Four ways to use your website data to discover missed sales opportunities

30-second summary:

  • Analyzing and understanding website data helps enhance potential sales and conversions
  • Google Analytics records the exit rate of specific website pages, helping you pinpoint precisely where users abandon your sales filter.
  • Google Tag Manager can help identify if users leave uncompleted forms, leaving you tantalizingly close to conversion without sticking to the landing.
  • Recording and analyzing standard user search terms on a website will reveal if consumers are seeking services they are willing to pay for but you do not provide
  • Search analysis tools will shine a light on any underutilized and under-monetized website pages, helping you make the most of your PPC budget.

In the age of online marketing and data intelligence, every click matters. Traffic is an excellent metric for the potential success of your business, after all. Alas, traffic means little without conversions. A brick-and-mortar store that sees plenty of footfall but fails to make sufficient sales will be considered a failed business model. The online world is no different. Without conversions, a website is just an expensive – and ultimately unsuccessful – advertising campaign.

website data

A conversion is the completion of any pre-determined action on a website. This could be downloading free content in exchange for joining a mailing list or interacting with the site through social media or a contact form. The gold standard of conversions will always be sales, though. Something needs to change if your product or service is not turning a profit. By studying and understanding website data, you can pinpoint missed opportunities for sales on your site. Utilizing tools and software, you’ll realize what visitors seek and why they bounce without converting.

Data to review

Here are four core KPIs that should be studied to understand why visitors leave your site without converting. By mastering and understanding this data, you can make any necessary adjustments to your website and marketing strategy – potentially reaping financial rewards.

1. Google Analytics exit pages

The exit page, tracked on Google Analytics, is the last user interaction with your website before terminating a session. Google Analytics records exit pages as a percentage, referring to this as an exit rate. The most popular exit page on any website will be the thank you page after completing a conversion in an ideal world. At this stage, the user has concluded their business to the satisfaction of all parties.

It merits investigation if you notice a high exit rate on a different page. Something about this page is deterring visitors from converting. Ergo, this exit page is potentially responsible for missed sales. Be aware that an exit rate is different from a bounce rate. Bounce rate relates to users that leave a site without any interaction. Exit pages are recorded when users begin the journey toward conversion but fail to complete the process. You can improve your sales by understanding which pages on your website have the highest exit rate. Look at this page and consider why users are not completing a conversion. Potential explanations include:

  • An unclear or weak call to action
  • A lengthy sales funnel with too many steps
  • Insufficient information about your product or service, failing to convince the user to convert – or too much data, confusing a user and causing them to lose interest.
  • Lack of preferred payment options (that is, e-wallets – not everybody likes to use their credit card online)

Tweak this exit page to improve user experience and convince users to conclude a conversion. This is easier if one page of your website has a high exit rate. If exit pages are equally spread throughout your site, it may be worth considering a complete overhaul and refresh of the content.

2. Google Tag Manager

The internet has brought a lot of good to the world, but enhancing patience is not among these benefits. With so much competition, users are unlikely to tolerate interface issues when attempting to complete a conversion. You can use Google Tag Manager to identify these issues. Form completion is arguably the best use of GTM. If you study the analytics of a form and find that it is frequently abandoned before completion, something is amiss. You had the user on the end of your hook – they would not have started to fill in the form otherwise. Unfortunately, something made them change their mind, and you missed a sale. Use the GTM debugging mode to ensure a technical hitch is not to blame. If this is the case, it’s time to look inward. Some of the common reasons for users to abandon forms before completion include the following:

  • The paper is just too long and cumbersome! Slow and steady may win a race, but it bores the life out of online consumers.
  • Unnecessary questions. If you’re not selling age-restricted products or services, don’t ask for a user’s date of birth. Unless it’s relevant to the product, do not ask for clarification of gender or race.
  • Pop-up advertising. Unfortunately, you may be standing trial for the sins of other sites here – previous experiences elsewhere may tarnish a user’s view of all online forms.
  • Lack of assurance about the safety and security of any data that will be provided. Make it clear that you are not in the business is selling personal information to other companies.
  • Lack of mobile device compatibility. Over half of all web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. Ensure your form is not fiddly and persnickety to compete on such a device.

Using GTM to understand why forms remain uncompleted can be an easy fix, potentially turning half-completed questionnaires into successful conversions. Don’t miss out on a possible sale for something as prosaic as a needlessly complicated sign-up process.

3. Search records

As we previously discussed, consumers want to feel understood by a business. The modern visitor to a website will ideally not wish to search to find what they’re looking for. Visitors want to find everything they need before their eyes and see that your product or service will resolve a particular pain point. Configure the site to record search terms if users use the search function. This provides the perfect opportunity to study what your potential customers seek – and presumably not find – on your site. They would likely have completed a conversion if they had located what they sought.

It understands what users seek means improving and enhancing your offering to apply these missing services. Check whether users are using terminology that does not match up with keywords used on your site. Alternatively, it may just reveal that your copy needs a little updating. This is an easy fix with a content refresh and reduces the frustration of being so near yet far from a conversion. This will also have a welcome side-effect of potentially bolstering your SERP standing. Google is moving toward a model of enhanced search equity, making your copy use all the more important. It will be very welcome for a website’s page ranking – and conversion potential – to stand or fall on the quality and relevance of content instead of restrictive technical obstacles.

4. Traffic Value

To paraphrase George Orwell, “All website traffic is equal, but some traffic is more equal than others.” Some pages on your website will inevitably demonstrate tremendous potential for sales and conversions. Investing in a search analysis tool can aid you in identifying these pages so you can focus your financial outlay on them. Google Trends can also be an invaluable ally here. Your website will likely utilize at least one cost-per-conversion model, such as Google Ads. You may be using several, with Facebook Ads (including Instagram Ads) and even Microsoft Advertising providing plentiful leads to conversions. While PPC business models are constantly evolving, some tactics are evergreen.

We have already discussed how users seek a brief and practical conversion funnel. Perhaps the most critical of these is identifying which pages on your site have potential that is not maximized. By undertaking SEO analysis, you will better understand what users are looking for online. In learning this, you may realize that you are placing too much of a marketing budget on one page when judicious use of keywords on another may yield more excellent results—for example, putting all financial muscle on a completion page is tempting. However, do not overlook the potential to educate and entertain before pushing for conversion. If you embrace – and, more importantly, perfect – content marketing, you will convince users to click through to a conversion page after learning more about your offering. This enhances your traffic stats, potentially building brand loyalty in the process.

What next?

Now that you know these metrics, use them to calculate your conversions. That’s quickly done – divide the number of modifications by the number of visitors, then multiply the total by 100. How does that number look to you? If you feel that your conversion rate is lacking in any of these metrics, there are steps that you can take to improve it. These include:

  • Simplifying any forms and streamlining your sales filter
  • Improve and streamline the copy on pages with a high exit rate
  • Considering adding a pop-up with a renewed CTA – or even the promise of a discount or freebie – when a user tries to close a common exit page
  • Review your search records and ensure your offering matches consumer needs and expectations
  • Keep up to date with search trends and ensure you are monetizing the right pages on your website

Follow these steps, and you’ll potentially see your conversions soar. Few things are more frustrating than missing out on a sale that came enticingly close. These minor improvements will not take much work but could make a real difference to your bottom line.


What is a website conversion?

Any website will contain a range of actions for visitors to complete. This could be signing up for a newsletter mailing list, sharing a post on personal social media channels, making a query through a contact form, or, ideally, making a purchase. If a visitor to your website completes this action, it is considered a conversion. The number of people doing so compared to your traffic quantity is a conversion rate.

What is a good conversion rate for a website?

This depends on various factors, including your industry and anticipated investment return. A website operating on a cost-per-conversion model, such as Google Ads, needs a higher conversion rate to make a substantial profit. The average conversion rate on this platform is circa three percent. What matters most is that you are seeing a return on your investment – and that your conversion rate continues to grow, not shrink.

How to increase the conversion rate on a website?

The most effective way to increase a conversion rate is to make the process as fast and simple as possible for consumers. Create a superior user experience by making it obvious what a visitor needs to do to convert and removing any unnecessary steps from the resulting filter. Every additional action you ask of a user gives them another opportunity to lose patience and walk away.

How to calculate a website conversion rate?

There is a simple formula for calculating the conversion rate of your website. Track your conversions over a set period, divide this by the number of website visits, then multiply the total by 100. For example, a website that enjoys 700 conversions from 12,500 visitors over 30 days has a monthly conversion rate of 5.6%.

How to set up conversion rate tracking on your website?

Any website must track conversions to ensure optimum efficiency and return on investment. Major platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads have in-built tracking facilities. Learn how to utilize these tools and turn the data to your advantage. Joe Dawson is the Director of the strategic growth agency Creative, based in the UK.

Tyson Houlding
I’m a lifestyle blogger with a passion for writing, photography, and exploring new places. I started this blog when I was 18 years old to share what I was learning about the world with family and friends. I’ve since grown into a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer with a growing audience. I hope you find inspiration and motivation while reading through my work!