Turning Website Visits into Sales
Joe Welusz, January 28, 2013
From the dawn of e-commerce, self-proclaimed Internet gurus have preached that bringing more visitors to your website will increase your sales (conversions). So, the question is, do more visitors equal more conversions? Yes, but there is a caveat. You have less control over the amount of visitors that come to your website, and you need to substantially raise the amount of quality visitors to your site to see the benefits.
During our SEO campaigns for clients, our goal is to help them gain more visitors, but we explain that it may take time to increase the amount of traffic to the site through organic ranking processes. So, during the beginning of SEO campaigns, we don’t only focus on marketing the website. Our experts start off fixing coding issues and increasing conversion rates to improve ROI on the current visitors coming to their website.
With that being said, let’s take a look at one way to increase conversion rates which you have more control over. The best way – and it should be the only way to test conversion rates – is the A/B test. The A/B test is to have two nearly identical webpages with only minor changes from Page A to Page B.
For example, you may want to test your call to action on a page to see if it yields higher conversions. Below, we adjusted the size of the header image (not shown below) and hero image; you can now see products above the fold (viewable screen no need to scroll down), and we added a call to action “Buy Now” and the price.
Variation 1 (B)
The simple changes above helped increase the conversion rate from 9.49% to 17.68% over a two week A/B test.
The conversion rate increase led to a higher value per visit. The original page in our test showed a value per visit of $2.42. Then, through the changes, the value per visit rose to $3.78. The average value per transaction fell from $51.22 to $42.70, but the revenue increased through more transactions from a smaller sample size than from the original sample size (see below).
During the test, Page B had 328 visits compared to page A’s 507. Even with fewer visits, Page B out performed Page A in both revenue and transaction. This test shows the true value of A/B testing.
In conclusion, you can see why it should be more important to increase conversion rates through A/B testing, rather than just focusing on gaining more visitors. Keep in mind, in no way am I saying not to try to gain more traffic, the two should be done together, but what you may find is you can impact your ROI faster by focusing your efforts on increasing conversion rates. By focusing on conversion rates first, you will earn more money per visit as your traffic rates continue to increase.