This is a common question, and it’s one I would absolutely love to answer for you. Unfortunately, there’s no good answer for me to give. It all depends on where you’re getting your traffic, what kind of traffic it is, what you consider a conversion, and what you’ve done to encourage conversions.
There are a number of places traffic comes from, even discounting organic and social traffic. Are you getting it from a seller on Fiverr? Are you getting it from the lowest and least expensive traffic exchange you can find? Are you pulling it in from a high tier exchange with a great ratio and a premium fee? Are you getting it from Google AdWords or from Facebook’s ads, or ads on Twitter or another social network?
Traffic from different sources converts differently, and you need to have different expectations going into it. If you’re using a low quality traffic exchange or a Fiverr seller, you need to recognize that most of your traffic is going to be coming from bots and won’t convert no matter how hard you try. On the top end of things, exchange traffic behaves differently from Facebook PPC traffic, which behaves differently than Google PPC traffic. It’s all relative and personal.
When you’re buying traffic, it comes in different forms. Each have their ups and downs.
The third aspect of converting paid traffic is what you consider a conversion. Maybe you have nothing to sell, and you consider a conversion to be signing up for your mailing list. Maybe you have an ebook you want users to download, but you aren’t selling anything. Maybe you have a wide range of products, so a conversion could be anything from a $5 widget to a $5,000 bulk sales order.
The harder it is to get a conversion – the more expensive it is, the more barriers between a user and the conversion – the lower your conversion rate will be. It’s the same way that a lower priced product will sell more than an equivalent product at a higher price. The easier it is for a user to convert, the more conversions you’ll get.
You also need to avoid falling into the conversion rate trap. The conversion rate trap is the fallacy that a high conversion rate is the best metric you can measure. There’s a simple example. A site that gets 10,000 visitors and has a 4% conversion rate will be getting 400 sales. A different site that gets 1,000 visitors and has a 10% conversion rate will be getting 100 sales. The higher conversion rate does not mean a higher profit.
Conversion rate is good, but volume is also an important part of the equation. There are also other factors to consider.
There are a number of ways you can boost your conversion rates based on paid traffic.
First, make sure you’re buying the best traffic you can afford. Don’t go for low quality, high volume options just because they’re within your budget. Think of it this way; a traffic bot has a conversion rate of 0. A low quality exchange will have a low conversion rate, while Facebook or Google will have a higher conversion rate, with the numbers varying depending on your optimization.
Create a more compelling offer. Why would someone want to convert on your site? Make sure you have the value proposition displayed as clearly as possible. More importantly, make sure it’s a value proposition that’s important to the users you’re bringing in. You can bring in the most fanatic dog lovers in the world, but if you’re selling a $10,000 diamond-studded dog collar, you’re going to have a low conversion rate.
Incremental changes, such as those you make based on split testing, help a lot more with paid traffic than with organic traffic. This is because paid traffic typically converts based on the first visit. Organic traffic is more likely to visit several times before they decide to convert. In the latter case, the color of the conversion button isn’t going to change their minds one way or the other. For paid traffic, though, there’s a much more immediate decision to be made, and subtle influences can be the deciding factor.
Finally, don’t forget your organic traffic streams. While we’re focused on paid traffic, you need to recognize that as soon as you stop paying for traffic, the well dries up. You need to build a long-term audience in order to capitalize on an extended residual profit stream.
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