Unlike transactional websites, non-transactional websites don’t have transactions on the site making it difficult to understand the value of the goal. Conversions for non-transactional websites could be anything from consumer registrations, newsletter sign-up, survey answered, etc.
I guess every analyst have their own way of deriving the formula and the values for a non-transactional website.
Maybe understanding the following points would make it clearer to derive the value. Note that the value of the goal discussed here is the dollar amount assigned to the conversion that occurs on the site.
First, let’s take a look at a common business model of a non-transactional website, where customer journey is mapped out. Understanding each point of key events users will take will help you define what is the key tracking or conversion event that can’t be ignored.
1. Understand the action required to achieve the goal
Is it the “Contact Me” goal? or “Sign Up” goal? Understand what it is you’re trying to associate to the goal. In this diagram, it could the “Download” or “Ad Clicked” events. It appears to be a necessary step that could potentially ties to future conversions that leads to an income for the website owner.
2. Evaluate how often the visitors who reach the goal become customers
Come up with the percentage that you can use to associate with that conversion and closing the ultimate goal. Example, out of those people who converted (registered, sign-up, contacted, etc.) on the site, what percentage of those people you can convert to sales. What you want to do is understand the size and the cohort of the potential pool of people you want to build up to.
Common one is email list. For your website to be a vital part of your business, you’ll need X number of email list so in future you can send a promotional communication to convert them to a sale.
3. Assign dollar ($) value to each of that conversion after accomplishing the site goal
Determine the average transaction of that sale mentioned in (2). Once again, if not sales, what do you think that value is to be able to “reach back”, “become a partner”, “able to send e-mail/mail back”, etc.
4. Derive the value
Multiply (2) by (3). For example, 10% of people who printed the coupon online (site goal), and your average transaction of that coupon after redemption at a market is $10, then $1 would be the value of the goal for “printed the coupon” on your non-transactional website.
Another example, 10% of the people who registered to the site came back later to log in, and download a pdf document that probably would worth $5, you could assign $0.50 to the “website registration” goal.
I hope this helped you to start thinking about trying to assign dollar value to your non-transactional site conversions and able to accomplish better decisions to your site optimization.