What Matters Most? Visitors or Conversion?

Of course it’s a false choice, although people have discussed this question with me as if it wasn’t.

Your business and your Internet marketing efforts MUST strike a balance between the two.

If your website has enormous levels of organic traffic, but converts very poorly, that’s as bad as a website that converts extremely well, but has low levels of traffic.

Attracting Visitors

I avoid the phrase “driving traffic” because I want people visiting my website that have a genuine interest in what my website talks about.

Having said that I do some amount of outbound marketing (email, social media messaging, etc) where my messages goes to people who mostly don’t care (which is THE defining characteristic of outbound marketing), but visitors who show up via organic search traffic are the highest quality website visitors, as they find you.

Paid Ads

Works but gets expensive. I don’t know a lot about this but people I talk to who do this a lot tell me Facebook is a good value for consumer businesses, Yelp is good for restaurants, and Google is getting expensive for everything.

Social Media Referrals

The big investment here is time, as you participate in social media platforms, communities, and discussions. Having said there there is a software tool that helps automate your participation in social media called Advanced Social Messenger which I use and feel is worth the money ($141 per fiscal quarter).

Organic Search Traffic

Of course people who find you are the best traffic your website can have. The core activity of attracting visitors through organic search is blogging, and both quantity and quality are important (that is yet another false choice people sometimes treat as real).

Let me be clear that attracting traffic through organic search does cost. You either pay someone to create valuable content for your site, or someone on your team devotes their time and energy to the effort.


Website conversion is the other side of that same coin. The goal of Inbound Marketing is to generate leads, not just traffic. Successful Inbound Marketing includes the website visitors taking action towards commercial transactions.

Your Sales Funnel

This is a really important concept but many people I’ve spoken to don’t know what a sales funnel really is, and as a result they define them incorrectly.

Every time we buy something, we go through a decision process. For some types of goods and services the decision process is short and quick. Groceries for example. For other types of goods and services the decision process is very long and drawn out. Houses for example.

What you need to figure out is what decision process do your customers go through in the course of becoming your customer?

Their decision process is your sales funnel.

The first step or two of which are implemented on your website.

There is a generic sales funnel model named AIDA which stands for Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action which is useful to illustrate this point.

Your website needs to take care of Awareness and Interest up to the point where they contact you in some way (which could be something as simple as leaving their name and email address).

The important concept here is know the steps people take in the process of deciding to commit to your business, then walk them through as many of those steps as you can on your website.

However…. 98% of people who buy stuff don’t buy the first time they hear of a product or service. They buy later. So your conversion is more than just getting them to fill out a form on your website.

Lead nurturing through email and/or marketing automation is however a topic for another blog post.

In Closing

When someone presents you with the false choice of traffic vs conversions simply explain how you need both, and ask them to continue talking with that in mind.

Learn More…

SEO Needs Link Building


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