Why Understanding Web Traffic Doesn’t Equal Understanding What Generates Top Line Revenue

Digital marketers occasionally lose sight of the ultimate prize: conversions. It’s easy to fixate on traffic because more traffic generally means more conversions. However, conversions and traffic are two distinct things. In fact, increases in traffic could actually cause conversions to decrease! Likewise, declining traffic could also be correlated with increasing conversions.

As such, it’s important to treat traffic and conversions separately. It’s also essential to remember that conversions are ultimately far more important than traffic. If increasing traffic will lead to increased conversions, great. If not, don’t fret over traffic but instead remain focused on conversions.

Focus on conversions, first, second, & third

The point of any business is to make money. If people like your products or services but don’t buy them, your business isn’t going to last. Thus, while digital marketers often focus on website traffic, what really matters are conversions.

For most websites, the most important conversions are sales. Are customers buying your products or services? Some content-driven sites don’t rely on direct sales but instead ads. This means you want your visitors to click on and interact with those ads.

In some cases, specific projects and marketing efforts might have a different conversion goal. Let’s say a b2b consulting company wants to increase email signups. So, they publish an industry white paper, put it behind a gate, and then offer the content in exchange for providing an email. This can be counted as a conversion. You got something you wanted, as did the person who downloaded your white paper.

With conversions, customers aren’t just window shopping. They are interacting with your website and company. Ideally, they are paying money or else generating revenue through another method (e.g. clicking on an ad). In some cases, customers might also be “paying” with something else, such as contact details.

Why traffic might increase but conversions don’t

Common sense suggests that increased traffic will produce more conversions. This is often true but not always. If your audience isn’t relevant to your website, then you’re unlikely to produce a lot of conversions even if traffic increases.

Let’s say you’re a self-published fantasy novelist and a local social media influencer posts on Facebook how much she loves your book. Let’s assume that this social media influencer is a photographer and most of her followers are interested in photography.

Her social media post drives a lot of traffic to your website, but you don’t secure any more conversions. Why? The people visiting your site are doing so because a trusted voice recommended it. But once they get to your site, they realize that your novels aren’t relevant to them.

How to increase conversions

So how do you increase conversions? Increasing conversions is easier said than done. However, with a thoughtful approach, you can increase conversions, thus raising revenues and building a more financially sustainable company. Let’s go over five tips for raising your conversion rate.

Use proper on-page SEO

SEO is very important for drawing in traffic. Top-notch SEO is vital for drawing in the right traffic. It’s not enough to just draw in views, but instead to appeal to a relevant audience that is likely to convert. With well-honed and targeted on-page SEO you can do just that. Here are the highest conversion rates by industry.

Know your audience

It’s essential to know your audience. What are their pains? What are their wants? Why are they visiting your website and why are they considering your products. You can get to know your audience by developing customer personas. These customer personas will outline hypothetical customers, including:

  • Demographic data (e.g. career, income, age, gender).
  • Goals and values.
  • Challenges and pain points.
  • Sources of information.
  • Objections and role in the purchasing process.

Produce compelling content

Focused SEO efforts will draw in your audience. Still, that’s just the first step for converting customers. Once viewers reach your website, you need to hook them. This can be accomplished with high-value, compelling content. You can’t simply produce fluff content for search engines. Such content will drive up views but not conversions. So, focus on adding values by addressing pains and meeting wants.

Build trust with your customers

Customers prefer brands and companies that they trust. As soon as visitors visit your page they should start to trust you. This means having a clean, modern, website that’s free of typos. Security pages, https, and a variety of secured payment options offer a great way to get started.

Given them a reason to convert

Ultimately, you have to compel your customers to convert. That starts by offering excellent products and/or services that solve pains or meet wants. You can give customers a nudge as well by offering deals, such as 10% off.

Settle in for the long haul

You don’t need every customer to convert right now. Instead, focus on generating more conversions over the “long haul. “ If you can’t get a customer to make a purchase today, but can secure their email address, or likewise get them to follow you on social media, you can establish a relationship. Use your CRM system to record their details and follow up—keep yupkeepds warm. As a result, these relationships may yield bountiful conversations later on.

Final thought

Traffic is nice, but conversions are king. By focusing on conversions, you can increase revenues. Traffic that doesn’t produce conversions isn’t very useful for your company or efforts. At best, such traffic might draw some attention that will later generate conversions. At worse, you could be wasting resources on building up an irrelevant audience.