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“Average online conversion is 2.35%, with the top 25% of companies at 5.31% and the top 10% at 11.45%”

Wordstream

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“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.”

Jeff Eisenberg

Decoding Modern Marketing

3. Digital conversions

During my agency’s initial discovery with new clients, one of the most common situations we uncover is that their conversion rates are low. They often have a good flow of traffic to their website and social sites, but their ability to convert that traffic into sales, or potential sales, is disappointing. This is usually because they do not have the systematic approach to qualifying, cultivating and converting that traffic that we have been discussing.

It only makes sense to work to increase conversion rates, which are far more under your control, than to spend more to develop more traffic to feed anemic conversion rates.

Traffic is difficult and expensive to create. While it is possible to create it organically, it often also requires pricey one-time advertising. Conversion by comparison is inexpensive. The cost of researching the psychology of your prospects, planning an engagement strategy, automation and content software and even the team to manage it, is small compared to the cost of continually buying media to drive traffic that then isn’t converted.

When someone invariably says “What’s the low hanging fruit?” the answer is usually improve your conversion rates. But conversion rates depend on many factors and can be misleading if not understood.

Your conversion rates are a product of all the work you’ve diligently done from your planning to designing your brand and implementing your marketing campaigns. However, since so much of that work occurs in highly measurable digital channels there are often many small things that you can do to tweak the overall conversion rate. These range from how you design your landing pages and forms, to fine-tuning content, response speed and so on. The great news is this can be a very controllable process, where you can constantly test, measure and refine.

The result is that many small improvements to your content and user experience can have a big impact in aggregate.

This optimization process begins with careful study of the click paths that different personas take through your website and their key interactions along those click paths. Among these journeys are opportunities to increase the performance of many small interactions by small amounts. Together these small improvements of, say, a tenth of a point each, quickly add up to serious increases in your overall conversion rate.

While a focus on overall conversion rates for your Owned media, such as your website, is well and good, it is, however, too broad a brush to be useful in maximizing performance. Instead you should focus on the micro-conversion rates for all the key steps that contribute to the overall sale. Conversion rate optimization works best when tied to micro-conversions, such as viewing a landing page, watching a video, clicking a link or completing a form on a landing page; that’s because they help your team focus on achievable incremental improvement. Breaking conversion rates down further by referring channel, for example, will also help you better understand the different dynamics of different audiences and acquisition channels, and will enable your team to better focus their efforts.

This work requires a thoughtful approach because it is important to see the real significance of every action. For example, when consumers increase the frequency of visits because you make your site more engaging, that may not increase the frequency of buying. Instead, it could actually reduce your overall conversion rate, despite your success in strengthening your content marketing. Another example might be the distortion that would be created if you included visitors, in your overall conversion rate calculation, who are checking the status of their orders, or reviewing your ‘careers’ page. These scenarios underscore the importance of identifying and understanding what drives key conversion rates, and how they influence the final results you are seeking.