Visitors Going Up & Conversion Rate Going Down

by herms
17 replies
Greetings!

I have an online store that I've been running for nearly a year now. It will be one year come July 7th. I started it on a site called ecrater and then got my own site in September of last year. We sell natural health and beauty products.

I started selling stuff on my 3rd day in business and have had consistent sales ever since. 655 sales on ecrater and over 600 sales on my own site.

For all of last year's business going into the beginning of this year, my average amount of visitors in all every day was around 40 to 60. Rarely fewer than 40 and rarely to frequently more than 60. Being integrated into google products had a lot to do with that. From google itself we were getting 30-50 visits a day.

I consistently got about 2-3 sales a day off of that amount of traffic. Rarely less than 2 and frequently more than 3 with 6 being a high average and any more than that being very special days.

As it is right now, I get about 140-150 visitors per day. About 100 of those being organic google results. And indeed, according to google analytics, I make more money from google than from other sources though the other sources are not insignificant.

The problem is I'm still doing roughly the same with sales. I get about 3 sales a day. Rarely fewer than that. I actually got only 2 yesterday. And sometimes I'll get a day with anywhere from 5-7 sales. It keeps me at between 20-25 sales a week with an average of about 100 sales a month.

What I've noticed in google analytics is that I'm not getting more traffic according to the keywords I've been backlinking though. What I have is a bunch of products that will have just 1 visitor each according to keywords that I haven't backlinked at all. And most of them have a 100% bounce rate.

I feel like I need some kind of specialist to look at my site because I always thought that if I could get us more traffic from google, our conversion rate would take care of us. I always figured that I if I could get us to about 500 visits a day, that would get us about 10-15 sales a day and with our average sale being 25 bucks each, we could get a good $250-$375 a day gross.

I'm trying to be patient and I like that I'm getting more traffic. I'm appreciative of the conversion rate I have because before this, I tried many things online and never made a single, solitary sale in anything. So I'm thankful for this business. I'm just not really liking how it's looking right now though as it concerns how the traffic is relating to the conversion rate.

Do any of you know why I would be getting more traffic OVERALL for many many many keywords that I haven't backlinked than for the ones I have backlinked?

And one last question.

What exactly is alexa rank about? I ask because my alexa rank is about 1,200,000 and change and I get roughly 140-150 visits a day while my cousin has a site that has an alexa rank of roughly 1 million even and says he only gets a trickle of traffic - barely 10-15 visitors a day.

Sorry for being longwinded
#conversion #rate #visitors
  • Profile picture of the author matty-81
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    • Profile picture of the author shmeeko69
      I think the common denominator is "The Credit Crunch". Your products haven't changed & there are more visitors & less sales. People aren't parting with their money like they used to & available money & debt is drying up. There will probably be more & more window shoppers & people adapting a more cautious approach for the next couple of years at least, not very good for us guys, but there's still money available, just not as much ! I think it's now about working smarter & trying to stay ahead of the game.

      Mark
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      • Profile picture of the author herms
        Originally Posted by shmeeko69 View Post

        I think the common denominator is "The Credit Crunch". Your products haven't changed & there are more visitors & less sales. People aren't parting with their money like they used to & available money & debt is drying up. There will probably be more & more window shoppers & people adapting a more cautious approach for the next couple of years at least, not very good for us guys, but there's still money available, just not as much ! I think it's now about working smarter & trying to stay ahead of the game.

        Mark

        Something that I'm hopeful about is the fact that we always also intended on becoming distributors of these products (as well as diversifying our product range) and approaching other businesses to sell them. So if this is indeed what's going on, I'm hopeful that our distributorship endeavors will at least pick up some of the slack.
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        • Profile picture of the author bretski
          I have also noticed an increase in traffic, which is probably due to the more consistent effort I have put into my article marketing lately...but also have noticed that stuff isn't converting like it used to.

          I promote mostly CB products and and conversions on those sales pages aren't what they were in the spring...

          BUT...I do remember freaking out last year around this time also...and then again when the kids went back to school. I am sure that money is tight for a lot of people (I know it is with me) and I'm sure that some people are thinking twice before clicking on that "add to cart" link.

          In the office here I have friends who have even said that they can't spend money on "X" because they are saving money for vacation at the beach....

          Personally, I am going to stay the course and try not to freak out. Yeah...maybe look at how I can improve my article marketing...looking at additional niches while there is a lull...stuff like that...

          Just my 2 kopeks
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    • Profile picture of the author herms
      Originally Posted by matty-81 View Post

      I've been noticing a lower conversion rate with my Clickbank promotions as well. Most of the products I promoted would convert at 2 or 3 commissions per 100 visitors. Now, the same products can get 300-500 hits before a conversion.

      I believe it's all attributed to the economy. Everyone is buckling down, and they just don't have that extra $30 or $40 to make an impulse buy anymore.

      I've been noticing a steady decrease in my conversion rate for about a year and a half now.

      Another thing to remember is that many people have become unemployed and have turned to affiliate marketing. Many more than a year or two ago. This means that they understand how affiliate programs work (especially Clickbank), and may just buy through their own affiliate link if it's a product they want.

      I would think this would be particularly true if you are in the IM/Affiliate Marketing niche.

      I'm not in that particular niche, but everybody's felt that crunch so I wouldn't be shocked that it's a factor in what I'm doing as well.

      Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Hi Herms

    First-off: congratulations on getting your visitor stats up - that is quite an accomplishment in itself and you have every right to feel pleased with yourself. OK, now, let's take a look at the problem.

    The first thing to understand is that there is quite a difference between traffic and targeted visitors. That statement in itself might be enough to explain the situation you find yourself in. For example, you could be getting a ton of organic traffic from Google Image search - I am not saying that you are; this is just an example. However, such traffic consists of people looking for images - not targeted traffic.

    There are many similar reasons that people could be finding your site and not buying. Increased traffic, whilst it is nice, is not the holy grail. For example, my site gets around 1.5K unique visitors per day, but still, I typically make between 2 and 7 sales. Like you, I used to think that more traffic was the answer; and whilst it is nice because it shows your traffic-generation process is doing well, it is not the only process you need to focus upon.

    You should be attempting to convert some of that traffic into subscribers and also monitoring that conversion rate as a KPI to see whether you are getting better or worse at generating prospects - I like to call this your prospect-generation - as opposed to your traffic-generation - process. Then, of course, you should be doing the same with those prospects i.e. encouraging them to become buyers. Again monitoring and measuring your results as KPIs to determine your progress.

    Now, this is the big thing ...

    You need to be turning those buyers into clients: that means finding what they want/need on a regular basis for which you can be the provider of choice. That's the key to growing your business and taking it to the next level.

    Having said that, don't neglect what is in the paragraphs above. Remember that each of your processes are independently important. Each one feeds the next; and each one requires your time and attention.

    Good luck my friend.

    Will
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    • Profile picture of the author herms
      Originally Posted by Will Edwards View Post

      Hi Herms

      First-off: congratulations on getting your visitor stats up - that is quite an accomplishment in itself and you have every right to feel pleased with yourself. OK, now, let's take a look at the problem.

      The first thing to understand is that there is quite a difference between traffic and targeted visitors. That statement in itself might be enough to explain the situation you find yourself in. For example, you could be getting a ton of organic traffic from Google Image search - I am not saying that you are; this is just an example. However, such traffic consists of people looking for images - not targeted traffic.

      There are many similar reasons that people could be finding your site and not buying. Increased traffic, whilst it is nice, is not the holy grail. For example, my site gets around 1.5K unique visitors per day, but still, I typically make between 2 and 7 sales. Like you, I used to think that more traffic was the answer; and whilst it is nice because it shows your traffic-generation process is doing well, it is not the only process you need to focus upon.

      You should be attempting to convert some of that traffic into subscribers and also monitoring that conversion rate as a KPI to see whether you are getting better or worse at generating prospects - I like to call this your prospect-generation - as opposed to your traffic-generation - process. Then, of course, you should be doing the same with those prospects i.e. encouraging them to become buyers. Again monitoring and measuring your results as KPIs to determine your progress.

      Now, this is the big thing ...

      You need to be turning those buyers into clients: that means finding what they want/need on a regular basis for which you can be the provider of choice. That's the key to growing your business and taking it to the next level.

      Having said that, don't neglect what is in the paragraphs above. Remember that each of your processes are independently important. Each one feeds the next; and each one requires your time and attention.

      Good luck my friend.

      Will

      Originally Posted by bhopkins View Post

      One thing about conversions is it requires testing to improve. Sounds like you have broadened the keywords that people have used to get to your site. These may not be as targeted thus you are not getting the increase in sales that you would expect. My advise is to figure out exactly which keywords people use to find you when they convert and then focus on increasing the rankings of those words.

      Also set up some split tests and switch out images, copy, etc.. to determine what is actually working. The name of the game here is data, don't assume anything or you could hurt the sales you are getting. Once you gather some of this data the solution to increasing your conversions should be clear.

      hth
      Bruce

      Thank you, Will & Bruce!

      I've tried to be very targeted with my keyword backlinking. I've been using the actual names of the products I sell and some variations that google keyword tool suggested as well.

      In google analytics, the keyword phrase that is used the most to get to our site is the name of our site. After typing the first 4 letters of it in google, the drop down menu for google actually lists it automatically. After that, the rest and in fact the vast majority of the keywords that people use to get to our site are all either names of our products or some variation thereof such as "product name" and "what it's for" or "product name" and "review" or "product name" and "ingredients". A small minority of them are very general keywords. It's just that with that vast majority, they're all like 1 search each. We have about 130 products right now.

      I have exactly what they're looking for according to the keywords they're using but for whatever reason, the vast majority of them aren't buying. Moreover, I've striven to be one of the cheapest, if not theee cheapest, of all other online vendors in my niche. There are 1 or 2 places that have me beat on one or two products because they sell a wider variety of merchandise than I do i.e. groceries for instance. Therefore, they can afford to sell a product or two for cheaper than I know they buy it for.

      I can't afford to do that yet.

      I will take your advice about the testing, Bruce and Will, I will try to focus more on how to convert the people that come looking. I can admit that we do lack in the area of customer relations. Our customer service is great. Our product quality is great. Our prices are great. But marketing is where we need a bit of help. We also keep our ear and eyes out for what people are saying they want so I get your point there as well as it concerns customer retention. And indeed, we've approached certain companies and some have noticed us and have approached us so our product catalog will be growing very soon. It's already in the works actually. It's just very tedious work and I'm thinking seriously about outsourcing it.

      Thanks again.

      Originally Posted by Dave Lianelli View Post

      I want to quickly chime in with a short message.

      Don't listen to any excuse for the drop in sales (like the credit crunch)

      There are reasons for the decrease in conversion ratio, but more often than not - it's something within your influence. Something you can fix. Virtually any business can grow within the credit crunch.

      Just market harder, improve salescopy and keep tweaking and testing your website.

      Thank you & I most definitely will continue to strive in everything you've mentioned here.

      Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

      One of the metrics you want to look at is the 'countries' your visitors are coming from. Perhaps, (I'm guessing here) that your pages are being seen in a lot of countries that due to various reasons will never yield customers for you. I'm seeing this big-time on one of my sites.

      It could be new servers running in those countries, it could be a host reasons.

      ~Bill

      Thank you for your reply, Bill.

      Most of our visitors and customers come from America. We get a couple international orders a week - Canada mostly, but also some parts of Europe & occasionally Asia. Africa, once or twice. From May 24 to June 24th, we had 4,028 visitors. 2,612 of them were from America. 1,416 from other countries.

      Hopefully, the more U.S. visitors I get, the more conversions I will get. I will also keep your words in mind.

      Again, thanks.

      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      I'll try to keep this short because I could write a book on this.

      One possible explanation for the lower conversion rate is targeting.

      You say you're getting more visitors. Are they coming from the same sources
      or are they coming from different sources? Are the demographics the same?

      Let me give you an example in the MMO niche that I think will clearly show
      you how this can happen.

      A lot of marketers in the MMO niche think that everybody looking to make
      money online is the same. In other words, if you're selling a make money
      online product, they're all in your target market.

      This isn't necessarily true.

      For example. Let's say I'm selling a book on how to make money with
      article marketing and I promote it through article writing using keywords
      targeting people who are interested in article marketing. That's going to
      probably have a high conversion rate.

      But what if I did this? What if I started promoting that book to people
      who hung out at:

      WAH Message Boards
      Safelists
      Traffic Exchanges
      FFA Sites

      Most of these people are probably not going to be interested in writing
      articles. And while I might get a lot of people to check out my offer
      because of the way I worded the ad, ultimately, they would be less likely
      to become buyers.

      More visitors = Lower conversion rate.

      And that's just one possibility. There can be many more.

      The sample size alone could be a factor.

      2% conversion on 1,000 visitors is nothing when you compare it to 2%
      conversion on 1,000,000 visitors.

      Sometimes it takes a very long time to figure your true conversion rate
      simply because you didn't have enough traffic.

      When we first came online, our google traffic was minimal of course. So the first thing we did was make our presence known on forums about our niche and we were interviewed on a couple of blogs relevant to our niche as well. We continue to get steady sales from people on those forums. We're also going to try to work a bit more on our own blog, our facebook page and our twitter page.

      What do you think about us starting a forum section on our own site?
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  • Profile picture of the author BobRenwick
    Here's the current Clickbank Index from Clickbank Analytics. Is there a correlation to the downturn being experienced?

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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Lianelli
    I want to quickly chime in with a short message.

    Don't listen to any excuse for the drop in sales (like the credit crunch)

    There are reasons for the decrease in conversion ratio, but more often than not - it's something within your influence. Something you can fix. Virtually any business can grow within the credit crunch.

    Just market harder, improve salescopy and keep tweaking and testing your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author bhopkins
    One thing about conversions is it requires testing to improve. Sounds like you have broadened the keywords that people have used to get to your site. These may not be as targeted thus you are not getting the increase in sales that you would expect. My advise is to figure out exactly which keywords people use to find you when they convert and then focus on increasing the rankings of those words.

    Also set up some split tests and switch out images, copy, etc.. to determine what is actually working. The name of the game here is data, don't assume anything or you could hurt the sales you are getting. Once you gather some of this data the solution to increasing your conversions should be clear.

    hth
    Bruce
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    Bruce

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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      One of the metrics you want to look at is the 'countries' your visitors are coming from. Perhaps, (I'm guessing here) that your pages are being seen in a lot of countries that due to various reasons will never yield customers for you. I'm seeing this big-time on one of my sites.

      It could be new servers running in those countries, it could be a host of reasons.

      ~Bill
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        I'll try to keep this short because I could write a book on this.

        One possible explanation for the lower conversion rate is targeting.

        You say you're getting more visitors. Are they coming from the same sources
        or are they coming from different sources? Are the demographics the same?

        Let me give you an example in the MMO niche that I think will clearly show
        you how this can happen.

        A lot of marketers in the MMO niche think that everybody looking to make
        money online is the same. In other words, if you're selling a make money
        online product, they're all in your target market.

        This isn't necessarily true.

        For example. Let's say I'm selling a book on how to make money with
        article marketing and I promote it through article writing using keywords
        targeting people who are interested in article marketing. That's going to
        probably have a high conversion rate.

        But what if I did this? What if I started promoting that book to people
        who hung out at:

        WAH Message Boards
        Safelists
        Traffic Exchanges
        FFA Sites

        Most of these people are probably not going to be interested in writing
        articles. And while I might get a lot of people to check out my offer
        because of the way I worded the ad, ultimately, they would be less likely
        to become buyers.

        More visitors = Lower conversion rate.

        And that's just one possibility. There can be many more.

        The sample size alone could be a factor.

        2% conversion on 1,000 visitors is nothing when you compare it to 2%
        conversion on 1,000,000 visitors.

        Sometimes it takes a very long time to figure your true conversion rate
        simply because you didn't have enough traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
    This story is very similar to mine and I've been trying to get to the bottom of the problem for some time now.

    I've been seriously in business since December 06 and I currently make a modest but comfortable living full time. I track page views, click throughs (to affiliate sales pages) and earnings for each link on every page of all of my sites. I can also plot clicks and earnings per product and per site.

    My site and sales statistics show page views, click throughs and earnings all increasing together for the first 2 years aside from an obvious dip from October - December 2008 which coincided with the bank meltdown.

    From April 2009 things have gotten more difficult. Click throughs have increased by 30% but earnings this year to date are slightly down on the same time last year. This is broadly true across all niches and sites and even pages that are 3 years old or more.

    My only theory that fits the stats is that people are less likely to buy as a result of the recession. Until now I haven't been able to find any evidence outside of my stats to support my theory.

    If it is the economy then all we have to do is work on traffic and wait. :-)
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  • I've got two ideas for you:

    poorer quality traffic
    longer page loading times
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Garratt
      Originally Posted by Steve Peters Benn View Post

      I've got two ideas for you:

      poorer quality traffic
      longer page loading times
      So do you have any evidence that might indicate that visitor value has not generaly decreased across the board in the last 12 months?
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  • Profile picture of the author AndyBeard
    This probably touches on what others have mentioned a little

    1. You probably need to improve your analytics. There are various hacks that allow you to track not only the last search before a purchase, but also the first touch, though it is also possible to just store this data in cookies.
    The reason being you shouldn't take action based upon inaccurate data. A brand search which then results in a sale, or a bookmark that results in a sale must have come to you some time previously, possibly form a referral or a search, and without that data going forward you have nothing to work with that is reliable.

    2. If you have off topic pages that have never brought in a sale from search traffic, that are obviously off topic, and don't for some reason have other value such as they are good for gaining links, think about using noindex on them.

    My blog is probably a worst offender for this, and in some ways I keep it that way as a poor example. Take this for example.




    I actually ranked #4 for gmail for visitors in Poland for a whole week on a 3 year old post that I had forgotten about and was no longer topical.

    The few hundred visitors I received during that time were worthless to me, but also didn't represent an increase in traffic. It actually represented a decrease in traffic that was on target.
    This is something I have discussed with people for the last couple of years that I have seen on some of the huge sites I help with SEO, and have also covered in a webinar for Stomeprnet members.

    The solution is to
    a) try to only have content that converts
    b) if content dosn't convert or bring in links or somehow generate revenue from people arriving on a search query, think about noindexing the page.
    c) I don't suggest deleting the page as it might provide links to pages that do convert.
    d) don't do anything drastic.. incremental changes though noindex on that gmail page on my site is near the top of my priorities once I have some more tracking in palce to measure the changes.
    e) build links to pages that convert for search terms that convert, and think about doubling up
    f) work damn hard on conversion and making sure that the traffic that has the highest chance of converting does convert. That is one of the reasons I am so interested in things like Google's remarketing currently.

    Yes I ranked #4 for a term with 196,000,000 competing pages, but that is crap you only see on sales pages where people are stretching for proof. Fortunately I think I can use negative geotargeting in some of my new marketing campaigns to filter those few hundred people out.
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  • Profile picture of the author herms
    I'm going to try being more patient.

    The week that I made this thread, we ended up with 20 sales for the week, which we consider low. That was roughly 3 orders a day. All but one day had 3 orders except for one day where we had 2 orders.

    This past week, we had 39 orders. We basically doubled the amount of orders and we took in double the amount of money as well.

    From Jan to now, our conversion rate over that time period is roughly 3%. But I'm seeing things happening that kind of remind me of when I was briefly doing some amateur currency trading. At some point after doing it--oh for about 6 months or so--I began to notice patterns and that they existed in all time frames. From 1 minute charts to 4 hour charts to day charts to week to month to year and so on. The same patterns existed in all time frames.

    I think that's what's going on here as well. We have days where we'll get an order very early in the day and won't get anything else until 10 or 11 o' clock at night. All of a sudden a couple more orders will just pop up. Sometimes we go all day without a sale and have that same thing happen at the last minute. Some days we get orders consistently throughout the day, each just a couple of hours or so after the other.

    So it seems that some times we'll have a slow day and sometimes we'll have a slow week. I also remember having about 2 or 3 slow weeks around the end of March going into April and I noticed that, for whatever reason, a few people I knew online were having a slow time with their businesses around that time as well. It's the only time in the past year that we've experienced a slow time for that long.

    Nevertheless, when we look at the chart of how things have been going for us, the highs and the lows keep getting higher and higher. No low is as low as the last. And indeed, I remember not too long ago where 20 orders in a week was a damn good haul. A bad week was going up to 3 days without a sale. 12 sales a week was good back then. And this past week we got more orders in a regular week than we got in a week back in February when we ran a sale.

    I'm keeping everything you guys said in mind and I will be more patient and also keep watch on the patterns.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    I think Steven nailed it.

    It is all about getting traffic that is interested in the product (or service) you are offering.
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