So you've been debating the question - website traffic or conversions? Which one is more important? Well, it might seem like a trick question - and that's because it is. Both are important, but if you are looking for an answer the simple response is this: visitors don’t bring revenue—customers do.
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The question of traffic vs. conversion might be harder for you to answer if you don't have a clear idea of what conversion is. Simply put, a conversion is getting someone to respond to your Call-to-Action (CTA) on your website. This is important because after responding to your CTA, that person is moving further down the buyer's journey and one step closer to a sale.
Once you understand that conversion means you are locking in visitors as potential leads, you will probably start to look at your website a little differently. When you look at your company's website do you see places where you can convert those visitors to leads? Are you at least getting their email address so you can nurture them?
If not then you might as well be Princess Buttercup falling into that lightning quicksand in The Princess Bride. You are drowning in website traffic but no leads are coming from it. If you are looking for the Dread Pirate Roberts to save you from the fire swamp of low conversion rates, then you'll be waiting a long time. Instead you should turn to inbound marketing to rescue you.
While it might not be as catchy as Inigo Montoya's revengeful tagline, Inbound marketing delivers a powerful and useful methodology; Attract, Convert, Close, Delight.
The Inbound methodology is a system that will help you increase your conversion rate, and lead generation through enticing the right kind of traffic to your website, turning them into customers, and promoters of your business.
You want people coming to your site who are most likely to become leads. Targeting a smaller, niche audience means your sales team doesn’t have to waste their time eliminating a mountain of unqualified leads. Furthermore, you can define this smaller market as your ideal customers by creating buyer personas. That way the content you create to attract visitors to your site is directed at a specific type of person with a certain tone of voice.
Once you’re honing in on a very specific crowd, you’ve automatically filtered out the red herrings and the majority of your leads will already be qualified. So your sales team can spend time selling instead of weeding out junk. Here are some of the tools that, if used correctly, can attract the right people to your site.
A blog is a great way to create educational content that answers questions and eases the pain points of your specific buyer personas. By doing this you establish your business as an industry expert and attract visitors to your website that actually relate to your business.
If you’re using generic keywords for SEO (search engine optimization), you might draw a larger audience. You’ll also have a much harder time ranking high in search results. Instead, focus on very specific long-tail keywords that target a smaller—but highly interested—population of visitors.
Being active on social media platforms can increase your website traffic and allow you to directly engage with your ideal customers. It can bring awareness to your buyer-specific content, such as that awesome blog that you are now thinking of drafting.
This stage is where your conversion rate comes in. After you have attracted the right people to your website, you need to get their contact information. One of the easiest things to get is an email address. If you can score that, then you are on the right path.
Don't assume that you can get a visitor's contact info for free. HubSpot calls a visitor's information "the most valuable currency to an online marketer". To get it, you must provide something of value. Think helpful e-books, well-researched white papers, and splashy infographics. Create and share information that your buyer personas would find interesting so they'll be eager to give you their contact information.
Here are two of the tools that, if used correctly, can help convert your visitors to leads.
Create forms for your visitors to fill out and submit their information in order to receive a content offer. Providing these forms on your website or landing pages allows you to get the correct information that you need in order to build your contact list and interact with your visitors as leads.
These can be buttons, links, videos, or even images that ask the visitor to click in order to receive or download a content offer. These CTAs should link to a landing page where you can request the visitor's information through a form.
This is where that magical phrase mentioned earlier comes into play. Remember: visitors don’t bring revenue—customers do. The previous two stages are both extremely important for the close stage. If you haven't attracted the right people, then you won't get anyone to convert to a lead whom you can close a deal with. And if you do attract the right people, but don't provide any way for them to convert to a lead, then you still have noone to close.
So, here you are. You may now understand that both website traffic and conversion rates are important, and that you must provide a good reason for your visitors to convert. However, the inbound methodology says you aren't done yet. You know how to attract the right people and convert them to leads. But you still have to close and delight them.
In the close stage, your sales and marketing team can use email marketing, marketing automation, and customer relationship management (CRM) tools to close a deal with the contacts you have gathered.
If you focus on attracting the right people to your website and converting them into leads, then you will be in the best place to get the right people to promote you. Once you have closed the deal with your new customers you can keep delighting them with smart content and Calls-to-Action that keep them excited about what you do. Once you have done that, your customers can become promoters who help build your company as an industry expert.
Website Traffic vs. Conversion Rates
You may still scratch your head at this because it reminds you a bit of the chicken before the egg riddle. However, you know the answer: visitors don’t bring revenue—customers do. It doesn’t matter how many visitors you have if your visitor-to-lead conversion rate stinks. But if you focus on targeting the right audience instead of attracting more visitors and you provide the right Calls-to-Action, you’ll see your conversion rate soar. By the way, when that happens, it's normal to see the number of visitors to your website drop.
When looking at your website traffic and your conversion rates, remember the inbound methodology: Attract, Convert, Close, Delight. It may just save you from low conversion rates or worse...the fire swamp.
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