Website Usability/Conversion

Getting traffic to anyone’s website is possible, getting people who are genuine potential clients to the website is possible; but, one way or another, that will have a cost and unless the website converts a high enough percentage of those visitors into business to justify that cost, then it can’t be sustained.

So the conversion ratio of visitors to sales is usually a major factor in the success or failure of any online marketing campaign. The higher the profit margin and the bigger the difference between the cost per visitor and the value of a sale, the better the campaign will work.

The simple formula for success will go something like this:

  • How many visitors to your website over a set period?
  • What is the cost of generating those visitors? B
  • How many sales did that produce?
  • What is the net profit from those sales? A


If A is greater than B, your campaign is working and once you are comfortable that this success is ongoing, then your campaign should start to be driven by demand rather than by budget.

If it is not working and you are confident that the keywords being used are generating the right type of visitor, then the next step is to identify why visitors aren’t converting to sales in sufficient numbers.

Split testing can be used to trial different changes to the website. Assuming it is not something as simple and obvious as price, or technical issues. In some cases it may not be any one issue, but a number combining to make the site less attractive than some of its competitors. In others it may simply be that there is too much choice in that particular field and as one of many options the individual taste element is enough to ensure you just can’t convert a high enough percentage to cover the costs.

Often people are worried wrongly about the cost per visitor, that’s only relevant in context of the rest of the above equation. £20 per visitor can be perfectly acceptable if the conversion ratio and value of a sale stack up. Sometimes the value of repeat business will be a consideration and a campaign that loses money on the first transaction can still be viable if there is a high percentage of regular repeat business in that industry.

Quite often when trialling a campaign, we won’t know how good conversion is until we get traffic to the site. If it turns out to be an issue, we can always pause


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