Conversion Rates Vs. Views
A relatively new term in the world of marketing, sales and persuasion is something called ‘pre-suasion.’
The general idea behind this term is to get the customer ready to want to buy from you. The argument is that people are much more likely to buy at certain times and especially if you have made an effort to get them in the mood for buying first. People are more likely to buy in the evening for example because when we’re tired, we become more impulsive and more emotional.
What’s more, though, is that people are more likely to buy from you when they have gotten to know your brand and when they are convinced that you know what you’re talking about.
One of the best ways to improve your conversion rates is to show the right kind of person your sales page. You can do this by showing visitors your sales page only after they have racked up several page views for example, or by using strategies like remarketing.
Of course, targeting is also important – and that means showing your site to the correct demographics. Are more of your buyers’ young men? Then target young men with your advertising and SEO! Find out what young men want to read and put that content on your website!
Of course, there are also a ton of other factors influencing your conversion rates. Perhaps the biggest of these is your sales copy. The more persuasive you are in selling the positive aspects of your product, and the better you are at applying sales pressure (i.e. showing your buyers that the product is limited in supply, etc.). These are all things you can experiment with.
Obvious the product is also a VERY big factor, and that means the desirability of said product, the target demographic and the price. These are factors you can play with, especially once you know the cost of your page views.
Rate of Return Visitors
Rate of Return Visitors is another metric that will give you more insight regarding the actual engagement you’re enjoying on your website. As the name rather suggests, this will tell you how much of your traffic is generated by visitors who keep coming back to your site.
This metric is harder to track truly because people will change computers and cookies over time. However, by looking at IPs and tracking how many of those are changing over time, you can get a good estimate of how many of your visitors have been fans for a long time – but this will be slightly skewed by your number of new users. Using something like a user login can help you to improve the accuracy of this metric somewhat depending on the tools you use, as this way users with new computers can log in using their old accounts and thereby identify themselves.
But in this case, a rough estimate is good enough for your purposes. The aim is to get a rough percentage of how much of your traffic is new traffic. And this is very important, seeing as it can tell you a lot about the nature of your visits.
For example, if you have a lot of visits, then you might think that this means you have a very successful marketing campaign. But then if you take a closer look and realize that the vast majority of those visits are from people who check your site once a week… suddenly you realize that your engagement is great, but your marketing is not so hot. This illustrates a very obvious area for improvement.
What about sites with excellent rates of return visitors but terrible conversions? This is interesting because you would expect a site with high levels of conversions and clear fans to get a lot of sales and a lot of subscribers. If that’s not what you’re seeing, then it could suggest that the product is not very enticing for your visitors, it could suggest that you are using too much of a ‘soft sell approach’ or it could mean that you need to fix the sales copy on that page.
How to Improve Your Rate of Return Visitors
Of course, this is again an area where it is very important to make sure your site is great and that the content is the writing of thing that keeps bringing your visitors back.
But at the same time, you can also use several other tricks to encourage regular visits. One example is to create multi-part articles that show up once a week. Likewise, you can also increase your return visitors by talking about upcoming posts and events that will get your readers exciting.
Perhaps the single most important thing though is to make sure you are consistent. This means you should post your new content consistently but it also means you need to stick to one topic and one tone. People tend to subscribe to sites or to bookmark them because they want a regular dose of information or entertainment. If they keep checking back and there’s no new content, then you might lose a follower.
Social media and email marketing are also very useful for bringing people back to your site repeatedly, in this way you can remind people that your brand exists and encourage them to visit back! Make it as easy as possible for people to bookmark your page or subscribe you and consider reminding them to do so in the body of your content.
CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
Your CLV is your ‘customer lifetime value.’ This is the most important metric to track in terms of making money, and it’s another one you’re going to have to calculate yourself by looking at a range of other metrics from your panel.
First, look at the amount you are charging for your product and more importantly, how much you make for each sale. What is your profit margin for each unit you shift? This will be the RRP minus your ‘COGs’ (cost of goods sold). And while you’re at it, don’t forget to look at any discounts you might offer sometimes or the cost of delivery, etc.
From here, you can then look at your number of unique visitors and the total number of sales. Roughly divide the total profit per year by the number of visitors, and you have a rough average value for each of your customers.
Customer Lifetime Value measures the value of all your leads and visits. In other words, buying customers are worth X amount of money to you and visitors who never buy from you are worth 0. But if you take the average amount, then you can work out a value for each visitor to your site, which we call CLV.
If you have 100 visitors, 1% conversion rates and a product worth $100 (with 100% profit), then each visitor is worth $1 to you, because statistically they are likely to earn you $1.
What’s more, is that you can then look at how many of those sales are repeat customers and factor this in to work out how many of your customers buy multiple times and are thus worth $500 in reality. This gives you a more long-term idea of how much you can earn from a visitor, except it’s worth noting that cash flow issues might rear their ugly head here.
To increase your customer lifetime value, you need to improve your conversion rates and your targeting. If you make your money from adverts meanwhile, then you could increase your CLV by looking at your AdSense optimization. How well placed are the adverts around your site? How relevant are the ads being shown?
What if you don’t want to sell anything from your website? What if your aim is to build trust and gain a massive following?
Well, in that case, you should still consider the CLV. This is still important because it is going to give you a budget for marketing your site and for promoting yourself. And this, in turn, will result in more hits.
It is up to you how you decide to define a ‘customer’ – whether that means a visitor, an email subscriber or an actual customer. And this will depend on your goals.
Which brings us nicely to the next metric…
CPA, CPL, and ROI
CPA is the ‘Cost Per Action,’ and this is a term that becomes relevant when you start paying for advertising.
If you use Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to try and drive more visitors to your website, then this is a form of PPC advertising. That stands for ‘Pay Per Click,’ and it means that you’re paying a certain amount for each person who clicks on your ad and thereby paying a certain amount for each new visitor.
PPC tells you how much you are spending and allows you to control that number tightly. But it tells you nothing of the value that you’re getting in return. This will elevate your visits, and that’s all – you want to elevate your sales.
This is where ‘CPA’ comes in and uses goal tracking to show you how much you are spending for each person to buy a product from you. If you use Google Analytics and combine that with AdWords, then you can see how many of the clicks you get from your ad campaign are resulting in sales and this, in turn, allows you to work out the average amount you pay for each new sale.
Meanwhile, a ‘CPL’ is a ‘Cost Per Lead,’ which tells you how much you are paying for leads. A lead will often be considered a warm lead who subscribes to your mailing list – but you could also choose to count highly engaged visitors as your warm leads. To calculate a CPL in this way, you could look at your number of visitors and then compare this to the average page views per visit or the average time on site. That way, you can work out the percentage of your visitors who end up being engaged visitors and therefore leads.
Of course, you can also calculate your CPA and CPL without using Google Analytics or AdSense. If you are paying an SEO company to help your site to climb the SERPs for example, then you can calculate your CPA by looking at the amount you’re spending on that marketing versus the number of sales and the amount of profit you are making. This is all your costs versus all of your profits.
Likewise, you can work this out if you sell through a mailing list by looking at how much you are paying for each lead who subscribes and then looking at the lifetime value of each subscribe. How many of read your emails and how many of them buy your products?
How to Improve CPA and CPL
One way to improve your CPA and CPL is to target the right niche – one that isn’t too competitive so that you can reduce the cost of advertising in that industry. Another is to make sure that you have done everything you can to reduce your bounce rates, improve engagement and enhance conversion rates so that the people you are paying to bring to your site are likely to buy from you. You can also do this by increasing the value of the product you sell so that you improve the profit for each sale or by tweaking and improving your sales page to enhance conversions.
Another trick is to use advertising that charges on a CPA basis. Facebook now offers this service and allows you to set up CPA ads for things like page likes and even sales of special offers. This way, you can agree to only pay when a click turns into positive action – rather than wasting money on an ineffectual or poorly targeted campaign!
CPL is also improved by delivering an amazing product and excellent service, of course! If people don’t enjoy the experience of shopping with you, they won’t do it again!
What to do With This Data
All this work is going to help you to calculate how much you are spending on the types of leads and customers you are aiming to bring to your site and how much you are earning from them.
If you pay for 100 clicks and each costs you $1, but you have a conversion rate of 1%, and they pay $200, then your customer is worth $2 to you, and you are only paying $1. If some customers tend to buy repeatedly, then your average value might be worth even more.
This then helps you to ensure that your final metric – your ROI – is high. Your ROI is your return on investment, which tells you how much of the money you are spending on advertising, hosting and everything else you are getting back.
If your average customer is worth MORE to you than you are paying to bring them to your website, then you can rest assured that you will not lose money and you will continue to bring in profit that will increase over time.
By working out your customer lifetime value, you can work out what your budget is for advertising spend, and that way keep growing and scaling your business while minimizing risk. Meanwhile, you can continue to improve your conversion rates and organic traffic to make more sales and allow yourself to spend more on those adverts.
By tracking all of this data and looking at it, in a synergistic and cohesive manner, you can predict exactly your earnings, you can identify where to invest your money, and you can look at the failings that are damaging your profits and your engagement.
It takes time to get a handle on all this data, but once you manage it, you can take the guesswork out of your internet marketing and turn it into a simple equation.