James Pardoe, CEO at Grow sits with TMN to discuss why websites fail to engage with the right audience and how to boost traffic…
“Focus on the niche traffic sources where your target audience resides. Don’t be tempted to jump head-first into all the digital mediums out there.”
What is more important: An amazing website or huge quantities of traffic?
Okay, that was a trick question. The answer is both and neither.
An amazing website with no traffic is just as useless as tons of traffic with a bad website. Or perhaps you have an amazing website AND high traffic, but your site still isn’t delivering the results you’d expected?
That’s because there’s a third and equally important element that you’re missing − targeted audiences. Perfect the trifecta and your company will experience substantial and measurable growth in a matter of weeks. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B, B2C or B2H, the result will be the same.
Easier said than done, I know. It takes time and money to optimise your website, generate traffic, and ensure that traffic is highly targeted.
The usual approach is to say “okay, the website is good-enough, let’s focus on the marketing”. But, before you go down this route, I suggest you measure your website’s performance. Below are the key metrics you should look at to measure visitor engagement and know if your site is indeed ‘good-enough’: (you can access this data from Google Analytics and other site statistics platforms).
The percentage of people who achieve a set objective – for example, contact you (general), make a purchase (eCommerce), or generate more than one impression (media). For lead generation or eCommerce sales, 1% is minimum. 3% is good and 5% is great, whereas for media, the conversion rate varies wildly depending on the objectives.
The percentage of people who leave your site without going deeper into the content. Again, this varies by industry, but generally speaking 60% is high, 40% is average, and 30% is great, the lower the better.
Time on site
1 minute is minimum, 3 minutes is good, and anything more is great. Media sites see higher time-on-site and higher bounce rates than usual, because people spend longer reading articles and often leave after reading just one.
If any of those metrics are below par, I suggest you look at improving your website first. Here’s why:
If your site has a conversion rate of 0.5%, you only need to increase the conversion rate by half a percentage to double the performance of your website. Consider what kind of impact that would have on your company. Any investment you make in achieving this will be minimal compared to the investment required to double your traffic and achieve the same result.
Quality or Quantity? Both.
Once you’re ready to tackle your traffic, you need to ask yourself which is more important: Quality or quantity? Of course, we want both. But consider this: 10 high quality visits that convert is far better than 1,000 that don’t.
So my advice would be to focus on quality first. How? Consider your traffic sources − where do your target audiences hang out online? Where do they hang out in real life? Look at ways you can use digital marketing to reach them. For example, let’s say you know your target audience frequents the malls often. You could use geotargeting to only display ads to people who are currently at the mall.
If Google is your biggest generator of quality traffic, then look at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques to increase your exposure to quality visitors.
Once your site is converting and you’re generating quality traffic, you’ll have a clear idea on where to focus your resources and scale the numbers. Use Google Analytics to get real data on your best performing traffic sources (consider the above engagement criteria for each traffic source). The source with the highest levels of engagement is where you should focus your efforts.
If you can’t have one without the other, where do you start? Take baby-steps to improve each aspect gradually. Reap the rewards of each small improvement and re-invest into achieving larger improvements down the line.
Focus on the niche traffic sources where your target audience resides. Don’t be tempted to jump head-first into all the digital mediums out there.
By using real audience data to inform your strategies, any investment you make into marketing to these channels is a safe bet and your business is on the clear path to growth.