More Traffic Does Not Mean More Conversions or Sales
Let us repeat that. More traffic doesn’t mean that you will have more sales or conversions. in other words, not all traffic is created equally. Many people believe because they get more traffic they will have more sales and, generally speaking, there is some correlation but not always.
What your marketing agency wants is targeted traffic. You can have a thousand hits a day from random Johns and Janes, but if there was never any interest in buying, then that traffic is useless. When you have traffic from targeted buyers, the difference is substantial. This gets hidden sometimes when focusing only on website traffic and not what happens to drive that traffic and what happens have the traffic. Your marketing agency is focusing on a “what” metric and not a “why” metric.
How do I know If I don’t have good traffic?
There are several metrics to look at the traffic within Google analytics. Google has recently switched to G4 and the metrics have changed so your marketing needs to pay attention.
Google is downplaying the “bounce rate” metric, which makes a lot of sense. They are saying “let’s measure if they are engaged” vs “why they might have come into the website quickly and got what they wanted”.
An engaged engagement is the event you will see in Google analytics 4 which is defined as when the app is in the foreground or the webpage is in focus for at least one second. What’s an even better metric is “engaged session” for someone who spends more than 10 seconds on a website, had a conversion or event, or had two more page views.
Along with those metrics you get “average engagement per session” or the amount of time a user is engaging with a page. The last metric is engagement rate which is the ratio of engaged sessions relative to total sessions.
Another item is if they got to your website did they just read everything on the page? You can now automatically track the “scroll method” or the first time a user reaches the bottom of each page (when a 90% of the page’s vertical depth becomes visible). You will also see other metrics and natural events coming such as “Video Metrics.” of showing if someone watched any videos you have on the page.
Our hint is that keeping someone on the pages with multiple forms of media (think written, video and podcast) will help with this as well as properly leading to the next logical piece of content.
There is some sophisticated tracking software that can even tell you who is on your website such as the name of the company such as Leadfeeder, FunnelFLARE. zoom info and more. The manual outreach of your sales team to the companies visiting your website will tell if you are driving qualified prospects of not.
It’s complicated in the sense of how did the traffic get to the website page by page and did the page achieve its job? Most pages should be built like a landing page and lead someone to the next part of the funnel. If it doesn’t then you need to rearrange the page.
Or if you have an “engaged session” and they ran out of time then you need to do remarketing to send them the next page.
It could alternatively be the marketing channel that you are driving traffic from and you are either targeting the wrong audience with paid ads or attracting the wrong audience with the content you are posting.
The next logical question, of course, is…..
Where should I go to get website traffic?
This depends on several different factors like:
- The type of product you offer
- The market
- How many and what type of competitors do you have
- How much search volume there is for your product
Think SEO, Content marketing, Landing Pages, Search (PPC, Pay per click, SEM), Video ads, Social Ads, Native ads, Display ads, Audio Ads, Connected TV Ads, Shopping ads, Remarketing, Email Marketing, organic social media and more!
But as you think through these types of marketing there are different ways to control the audience of the traffic.
Let’s first talk about the ones that are easy to control the audience: Search (PPC, Pay per click, SEM), Video ads, Social Ads, Native ads, Display ads, Audio Ads, Connected TV Ads, and Shopping ads.
These are easier to control because are paid media and you are choosing and giving money to the audiences.
Also since you are paying it’s almost immediate traffic in so you can quickly realize if it’s the wrong traffic. Not all of these types of traffic sources can actually get to your audience effectively. It can be expensive if you are not working with experts in paid media and an advertising agency.
So while some ad types sound popular and you hear those digital marketing tactics a lot it doesn’t mean you should do it. You are also relying on these platforms to be able accurately to identify who they say they can. There are all kinds of nuances with each type of platform on how to target.
The one type that is not paid is email marketing and you own that audience because you built the email list. How that list was built though will determine if it is a good or bad list. There have even been recent updates in software that can grab the email from users who visit your website all while avoiding all spam laws. There are several metrics to pay attention to just inside of email marketing to know if the list is good such as open rate, click rate, and more.
The type of marketing that can be harder to control the audience is done through organic media or SEO, content marketing, and organic social media.
With this method, you are creating content in the form of written, audio, and video and trying to attract the right audience with the actual content. Oh the content creators, there are so many types and so many ways to engage with your audience. You need to produce a lot here to know what works and what doesn’t work in the actual content itself and the format.
Are you actually creating something new to say or just regurgitating what everyone else says can play a huge factor in whether you get the traffic. It’s also very muddy, whether you actually see where this traffic came from. These platforms are designed to keep you watching just like TV so you might see in your analytics a lot of mystery traffic spiking in all kinds of areas. Social media platforms thrive on keeping people on the platform for investors and ad money.
The fact of the matter is you need the content otherwise because if you drive paid traffic to a website that does not have informative content then you will drive traffic that doesn’t convert.
You are also at the mercy of constant changes in algorithms of what will get you the most reach. It is constantly changing but focusing on evergreen content or content that will stand the test of time is where you should start first. Another big difference is how quickly you can gain traffic with this method, it takes a while but compounds as you add it.
A Quick Case Study in Audience Targeting
After making a few changes in marketing strategies, a business experienced a 78% drop in users to the site. However, the number of transactions stayed relatively the same. (increased from 19 to 20).
After looking at the data, we noticed a significant reduction in social media ads, and after talking with the client, there was also a reduction in paid search, direct traffic, and a small decrease in referrals.
Now, that doesn’t mean that those channels were not good ways to market this product, but to lose them without any impact on sales means they could use some adjustment.
Perhaps the strategy needed to change inside these platforms to encourage the right type of traffic and not just general traffic.
After speaking further with this client, we found they moved a significant percentage of funds into influencer marketing. Nothing against influencer marketing but it was costing the same as the previous channels and didn’t substantially increase transactions.
The same concept applies here as in the previous channels in that, with different strategies there could be a more significant impact on cost vs. conversion. To be fair, this was a new brand, and they weren’t well known in the marketplace. If there are many competitors then it’s going to be difficult.
The moral of this story is to make sure that you are making data-driven marketing decisions. Review your data and make sure you see what’s working and what’s not based on changes made within your marketing plan.
Fear of the Unknown
Though there are many factors to consider, the one thing you shouldn’t fear in today’s marketing world is trying something new. If what you’re currently doing isn’t working, you must be willing to adjust and adapt. The moral of website traffic is quality or quantity but which one comes first? Usually, the quantity and then you start to narrow down and focus on what is qualified. You can’t have it all figured out at first but starting with a good digital marketing analysis and strategy is a good start! One thing is for sure is you should never rely on just one source of traffic. This can be a huge mistake as all of your eggs are in one basket. It’s like the stock market in that balance is the fair way to go.