You have painstakingly crafted a killer website, written 'content' worthy to be called the 'king', and effectively leveraged search engine marketing to drive a substantial amount of visitors to your website. You except sales to soar but sales are low or not where you want them to be. You wonder 'why' because every bit was executed with precision. Perhaps you overlooked a very essential bit – the website was not optimized for conversion.
The Internet has evolved from a lesser used market place to an overly competitive marketing arena. In the given circumstances, reaching to the top of SERPs is difficult if not impossible. Paid search is a good option to augment organic traffic, but is used in tandem with search engine optimization. Even if the perfect union of the two is created, the traffic you can get will plateau (barring stray instances).
It is therefore imperative to understand that traffic is not the 'be all and end all'; converting visitors into customers is as important as having them in the first place. You may win the 'battle for traffic' but if the website is not optimized conversion you will 'lose the war'.
Website conversion rate theory
Conversion happens when visitors come to your website perform a predefined action. This predefined action is mostly referred to as a goal. Conversion rate is therefore the percentage of visitors who perform the desired action / goal.
Websites have different goals and a single website may have more than one goal. The goal depends on your business objective. An actual purchase, submission of a sales inquiry, signing up for a free resource like newsletter, subscription to future promotional offers, etc. are some common goals.
Based on the goal (s), website conversion can be broadly classified into three types:
1.Informational Conversion: This type of conversion happens when the visitor finds the information he / she is looking.
2.Transformational Conversion: When a visitor subscribes to a free service such as a newsletter, transformational conversion is said to have happened.
3.Transactional Conversion: When an actual sale happens or the business receives money from any other activity (visitor clicking on advertisements) performed by the visitors, transactional conversion happens.
(For a detailed clarification on website conversion theory, please refer Basic Website Conversion Theory)
Most online businesses are built to achieve transformational and / or transactional conversion of some sort. There are many perceived benefits of conversion rate optimization and all of them will only add to what you are already achieving with your website.
The incentives of achieving increased conversion rate
Conversion rate optimization makes perfect business sense, especially in the present financial conditions. Maximizing conversion rate will help you realize increased return on investment (ROI). It will also ensure the worth of every marketing dollar you spend and there are ample reasons to believe so. Mentioned below are some of them:
- Increasing conversion rate will give your business more customers (read sales revenues and profits) – the most obvious one.
- It will reduce the customer acquisition cost.
- You can earn more profits than your competitors even if they get more visitors than your website.
- Keeping the overheads constant, conversion rate is directly proportional to your profit and feeds directly into your bottom line.
- The increase in profit, as a direct result of conversion rate optimization, will help you make your online business more robust. The profit can be utilized to expand your offerings and consolidate your online presence.
- Your direct competitors may not have optimized their website for conversions but will as soon as they realize the benefits. Optimizing your website for conversion now will give you the 'advantage'.
Picture this – for every 100 visitors you get 5 goal conversions which effectively mean that the website conversion rate is 5%. On the other hand it also means that 95 visitors do not perform the desired action. Making changes to your website could very well increase the website's conversion rate to 10%. Your sales double, and your cost per acquisition is reduced by half.
Conversion optimization is the most certain way of converting your website into a money making machine. Also, conversions are a good measure of return on investment (ROI) and a KPI that you can not afford to ignore.