Panic, your conversion rate has dropped, from one day where the grass was green and everything was going to plan, all of a sudden your conversion is halved! So what can you do to identify the problems?
What is wrong?
Before identifying the problem you need to know what the exact problem is. Here are some classic issues you may come across:
- My conversion rate has dropped on all channels
- My conversion rate has dropped on one channel
- My traffic has dropped and conversion is down
- My traffic is up and conversion is down
What to look for
Make sure you know what you are looking at and comparing it to.
- If your traffic is fine and conversion is down across all channels there are normally two things this can mean, 1) the tracking is not working correctly or 2) the conversion funnel on the website is not working correctly.
- What data are you looking at? Does your conversion tend to drop at this time of year? Classic examples of this would be school holidays, events, weather and current affairs. Take a look at last year’s data to see if you are following trend. If you are using data from last year, was something different, were you running an event. If you are down week on week , is that only due to a high performing week last week (on average you might be doing ok).
- If your conversion rate has only dropped on one channel, try to understand what is different. What changes have occurred for that channel, offline advertising may influence direct traffic. Online PR might influence referral traffic, and overall a spike in traffic can lead to a drop in conversion.
- If some of your high converting but low traffic campaigns have been paused on PPC then this may affect your conv rate.
How to find a fix
If it is an issue with the conversion funnel the best place to look as a marketer is the data, here are 3 great Google analytics reports to help you identify the problem:
- Mobile report – Shows you conversions by device category – e.g. is mobile now getting more traffic but a lower conversion
- Browser report – Is the new version of Internet explorer causing a fault on the shopping basket and not converting hence impacting overall conversion rates
- Goal Funnel – is there a sticking point on the conversion funnel where people are dropping out
Compare your data.
- Use Google analytics compare function but don’t only look at year on year, include a week on week comparison and Month on Month to try to understand the bigger picture
- Plot on graph – this allows you to see the table of data plotted on the graph above giving you a trend line for a specific fields
- All traffic Channel report – this shows how each channel i.e. PPC, Organic, Direct, referral or custom channel performed
- Drilling down into each channel can identify issues e.g .by combining the Channel report with Mobile Category you can see how each marketing channel performs on mobile and identify any areas of improvement.
Overall there are many reasons your conversion rate may fall and in some cases it is not always what your think. If you understand the data you are looking at first it can save a lot of developer time chasing their tails to find a problem that does not exist. Or vice versa you can point the developers in the right direction and save valuable investigation time.