Converting traffic into sales is for many, the primary objective of an online business. So why, when you have previously enjoyed a consistent rate of conversions, can you suddenly appear to have fallen off the edge of cliff?
There are a number of reasons why this can happen but once you discover a drop in conversions it is important that you do not suddenly have a knee-jerk reaction and embark on starting your SEO from scratch! Often it is the simplest reason that will explain a change in the performance of your website. What you need to do is try to avoid over analyzing and assuming the worst.
One of the most common reasons for a decline in conversions is simply the time of the month. Many people have less cash to spend come the end of the month but may still be browsing your site choosing the things they will buy when pay day comes around. Look back at your analytics and you may notice a spike in sales around the first week of each month. Other days which may not see good conversions include weekends, holidays, major events and good weather. All of these could show a drop in conversions even though your traffic may stay the same.
What is important… once you notice a drop in conversions is not to overreact and assume that your website stinks as well as your SEO! There are in fact several other external reasons that could be affecting your conversions, ones you should check out first before you starting blaming your own efforts. If your conversions have been healthy up till now, you need to ask yourself why that might have changed.
Think about these factors first as the reason could be more obvious than you think:
- Simply Just Bad Luck: sometimes a loss of conversions is just down to bad luck. And with no other apparent reason you should just simply assume no-one wanted to buy at that time.
- Wait and Collect Data: I would personally recommend that you sit tight for a week or so before you look to change anything. It may just be a fluke and your conversion rates will start climbing again within a few days. On the downside your previous success could in fact be the exception rather the norm, in which case I recommend looking back over your data to see what may have been different.
- Analyze Your SEO: can you identify where your previous conversions came from? Did you suddenly begin ranking for a keyword phrase you had not previously had any success with? If that is the case then it could be a good idea to concentrate your SEO efforts with that from now on by applying it to a PPC campaign or generating some unique content around it.
- What About Your Other Data: analyze your website data such as the bounce rate on the days when conversions where down. By this I mean comparing the traffic figures with the number of sales, if this has changed then you know something is wrong. Run a broken link checker through your site too as these can also contribute to a lack of conversions.
- Check Your Keywords: find out which keyword phrases saw the highest click through rate on the days your conversions where low. Check that these were relevant; if they have changed then this could explain your drop in conversions.
As you can see a drop in conversions could be down to any number of reasons, but by analyzing what is going on before, during and after will help you to understand what is really going on with your website. And if you simply cannot find anything to explain it then there is probably nothing wrong and nothing to change. In this instance it is best to just sit tight and keep checking your data as it is here that you will spot any issues.