Traffic is meaningless if it doesn't convert

A common sense reminder about the value of website traffic

Don’t get too excited about high traffic volumes per se unless you’re converting a reasonable number of people to buyers. Visitors are pretty meaningless unless some of them buy. If you’re getting gazillions of traffic but bugger-all sales there’s probably something wrong with your website. In which case it’s wise to ask questions:

  • what page are visitors arriving on?
  • what page do they leave your site from?
  • does the way they’re behaving reveal any clues about what’s putting them off?
  • is the page they’re landing on relevant to their search?

Perhaps your site is fine. But what about your prices?

You can attract traffic ’til you’re blue in the face but if you’re too expensive, people won’t buy.

It’s even possible that your DIY SEO efforts are driving the wrong kind of people to your site despite your best intentions. Check your key words and phrases to make sure you’re visible to potential customers, not just interested observers and casual passers by. You might even test drive a bunch of longer tail key phrases to see if you can target your message more accurately.

If you’re lost in space and can’t find any immediate clues for non-conversion, change one element of your site’s content at a time and wait and see if the change improves matters. If it doesn’t, put things back the way they were and change something else. How come? If you change too many elements at once you won’t be able to tell which had the strongest positive effect on sales.

Struggling? Try conversion analysis

If you’re struggling to make the sales you think you deserve, bone up on the fine detail of conversion analysis – it’s a complex, ever-changing subject in its own right – and put yourself in a position of real, ongoing power.