• What Is More Important: Increasing Website Traffic or Converting Its Existing Traffic?

    So, you are looking for ways to improve your online revenue?

    But you have a limited budget, resources, and your website isn’t generating enough revenue.

    If your online conversions are low, conventional wisdom tells you to bring more people to your site, right?

    The more visitors your website has, the greater the revenue it generates!

    Companies that provide conversion optimization services would disagree with this premise. But, just like many other realities online, the truth is somewhere in between.

    Though bringing more traffic works as well to improve your website revenue, this article will show you why converting current traffic is a better option.

    I’m also going to list five reasons many online companies still neglect when trying to increase website conversion rates.

    Needing help to decide whether increasing traffic or site conversion rates is the best option to improve your bottom line at this point in your business?

    In this article, we are also going to explain the four rules of thumb to help you make the best decision.

    Why Bringing More Traffic Works?

    There is no disputing the fact. Assume your current site only converts 2% of its traffic to customers or leads. If you are able to keep the same conversion rate when more potential customers visit your site, doubling your current site traffic will double your revenue.

    At least, that is the theory.

    You need to keep a couple of things in mind when trying to acquire new traffic.

    You must maintain the same quality of traffic when bringing new visitors to your website. If you just attract any traffic to your site, you can severely lower your conversion rate.

    Are you able to maintain the same quality traffic? That will depend on what you are currently doing in terms of traffic generation.

    If you are already ranking in the top three for most of your key terms, both organically and in paid, acquiring new traffic may require your focus on possible broader new terms.

    In that case, you run the risk of spending money in SEO and PPC and not seeing immediate results from that investment (lots of trial and error involved).

    How About Bringing More Social Media Visitors to the Website?

    Would bringing in more visitors from social media channels help increase conversions on your site?

    “Social media traffic is junk traffic. It simply does not convert,” you might have heard. Social media brings a different type of traffic that represents lower conversion rates compared to other traffic sources. But it still is a relevant marketing commitment.

    FigPii Heatmaps

    Social media users are surfing websites and interacting socially on these websites. They are not thinking about converting.

    When they click on your ad or post, they are rarely in the mindset that allows them to convert. The browsing mindset does not make them less valuable. They are just in a different stage of the buying funnel.

    As valuable as social media is for your business, in terms of effective, sustainable, and consistent increase in sales, you should focus on an approach to convert current visitors, not on bringing in more browsers.

    Why Converting Current Traffic is a Better Option?

    Invesp research indicates that 70% of your site visitors are interested in your product or service.

    The remaining 30% either landed on your website by mistake or are merely looking for information and not interested in converting.

    If 70% of your visitors are interested in converting, it is just a matter of persuading them to become paying customers instead of mere browsers.

    In traditional brick-and-mortar stores, the primary focus is on converting current traffic. Why? Increasing conversion rates for an offline store usually involves salesforce training, incentives, merchandising, and store design.

    It would not make sense to suggest that the store should try to generate more foot traffic because sales are too low for the current levels of traffic.

    Online, the story is quite different. Over the last fifteen years, most online marketing has focused on increasing website traffic as opposed to converting existing traffic.

    That does not make it the right thing to do. And it actually remains a perplexing paradox for the CRO industry.

    As companies try to acquire new traffic and bring more visitors to their website, they find themselves expanding their targeting. They either:

    1. Target untested new traffic sources or
    2. Target more general terms

    In both cases, they are driving more visitors to their website, but they are doing so at the expense of the quality of these visitors. So, as the traffic increases, their conversion rate drops.

    10 Reasons Why Converting Current Traffic is Better Than Acquiring More Traffic

    1. Learn more about your visitors’ behavior. Hypotheses and tests give you a better panorama about customers’ behavior on your page.

    2. Discover more about your customers. Deeper than recognizing just the activities on one page, you can develop insights on how to address customers’ needs in multiple touchpoints.

    3. Keep track of users’ behavior. You can gather important data on all stages of the buyer’s journey.

    4. Provide to customers what they want. From de-cluttered design to clear copy, you can find how to offer the best experience to customers and visitors.

    5. Improve your website. With all the information you gather, you can update your site.

    6. Position your brand on the market. Strengthen your brand with a sharp design, effective copy, and higher conversion rates.

    7. Get more qualified leads. Reach the right prospects, not random browsers.

    8. Spend less. To increase traffic, you need to invest more money in your campaigns.

    9. Increase in profit. Increase revenue with more conversions.

    10. Continue growing. The right CRO approach can bring sustainable, repeatable, and consistent increases.

    So, Where Should You Start? Increase Traffic Or Increase Website’s Conversion Rate?

    Simple answer: what has a better impact on your bottom line?

    If you have the budget, do both for maximum benefit and growth. However, we are not going to leave you hanging. Here are some good rules of thumb that you should consider:

    1st Rule: If your website, landing page, or campaign gets less than 200 conversions per month, you should focus on increasing your visitors.

    Why is that? As you see in the steps we outlined above, conducting split testing (AB testing) is a critical step to determine if your new website designs increase conversion rates or not.

    With less than 200 conversions a month, you will not be able to conduct an effective split testing program.

    2nd Rule: If your website, landing page, or campaign gets more than 200 conversions but less than 500 conversions per month, you should start with a conversion rate optimization program.

    Why is that? Because, with that many conversions, you will be able to start A/B testing, by introducing one to two challengers against the original design.

    RELATED ARTICLE: How To Calculate Conversion Rate Of Your Website

    3rd Rule: If your website, landing page, or campaign gets more than 500 conversions but less than 1,000 conversions per month, you should definitely focus on increasing your website conversion rate.

    Why is that? With more than 500 conversions, you are able to start a solid A/B testing program introducing four to seven challengers against the original design.

    4th Rule: If your website, landing page, or campaign gets more than 1,000 conversions per month and you have not done any conversion optimization, then you have made a huge mistake!

    Remember, a whopping 70% of your visitors come to your site with some sort of intent to purchase. You’re missing out on a lot of convertible, targeted traffic.

    Why is that? With more than 1,000 conversions, you are able to start a solid A/B or MVT testing program. Every month you do not focus on CRO, you are leaving money on the table. It is money that will never come back.

    FigPii Heatmaps

    As I wrote this article with the different recommendations, one of our junior staff members came to ask me if the recommendations above are correct or not.

    I told him, yes these are the recommendations we have been giving companies for over 10 years. He says, “but that is not the industry standard.”

    I ask, “why?”

    He says,” There are many of our competitors who publish case studies showing clients with less than 200 conversions per month”

    Does my recommendation mean that if you have less than 200 conversions per month, you should never consider CRO?

    No, you can still do CRO. However, you must understand that you will not be able to run AB testing at a fast scale. Most of your testing will be done to optimize micro conversions. That is not necessarily a bad thing. But, you must have the right mindset.

Ayat Shukairy

My name is Ayat Shukairy, and I’m a co-founder and CCO at Invesp. Here’s a little more about me: At the very beginning of my career, I worked on countless high-profile e-commerce projects, helping diverse organizations optimize website copy. I realized, that although the copy was great and was generating more foot traffic, many of the sites performed poorly because of usability and design issues.

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Ayat Shukairy

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