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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 at 1:03 am

When Consumer Confidence is Low…

By Howard Kaplan
October 30th, 2008

Guess what becomes more important? Yup, conversion.

As online marketers are forced to reign in their spending (along with just about everyone else today), many may be tempted to cut their optimization budgets. After all, optimizing a website is w_o_r_k. It’s far easier to simply buy more traffic, when you need to generate greater profits.

That strategy even works too, on a short enough time horizon, although admittedly more so in bull markets than bear ones. But in recessionary times (or those dangerously close to it like, say, now) those who have become addicted to Google’s PPC fix find themselves up a certain creek, and lacking an effective paddle.

I made the case last month while talking to a group of Direct Marketers at the DMA, that increasing traffic is like a one night stand, where as conversion improvements are a long lasting love affair. When you increase conversion, the impact is permanent, and as you generate more traffic to your website, with your newly effective funnel, you generate exponentially more revenue than before. Far more so than simply incrementally increasing traffic.

While we’re talking about traffic… you know what happens to traffic when consumer confidence is low? It drops.

Sorry for the Debbie Downer post, but it’s not all bad news! Increasing conversion may be work, but it’s not hard to figure out. In fact, 3 simple questions are all you need to help you improve your website performance:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What action do you want them to take? (i.e. – what is conversion on your site?)
  3. What information do they need to feel comfortable and confident taking the action? (i.e. – what’s their motivation for doing what you want them to?!)

If that sounds hard, give us a call and we’ll show you it doesn’t have to be. Want a sneak peak into how? Well since you asked, Bryan would be happy to show you, along with the fine folks at Sitebrand. Enjoy!

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Comments (9)

  1. I love simple lists like this. I will be spending some time this afternoon on trying this. My conversions have been low.


  2. [...] for this post, namely the one-night stand analogy, came from today’s Grokdotcom blog: When Consumer Confidence is Low. You can read the rest for more insight… or if you want help building your conversions, the [...]

  3. [...] Website conversion improvements are like a long-lasting love affair [...]

  4. First… Debbie Downer? Killin’ me Howard. I agree 1000% with your post. Marketers can get SO MUCH MORE MILEAGE from their current website if they start obsessing about the visitor. This is coming from someone who has bought a lot of traffic in his tenure!


  5. I completely agree with you – It’s amazing to me how many big companies right now seem to be so desperate for sales that they’re badgering customers and providing worse service than ever before. This is the time to focus on service and improving the customer experience – it’ll pay huge dividends when things finally pick back up.

  6. I completely agree with you, Howard, as well as Dr. Pete.

    Some companies do seem desperate to increase sales, yet aren’t the slightest bit interested in establishing long term, lasting solutions. Most solutions revolve around increasing PPC campaigns by x%.

    Funny thing is, with due diligence and real time optimization, you can increase sales faster and cheaper and fully understand what specific message is driving those increased sales.

  7. Lots in agreement, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree. Well, not entirely. Conversion is important, but not the MOST important. Customer retention is the #1 key factor in surviving this type of market condition.

  8. [...] When Consumer Confidence is Low… – Future Now – Aug 08 [...]

  9. I really like it how you guys focus a ton on coversion here at Future Now. Everybody else focuses on driving traffic and getting huge numbers, but in the end it is what you do with it, whether big or small.

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