Conversion Rate 101: What Every Small & Local Business Owner Should Know

Your business’ Facebook page reaches its 1000 likes. Hooray! But wait, does it mean that whoever liked your page will definitely come back again or become royal customers, recommend you to their friends, share your page on their own personal pages, or leave reviews on your Facebook page, Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor page?

If right now you don’t have a clear idea about the questions asked above, especially the exact percentage of which portion of visitors take which action, conversion rate is the metric you need to start caring about.

Why conversion rate is important for you?

Small businesses rely on word-of-mouth and keeping already acquired customers to grow. Small business owners have less financial resources or energy to launch a supplicated, expensive and comprehensive marketing campaign.

Conversion rate is an easier way for small business owners to understand and predict their business prospects and make it under control.

What is conversion rate?

Some websites describe conversion rate as the percentage of visitors who take a desired action (download a free sample document, leave reviews, likes, leave a comment on a blog, and etc.), some websites deem that it is the percentage of visitors who become customers. Here, Avinash Kaushik gives a more specific definition: Conversion rate, in percentage, equals Outcomes divided by Unique Visitors during a particular time period.” But I think you should consider all.

Let me use a simple example to illustrate this. I have a friend who owns a local gym. On Facebook where she keeps contact with most of her customers, she has about 1100 likes, 570 people have been there, in a small town with 11K population. This is pretty good, because her business attracts 10% of the population of the whole town. She is also a diligent person who posts at least once a week, which has at least 10 likes with several comments. Some posts even have more than 30 likes. She has around 60 reviews.

I would have a quick conclusion from analyzing the data that she has minimum 10 royal customers coming to the gym every day because those regulars interact with her on the Facebook all the time. To get more specific results, I still need further data of the number of visitors becoming customers divided by total number of visitors to its Facebook page in a range of 30 days.

How can you make efforts to optimize it?

The key words for optimizing the conversion rate by you are creating interesting posts with great content, engaging your audience, and offering excellent service or product.

In order to attract more potential customers, you need to constantly have online conversations with them. You need to regularly remind them of your existence. For example, you should post each week. It can be about special event announcement, the work your business has done to make the service or product better, your idea about the industry, personal stories about the experience with your business and etc.

You can also ask or encourage your customers to do some small things for you on the social media. For example, Illinois Digital Marketing Specialization MOOC has done a good job of engaging its class takers. Since it offers online marketing classes on Coursera, it regularly encourages people who finished the classes to post a picture that she/he is holding a printed certificate. Each Tuesday, the so-called Trivia Tuesday asks the page visitors to answer a marketing related question and posts a picture with the winner’s name on Wednesday. This probably reminds you of getting a stamp when you accomplished a small mission in kindergarten, right? Certainly, the classes it offers are excellent too. But don’t underestimate those icing on the cake, gradually they increase the emotional attachment and the royalty of the class takers.

However, your online efforts should not limit to Facebook if you use other social medium to generate conversations with your customers. For example, if you have a business website, you need to make it easy to navigate; if you keep a blog for your business, you should make it easy for visitors to comment. One of the bad examples I need to point it out is LinkedIn. Although it is easy for individual to post, to be liked, but for some reason the post viewers can never leave a comment or read a comment. For that matter, the post fails to initiate a conversation with the readers, and the writer has no idea whether his/her posts evoke any thoughts from the readers.

Essentially, your main focus should still be your service or product, because that is the thing to generate royalty, actions from the customers. To be honest, with a small potential customer pool, you cannot afford losing even several customers.

What else you can do?

Do some digging about the knowledge of Call to Action (CTA), conversion Funnel, A/B or Split Testing, and Multivariate Testing (MVT) and etc. Try out some social media management tools such as Hootsuite, Tweepi, Crowdbooster and etc.

BUT, if learning or using tools or dealing with data will be a hassle for you, please feel free to contact us, we will design a unique marketing plan for your unique business.

5Star Marketing

Your Midwest Marketing Consultant:  Joe Stauffacher and Shanshan 

WI Local Marketing 
960 Williams St
Platteville, WI 53818


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