A lot of small business owners know that they should pay attention to their web traffic and care about how many people visit their website because it can be a good way to assess your overall popularity and the quality of your content. What many business owners don’t realize is that the behavior of people on a website and how they are converting may be even more important, especially for understanding the sales funnel and metrics relating to your conversion rates. Here’s why.
Let’s start with what a conversion is. A conversion is anything that you decide is significant as far as sales or relationships. It’s different for every business, but for some, filling out a contact form is a conversion. For others, simply visiting a contact page may be counted as a conversion. Depending on your website analytics or paid advertising goals, maybe you count conversions for getting visitors to click your number on their phone and speak with your staff, or even put something in their digital cart and proceed to through checkout to the order confirmation. Whatever it is, a conversion is the action that you decide sets people apart from just browsing to initiating a more meaningful contact or actual sale with your business.
So why should you care about conversions?
First, a lot of web traffic is spam. It seems like no matter what web developers try, there is still spam referral traffic. If we notice these spammy web visits (that aren’t actually from people but instead are from automated ‘bots’ that go around the internet looking for information, vulnerabilities, and who knows what else), we can filter that traffic and make it so this doesn’t interfere with your Analytics. You don’t want to be excited one month when traffic is up if it’s actually from a bot that visited your site 1,000 times in one day. For this reason, traffic alone isn’t good enough for analyzing your visitors.
Second, in many ways, your digital marketing is more about quality than quantity. Here’s an example. Let’s say you figure out your average sale per customer and it is $100. And you know that 1 in 4 people who fill out your contact form (something you have decided is a conversion) comes to your store to make a purchase, then that means that each person to fill out your contact form is worth $25. So what if you usually get 100 visits per day and 10 of them fill out your contact form, but suddenly traffic spikes to 1,000 visits per day? Great, right? Well, if there are still only 10 people who fill out a contact form, then the added traffic doesn’t add value because they didn’t convert. That extra website traffic either means they didn’t find your site useful, or are not interested at this time. Maybe something about your website is hard to navigate, or you’re seeing that pesky spam traffic—it requires more analyzation, but the added quantity does not signify quality.
Now what if your website traffic goes from 100 visits per day down to only get 50 website visits per day? Isn’t that bad? Not if your conversions go up, or even stay the same. Maybe you get 20 of those people to convert, which means $500 in average sales compared to $250 for the time when you had higher traffic.
Of course there are more details that can go into figuring out the value of these conversions based on your actual business, but that’s the gist of it. It’s terribly important to understand what a conversion is, what it means to your business, and how much it’s worth. Once you know these things, then you know how much is prudent to spend on marketing. Maybe a conversion is worth $500 to you because the average customer uses your business multiple times. If that’s true, then why not spend a little more on paid advertising to bring in more of these customers? If you are still coming out ahead in the end and making a profit, then you’ll be glad you knew the value of your conversions and how much to spend to get them!