To Stop Wasting Money, Start By Converting Current Traffic

By Jon MacDonald
2 minute read | Last Updated: April 8, 2016

For a larger return, make a small investment focused on converting traffic already visiting your website before spending recklessly on obtaining more traffic.

Every brand would like their digital spend to have a greater return on investment. But very few brands in the active lifestyle, or athletic and outdoor, industry are focusing on one very simple and seemingly obvious way to increase return on their digital budget spend: optimize first, then drive traffic.

Invest in Consumer Experience, See Greater Return

One place Active Lifestyle brands waste a lot of money is by driving traffic through Adwords and various brand campaigns to digital properties that are not optimized to convert.

In other words, brand campaigns are driving traffic to a digital property that provides a poor experience for consumers, and is full of consumer user experience holes.

The bottom line is that if consumers land on your site but cannot accomplish what they came there to do, they will leave without buying anything, perhaps never to return. (Along with the money you just spent to get them there.)

A small investment to find and plug these holes, which are located at the conversion drop-off points in your site, will do a lot to increase your site’s overall conversion (or micro-conversion) rates.

Finding Costly Conversion Drop-off Points

The good news is that finding your site’s conversion drop-off points is intuitive. Scientists have discovered a simple way to improve the prediction of human behavior, the holy grail of consumer research: just ask users why they make certain decisions.

Perhaps you’d find that simple things like a user account registration form is costing your site $300 million in annual revenue. That is quite a large conversion rate issue! In this example, the brand was surprised how much consumers resisted registering for an account on their site:

“The team saw the form as enabling repeat customers to purchase faster. First-time purchasers wouldn’t mind the extra effort of registering because, after all, they will come back for more and they’ll appreciate the expediency in subsequent purchases. Everybody wins, right?”

But the consumers told researchers:

“I’m not here to enter into a relationship. I just want to buy something.”

So the brand replaced the Register button with a Continue button and added a message stating an account was not required to purchase.

The results were quite impressive:

“The number of customers purchasing went up by 45%. The extra purchases resulted in an extra $15 million the first month. For the first year, the site saw an additional $300,000,000.”

A Simple Way to Increase Budget Effectiveness

Focusing on micro-conversions can increase online sales dramatically, and spending a few thousand dollars up-front to ensure those conversions points are easy for the consumer to complete, can provide a return much greater in value than the up-front spend to optimize.

This all leads to an increase in budget effectiveness but only if you have taken the time to consider one question before driving traffic to your site with a digital campaign: “What will the consumer think of us once we get them there?”