I’ve got the Traffic, But Not the Conversion – What’s Wrong?

What is wrong when you are getting hundreds, or perhaps thousands of visitors every day but your sales from the Web are not improving

Your traffic is growing but this is not reflected in your traffic conversion – find out reasons why.

Traffic conversion is the ultimate goal of any online business – having a good amount of traffic (site visitors) coming into your website on a daily, weekly and monthly basis is critical to your survival.

But what happens when you are getting hundreds, or perhaps thousands of visitors every month but your sales from the Web are not improving – what does this mean and what can you do to resolve this?

Here are 7 reasons why you may have high traffic but low conversion.

What is traffic conversion exactly?

Firstly, let’s explain exactly what traffic conversion is. Most people who do not work in online marketing may assume that it is a direct sale. However, a conversion rate can apply to a few key metrics and this will vary depending on your business model. An information site may have goals that relate to distributing information while an e-commerce site may focus on goals that relate to sales.  Examples of online KPIs you may set for your site include:

  • downloading an information brochure
  • subscribing to a newsletter
  • filling in an online inquiry form
  • subscribing to an RSS feed
  • downloading a free trial
  • filling out a survey
  • booking a hotel room
  • making a payment

Your website should be a sales funnel designed to filter visitors towards conversion and analysis tools such as Google Analytics should be set up so that you can see where visitors are exiting your site or if there are possible stumbling blocks to conversion. Now you are clearer on what qualifies as a conversion goal, let’s take a closer look at the possible reasons why traffic conversion may be a problem.

Quantity not quality traffic

With Search Engine Optimisation and traffic conversion, there is a definite difference between quality and quantity traffic. A keyword portfolio will compromise of both ‘money’ keywords that drive buyers and ‘broad’ keywords that drive browsers. If you are not able to convert the traffic visiting your site, this could mean your visitors are just browsers or could be coming from a different city or even a country that you don’t market to (see below).

Over promising and under delivering

Sometimes traffic is driven to your site but because of a keyword mismatch eg landing pages targeting people looking for luxury hotels when you are managing a three-star motel – visitors may be bouncing off your site because their needs simply are not being met by your website. Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist at Google says if you want to improve traffic conversion rates – there must be a strong link between customer intent and the Web page purpose.

Stumbling blocks to conversion

A simple way to channel site visitors to your contact forms, booking engines, or shopping cart is to have large, multiple call to action buttons visible above the fold on your website. The less clicks it takes for a visitor to get to this point, the better. E-commerce sites such as eBay are incorporating features such as ‘Live Help’ to assist customers – making it as easy as possible for your customers to complete the conversion process.

Technically-unfriendly website

As well as hard to find call to action buttons, the technical structure of your website may present issues and it is recommended that you hire an SEO expert to look at your SEO design if your conversion rate is of concern. In a worst case scenario, it may even mean a redesign of your website. The technical issues affecting your traffic conversion leading to high abandonment rates may include:

  • slow loading times
  • a poor navigation structure and low usability
  • an annoying Web design such as Flash splash pages, background music or advertisement-heavy content
  • an unsecured site or a website design that does not convey high trust, authority or credibility.

These technical obstacles in your website design need to be addressed in order to convert traffic driven to your website by your SEO activities and ensure your online business remains profitable.  If your bounce rate is high i.e. visitors are exiting within 10 seconds of landing on your website, this may signify that there is a problem with your website design.

The product is not compelling

You may be doing all the right things to reach SEO nirvana and this may be a little ‘ouch’ but the products or services you are offering simply may not be at the right price point, the quality may be lacking or your customer service may not be at a premium. Promotion is only one of the five ‘P’s of the marketing mix that your online team needs to focus on:

  • Product – products and services offered and how they differentiate from your competitors (unique selling point).
  • Price – setting a fair price for your products and services so you remain competitive but still profitable.
  • Place – also known as distribution or the sales channel. This is where your products and services are sold.
  • Promotion – the methods used to communicate the benefits and advantages of your products and services to your target market.
  • People – the level of customer service you provide to your customer.

If your traffic is high and visitors are able to navigate to your Web pages without any difficulty but traffic conversion is low, then you may want to assess the types of products you are offering customers, whether your products and services are competitively priced and whether you are targeting the right audience with your keyword selection.

Wrong geographic location

If you have a percentage of traffic that is not converting, it may simply be visitors who are searching for your product in a different region. For example, if you are operating an e-commerce site that sells clothing but only ships to certain regions, potential buyers will be forced to purchase from another merchant. You may want to consider optimizing your website for geographic keywords that will help you increase your SERPS for local searches – this is called geo-targeting.

People are contacting you by phone

If your phone number is readily displayed, it could be that your visitors are calling you.  Monitor your calls on a weekly basis and compare them to changes in the website’s traffic. However, don’t become complacent – if people are contacting you directly, they may not be able to find the information they require on your website. This may suggest a problem with your navigation structure, landing pages or conversion paths and a website redesign may be needed.

These are just some of the issues that may mean the difference between a high bounce rate and a high conversion rate. Successful SEO is about maximizing return on investment – there is no point of an SEO company increasing visitor numbers if there are problems with conversion. If your traffic is high but conversion is low, contact us to find out how we can improve your traffic conversion and improve your SEO return on investment.