Why Conversion Rate Could Be The Most Important Number For Your Business (And What You Can Do About It)
Every day, all over the world, marketing people sign off on eye-watering budgets with one aim in mind. Getting people to visit the site.
If you are a B2B organisation that might involve spending on LinkedIn or Google AdWords, perhaps leading with the seductive offer of a free introductory consultancy or even (gasp) eBook.
In the B2C world, even larger amounts of money support even more online carpet bombing all working on the same premise: getting people to the site means inevitable revenue.
But does it?
Well, yes and no. Yes, because if some revenue wasn’t forthcoming then you can be sure these campaigns wouldn’t last too long.
But no, because the numbers lost after clicking on any given ad and arriving at any given site would drive any self-respecting digital strategist to distraction. But to quote one now notorious Mancunian miserablist: this story is old, I know, but still it goes on.
That’s why the industry needs to wake up and make a simple pledge:
I Pledge To Stop Pouring Champagne Into A Leaky Bucket
Let’s do some simple maths. If one click on Google AdWords costs me €5, 10,000 visitors cost me €50,000.
Now recent research from Wordstream suggests that the industry average conversion rate of traffic to leads (not customers) is around 2.35%. So that €50,000 bought us 235 leads. I hope we’re selling diamond-encrusted unicorns because if we’re not I have a bad feeling about this already.
But that isn’t really the point. I want you to think carefully about the best way to get double the number of leads. Is it:
A) Spend another €50,000 on Google AdWords? or
B) Conduct an A/B testing, optimisation and landing page development program to try and change 2.3% to 4.6%?
Yes, you’ve got it. The answer is B. But you’d be surprised. As marketers it is so easy to keep doing the easy thing, the visible thing and the volume thing. And that thing is spending money on what everyone else spends money on, and buying more champagne to throw into your sieve.
On the other hand, the moment you realise - really realise - that of every 100 people who you painfully and expensively get onto your website you lose 97, you’ll start to lose faith with that approach.
When that happens, here’s four things you can do.
I’ve Taken The Pledge, Now I Go To Work
Start measuring. Sounds obvious, very rarely taken seriously. This is the most important number in your business, so start measuring it, start recording it (so you can observe trends and make comparisons) and start making sure everyone who has any bearing on this number is judged on it.
Diversify. Many smart businesses do this already, some do not do it at all. Both sets should do it some more. Build bespoke landing pages for specific ad groups or individual ads. Create alternative versions of the home page and key landing pages, and serve these variants within controlled A/B testing programs to establish which does the best job when it comes to conversion
Get creative. Give the loose cannons in your organisation (or agency) free rein to come up with innovative and even plain eccentric ideas for increasing conversion. Test them carefully). We replaced a conventional form with a chatbot for one client on one specific landing page. The result: a 256% increase in conversions - and a saving of €250,000 in our example above.
Turn things off. Some ads and ad campaigns just suck. If you can’t do anything with them despite all your best efforts, at least you can now assume they are delivering garbage and turn them off with confidence. There’s another saving for you.
So there you go. Take the pledge, start taking action, and start seeing the most important number in your business moving in the right direction. You’ll never look back.
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