It seems like a no-brainer doesn't it? I mean, if the question is "Would you rather have 1000 or 10,000 hits on your website?" who wouldn't choose the latter?
Well, unfortunately, that kind of thing doesn’t really fly any more. Almost anyone who’s been actively seeking to drive online or social media traffic in the last 5 years will have seen the myriad of companies offering to divert traffic to your website, blog or social media presence. On the surface this seems like a great idea; more traffic obviously means more sales, right?
Unfortunately, no. This isn’t the internet a decade ago. The irresistible rise of Content Marketing clearly demonstrates the market’s need for a constant stream of fresh, engaging content to direct traffic to your website.
This is the first step in making those meaningful conversions, that turn online traffic into sales. Generating quality traffic is actually an art in itself and usually rests at the intersection of a number of different marketing channels including; blogging, leveraging mailing lists, engaging with your audience on social media, and other more traditional approaches like PPC.
Once you’ve got the quality of your incoming traffic sorted, and have a nice regular flow of visitors to your website, you can start sorting the wheat from the chaff and identify its effectiveness.
Segmentation is key here; you need to be able to break down your traffic into as many separate categories as you possibly can, preferably by source. You could be conceivably getting traffic from a large number of sources including paid adverts, referrals, guest blogging, organic searches or from an audience that you’ve built up yourself. Once you’ve broken down all your traffic by source, break it down further by identifying major campaigns that are running in each category.
Now comes the serious analytics part, which is also probably the most important step in this process. Once you’ve got all your traffic nicely segmented, you’ll want to start quantifying conversions. By noting the average conversion rate and revenue with each segment and then listing by conversion rate, you’ll be able to identify your highest converting channels. And this is gold dust in the marketing world!
This might sound pretty self-explanatory, but the process can reveal some really interesting insights into your marketing. For example, you’ll be able to see if there’s a disconnect between strategy (what you think) and reality (what is). For example, if your core acquisition strategy was through organic growth and word of mouth, but you’re getting more conversions through PPC and blogging, then knowing this crucial information will help you to align your channels to greater effect.
Identifying your main sources of traffic and their conversion rates also has another upside in that, once you know, you can focus your efforts on channels that bring in meaningful conversions and see where things are lacking. That said, it does also pay off to analyse the traffic you get that doesn’t convert.
Of course, you’re always going to get visitors to your site that bounce straight away and never come back. You’ll never know why they hated you so much, so you’ll want to concentrate on visitors that had a browse and then left.
With the right tool you’ll be able to see: 1) How and where they came to your site from. 2) What pages they visited. 3) How they linked to your site’s other pages (essential for determining internal linking problems) 4) How long they stayed on each page for (useful for identifying popular products)
The message here is that quality beats quantity each and every time, and that constant search for quality needs to begin right at the onset of your marketing. Quality conversions only come from quality traffic and, by assessing the quality of your traffics’ effectiveness, you’ll be able to leverage even more of those all-important future sales.