For every business, developing a website to attract new customers online is critical. It can be an exciting achievement when everything comes together, but it also can be a nightmare if you don’t have a strong Conversion Rate Optimization strategy in place to get you there. Having an attractive website that converts website visitors into customers can put your business in a position to reach the world. However, most people discover that launching a new fancy website is not the same thing as getting new customers. In other words, a website may be essential to growth, but a website is not a guarantee of growth.
If your website is underperforming, your first thought is probably that you are not getting enough traffic. After all, the Internet is vast. With so much competition out there, how do you know if you are generating enough hits? You want more people to visit your website to increase your exposure and build your brand.
Website Traffic, Online Sales & Conversion Rate Optimization
However, you have to consider the fact that traffic is not the same thing as closing the deal. It’s just like having people walk through a physical store. It is important to have people come through the doors, but if those people are not buying, then you are still not making any money. You need people to buy. Online we call that conversion. We need people to not only view our websites but we need them to convert into paying customers or clients.
The concept is the same online, but it looks a little different. Customers are tracked differently, and closing the deal is not always as straight forward. This can make it hard to identify the difference between traffic and conversions. These are not interchangeable concepts, and you need to understand both in order to make the right choices for your website and your overall online strategy.
What Is Traffic?
As you try to figure out what is going on with your online strategy, it is important to understand a few key terms first. This starts with traffic. Website traffic refers to people who visit your website. Website traffic can be driven by search engines. It can also be linked in from other websites or they can click through to your website from a social media account. In some cases, people may simply type in your URL. No matter how visitors end up on your website, their presence is logged and counted as traffic.
Beyond this general notion, website traffic is usually tracked in more refined ways. For example, do you count multiple hits from the same visitor? It is important to know how many people visit your website more than once and over what period of time in comparison to how many people are new to your website. This information tells you a lot about the kind of traffic you are generating. Knowing what kind of traffic you are generating is key information for determining the best strategy to move that traffic into a conversion.
This information is useful to determine how people find your website and how engaging your website is to visitors. If people do not return to your website, then you may need to tweak your content. If you are not getting new visitors, then you may need to change your SEO or content marketing strategy.
In short, traffic is the critical first step for your website. Without attracting visitors, you cannot expect to gain anything. Then, you must focus on the next step. This step is known as converting traffic.
What Is A Website Conversion?
The term website conversion refers to the process of the traffic on your website doing the action you want them to take. An eCommerce site that generally means that the user bought something on the website. For a content-based website that may mean getting the users email for further email marketing purposes. A local service-based website that may mean the user calls your business. Other websites will have other conversion tactics. Conversion might be a blog subscription or the creation of a user account.
Website Conversion Will Look Different
It is important to realize that a conversion looks different depending your website’s purpose. This is generally the key piece missed when businesses redesign their website; It’s imperative when designing or redesigning your business website that you determine what primary action you want people to take when they are on your website.
Though these conversions look different, they all focus on turning visitors into actual customers or clients. This is critical because people are bombarded with information in general but especially online. Just because users view your website’s content does not mean that they are engaged in it. Taking that engagement and turning it into something more is no small feat. This is what conversion rate optimization is all about.
Website Conversion Factors
There are many factors that influence the conversion rate of a website. This can start with the accessibility of your website for online devices, to compliance with ADA accessibility regulations. To the speed of your website, to how easily your website is to navigate. Any factor that impacts the user’s experience is likely to impact your conversion rate. We use a suite of industry tools to examine how users are navigating and interacting with the website. We use that data to determine key ways to improve or change the websites design elements and layout to achieve our goals of an increased conversion rate.
Why Is Conversion Rate Important?
A single conversion is always valuable for your website, however, one bucket of water into a swimming pool does little to meet the goals of filling the pool. You must look at the numbers, the data, and your goals from a strategic vantage point.
A conversion rate refers to the number of total visitors compared to the number of visitors who take your desired next steps. This is usually thought of as a ratio, and it can be communicated in percentages. I go more in-depth between the difference between a click through rate and a conversion rate: here.
Give Me An Example Of Conversion Rate
Okay, here’s an example. Imagine that your website has 150 visitors in a month. These visitors are your traffic. Now, imagine that 15 of those visitors complete your defined user task. That could be making a purchase, filling out an online form, completing a download or making a phone call. You would compare the 15 to the 150 and come up with a conversion rate of 10 percent.
What Does The Conversion Rate Really Tell Me?
Looking at your conversion rate is important. This percentage can inform you on how well your website is doing. For example, if you have a lot of traffic but not a lot of conversions, then you know your website needs a strategic conversion rate optimization approach. However, if your website is high on conversions but low in traffic, then you have a very different situation. (Pro Tip: If you have tons of conversions or a super high conversion rate it’s time to scale! i.e. you need more traffic). Both of these problems need to be addressed in order to see sustainable and predictable growth. If you do not cater your solution to the core problem, then you will not gain success.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
If your problem is converting visitors into sales, then you need to look seriously at increasing your conversion rate. This is a process that is called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Conversion Rate Optimization is a deeply analytical process. You need to analyze the hits your website receives and the nature of your current conversions and desired goals in order to develop a plan for improvement.
How Do You Go About Conversion Rate Optimization?
This process starts with the gathering of data. You need to spend time tracking your visitors extensively with advanced analytics. One of the best tools for this is Google Analytics. Google Analytics looks at your website activity across numerous features. For example, it will look at how long visitors stay on your page and how many pages each visitor views per session. You will also be able to see the source of your traffic and your bounce rate.
My Head Is Spinning!
This can be overwhelming at first if you do not know what you are looking to find. The key with analytics is to assess what users are doing. In some cases, you may get lots of visitors who look at your homepage but then fail to explore your website further. This could indicate that your website is not attractive or that your menu system is awkward and not conducive to clicking through. By tracking where your users are from, you can discover whether or not you are hitting your target audience. Maybe your content is too regionally driven. You could get more leads by broadening your appeal through a strategic content creation and search engine optimization strategy
Conversion Rate Optimization Results
Clearly, conversion rate optimization is a complex and multifaceted process. The data gathering phase requires patience and perseverance. Only with a deep analysis will you truly see areas to improve. Then, based on our extensive experience working with brands all over the world, we are able to identify the core issues, with the data we know where the gaps are, then we create a strategic plan to move towards a more effective and efficient (and financially beneficial) conversion rate. When it comes to conversion rate optimization your efforts should be driven by the data every step of the way.
What Is the Next Step?
You have already developed a website that generates traffic. That is an important first step. However, as you strive to take that next step, you need to truly understand how your website is performing. The distinction between traffic and conversion is critical. These are two concepts that work together. You need traffic in order to make conversions. However, to achieve conversions you need traffic.
There is no quick answer. If you want to know what your next step is, then you need to spend some time looking at your website’s performance and analytics. It is true that your website may need more traffic. However, all the traffic in the world will not help you if you do not focus on converting that traffic. This is a dynamic situation that often needs an expert’s opinion.
No matter what type of service you need for your website, Dapper Codes is here to help. We can work with you to assess your current needs. We can assess your website to determine if you need to generate more traffic or if you need to focus on conversion rate optimization for viable leads. We can help you develop a comprehensive digital strategy with website development, lead generation, email marketing and conversion rate optimization. To talk about your website and your online marketing needs, contact Dapper Codes today.