Boosting your website’s traffic feels good. Similar to getting “Likes” on our Facebook posts, the more hits we get, the better we feel.
But too many businesses have developed tunnel vision as they search to bring in more traffic via paid advertising, content marketing and anything else that’ll increase traffic – almost as if every website view equates to another dollar in the bank.
Traffic has become a vanity metric – it’s a grossly misleading metric of success.
We’ve all seen companies post job adverts like this:
“We are looking for a conversion rate optimisation (CRO) rock star! We are an online health supplement store, averaging 40,000 hits a month but our conversion rates are extremely poor.”
Wow, that’s some decent traffic! But it leaves you wondering:
- How much time and money have they spent to gain that traffic?
- Do people want their product?
- If people do want it, will any of those visitors return?
- If they’d paid attention to CRO at the start, where would they be?
CRO and traffic are a balancing act. It isn’t a case of focusing on traffic for a few months and then switching over to CRO. You should do both of them together.
“For how long?” For as long as you want your product to exist.
Focusing 100% on traffic is a terrible idea. And here’s why…
Focusing all efforts on traffic will hinder your bottom line more than it will help it
Let’s say that you launch a Facebook ad campaign in tandem with a landing page; they take a few days to create but they boost your website’s traffic by 20% in one week. And… nobody converts. That 20% doesn’t sound so good now does it?
You’ve spent time and money on nothing. Well, you could argue “brand awareness,” but if a sharp spike in traffic doesn’t return any conversions – you know something’s wrong.
If that same amount of money was put into CRO to look at your landing page design, calls to action, and copy… just a 1% increase in conversions makes a big difference.
With a 1-2% increase in conversion rate optimisation, you’re in a much greater position for your next traffic push – as your website is proven to be more effective at generating leads and sales moving forward. Now, investing time into traffic makes sense.
So what’s the answer? Focus on traffic and CRO from the start.
Drive traffic, study the results, perform CRO tests, make changes, repeat!
Learn and optimize to make your traffic count.
You should never be celebrating traffic for traffic’s sake – what was the conversion rate from that traffic? That’s the metric that matters.
Getting a website live is an ordeal. We invest so much time designing, building, editing and launching them that it gets to a point where we just want to be done with it. We want to switch our attention towards traffic to grow our business.
But, a website is never ever “done.” Just like your website’s yearly domain renewal fee, continual conversion rate optimization and traffic are essential to keep it alive.