Of course it’s satisfying to see increases in your website visits – but how many of those visitors will end up as customers? A volume of site visitors is important, but unless you’re in the business of creating site visits, what you really want is customers.
While it may not be precisely easy to “turn up” site volume, it is a problem you can solve with some fairly objective tactics. Optimized SEO with the right keywords can help; so do inbound link placements around the web and paid ads that attract a well-defined target audience. You’re most likely using all of those things, and you should keep using them. You may also have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media—and you should stay there. But don’t get hung up on likes and followers and site visits. Your real goal should be to convert your volume of visitors into quality customers.
Understanding Visitor Quality
Assuming that you have traffic to your website and that some percentage of those visits is quality traffic, there are a number of metrics that can be used to understand the quality of your traffic (and fine tune your site and activities to get more high quality traffic).
- Conversion rate is the best measure of the quality of your visitors but depending on your product or service, it may be the final step in a long path to purchasing. If your site offers steps along the path to conversion, like content downloads or specific pages that indicate an interest before a purchase is made, track visits to those as well. The micro-conversions are useful touchpoints to understand how people are progressing towards the final purchase, and excellent ways to measure traffic quality.
IMPORTANT NOTE about conversion rate: The ability of visitors to convert to customers is often affected by how conversion-friendly your website is. If it’s difficult for visitors to buy your product or service given the way your site is designed, increases in visitor volume won’t help you much.
- Bounce rate is the number of people who visit one page on your site and then leave without going forward. Those “bouncers” may end up with a little more awareness of who you are, but not much more. A high bounce rate is usually a sign of poor traffic quality.
- Average pages per visit and average visit duration give you a broad indication of how much time a visitor is spending with your site. It’s good to know, but don’t read too much into it. Visitors may be trying to learn about your product with no real intention to buy, and maybe all they’re learning is that they can’t find what they’re looking for. Whether this number should be high or low depends on the nature of your site. If it’s designed for quick-in, quick-out purchasing, low numbers may be OK. If your site is information-heavy or you sell a lot of companion products, high numbers are probably better.
- Site search usage tells you what visitors are looking for and how many searches they do within your site. From this information, you can get an idea what a typical visit is like for a potential customer, and you can use that information to tailor their experience.
- Product page or other key page visits tell you how many visitors are looking at crucial pages for converting visitors to customers. Such pages might be an FAQ page of the type you’d expect a serious buyer to visit, or a “contact us” page.
You can use information about pages per visit, duration, site search, and page visits with Google Analytics to describe your quality traffic. Quality traffic represents visitors who are most likely to buy your product or service. They’re the ones you’re most likely to convert from visitors to customers.
There is no simple answer to improving the quality of your traffic, but it starts by recognizing that not all traffic is the same. Then, identify what aspects make up good traffic – where it comes from and how those visitors behave once they’re on your site.
Using that information to do more of what’s attracting quality traffic and less of what isn’t is the key to go from having a volume of traffic to having a volume of quality traffic.
If you find yourself with volume but poor quality, and if you’re ready to shoot for that volume of quality, let us know. PR Brigade can help.