Improve Conversion Rate by Refining Paid Traffic Sources

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Published: 22nd November 2016
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To improve conversion rate on your website virtually overnight, simply refine your paid traffic sources to eliminate non-converting keywords. But as simple and positively logical as this may seem, most websites are wasting up to 40% or more of their marketing spend on non-converting keywords in their paid traffic streams. And although this strategy technically will not increase overall site conversions, by reducing traffic levels without a corresponding drop in sales would indeed improve conversion rate by a very significant amount.

Now, the question is: How do you refine your paid traffic sources to improve conversion rate? Well, let's begin with the most common ppc platform: Google Adwords.

The great thing about Google Adwords is that it has a built-in feature to track conversions. If this feature has been enabled and you have a sample size of at least 1,000 visitors or more, then all you need to do is review the individual Adword Groups and pause or delete all of the non-converting keywords. In doing so, you will reduce traffic levels without reducing sales which will effectively improve conversion rate, reduce marketing costs, and therefore boost overall online profits.

For all other paid traffic sources, you will need to use a 2-step process to refine the traffic sources and improve conversion rate that includes:

Step 1: Review Web Traffic Analysis to Isolate Non-Converting Keywords

Step 2: Pause or Delete Non-Converting Keywords in Your Other Paid Traffic Platforms

For Step 1, we strongly recommend using Google Analytics to find the non-converting keywords. Specifically, you will want to configure your analytics to specifically track:

1. Primary Conversions: Basically, any action that would generate a Thank You page such as a direct purchase or opt-in, is a conversion you want to track. Now be careful: Make sure you create separate Thank You pages for the different types of conversions (for instance, you should have a Thank You page for any direct purchases, a Thank You page for signing up for a free report, and if applicable, another separate Thank You page for sign-ups for a newsletter, free consult, or any different CTA).
2. 3-Minute Visits or Longer: If a keyword is bringing in visitors who are staying on the page for 3 minutes or longer, then they are likely a person who might buy at some later point if they don't immediately. So don't edit or delete keywords that are generating these types of conversions.
3. 5-Page Visit: Again, if a visitor is willing to visit 5 or more pages of your website, then they were definitely interested in what you were selling or talking about. So keep these keywords as well.

Now depending on your business model, it may be necessary to configure Goals to track your non-purchase conversions and e Commerce to track direct sales. But regardless of your business model, you can quickly improve conversion rate by eliminating any paid keywords that fail to convert on one or more of the goals listed above. So once you have goals configured to track these core conversion goals, here is how you isolate the non-converting paid keywords:

Login into Google Analytics and then click on the Acquisition Tab in the Left Navigation
Click on Keywords
Click on Paid

This should pull up a screen that displays your top 10 paid keywords plus any conversion stats off to the right. To see all of your paid terms, go to the bottom of this little chart and click on the arrow next to the "Show Rows" tab. Next, select 250 so your chart displays up to 250 targeted keywords. Next, at the top of the same screen, you will see a subheader that says Conversions on it with a little drop down menu next to it. In that drop down menu, select "All Goals" so that the chart will show you if the keywords are converting on any of your goals. Next, just write down or export the list of non-converting keywords and then login into the respective traffic platforms and pause or delete them.

Concluding Thoughts

Optimising paid traffic sources is just one of many tools that professional conversion optimisation experts use to improve conversion rate for their clients. Again, this particular traffic optimisation strategy may not increase overall sales but depending on the percentage of paid traffic you have each month, it could potentially reduce marketing costs by 40% or more. With these savings, you could either pay for more traffic or to optimise on-site factors which would improve conversion rate and both options would actually increase total sales volume.

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