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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - October 2018

Everyone Measures Conversions the Wrong Way. Let's Fix That!

Conversion rate is, for obvious reasons, one of the key metrics that everyone looks at. This is true whether you are a brand measuring ad performance, a web shop measuring shopping, or a publisher measuring how you perform online.

But just looking at a conversion rate doesn't really tell you anything. A true conversion rate is not the result of a single metric. Instead, it's a representation across multiple factors that indicate how well you are able to convert action into revenue for a person.

So, in this 30-page report, let's take a closer look at what a real conversion is.

What's wrong with the conversion metric?

A conversion rate seems like a simple metric, but one of the first problems we have with it is that nobody seems able to define what it is.

Let me give a simple example.

When I recently wrote about ecommerce for publishers, I also talked about conversion rates. I wrote that a good conversion rate for publishers reviewing products would be similar to what we often see with web shops, whereas a bad conversion rate would be more similar to a display ad.

In other words, you can determine how successful you are by looking at whether you are creating actual interest and directly impacting people's choices of what to buy, or whether you are just creating random views.

But this sounds a bit vague, because what is a good conversion rate? What number should you aim for? Well, finding that out is pretty much impossible.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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