Matt McGee wrote an article telling us that we should expect good things this 2010 holiday season. He mentions Kenshoo’s results from their first Online Holiday Shopping Report. Kenshoo is a digital marketing software provider, used by five out of the top 10 US retailers. This is what was reported:
“Overall, for the 26-day period ending with Cyber Monday, 2010 search advertising budgets were up 31% compared to 2009. Total online sales transactions increased 83% during this time, resulting in 60% more online sale revenue for retailers.”
This is exciting news for all of us, right?! So, why am I still feeling like we’re not living up to our full potential?
Back in 2007, I wrote The Battle Between Search Engine Optimization and Conversion that talks about investing in driving more organic traffic and addresses the fears many companies have that this will lead to less visitors and lower search engine rankings. These days, people are focusing a little less time on SEO and more time and budget on PPC, social media and other marketing efforts with the goal of driving more traffic.
My point from 2007 still is relevant today, just in a slightly different context. Ultimately, you WILL increase sales and revenue by simply driving more targeted traffic. The good news about investing in PPC, social media and some other marketing channels is that you can drive highly-targeted traffic to your site. If done intelligently, you can say with reasonable certainty that these visitors want what you have to offer. Still, I believe we are not getting the results we could be achieving: conversion rates are still low. And the Kenshoo report belies the fact that we are still more focused on increasing traffic than we are on increasing conversion, even though increases in sales and ROI are much more robust if you focus on the latter. Just check out the chart in MjB’s recent post to see a comparison.
Spending money on driving highly targeted traffic to your site, is a great idea. But if you haven’t optimized your site so that you effectively persuade the traffic to take action or move forward in their buying process, then you are just driving visitors into a leaky funnel, leaving the money they should be spending on the table, and not maximizing the return on the dollars you invested to get them there in the first place. Furthermore, that bad experience has lasting effects on your visitors: I doubt they will ever come back again.
So, here’s my gift to you this holiday season: Optimize these high impact elements on your site to persuade even a few more visitors to take action, collect more money from your visitors, and drive your cost per click down:
Suzanne Wells also has some good eBay-specific tips she posted on Stamps.com. When you do make changes to your site, only change and test one or two elements at any one time so that you know which improvements were responsible for the results and are able to quantify the impact those changes made.
Are you currently investing in more than one marketing effort at a time? Do you have a marketing team and resources that can implement changes and tests on your site? You may be the perfect fit for our subscription website optimization service.
We can help you make more money online this holiday season by identifying the reasons your visitors aren’t converting, and giving you a prioritized to-do list detailing what to fix/test on your site. Our client success stories prove it’s worth the investment.