talking about ad conversion –

Let’s start with the basics and figure out what conversion is. Conversion (or conversion rate) is an indicator that indicates what percentage of the interested audience (site visitors, offline points, or those who called the sales department) performed an action useful for you (placed an order, paid for a purchase, etc.).

In this article, we will talk about conversion from contextual advertising, and therefore we will talk about the conversion of online promotion tools: website and advertising traffic.

Why measure conversion

It is important to track and study conversion in order to understand whether the money that you invest in the site and advertising is bringing in results. Also, conversion analysis will help identify weak points and growth areas that need to be worked on in order to increase profits.

By itself, the conversion rate does not have universal values: it cannot be said that 5% conversion is a good or bad indicator for every site. That is why, when assessing the conversion, it is important to take into account all available information: indicators on competitors’ websites, in the topic as a whole, changes in conversion on your own website after adjustments, user behavior according to Webvisor’s data.

Conversion Tracking Principles

To correctly evaluate the conversion of ad traffic, you need to make sure:

  1. The goals in the analytics systems are configured correctly, calls are tracked using the call tracking service. Conversions should be aligned with the company’s business goals. For example, tracking calls and placing orders on the site is necessary. However, it is worth remembering that there are micro conversions, for example, downloading a catalog, a price list. Tracking such conversions is also useful and the degree of their usefulness is determined by the specifics of the business and the site.

  2. Links in ads are marked with UTM tags.

  3. Enough statistics have been accumulated. How much depends on the subject of the business, the intensity of advertising campaigns, the characteristics of the tools and other factors. The more statistics on conversions, the more accurate the conversion rate.

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What is the acceptable conversion rate?

In 2018, Roistat conducted a study comparing ad conversion rates across major industries:

Conversions to leads and sales

The information is interesting and useful to know, but you shouldn’t focus on the average conversion rate for your topic. It is important to look for weak points and turn them into growth zones without reassuring yourself that “my conversion is not below average, so everything is fine”.

What does the conversion depend on?

We tried to highlight the key factors that should be considered when assessing ad conversion rates:


We have divided the factors into three categories: business, website, and, in fact, the advertisement itself.

The table below shows several scenarios when problems with any category reduce ad conversions.


Where to look

There are no requests from the site, although the site – design, content, usability – has been worked out with high quality. Advertising is configured by trusted specialists.

Assess your business in terms of competitive advantages. Is there a USP or everything like everyone else? If there is no USP, do not be surprised that you are rarely chosen. It is also important to make sure that you offer at least the same terms as your competitors.

There are no requests from the site, although the business has an attractive USP and good purchase conditions, and real pros are engaged in advertising.

Is everything good with the site? Check your landing page loading speed, make sure the site’s design and usability align with your strategy and reflect your USP.

We also recommend using lead magnets to attract customers. A lead magnet will help you get contacts (most often) of a potential client in exchange for something valuable to him. For example, you can offer a video course or a discount coupon in exchange for a customer’s phone or mail.

There are still no requests from the site, but the audit showed that everything is fine with the site. The business has a strong USP and the terms of purchase and prices are competitive.

Make sure you are in good hands setting up and running your ads. Discuss your promotion strategy again, review the semantics, ads, and ad campaign settings.

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Conclusion: if the conversion from advertising is unsatisfactory, then it is worthwhile to comprehensively assess the situation and identify growth areas.

How everything works in practice

Let’s take an example how the quality of the site affects the conversion. Below are two versions of the same site at different times: in 2018 and 2019.

Site versions in 2018 and 2019

In 2019, the average site conversion rate was 2.8% versus 2.5% in 2018. Why?

Here are some reasons:

  1. In the 2018 version, it is immediately proposed to fill out a rather voluminous survey, in the 2019 version – to leave a phone number and get an oral consultation. It is known that the less data you need to leave, the more likely it is that a potential client will leave it.

  2. In the 2019 version, it is possible to find out more information about the product by clicking on the “Details” button.

  3. It also presents convincing USPs (this is important!), Thanks to which a potential client immediately understands why it is worth choosing this particular company.

  4. Also in the later version there are additional pages for each product with their detailed description.

This example shows how important it is to correctly study the site structure, add USP and use feedback forms. The site is a channel of communication with a potential client – and if you fail to build the right dialogue, then the conversion of the site will leave much to be desired.

Top 5 reasons for low ad conversion rates (according to our version)

Here are the most popular reasons for low ad conversions:

  1. Incorrectly configured analytics or lack of it. These are cases when the Yandex.Metrica and Google Analytics counters are not connected, and if they are, then the goals are not configured. This also includes incorrect setting of goals and non-accounting of calls from advertising. In these cases, information about the effectiveness of advertising traffic and the conversion rate of the site as a whole will be blurred. And without assessing the situation, it is impossible to improve it.


  2. An uninteresting proposal. If competitors sell auto parts 10% cheaper, and even with free shipping, and you have the opposite, it is easy to understand who the potential customer will turn to.


  3. Incorrectly chosen promotion strategy. Before launching an advertising campaign, it is important to consider what results you want to see in the end. For two different purposes – getting applications and increasing brand awareness – you will need different tools: search advertising and display advertising, respectively. If your expectations do not coincide with the instruments, the result will be impossible to evaluate correctly.

  4. An irrelevant or just plain awful landing page. If the structure and design of the site leaves much to be desired, and the person who follows the advertisement for the sale of Russian nesting dolls sees 40 categories of toys of all kinds, then there is no need to expect conversions.

  5. Inaccurate contextual advertising settings. If a company sells plumbing fixtures in Novosibirsk, but is shown in the search for the whole of Russia for queries like “bathroom design jpg pictures”, then the advertisement will not reach its target audience, which means it will not sell the product.

    A picture about a marketer

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Let’s sum up

Conversion is an important metric to work with to improve the effectiveness of your ad traffic and website.

It doesn’t matter if you are a marketer or a business owner, the main thing is to be interested reasons own successes and failures: try, analyze and draw the right conclusions.

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