Someone walks into shop, they're after something, could be something useful (most people buy what they need), could be spur-of-the-moment if the products good enough they'll buy it... I wonder what percentage walk out empty handed.
A website gets 1000 visitors a month... if you're lucky you'll get 20 orders or enquiries, more likely you'll get 10.
So what is it about the other 980 visitors that they didn't like you enough to buy something. By any standards you care to measure that is a staggering number of people that have taken the time to look you up, either via Google or typed in your web address or responded to some action you've taken.
They've entered the 'shop' so to speak. Sure, it's not going to suit everyone, but 98% of people seems staggeringly high.
- The ease of saying no
This is the traditional excuse - people shop around - I'm now going to make you think - when did you last 'shop-around'? The fact is we don't actually shop around that much do we. Obviously we have to treat this case by case, we just go to Amazon and order the product.
In fact the opposite is true the higher the cost value of your product - the more likely it is people will visit your website after a recommendation or some specific prompt. Take Holidays - you don't randomly decide to visit somewhere, you have a reason to go where you want.
I could list lots of examples, but the truth should be that people shop around a lot less than we are led to believe.
- Stumbling Blocks
Now here's something I can relate to - frustration with websites, can't work out how to use then, can't see the product properly, don't want to pay that extra costs.
Again though I have to question this - most websites these days are reasonably easy to understand and if you want a product badly enough you'll put up with whatever quirks you come across.
Couple that with the fact that more and more young web-savvy people are coming online all the time and 'grey-surfers' themselves are learning the ropes pretty well these days.
- Robots & Machines
I can also relate to this - the truth of why so many people visit your website and appear to do nothing (Bounce Rate) or very little could be because machines are accessing our website.
If 80%-90% of all email is Spam - then we can extrapolate that probably most traffic on the in junk and that most of the thousands of visitors to your website are junk.
That is a very sorry state of affairs and something that is not easy to rule out. But really, can we believe this? Do you know anyone who runs a computer that visits billions of websites for no apparent reason? Is it the Chinese, I mean why?
Humans have interacted with each other for millions of years - why this sudden desire to know about a website selling Uggs in Australia, it just doesn't actually make sense.
So, back to the 'Conversion Rates' - what can I say, 1%, 2%, 5%, all that matters is that your conversion rates go up and not down. Every thing you do to make your website better (removing stumbling blocks) will help. But equally everything you can do to make your website stop doing worse will also help (do you really need traffic from the Philippines?)
If we think about - we can work at this from the other direction - we can block and stop traffic that is a waste of time... Who are all these people that visit the website and do nothing, it's a bit like sending a mailshot through the post to addresses that don't exist.
We love that number, 1000 visitors per month... but if they are 980 visitors that don't do anything - what then?
The point is, if you get your Conversion Rate up to 5% or even 10% that will have far more effect on your over all activities than virtually any other statistic. You'll be 'on-message' to the 'right-audience' and able to satisfy their needs far more easily.
Note: SEO prompt - We believe here that Google now measure activity within your website - if they can 'tell' that you are satisfying a clients needs via a sale or an enquiry then Google will give credit to you for that. Equally if you are getting a ton of traffic from some dodgy source, surely Google can tell that as well.
The point being - working on your Conversion Rate will conversing see a huge rise in the right kind of traffic to your website because Google will like you better.