Maximizing website traffic and visitors numbers is well and good, but if that’s where all of your money is going, you’re probably wasting it.
I hear it all too often from folks in the B2B sector: “The cost of getting new leads is too expensive!” “We can only attend so many tradeshows a year!” “We can’t afford to increase our pay-per-click budget any more!” We don’t have the bodies or the time to host more events than we already do!” I fully sympathize. It’s a tough economy. Marketing budgets aren’t unlimited and traditional lead generation activities can get expensive (although, lead generation via inbound marketing is a different story).
You Could be Wasting Money on Lead Generation; Numbers Can Be Deceiving
When I ask these folks what kind of traffic they’re bringing in for all of their lead-gen efforts, the numbers usually aren’t terrible. 2,500 visitors per month, for some of the smaller companies. 15,000 per month for more mid-sized ones. For some of the larger ones, as many as 35,000 visitors per month.
However, when I dig a little bit deeper and ask how many leads they’re seeing out of that traffic, suddenly their reason for complaint becomes much clearer. 6%. 8%. 4%. Some even less. Ouch.
Leads should not be this expensive!
I think most would agree with me that 35,000 visitors per month is a healthy volume for a medium-size company. Trouble is, when you’re only engaging with about 4% of that traffic, it’s actually a very frustrating number.
Put another way, out of 35,000 visitors, 33,600 visitors came to the website and simply walked (clicked) away – leaving the company clueless as to who they were, what brought them there, what they were looking for, and, most importantly, how to engage with them further.
Stuck at this low rate of return, no wonder these marketers are frustrated! Doubling their leads means finding a way (and the means) to attract twice as many bodies to the website. Not a cheap proposition.
Why Are My Conversion Rates So Lousy?
For those of you in a similar situation, let me tell you now: traffic (volume) is not your issue and why you are wasting money on lead generation is not your answer. What you need to focus on is improving your rate of conversion.
The culprit or culprits behind meager conversion rates vary from business to business. For some, poor website design and usability may be interfering with user interaction and engagement. Others may lack “take-away” content (content that helps visitors educate themselves when they’re not yet ready to speak to sales with the dual purpose of keeping them on your radar). For still others, it may be too many obstacles or disincentives to act. And for many, it’s some combination of all of the above.
The Science of Website Conversion Rate Analysis
Identifying the specific factors affecting your website’s conversion rates is both an art and a science.
It’s an art to the extent that the answers aren’t always clear or absolute because the “human factor” variables aren’t necessarily predictable. Understanding and responding to these variables is largely a matter of intuition and experience honed over time.
It’s a science in that there are many measurable components that can point you in the right direction and show you where your time and money are best utilized (e.g. if you know which components to measure, how to interpret the findings, and how to tweak the outcomes). In essence, it’s the difference between an educated guess and a shot in the dark.
The Tools of the Trade
As an agency, we get to play with a wide variety of tools for website lead and data analysis. Some solutions cost quite a bit, but come with lots of other fun features to help businesses manage their marketing efforts, others, like Google Analytics, are free and still chock full of information. For those of you who aren’t currently using a paid solution that offers analytics (and even if you are), I highly recommend taking some time to familiarize yourself with what Google Analytics can tell you about your website’s performance. It’s so much more than just about your traffic numbers.