can use these social networks for promote my products/services or I can use these social networks to increase my sales. (special discount codes, gifts etc.)

    Therefore, How can I do that those things If I ignore?

  5. reactorr says:

    This post delivers! good stuff

  6. One filter you should always include is a filter that removes your IP address from being included in your Google Analytics data. You, or your employees, could visit your site 100′s of times in a single day. These figures malform your conversion rates in a BIG way.

    Excellent post, Linda.

  7. It is really a great advice. Added new dimension to my thinking about Google analytics. Do you think by ignoring visitors from countries that are not able to deliver sales we can achieve some better rankings or better search engine positions? Some more in depth information may be of great help to all of us.

    • Hi, I don’t think we achieve better rankings, no. This is about working with data to get a clearer picture of what a targeted segment (in this case, customers in countries you can actually sell to) – nothing to do with search engines.

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