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New vs. Returning Visitor Conversion Rates

by Justin Palmer - October 7th, 2007

Every website has two conversion rates. One for your first time visitors, and one for your returning visitors. Combining the two results in your overall conversion rate.

Recently, while reviewing a client’s Pay Per Click campaign, I was dismayed to find several high volume ad groups were resulting in a 1% conversion. Compared to the site’s overall conversion rate of 2%, this finding was disappointing. However, as I began to compare these results with the conversion rate of all first time visitors, I found they were comparable.

It’s crucial to monitor both of these metrics in order to obtain an accurate picture of what’s happening. With the same client mentioned above, we also found despite the fact the overall conversion rate remained flat over the past year, the returning visitor rate had improved dramatically. I believe phenomenon was due to an increased number of search engine visitors for keywords not perfectly relevant to the site. For more details on this, checkout my post on how SEO can decrease your conversion rate.

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2 Responses to “New vs. Returning Visitor Conversion Rates” by Justin Palmer

  1. Website Design Seattle Says:

    Interesting post. This is a metric that a lot of online businesses aren’t paying enough attention to and is useful in determining the health of various types of sites. Should definitely be part of any regular website reporting.

  2. Ecommerce Development Guru Says:

    The review of all website traffic is extremelly important but conversion rates are really important to monitor.

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