By Josh Ledgard
It’s shocking, but you don’t want one million page views. What you want is quality traffic. Traffic that’s going to convert more. If you simply measure overall traffic with a goal of driving up page views to your site and landing pages you’re missing the point.
Imagine you sell cars and your job all day is to call people and convince them to buy from you. You have two lists of people that you could make sales calls to. The first list is people that had previously bought a car from you 2-4 years ago. The second list was randomly selected from your local phone book. Which list would you spend the time calling?
Obviously the first list! Even if the first list only had 100 people vs 500 for the second list, I would still choose the first list. That’s because they’re qualified leads and have shown a positive interest toward your product. A previous buyer is much more likely to buy again.
Building web traffic is no different. An essential component of increasing the amount of traffic that goes to your landing page is making sure the leads are qualified. Here are five tips to help to help you build more qualified traffic:
Blogging is a good way to plant seeds of qualified traffic. Focus on content – high quality content is rare and valuable, especially since there are plenty of poorly researched content on the internet. But be warned – this is a slow and deliberate process. The blog is there as a long term strategy to develop and demonstrate your expertise and value. It won’t give you that magical boost you’re looking for. But keep working at it and it’ll pay off in the long run.
2. Leverage your existing mailing list.
Don’t just let great content die on your blog. Promote it first to the people who’ve already done business with you… your existing mailing list. Leverage that trust and ask them to tell their friends about it.
3. Cross promote with complementary services
Pick up the phone and start calling some the industry leaders that provide complementary services. Ask them to allow you to market with them, and make sure to offer an incentive. Another way of doing this is guest blogging – find some content providers and write a really good post for them. Let them write a post for your blog as well.
4. Participate in online discussions
Answer questions and stir up conversations on industry blogs and forums. It’s a good opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise. As you make a name for yourself, start driving traffic back to your website. Be careful not to spam – provide good comments, and leave a short link in your signature.
5. Turn off the wrong traffic by excluding them.
This works great in highly competitive industries as a way to differentiate yourself. As you start pushing away certain segments of your market, you draw others closer. It works because people love to feel like they’re part of an exclusive club. Your traffic might drop a little, but your conversion rate should make up for it.
And of course, whenever you isolate a potential audience, use your judgment and do it strategically.
Once you start building a steady stream of traffic, it’s time to pinpoint where the highest sources of meaningful conversions are coming from.
1. Segment by source, domain, or campaign IDs.
Break down your traffic into as many different categories as you can. Your sources of traffic may be coming from paid advertisements, referrals, guest blogging, organic search, or from an audience you built up yourself. After you segment by category, break it down further by identifying your major campaigns within each category.
2. Quantify conversions
After you segment your traffic, list the average conversion rate and revenue next to each one. I recommend using a timeframe from 1 to 3 months (reasoning behind that is that some businesses are more cyclical than others). Sort this by the conversion rate and you have your highest converting segments. It sounds obvious at first, but this can often reveal a disconnect between a company’s strategy and what is really going on. If your core customer acquisition strategy is supposed to be from organic growth and word of mouth, there’s a problem if most of your conversions are from PPC (pay per click) advertisements!
3. Double down
Now that you know which sources of traffic are qualified, it’s time to double down on those efforts.
This awesome picture represents the sales funnel for a typical business. There are sources of traffic coming from A, B, C and D.
Visitors from A see your website and leave almost immediately. They hate you and you’ll never figure out why.
Visitors from D will hang around for a while, but most of them also leave without buying anything.
People from B is where you start making a little bit of money.
But look at C – now that is where the revenue is coming from. If C for you represents guest blogging, write more posts. If it represents an outside referral source- find out who that source is and partner up with them. Send them a fruit basket (do people still do that?).
I pulled up some metrics here at KickoffLabs and took a look a few random recent buyers. You’ll be surprised how good an approximation you’ll get simply by looking at the source of your last 10 conversions.
Looking at the above, one of our recent buyers was referred by Quora. We haven’t been there for a while but we’re still getting a lot of qualified leads from there. We should probably spend some more time there!
So now you know what to do, but how are you actually going to do it? Here are some tools to help you measure and track your goals:
Google Analytics Goals
KickoffLabs is integrated with Google Analytics and Google Analytics Goals to measure website activity (such as number of visits, unique visitors, average time on site, average pages viewed and other statistics), and track your goals.
With Google Analytics Goals, you can keep track of a range of different conversion goals. The goal might be number of orders, number of people who sign up for your newsletter, etc.
Goals are easy to set up, keep track of, and help you stay on top of your performance, as well as trends within your business.
These guys provide advanced tracking tools that can help you set up a sales funnel and measure all the actions that a visitor has taken.
A clear understanding of your sales funnel can help point out where your process needs improvement. You’ll be able to see which campaigns are working, which aren’t working, and how to make adjustments to perfect your process.
So for this week, focus on building a stream of high quality traffic, and remember to measure as you go along.
– Josh, Co-founder KickoffLabs