Planning to invest in SEO or AdWords? See how Conversion Rate optimization could help give you a bigger bang for your buck

Philip Allen's picture

Read this real-world comparison of two Websites selling an identical product range.

Planning to invest in SEO or AdWords

Comparison table: Real world comparison of two live websites selling exactly the same products

You’ve got a Website and you want it to contribute more to your bottom line. The site generates business for you, but you want more.

The logical thing to do is push more traffic to the site by using tactics such as SEO, AdWords, Social Sharing, Backlinks, Affiliate Programs etc.

But hang on a minute; traffic is actually quite expensive to develop. It’s also progressive so you won’t quite be leaping to Position 1 in Google’s organic listing in the next few weeks.

In fact, a well-defined online marketing strategy could take several months to get everything implemented and up to speed.

Of course traffic is important, but is there a way of complimenting SEO and AdWords to gain faster results? 

Yes there is, and it’s called conversion rate optimization, the logical process of ensuring more people who visit your Website convert.

Conversion rates apply to all sorts of businesses. You could be measuring the volume of product sales, the average basket value, the number of leads generated in the case of B2B, the number of paid subscribers, or the number people signing up for anything from an event to a clinical trial.

Here is a real work scenario that demonstrates the power of conversion rate optimization and the effect it can have:

A company operates two Websites in its market. They both sell the same products. Website A was purchased as a going concern and has been live for over a year, whilst Website B was commissioned as a new build to run in parallel.

It’s a scenario that provides an opportunity to directly compare the performance of both sites.

Now, Website B hasn’t been live for long, so it can’t yet compete with the traffic generated from the more mature Website A, but its already producing a higher volume of sales.

What’s the reason behind it?

Website B has a visitor-to-sale conversion rate of 3.29%, whilst Website A has a conversion rate of 1.39%.

To realise the full implication of this, I compiled the comparison table at the top of this post to demonstrate. I replaced the actual traffic with a constant of 10,000 visits a month because it’s the implication of conversions that’s important.

So every month, Website B will generate 190 more sales and £9,500 more in revenue based on this model.

Of course in your industry, the average sale might be £100,000 if it’s a large item of capital equipment or the value of a long-term account.

Another important point to make here is that I’ve also kept the average sale as a constant to make the illustration easier, but in fact, the average basket value is higher on Website B as well, but I’ll save that for a different post.

So if you have an existing site and you’re considering upping spend for online marketing, why not look at the potential for conversion optimisation.

Alternatively, if you are putting a brief together to purchase a new Website, make sure you make a request that each vendor includes notes and evidence to back up how they intend to maximize conversions.

This way, when you get the proverbial three quotes back suggesting a build cost of £10,000, £20,000 and £50,000, you’ll be better placed to judge the value.

Incidentally, Website B cost around £10,000 more than Website A because ther was an investment in user-centred practices such as personas, UX analysis, experience mapping and prototype testing.

That said, its clear to see that not only could the difference be paid back in a very short space of time, but if we took a 2-year view using this illustration then Website B would generate £228,000 more in revenue without any extra investment in SEO or marketing.

If you would like to see the benefit even a small increase in conversion rates could have on your revenue, try out our FREE CONVERSION RATE TOOL - it will only take a minute and you don't even have to register. 

Related Articles:

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About the author:

is the Studio Director at D., and a Drupal UX Design Consultant in charge of high conversion rate responsive web design.

If you’d like to talk to Phil, get in touch via the Contact Us page or give him a ring on UK: 0844 544 9553 or INTL: +44 (1) 202 390822

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