Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 16 December 2014

Traffic Vs. Conversions

What's the point of Traffic if it's not Converting? How can you convert Traffic that isn't there?

It’s a question that’s been troubling marketers since the start of the digital revolution… Should you focus your efforts on accumulating the traffic to your website, or, try and increase the conversion rate from visiting customers? In many ways this question draws similarities to the age-old philosophical conundrum “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Whilst there is no definitive answer, this article will give you the tools to determine which of the two elements are more important for your particular site.

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Too often we hear the business owners exclaiming, “my site is generating traffic but I don’t know why I’m not making any sales” read on and you will see that a successful marketing campaign is about creating a holistic approach to online marketing with a focus across all digital facets, and not just gaining more traffic or attempting to rank your site in Google search results.

Case Study To Consider
My site gets 10,000 visits a month, I convert at 1.3% and my average transaction value is $100. This means that in one average month, my site will generate $13,000 in revenue. Use the below calculation to help you determine your own revenue based on visits, conversion rates, and sales.

10,000 visits x conversion rate 0.0.13 = 130 sales 130 sales x $100 = $13,000 My goal over the coming year is to double my sales revenue… How? The obvious answer is to double my traffic as conversion rates generally remain fairly static. However, in order to double my visitors, I’m looking at a significant investment in either my own time or the time of my resources (after all, 10,000 is a lot of visitors).

Just because the number of visits is high, this doesn’t necessarily indicate a successful marketing campaign. Is the traffic quality traffic? Based on the above example, the answer is no. A conversion rate of 1.3% indicates that 98.7% of all site visitors aren’t actually buying anything. So in this case, it’s time to consult Google Analytics to see where the problem is and work out how to fix it.

Every website is different and generates significantly different results, so the very first step is to analyse and understand what is currently happening on your site. In the next few paragraphs, we will outline a few of the most important metrics of your site to investigate, prior to making a decision on investments.

Site Metrics Google Analytics
If you haven’t yet heard of Google Analytics, now is time to do some research on what it offers and to get it installed. If you have installed Google Analytics, but are still learning (or haven’t even looked at) its features, there are many tricks and tools that you should take a look at.

Read below at the lesser-known tools available for analysing on Analytics.

Demographic Segmentation: The release of Universal Analytics has meant that Google now gives an incredible amount of data to its users. Similar to any marketing activity, it’s crucial to know who your target market is. With this in mind, Google’s demographic segmentation tool allows analytics users to track the behaviour of different age and interest groups on your site. This is also a great way to see just how qualified your traffic is.

Think of it this way, I’m selling skateboards online and thanks to the demographic segmentation tool, I realise that 40% of my traffic are aged 50+. Due to the nature of my product, the traffic isn’t really relevant, and is unlikely to purchase. I must know consider why my site is attracting this age group, and what I can do to attract a more appropriate target market. Using content, visuals, layout, and design, you should alter aspects of your site and your branding (i.e.: taking advantage of social media) so that it is appropriate for the target market (in this case – predominantly younger males).

Doing this properly should increase engagement and eventually conversion. A step-by-step installation guide of the demographic tool can be found here.

User Flow Graphic: After utilising the above tools, and adjusting my site accordingly, I now know I’m reaching the right people and that my traffic is qualified. However, still no sales… Another underused tool to take advantage of is the User Flow graphic. This insightful tool shows you what path your users have taken once they landed on your site.

It can be segmented to show things such as: Paths taken from different acquisition channels Geographic location of the customer Which Ad Group they have clicked (if necessary) The important thing to look for here is the drop-offs and where they occur. Basically, this is going to tell you which pages aren’t resonating with your audience through determining at which point people are leaving my site. Armed with this information, you can then analyse the poor performing pages and look to test some design changes to the page to reduce that drop-off figure.

What you should be looking for are the 5 important elements to consider when attempting to maximise your conversions.

5 Elements for Winning Higher Conversions
1. Value proposition: Ask yourself – why should your audience buy from you? Are you communicating this in a clear, concise and highly visible manner?

2. Relevance: So you to whom you should be speaking to, and you’ve look at Analytics to see if this is being implemented correctly. How closely does your value proposition match the needs of your audience?

3. Trust: Are there elements on your page (or missing from your page) that create uncertainty in your customer’s mind? What have you done to show your audience that you’re a trustworthy business and that it’s safe to conduct transactions on your site? Do you have any guarantees? What level of security do you have for credit card details etc.? In a world of publicised Internet and credit card fraud, it is important to show your customers the site is safe and secure.

4. Sales funnel: What is the first thing you see on the page? Will it help or hinder your main purpose? Are you taking the audience on a journey that will end in a sale? How many steps are there in the checkout or buying process? Making it as easy as possible for your visitors to become buying customers is crucial as attention spans are reduced and the notion of “immediacy” between purchase and delivery continues to infiltrate the marketplace.

5. Social Proof: No one wants to be your first customer. More and more people are seeking out reviews and recommendations from previous customers in order to reduce purchase anxiety and feel confident that they’re making a good decision. Including testimonials from previous clients as well as REAL reviews and other social indicators such as the number of Facebook likes or Twitter followers the company has can dramatically reduce purchase anxiety and is certain to increase conversions.

So, now that you’re armed with the power of data and analytics, what is the answer to the burning question of importance in terms of traffic vs. conversion? In the end, it all comes down to this; if the traffic levels are good and engagement is high, it’s time to invest in Conversion Optimisation.

If the traffic isn’t there, take the time to think about whom you should be targeting and how you intend on increasing this reach. Once you have a clear idea on who you should be speaking to, consult a Digital Strategist to identify the best acquisition strategy for that particular market segment.

Lastly, if there’s a high volume of traffic but engagement is low, consult an SEO professional about your campaign as the traffic coming to your site is not qualified and will almost never convert at a higher percentage. As with any campaign – online or otherwise, it’s vital to know where you sit in the marketplace. Understanding this will enable you to formulate a targeted strategy that plays to your strengths and minimises your weaknesses. Prior to engaging in any Digital Marketing Campaign, it is recommended that everyone engage an independent analyst, such as PUNCH digital to conduct a thorough audit of your current situation.

Doing this will enable you to set realistic goals for the upcoming campaign and provide the foundations for a solid, effective and long-lasting strategy, whilst giving you the best chance at achieving your marketing goals.

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