Identifying Conversion Weakness Using Google Analytics


Identifying Conversion Weakness Using Google Analytics

Optimizing sales conversion rates are essential to being successful as an ecommerce merchant. New customers are unforgiving. If they have other options such as Amazon or your other competitors, they will not struggle through a purchase process or checkout. How can you ensure your ability to convert browsers to shoppers?

The Device Category Overview report in Google Analytics provides a helpful overview for not only your overall conversion rates but your conversion rates by device as well. The report is located at Audience > Mobile > Overview.


If your site has had Google Analytics running on it for several years, you can see how your mobile traffic has grown. For many merchants, mobile is now number 1 in sessions or a close second. Conversion rates for mobile are lower than desktop and tablet.


Conversion Rate Targets

Here at MAK we often have clients ask us what their conversion rates should be for each device. The answer, unfortunately, is not simple because the rates are determined by many factors, such as industry, competition, and traffic acquisition methods.

Some industries have higher conversion rates than others. An ecommerce merchants selling products should have a higher conversion rate than a merchant competing with big-box stores.

If your business has limited competitors, your site should convert better than a merchant competing with many others.

If you’re getting most of your traffic from paid search, such as Google AdWords, you should be converting better than one one that gets their traffic from organic searches.

What should your target conversion rates look like by device? We’ll start with desktop. An ecommerce site should typically be converting about 2 to 5 percent to be successful. If it’s less than 2 percent, there is much room for improvement. If your rate is above 5 percent, you are doing quite well.

Visitors using tables should convert roughly 50 to 75 percent of the desktop rate. If you are converting at 2 percent for desktop, you should convert at 1 to 1.5 percent for tablets.

For mobile, aim to convert at least 25 to 50 percent of desktop visitors. Sites that convert 2 percent for desktop should be converting .5 to 1 percent for mobile conversion.

With that aim in mind, identify which device has the best opportunity to improve. For many merchants, this is mobile. Mobile improvements can typically be applied to desktop and tablet also. Try to roll out improvements for all devices at the same time to maximize your conversion rates.

Checkout Should Be Your Primary Focus.

For new clients, our primary focus for improving conversion rates is typically checkout. Checkout must be optimized to squeeze out the most sales. Enabling Enhanced eCommerce reporting in Google Analytics – including Shopping Behavior and Checkout Behavior analysis – will help provide an accurate snapshot of abandonment during the checkout process. To do this simply go to conversions > Ecommerce > Shopping Analysis.


The Shopping Behavior reports shows overall abandonment in the path to purchase and checking out.


The Checkout Behavior report further breaks down the checkout steps to help identify which ones have the highest abandonment rate.



You can segment the funnels by Device Category to see if one of the categories is a bigger offender.


After analyzing your checkout, keep in the mind the growth of Google Shopping Ads. For merchants using those ads, product pages are likely landing pages for new visitors. Focus on product pages can greatly improve conversion rates. You also have a good chance to convert browsers to shoppers on Product pages as well.

Use Annotations To Document

Using Annotations in Google Analytics is a great way to document when you update your website with conversion changes.

In order to create an annotation, simply click on the down arrow below the graph in your Google Analytics Report (Figure 1 in image below) then click “Create new annotation” (Figure 2 in image below).


Once you’ve created an annotation, enter the information about the updates you made in the appropriate fields. Select the correct date that the change was made, then make the annotation “Shared” to allow anyone with access to your Google Analytics account to view, or “Private,” which allows the annotation to be visible to your login.

Select the correct date that the change was made, then set the annotation Visibility. Selecting “Shared” allows anyone with access to your Google Analytics account to view the report and selecting “Private” allows the report to only be visible to your login. Save then you are done.

Learning, Building, Testing

Now that you are familiar with the process, it’s best to seek guidance on improving conversion rates for your site.

Another good way to improve conversion rates is to compare your site to other big retailers, competitors and even Amazon. Ask yourself, what are they doing that I am not? Use their page layouts, checkout options, and other content on your site to see if they help your sales grow.

Your work is never done. Even if you are meeting your target rate conversions by device, continue to expand your knowledge about new methods in optimizing conversions. The bar is reset seemingly daily. We suggest using the build-test-fix approach to continuously improve your rates.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can go about identifying conversion weakness with google analytics contact us here.

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