What’s the fuss about “Conversion”? Everyone on the Internet shouts about “conversion”, “conversion rates” or “micro-conversion”, but what it all actually means?
Think of the one (and only) action you encourage a user for on your website in order to keep your business going. Is it “Buy”? If so, purchasing would be your conversion. Out of many people, who entered your website, only a fraction of them actually buy your product. Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who complete the purchase.
Some conversions are quite complicated. This means that the whole process has many stages, e.g. to buy, a user needs to:
- Enter the webpage,
- Click “Pricing and Plans” in the navbar,
- Click “Buy Plan”,
- Successfully fill in all billing forms.
Since the user can leave your website at any stage, without going through the whole process, you should measure even the micro-conversions (how many users completed the particular stage) and create a conversion funnel. This way you’ll know which one of all stages is most problematic to users and might cause lower overall conversion.
Signups, user engagement, social media shares or other KPIs might also be important to you. Why? They can also be count as conversion, which might be confusing to some. You can have several other conversion funnel resources with a different conversion funnel for each of them, but there’s still this one conversion, which is crucial for your business cashflow.
What might be a SaaS conversion?
Let’s think of the actions you expect from a user to complete on your website and your SaaS product. What are the KPIs that might indicate them?
Sales focused website:
- Buy / Trial – KPI: Successfully fill in a billing form
- Sign up – KPI: Successfully fill in signup form
- Sign up to the newsletter – KPI: Click a newsletter signup confirmation link in an email message
- Share your content – KPI: Click “Share” button next to the blog post
- Read your content – KPI: Download your ebook
- Use the product – KPI: Logins per user, session time
- Use your product in a team – KPI: Send out product invites
- Regularly come back to the product – KPI: Logins form email notification
It’s advisable to find out what are the most important conversions for your business and stick to them. If you’re a startup aiming at growth, your most important conversion should probably be ‘sign up’. When you reach a certain level of signups, you can focus on e.g. user engagement.
What do I do with conversions?
It’s great you know how well your business is doing, but that’s not enough! You need to improve your metrics with UX changes. Do it wisely! When you change something in your Plans and Pricing website, you have to be able to compare the results with the previous version. How else would you know if those changes have increased or decresed your conversion?
A great way to keep a track of exactly what you need, is to set a daily / weekly / monthly email notification with only these stats that matter to you the most. In my opinion applying Google Analytics code is a mistake. To much of information can be as harmful as too little! You don’t know what to look at, getting significant information takes you a lot of time and can be demotivating.
Test your metrics regularly and only one at a time (e.g. one per week). You can read more about a simple way to incorporate constant testing of your product in “Running Lean” by Ash Maurya.
Learning what metrics tell you, what you need to know, to grow your SaaS business isn’t easy, but it’s crucial for you to make the right decisions.
Show off your results!
If you’ve already done some UX improvements, feel free to tell us about them. We’re working on UX for SaaS Best Practices report and we want your case study there!
Published August 6, 2015