How to calculate conversion rate

calculate conversion rate
Author: Haydar Yuece // 9min

In previous posts, we’ve already taken an in-depth look at how to increase conversion rates and told you about 9 optimization mistakes you should avoid. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at how you calculate the conversion rate. As a refresher, the conversion rate, or CR for short, describes the ratio of the number of visitors to your website to the number of actions you want them to take, such as making a purchase, downloading something, or entering their email address – depending on what your conversion goal is.

Why it makes sense to calculate micro conversions and macro conversion

If you want to calculate the conversion rate, you can measure different “actions” of visitors. It makes sense here to take a look at both macro conversion and micro conversions. The calculation of micro conversions in particular provides information about the point in the customer journey or the sales funnel where there is a need to optimize the conversion rate.

The macro conversion describes the final goal, i.e. the conversion of a visitor into a customer, subscriber or prospect. Micro conversions, on the other hand, show the many small steps along the way. This can be the click on a product page as well as the placement of a product into the shopping cart. The micro conversions are thus all the partial steps in the process that the visitor goes through to reach the actual conversion target. The recording of micro conversions thus maps all user actions on the website and facilitates the identification of potential for change. Online merchants can use the calculation of the micro conversion rate to intervene in a targeted manner and increase the overall CR by making adjustments.

In any case, it is worthwhile to continuously calculate both the mirco conversions and the macro conversion in order to map whether optimized subareas also ultimately increase the macro conversion in addition to the mirco conversion. After all, the Macro Conversion is the one that brings in the revenue.

When calculating the conversion rate, put both results in relation to each other. If the increase in a mirco conversion does not lead to an increase in the macro conversion, then move on to the next area. However, give each measure enough time to work.

You want to increase the conversion rate in your online shop? We have 10 tips to increase the conversion rate!

Components to calculate the conversion rate

To calculate the conversion rate, it is necessary to consider two kinds of data, which must be defined in advance: the actions of visitors to be measured in the denominator and the number of website visitors in the numerator. The value is multiplied by 100. The result is given as a percentage. Furthermore, the conversion rate should be measured for a fixed period of time.

With the calculation of the conversion, it is first fundamentally determined how many visitors of a website have made a purchase, if this is to be the primary goal of the page as in the case of an online shop. For the lead management process, on the other hand, it would be looking at lead generation, i.e. how many visitors signed up for a webinar, downloaded an e-book or subscribed to a newsletter. All measures in this case are not for direct sales, but for creating a sales opportunity. Here, too, the conversion rate can be calculated.

Among others, the following can be considered with the conversion rate calculation:

  • Websites
  • Landing pages
  • Registration forms
  • Newsletter links
  • Banners
  • Google Ads
  • Videos
  • Social media activities
  • Interaction with support
  • Blog posts
  • Shopping carts


If the values to be considered for calculating the conversion rate are defined in the same way as the time period, a ratio is obtained that reflects how the CR shows and changes.

But beware: Like all key figures in e-commerce, the conversion rate is also subject to natural fluctuations. If you only sporadically look at individual daily values, you will not get a meaningful overall picture with the conversion rate calculation. For this reason, it is important to continuously calculate the conversion rate for a specific action target. Values on a weekly or monthly average are relevant.

The formulas to calculate the conversion rate

Conversion rate is always calculated with a formula that consists of denominator and numerator and the result from it is multiplied by 100. The basic formula for calculating the conversion rate of an online shop is:

calculate conversion rate

Example: There are 30 purchases or conversions from 1,000 visitors. You now calculate 30 ÷ 1,000 × 100 and get a conversion rate of 3%.

However, the very simple formula for calculating conversion rate does not take into account multiple visits or transactions of a visitor. After all, visitors and customers usually interact with a website much more often before an actual action takes place. Both regular and new customers meet multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. In order to measure user behavior, it thus makes sense to focus on the relationship between the unique visitor and the actions when calculating the conversion rate. With the slightly modified formula, each user is counted as a unique visitor only once for the website:

conversion rate calculation

You get the conversion rate data from tracking tools such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics also calculates the CR. Why you should nevertheless rather calculate the conversion rate yourself, we reveal in the further course of the post.

In addition to the main formulas for calculating the macro conversion rate (you remember the difference between the macro conversion rate and Mirco conversion rate, which we explained at the beginning), micro conversions can also be calculated by simply exchanging the denominator:

Conversion Rate in % = Contact through a form ÷ Visits × 100
Conversion rate in % = Clicks on a banner ÷ Visits × 100
Conversion rate in % = Product page view ÷ Visits × 100
Conversion rate in % = Placement in shopping cart ÷ Visits × 100

What is a good conversion rate?

A clear definition and generalization of a “good” conversion rate is hardly possible. Many different factors are involved. The typical factors influencing the CR include:

– Design of the website (navigation, design, etc.)
– Presentation of products/services
– Payment options
– Shipping conditions
– Price
– Promotional activities
– Availability and delivery times
– Quality of service
– Website loading times
– Exclusive offers

Experts assume an average value of about 1 % in B2C and average figures of 3 to 4 % in B2B. Once you have calculated your conversion rate, these estimates can be used as a rough guide to the direction in which optimization should go. You can get a more precise idea of what a good conversion rate is in our industry comparison.

Calculate conversion rate with Google Analytics

Google Analytics also calculates the conversion rate. It is based on sessions, i.e. the time from opening the website to closing it. When calculating the conversion rate via Google Analytics, this leads to the fact that several sessions of a single user are also measured. This in turn distorts the conversion rate and makes it turn out lower than it actually is.

Furthermore, analytics tools like Google Analytics do not capture all sales channels that are important for the conversion rate. This can be sales such as Amazon or eBay, you want to include these as well when calculating the conversion rate. It is therefore always worthwhile to calculate the CR yourself. This can be done easily with the formulas mentioned above.

Taking a close look at touchpoints

Optimization does not always lead to success. In this case, it is worthwhile to look at which parts of the customer journey can still be changed. By calculating the conversion rate, online merchants can take a step-by-step approach to working their way through the sales funnel. If, for example, it depends on the shopping cart, exit intent popups offer an efficient solution.

The intelligent tool from uptain reduces shopping cart abandonment by up to 30%. The smart software recognizes the reasons for the abandonment and uses them as a basis for individual and personalized exit intent popups that specifically address the customer’s problem. If you pick up your target group exactly where they are, you can increase the conversion rate.

Learn more about Exit Intent Popups.

Calculate conversion rate as a basis

Conversion rate is arguably one of the most complex metrics in e-commerce, as it is subject to numerous influencing factors. Anyone who wants to increase their conversion rate cannot avoid first getting a picture of the actual CR. The first step is to calculate a predefined conversion rate over a longer period of time. The average values serve as a basis for optimizing the conversion process.

In addition to the macro conversion rate, it also makes sense to calculate the mirco conversion rate in order to identify and work on potential improvements. For this reason, appropriate measures should be defined and carefully planned. As soon as the change is implemented, set a time period in which you calculate the conversion rate for controlling and success tracking.

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