Why it matters that your website isn’t converting – and how to fix it
What metrics should you use to measure content marketing ROI? There are lots of options, but some can mislead you as to how well your content marketing strategy really works.
The classic example is the website that receives huge volumes of traffic, and a lot of great engagement on social media, but fails to turn these numbers into cold, hard sales. This is an example of poor conversion, and if your website falls into this category, it’s a problem that you should be looking to address immediately.
What is website conversion?
To put things simply, conversion is turning leads into an action. Contrary to what a lot of people think, this doesn’t always mean an actual sale. Rather, a conversion can be anything from making a purchase to signing up for a newsletter. Even simply filling in a contact form is a type of conversion, providing your organisation with the chance to secure more business. BoostSuite describes website conversion as the “most important factor” in whether your online strategy is working:
“It means getting your visitors to do what you want them to do. Having a marketing website is a moot point if it doesn’t present the opportunity to close sales or generate leads.”
Conversion rate is measured as a percentage, with most content marketing experts agreeing that a good rate sits somewhere between 2 and 5 per cent.
The important thing to keep in mind is that this is a percentage of total traffic to your site. If you’ve got low volumes of low-quality traffic, then an average rate won’t give much of a boost to your business. On the other side of the coin, a website with a lot of high-quality traffic and the same conversion rate will see more sales, more signups and a far better return on their investment in content marketing.
Why is conversion important in content marketing?
For a lot of decision makers unfamiliar with content marketing, a conversion rate between 2 and 5 percent sounds a bit low – reflected by the fact that only 22 percent of businesses are happy with their conversion rates, according to HubSpot.
This can be a problem for marketing teams, who know that content marketing gets results, but can’t always translate that into the tangible data that management wants to see. As Forbes puts it: The CEO doesn’t give you high-fives for more traffic.
This is why conversion matters. It’s the most digestible metric for showcasing ROI, and selling management on continuing (or increasing) investment in an online strategy. Likes on Facebook or jumps in time on site are great, but it’s not easy to draw a clear line between them and the money coming into an organisation from new customers.
Marketing managers know this, which is why it’s still so confusing that HubSpot reports
only $1 is spent converting customers for every $92 spent acquiring them.
As we’ve touched on in a previous article, there are lots of reasons your content marketing may not be giving the conversion rate you’re after. Addressing these problems is known as conversion rate optimisation (CRO), and when it works in tandem with great SEO, it can ensure the very best results for businesses.
Improving website conversion: The basics of CRO
Some scary stats from Kissmetrics:
- The majority of site visitors leave after 8 seconds
- 96 per cent of site visitors are not planning on making a purchase
- A single second’s delay in site speed decreases conversions by 7 per cent
Daunted? Don’t be: CRO is all about looking at these numbers and taking a different approach. If you’ve only got 8 seconds to win over a customer, focus on the first 8 seconds of their experience on the website. Is the page well-designed? Is the headline engaging? How easy is it for a potential customer to convert in the way that you want them to?
Thinking about these questions is what sets the best websites apart from the rest, with Kissmetrics also reporting that businesses that take a ‘structured approach’ to conversion optimisation are twice as likely to see more sales.
This is where your content really becomes important. It can make the difference between a customer spending a few seconds on your website and deciding to complete an action such as signing up to a mailing list. Even the smallest things can make a huge difference; for example take a look at our recent article on the importance of calls-to-action.
This is what a content strategy is all about – producing the right content (both for CRO and SEO) that will drive more people to your website and encourage conversion once they are there.