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Acquire More Traffic or Optimise The Page – What Comes First?

Lots of people jump into trying to get more traffic to a website as their first reaction to I need more sales. What they don’t seem to consider is if the site isn’t converting then they might be wasting money by sending more traffic to it.

Here are some things to consider before you start to spend money on new traffic.

1. Consider the current traffic source

Part of the issue here is that you first must know if the traffic you are getting is any good. So key indicators are things like:

  • Are the new users going up each week/month/year?
  • Are the visitors staying on the site?
  • Are visitors returning and is that a behaviour that matches your customer profile?
  • How long are they staying on for?
  • How many pages are they looking?
  • Have they converted the goal of filling out the contact form or other KPIs

Don’t forget to check Desktop, Tablet and Mobile traffic stats as well to see what devices your good visitors are using most as that’s what you might want to focus optimising for first.

Depending on your industry, the choice of review platform matters.

2. Consider your website itself

Does your website have all the necessary things that make people want to buy, send you their details or pick up the phone to you? We call these trust indicators, so any of the following

  • Awards
  • Clients you have already
  • Certification
  • Results you’ve gotten for others
  • Testimonials
  • Legal in place (terms and privacy policies, company number, registered address)
  • Phone number
  • Years in your industry
  • New contracts won

All of these things may matter to your customers, but if they aren’t there this could be a reason why your leads/sales are slow to non-existent.

3. Consider your content

You may be limited to what you can change and that may well be the problem but change some simple things first if you can. The content you have on your site will usually consist of a few different types

  • Text
  • Images
  • Video
  • Documents

How you use each of these will help put across what you are doing or selling to a visitor – so it’s important to ensure that each type is used appropriately and maximised. Think headings, intro paragraphs, related images that inspire or inform the visitor, video that isn’t too long and is interesting to watch, documents that are useful and are in standard formats that most people can use.

4. Consider your call to actions (CTAs)

So you have traffic sources and content sorted now you need to focus on call to actions (CTAs) on each page. The best questions to ask are:

  • Why is a visitor on this page?
  • What are they looking for?
  • What actions are they likely to want to take?
  • How do you send them on a journey through the website?

Essentially the content you create is a huge part of the visitor’s journey through your business, services or products so it has to all make sense, but the important part if figuring out when they might be ready to take some action. This is a process that can take some time to figure out and may require lots of different testing to know for sure.

Some basic rules to follow:

  • Make the call to action stand out
  • Where possible create the actions own space around it
  • If it’s linked in the text, make it obvious with things like underlining the text and maybe boldening it.
  • Have the call to action short and punchy where possible
  • Test different types like action or a friendly style to see what works best

5. Consider your reputation online

You might want to check your reviews online as someone could have left a bad review that’s affecting your traffic and conversions and it isn’t necessarily a real customer leaving the review. Unfortunately, and especially in highly competitive industries, your competitors might try to leave bad reviews to pull your company down.

It can take one bad review in about 7 good reviews to put people off, but that does depend on what is said, there are many things people won’t care about as it’s not as important to them and if you have a good reason then take the opportunity to explain why, it goes a long way to an understanding, plus it shows people that they can engage with you that way if they do have a problem they know there’s a real person behind the company.

  • Most platforms won’t let you remove the review unless it breaks their guidelines
  • The best you can do to a bad review is to respond to it and cover as many bases as possible.
  • You can try to outright call them out as a fake review but try to be nice and constructive about it
  • Create a dialogue – ask for their real name or an invoice/reference number so you can look into the problems they’ve had.

We worked with a client that wouldn’t let anyone just browse the special occasion dresses on the racks, people complained and wrote a lot of bad reviews, but they didn’t appreciate that the dresses were delicate and that a lot of them would get damaged by customers not realising that and being heavy-handed, that meant then they had to remove that item from stock and record a loss or sell cheaper, so bad reviews and losing money, certainly not ideal.

Now people don’t complain any more as they understand why that process is in place and, in fact, they now do a personal shopper experience so they get to benefit from the staff’s knowledge and expertise in shapes, styles and colours of dresses.

So make sure to manage your reputation on other platforms it could make the difference.

6. Consider what now?

Ok, so results still just aren’t coming in and you’ve done all these things below.

  1. Assessed the type of traffic sources sending visitors to your site and they seem to be relevant.
  2. Added trust indicators where you can to show that you are a trustworthy company to deal with.
  3. Edited your content to the best of your ability to highlight your product or service.
  4. Tested the various calls to actions.
  5. You’ve cleaned up your reputation.

So what now? Here are the potential things it could be:

  • The design of your site has a big initial effect.
  • This is a big trust indicator, you only have about 50 milliseconds from someone loading your site for them to make a judgement on it. That means overall shapes and colour determine if they like it or not then they assess the rest of the content so images and text next then something like, say, a video.

The layout of your site might need to be changed:

  • How someone moves through your website and what information they are presented with might just not be quite right. Does it work well on Desktop, Tablet and Mobile? You can check Google Analytics to understand the quality of traffic on each.
  • You can also install software like Mouseflow to visually record people using your site as you might discover some friction points that they are having trouble with. Just make sure you amend your privacy and cookie policy if you add it.

7. Consider more traffic now!

Ok, you’ve done all the stuff before the website is converting better than it ever has, now aim to increase the traffic sources that are doing the best first and that’s it your site should be reborn!

If however you get to this point and the other steps haven’t helped it might be time to get an external opinion, maybe even hire a web or creative agency to help.

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