By Rob Weatherhead, Operations Director, Latitude Express

[atag422] No matter how much traffic your website receives, the vast majority of visitors will never become a customer. Even the best converting websites will still only be gaining customers from less than half of their website visitors, in some markets the percentage of visitors making a purchase or application is less than 5%. Despite this the vast majority of companies undertake an endless quest for more visitors, pushing more and more into the top of the funnel knowing that up to 95% of them will never become a customer.

Surely a much better use of time would be on how to make the most of the current visitors you are getting? Small increases in website conversion rates will result in a much greater return on investment than chasing traffic. Let’s look at the stats:

If you your website receives 1000 visits a month with a 5% conversion to sales that equates to 50 customers. Small changes to your website, or to your user interaction, could easily make this 5% become 7%, resulting in an additional 20 customers, 40% more sales. To get the same amount of impact at your existing conversion rate you would need to find another 400 visitors and hope that they continued to convert at 5%. This would involve an additional investment in PPC or some hard work on SEO to increase positions. An obvious way to achieve this is through amending your website and user journey to improve the conversion rate. Making website changes, both aesthetic and functional, to ensure as many visitors as possible become customers. This is a practice all companies should go through, but it does involve a lot of potential development and can also be costly.

So what about trying to find some of those visitors who didn’t convert first time around and giving them a second chance? A new offer maybe? This is known online as remarketing and Google has recently released its own version of the technology which allows you to integrate it completely with your Google Adwords campaign.

By placing a small piece of tracking code on your website you are able to identify previous visitors and present them with another advert for your services, maybe even with an improved offer. The technology picks up the visitors when they reappear somewhere on Google’s placement network and allows you to display an advert, text or image based, based on their previous interaction with your brand. This might be simply to reiterate your product and offer, or it might be you want to offer an improved discount to promote the sale. You can even get more intelligent and target them based on the product they viewed on your site, or based on the point in the purchase cycle they dropped off at. Or maybe you want to use the functionality to make more money from existing customers and promote a complimentary product to the one they purchased, this too is possible.

It all depends on the stage your business is at, but to established, mature websites, getting more out of existing customers can be a much more profitable use of time than chasing new ones. Maybe this is something you should consider when looking at improving your online marketing efforts.

Rob Weatherhead is Operations Director for SME PPC specialist Latitude Express and has worked in search engine marketing since 2004. He is responsible for overseeing the delivery of PPC and SEO campaigns for small business in all business sectors. Follow more of Rob’s thoughts via his digital marketing blog or through the Latitude Group website.

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