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12 types of website conversions and how to calculate them

Everyone wants ‘conversions.’ But what exactly is a website conversion? And how do you get more of them? Here are some goal-oriented examples.

Last updated

15 Sep 2022

Reading time

3 min


12 website conversions blog header

What do investors, founders, growth hackers, marketers, sales reps, and product managers all have in common?

They all want conversions. 

But what they mean by ‘conversion’ varies depending on the context. That’s because conversions are always relative to a specific goal or desired outcome. And that’s basically what a conversion is:

A conversion happens when someone arrives on your website and completes a desired goal.

It’s easy to think it’s about those cha-ching! payment moments, and at some point that is the goal. But along the way, there are many other types of conversion goals, usually involving forms or payment fields. 

To make this concrete, let’s take a look at some examples of website conversions.

12 website actions that count as conversions 

The following are all common types of website conversions based on context-specific goals. 

  1. Subscribing to an email newsletter on a blog

  2. Downloading an ebook after providing an email address 

  3. Completing a contact form to speak with a sales rep

  4. Opting in to push notifications

  5. Signing up for a service through a web form

  6. Starting a free trial after providing some personal info

  7. Clicking a CTA button to a specific landing page

  8. Downloading an app

  9. Clicking an affiliate link

  10. Selling a product through an online shop

  11. Converting from a free user → paid customer

  12. Adopting a new product feature (like Bannersnack struggled with after users couldn’t find a new feature)

Wait, isn’t some of that lead generation? Sure. But turning a stranger into someone who’s interested in what you do—whether an email subscriber or a free trial user—is a goal along the path to that ultimate conversion: a loyal, paying customer who comes back again and again, and tells their friends

And what about goals completed outside of your website, like someone clicking a Google search result, or a YouTube ad that takes them to a landing page? Yup, those are conversions too. 

In some cases, you might give these actions another name, like ‘click-through rates’ or ‘micro-conversions.’ But it’s all about someone completing a specific action that you want them to take. 

And whatever term you use, they’re all calculated the same basic way.

Calculating conversion rates

No matter the goal, it’s easy to calculate conversion rates with this simple formula:

[(Number of people who complete the goal) / (Number of people who see your CTA)] x 100

Or said another way:

12 examples of website conversions

So for example, imagine your goal is to get people to sign up for a free trial. If 750 people see your free-trial offer, and 26 people sign up, that’s a (26 / 750) x 100 = 3.5% conversion rate. Not bad. 

You can easily plug any of the above examples into this formula:

  • Email subscriber rate = (the number of people who subscribe) / (the number of people who see your newsletter subscribe form)

  • Free → Paid rate = (the number of people who pay) / (the number of people who start a free trial)

  • … and so on

We figure that you know to multiply those answers x 100 to get the percentage.

But do you know what to do next?

Next steps: conversion rate optimization

Once you know what you’re trying to convert, then you’re ready to move on to conversion rate optimization (CRO): the process of improving your conversion rates. This is done through tactics like:

And so on.

If optimization is your challenge, you might want to take a look at our user-centric approach to conversion rate optimization (CRO).

And by the way, if you sign up for our monthly newsletter below, that technically counts as a conversion for us. But we don’t see you as a ‘conversion.’ We know you’re human, and we’d be happy to welcome you into our product and UX community.

Learn why your visitors aren’t converting

Hotjar shows you what keeps your visitors from buying, so you can make website changes based on real insights, not assumptions, and watch your conversion rate grow.