When looking to start a digital marketing campaign, and going through the process of finding the right agency for you, what are the key metrics that are driving your choices in how you choose? Understanding these is fundamentally important before you start this process, to make sure you choose the right partner to work with on your digital marketing campaigns. If you are like most business owners, your key metric will be 'new sales', which are usually driven by phone calls, web form leads, ecommerce transactions. And while website traffic is important to get you in front of these potential new customers, it is not the most important metric a business looking to drive sales should be focussing on. Because after all, just because you get traffic, it doesn't mean it is the right traffic that will convert to new sales.
Many digital marketing agencies place an inordinate amount of focus on only increasing your website traffic, as measured by the number of unique visitors and page views to your website, and as such, misalign what a true goals for your business is against your own business goals. And often this leads to no ROI, or a very poor ROI.
In this article, we discuss why improving website traffic is not the most important factor to consider in a digital marketing campaign, and why you should be placing your main emphasis on conversion rates to drive your digital marketing strategies.
Increasing traffic is not enough
Don't get us wrong, website traffic is important, as without visitors, be it on your website, or in your shop, practice or any other physical outlet, you don't have the chance to sell your product. But traffic without a conversion driven focus is just that, traffic, and it may well not be enough to increase sales. Increasing traffic often results in a decreased conversion rate so a winning digital strategy must be able to increase traffic while maintaining or improving the conversion rate.
A basic point to remember is that a visitor to your website is not yet a customer. A visitor is merely a ‘tyre kicker’ until a transaction is completed. An agency that promises a digital strategy focussed only on increasing site traffic will be very unlikely to take you where you need. In fact, if conversions are not a core part of their discussions, you likely want to end that conversation right then.
Define and tracking conversions
Not all campaigns and websites start off perfect. However the more data you get from a campaign, the more data you have to refine both your campaigns and website to further increase conversions. Your digital marketing agency must be able to setup and track as many conversions as possible, and demonstrate that an increase in the number of unique visitors or page views is increasing the number of completed transactions and revenue.
One of the biggest metrics that is failed to be setup by most agencies for tracking, is for phone calls. And yet, for many businesses, phone calls are a primary driver of conversions. Tracking this is very easy using a proper call tracking solution.
Not all agencies include this subject in their conversations with clients. Some neglect it due to a lack of experience. Others purposefully ignore it to avoid being held accountable for their work.
Tactics to increase the conversion rate
There are many tactics an agency can use to increase conversion rates for their clients. We outline nine below to emphasise the importance of having a well-thought-out view on conversions as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Creating quality content can increase the conversion rate in two ways. For example, prepare succinct, informative service/product descriptions. Back these up with user reviews. Make sure these are refreshed frequently. These tactics can produce outsized results. Firstly, they generate quality leads. Secondly, search engines will rank the website higher. Research shows that more than 70 per cent of unpaid (organic) clicks go to the top three search results.
Video and image marketing
Most people absorb information better visually rather than textually. We all love watching videos and looking at images. For example, product descriptions can be enhanced by including appealing images and videos. Creating video and image content can help your website visitors engage with your textual content and increase the conversion rate.
Build a blog as part of your site
Explore the possibility of your website content including a blog. A successful blog will build your reputation as an expert, increase your domain authority, boost your brand visibility, increase your organic traffic and develop trust for the products and services you offer without directly selling them.
These positives will drive prospective new customers to your website during their pre-purchase information gathering phase, and eventually boost conversions.
Good examples are the Garmin Blog in the field of sports fitness and the Suunto Blog for its line of smart sports watches and electronic adventure devices. Both have focussed on blog topics that interest and engage their audiences, building up a following that then becomes brand recognition, loyalty and eventual conversions.
Compelling call-to-action (CTAs)
Your high quality content should include a convincing call-to-action that aligns with the content. Both the CTA copy and format are important. The text must be short, sharp and unambiguous. The format should boldly differentiate the CTA from the rest of the content.
Pop-ups can help convert the visitor into a paying customer. They can be designed to appear when the visitor adopts a particular behaviour, like abandoning a shopping cart. The pop-ups might offer the visitor a special offer before leaving the site. It might be a credit voucher, a two-for-one deal, free shipping, and so on. Take care to avoid the pop-ups being invasive or annoying, or being the first thing someone sees when landing on your site (timed popups are more effective).
Proactive chat sessions
Initiated chat session to help the visitor through the purchase process can also be really effective in increasing conversions. It is important if you use live chat, to make sure it is properly monitored and quickly responded to for those customers who initiate the chat with you first.
Engage prospective customers on social media
There is an enormous upside to this tactic. According to HubSpot, a good conversion rate for a web page with a CTA is about 2 percent. Intuit Mailchimp puts the figure at somewhere between 2 and 5 percent.
This statistic means that, for an e-commerce website, only about 2 percent of prospective customers complete a purchase on their first visit. The upside is that you can follow-up with the remaining 98 percent by engaging with them where they hang out on social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and so on.
In the normal run of events, the messaging on social media should support your marketing objectives but follow, rather than lead, the conversation that naturally develops on these platforms. Adapting your marketing message, reframing it to match the context of those conversations that you do not control, is the skill required for success.
A well-designed email campaign can be used to support your social media activity and boost conversions. The emails should focus on providing easily accessible interactive content and product offers to encourage your leads, prospective customers, to engage and complete a sales transaction.
A realistic target is for an email campaign to boost the existing conversion rate by as much as 20 percent – from 2 percent to 2.4 percent. To flesh that out, if your e-commerce website has one million unique visitors per month and the average transaction value is $50, that 0.4 per cent lift translates to additional sales of 4,000 x $50 = $200,000 per month.
SMS marketing supports email marketing campaigns. It delivers short, time-critical information plainly aimed at driving traffic to the site specifically to complete a transaction. The obvious example is text messages offering time-limited price discounts for flash sales. Most people open their text messages – SMS have a higher ‘open rate’ – compared to emails, so you can be more confident that they will be read.
Increasing website traffic is important, but increasing the conversion rate is just as, if not more, important. Boosting that rate is essential to increasing the return on your marketing investment. If you are looking to work with a digital marketing agency that will focus on your conversion rate just as much as growing your website traffic, get in touch with Quantum today to learn more about our services and how we can increase your revenue.