Every marketer’s goal is to increase profit while maintaining a reasonable ad budget. In online marketing this also translates into finding the online ad channels that will ensure a good return on investment.

For a website, there are two ways to increase sales and leads: either you increase the number of visitors; either you increase the number of conversions you get from existent visitors.

Traffic aquisition

Conversion rate = Number of Leads or Sales / Total Traffic to Site x 100

If you search for a rapid solution, acquiring traffic comes in handy and it has one sure result: more visitors. But there’s no guarantee if there will be any other benefits for the site: if those new visitors will actually buy, if they will engage with the brand and become fans, loyal customers or at least one-time customers etc.

Let’s say you have an online shop with 10.000 visitors per week and a conversion rate of 3%. This means that 300 people convert: either they buy something, either they leave their contact data, depending on what type of goal you’ve set. If you decide to invest in one ad channel so that you bring 1000 new visitors to the site, you don’t know if the conversion rate will be maintained and 3% of these new visitors will convert. Your traffic acquisition could bring only a temporary visits boost, and no customers.

Not any traffic acquisition is a big money leak

You can avoid unnecessary traffic expenses by sticking to an old financial principle: study every investment, see if it’s justified. In this particular case, structure your traffic acquisition budget only after studying what sources of traffic have the best conversion rates. Through segmentation and testing you can establish the profile of visitors that are most likely to convert.

Types of paid traffic include: Adwords (search network and display network), Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads, Banners, Stumbleupon paid discovery.

When you chose one of the above, make sure that you invest into something that will have tangible results in terms of conversions. After all, your ads don’t only have to be visible and to bring visitors; they also have to create a great impact on user engagement. Just think how easy it is for an internet user to see your ad, to click on it out of curiosity, then to leave immediately the site.

How to avoid media wastage

If you want to structure your ad investments, you can use some simple questions as a guide:

  • What’s your financial goal? You want to increase your ad investment or generate more sales with the same ad budget?
  • What are you paying for? Impressions? Conversions?
  • In the past, how much did you spend to drive new visits and what did you get from them?
  • Which platform proved to be the biggest money waster in the past?
  • How does traffic acquisition help you meet your goals?

You will see that all these questions will lead you to more complex analysis of the site traffic per source, of conversions and to testing experiments. This is bound to happen, because in reality, there are more factors that influence conversion rate. You can bring quality traffic from Adwords, but if the landing page isn’t well optimized according to visitors profile and their expectancies, you can lose a high percentage of these visitors.

traffic police

Prepare for traffic acquisition:

  • Segment
  • Test (A/B testing, multivariate testing)
  • Do surveys
  • Analyze key performance indicators

Each ad channel is different in content expectations, click through rate and visitor intent. If you want to maximize the benefits of your ad investment it is better to previously assess the potential of each channel and type of ad.

Example of surveys usage for traffic acquisition decisions

Let’s say you have an online clothing store and you place paid banners on a fashion portal, and at the same time you run an Adwords campaign and a Facebook Ads campaign. In the first two weeks you have the same conversion rate from all three channels (3%), but in the future your budget will allow you to invest in only one ad channel and you have to decide which one to continue with.

For a more consistent and profound analysis, you could segment the traffic and run surveys per source to assess how many visitors are expressing a future purchase intention or other forms of interest for the e-shops products.  This way, you can see which ad channel has potential for both present conversions but also for user engagement and future conversions, and stick with it.

If you want to save more money and grow conversions, you can always try Omniconvert, the 3 in 1 tool that enables you to segment traffic, create A/B and multivariate tests and personalize your website!


Photo source: State Library of South Australia