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Friday, January 12, 2007

Today's debate is about the importance of traffic or conversion. When trying to grow your online business, its vital to consider where your efforts should be focused. Assuming that your resources are fixed, would you rather spend your time increasing traffic to your site or simply focusing on the number of individuals who convert?

For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that I love to reference the success of others. The answer to the question is BOTH! Successful companies are incredibly proficient at doing this AND doing that... focusing on conversions and driving traffic.
Each area of focus requires individuals who own and are accountable for outcomes - but as a business, especially an online business, you must always be aware of and concerned for driving traffic to your site and improving the percentage of browsers to paying customers.

From a sales and marketing perspective, one of the best ways to improve conversion is to break down the purchase decision process into logical steps. What is the current process prospects must pass through on your website to become paying customers? The best thing you can do is sketch out the steps on a piece of paper and put metrics against each step. How many prospects reach your product page? How many click through to the next step? the next? and so on until a purchase is made. Work at increasing the percentages at each stage of the purchase decision process and your sure to increase revenue.

Simultaneously you should be focused on improving organic search results and paid-for placement results. Which keywords are driving the best conversions? (Don't worry about the number of click -focus on the clicks that are converting). Once you know what words are effective, you can use these to attract the right kind of traffic.

As the business bible (Good to Great) shows us, embrace the power of AND!


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