The majority of business owners and marketers are focusing just on the traffic that is coming to their website. Getting more traffic is the only goal and most of the time, the only thing that gets any attention. So, they spend all of their digital marketing dollars on Google ads, display ads, advertising on social media. All of these campaigns are designed just to send traffic to their website.

The problem with this is, more traffic doesn’t mean more business. If you are not getting the “right” person to your site, they won’t have any interest in what you are selling. Or if you are getting the “right” person to your site, but they can’t find what they are interested in, then they’ll just leave. Either way, your not going to get more business with these people.

All Traffic Costs Money

Let’s start by agreeing that all traffic costs money. It doesn’t matter if it’s PPC ads, display ads, or optimizing your site for the search engines. Everything that you do to drive traffic to your site costs money and because of this, it’s really important that you stop worrying just about traffic coming to your site and start to look at the conversion rate of your website.

What’s A Conversion

According to the folks over at MarketingSherpa, a conversion is “The point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs the desired action.” In other words, when you get someone on your website, Facebook page, or someone reading your email message, to do what you want them to do.

Some conversions are really easy to understand. Conversions like someone filling out the contact us form on your website, or someone that buys something on your website. These are really simple and important conversions and they are really easy to understand and measure.

Some conversions, however, aren’t as simple to understand or to measure. A conversion on a website could be someone taking the time to really read the information that you have about your product’s description. Or, a conversion could be someone reading more than 2 pages on your site. These conversions aren’t nearly as simple to see or measure, but they are still an important conversion in the process of someone doing business with you.

Why Conversion Focus Is Important

Let’s take a look at conversions in a “real world” application. Let’s say that you own a retail store. You get about 100 people to come into your store every single day. But, out of those 100 people, only about 4 people actually buy something. You can bet that it won’t be long before your business starts running out of money. So, what would you do in this situation?

A) Spend more money on advertising so that you can get 200 people to come into your store every day?

B) Find out why more people aren’t buying and make the changes that will get them to buy?

Ok, that one is obvious. The challenge is, in your retail store, you can just start to ask everyone that is coming into your store what they want, why they came to your store and have a conversation with them that will help you understand what to give them to increase your business. With digital marketing, you have to learn from your website’s data.

Where To Start

So, if you’ve stuck with me to this point, I’m going to assume that you see the value of focusing on conversions and you’re more than just curious about how to get started improving the conversions on your website. As with all digital marketing efforts, to successfully increase your conversion rates you have to develop a plan. There are 4 main parts to a conversion plan:

  1. Identify what your goals are for conversions
  2. Develop a baseline
  3. Set up a way to measure your results
  4. Develop a testing procedure for improvement
  5. Evaluate and improve

This blog post is a 2-part series. The completion to this post will review the 4 parts to a conversion plan and will be available on Thursday. You’ll be able follow this link, after Thursday to read the remainder of this post.