Conversions are down. Data you need to analyze to avoid it.


Are you panicking because your website is driving fewer sales or conversions? The first thing you’ll need to do is open up your analytics tool and start digging into the issue. This article will talk about some of the key things to look for when your website stops performing.

When you look at your web data, what is the fundamental of the web performance equation?

The equation is:

[Traffic x Conversion Rate] x [AOV] = Revenue

Traffic x Conversion Rate = Orders
Orders x AOV = Revenue

These equations are pretty universal for digital marketing and e-commerce.

If your problem is that the revenue is declining, you'll need to consider the AOV (average order value) impact.

Let's start looking at the impact of the key metrics and see how we can diagnose the issue breaking it down by 'traffic' and 'conversion rate.'

Conversion drops because of lower web traffic.

One main reason your orders are down is that the site's traffic is down. Of course, your website's traffic could be impacted by many things, but if you're in Google Analytics or a similar tool, the first thing to look for is what traffic source you're seeing the decline is coming from.

Look into the channel report and see which bucket of traffic is declining. Then Look into which source and medium are causing the traffic to drop. Finally, if you're paying for advertising, look into any issues with your ads or campaign setup.

There will be times when traffic sources aren’t an issue as overall traffic is not down.

In that case, you’ll need to look at the traffic from user behavior. For example, if you have a marketing funnel, look at the funnel and see any major changes in traffic within the funnel.

In Google Analytics, you can use the reports within the Behaviors and Conversions section.

Start looking at the traffic pattern and see if you have any traffic drop off that could be impacting the traffic going into your cart. Understand the drivers of what's causing lower conversion rates and orders.

Conversion drops because of lower conversion rates.

In your web analytics tools like Google Analytics, you would usually set up goals that you want to track. When you set that up, usually, the tools can start reporting on conversion rate (# of goals that occurred divided by the traffic). Using these conversion rate metrics, you can see if particular traffic sources are causing a lower conversion rate. Usually, you’ll compare the data from different date ranges, like a month over month or current week vs. last week and such.

Some of the key reports to dig into where the conversion rates are dropping is.

  • Funnel report
  • Goal flow
  • Channel and source/medium report

These are the basic reports, but sometimes you make changes to websites (i.e., adding a link that may take away users to another page away from shopping cart or flow).

In such a case, you need to determine if people are going from a certain page to another page.

You can use the Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, choose a page and look into Navigation Summary.

If you see that more people are going away to another page that doesn’t matter, you may have an impact and explain why your conversion rate is dropping.

The average order value (AOV) is declining.

When you look at the revenue decline and realize traffic is not declining, and the conversion rate hasn’t changed, you may have a decreasing AOV. When your AOV is declining, the number of orders is decreasing, which could mean a few things.

  • People are ordering items at a lower price point
  • People are using promo/discount codes more so than prior weeks
  • People are buying a fewer number of items within a transaction

More people visit a product page with a product at a price point fewer than the average price sold.

In many cases, the issue is less about your website unless the traffic goes to a page with a product at a low price point.

So hopefully, this gives you a basic understanding of how you could approach analyzing data once you start seeing the conversions go down. Don’t panic. Just go into your web analytics tool like Google Analytics and follow the abovementioned steps. More advanced users will look into more strategic and tactical things, but this is probably a start.

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Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.