What do I mean by Success IS a Numbers Game? Simply this: you can’t be successful until you reach a much larger number of individuals than most people reading this realize. Those who read this entire post will be many miles further down their own road to success. Bear with me as I explain the basics and share what you must know.
Remember the first time you ever placed a classified ad for a used car? You got a call or two and were just sure you had found your buyer. What happened? In case you never have advertised anything or don’t recall, here is what probably occurred:
- What percentage of the circulation of that paper actually read your ad?
- Of those that read it, what percentage bothered to call?
- Some did call. Did they do what they said they would do?
- How many who said they were coming to see it actually did?
- Did some say they were definitely going to buy. Did they?
The reason I took you through those questions is in hopes that you will understand that you must reach far more individuals than most ever imagine in order to generate the number of completed goals you are seeking – whether they be leads, sales or subscribers. Let’s call these goals conversions for the rest of this post.
While percentages DO vary greatly, 1-2% is a good target to aim for at the start. What this means is for every one to two conversions you expect to make you need 100 TARGETED visitors. To get those 100 visitors you need 500-1000 impressions. How many sites send you 500-1000 visitors in a day, week or month?
Did you realize that you needed 500-1000 impressions and 50-100 visitors for every conversion you hope to generate?
If you didn’t you are in good company. I suspect most business owners do not – at least not until they start truly understanding Web analytics. Now you know why there is so much emphasis on Search Engine Optimization, incoming links, Pay-Per-Click advertising and more recently on Social Networking sites. For many businesses and blogs, only search engines ever send them sufficient traffic to generate repeat conversions.
Double your conversion rate and you generate twice the revenue at a lower cost from the same traffic.
If you want to see this more clearly I hope you’ll click through to The Two Levers of ECommerce to see an example in real dollars that show the difference in revenue from increasing traffic versus increasing conversions.
You can also take advantage of the Usability ROI Calculator created by Dr. Peter. J. Meyers aka Dr. Pete. He designed it to explain why investing in improved usability pays off financially; however, it also clearly shows you how improvements in your your conversion rate increases your monthly and annual profit. (Improving the usability of your site is not the only way but IS one of the most important ways to increase your conversion rate.)
We highly recommend reading and subscribing to UserEffect. Either apply what they share or get assistance improving your site’s usability. It can really make a huge difference.
If you are buying pay-per-click (ppc) traffic this is even more important. While we still encourage you to clearly understand the risks of ppc advertising there is no faster way to generate revenue so we’re going to be posting some exceptional resources to assist you. Watch for another post shortly on how to get the most from your Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter ad spend.
In the meantime, you may want to scan the categories in the right sidebar (sidebar is WordPress-speak for column) for many ways to generate free traffic. We’re working on some awesome Best Practices processes for tracking what you’re doing so if you aren’t already a regular reader we hope you decide to join us.
P.S. If you don’t believe that only 1-2% is the “normal” range for taking action here is a simple way to prove it if you have access to any Google Analytics account. Log in, click on Content, then Site Overlay and wait for the page to load. This view allows you to see what percentage of your visitors clicked on each available link on any page. You can click through to other pages to see what links are most popular there too. [Be patient – it can take a few minutes for each page’s stats to load.]
Note that if there is more than one link to the same destination the percentages shown are the combined percentage for them collectively. If you don’t see many percentages increase the time you’re viewing. (Google Analytics defaults to the past thirty days if it has not been changed.)
This is also a good way to see what types of comments and commentators your readers find most interesting based on which they click through to visit. You may wish to share that information with your regular commentors – and consider emulating the most successful.
POST UPDATE: These percentages apply to TARGETED traffic such as what you buy using ppc ads triggered by very specific keyword phrases running SEARCH ONLY. Expect content ads and traffic from Social Networking sites to have much higher bounce rates and convert far less frequently because those are curiosity clicks rather than someone seeking to buy what you’re offering. We NEVER recommend spam traffic and suspect it would convert at less than 1/10 to 1/100th of 1 percent. Content ads and Social Networking should not be expected to convert nearly as well as search.
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