clicks versus conversions and why it matters

If you’re an eCommerce website operator and you’re trying to market your site, you probably hear two words a lot: clicks and conversions. What, exactly, do these mysterious words mean? What is the difference between the two, and why does it matter? Which one is more important for your business? How do you optimize for a fabulous click-through rate or a jaw-dropping conversion rate? We’ll cover these questions and more below.

Understanding Clicks Versus Conversions

This is the easy part. While it is worth noting that many online marketers use the word “click” to refer specifically to pay-per-click advertising (and even more specifically, to Google AdWords), the word can also be used more universally. In short, a click is simply a visit to your website. If you have 5,000 clicks, you’ve have 5,000 visits. That said, of those 5,000 visits, only a few are actually going to make a purchase. When that lucky moment occurs after someone visits your website and makes a purchase, it's called a conversion.

First Click Versus Last Click Attribution

What if your website sees a healthy dose of visits, but most customers are leaving your site? That’s likely an issue with your website’s design, which can include anything from navigation to branding.

Now it gets a little more complicated. In the vocabulary Google AdWords and Google Analytics uses (and it’s one you should get used to), there are two types of click “attributes:” first click and last click. Before a customer converts, they’re likely to visit your website several times. They may need to do more research, shop around, ask a friend for an opinion, or just take more time before closing the sale.

Now, let’s say before they convert, they visit your website from three different sources: an ad, organic search, and a direct visit. Which source do you count as your referral source? If we’re talking first click attributions, it’s the first source. This is why first click attributions are used by Google AdWords; they want you to count their ad as a source. If you’re in Google Analytics, however, the last website prior to the conversion (excluding direct) will be the source. That’s considered a last click attribution.

Help! I Have a Great Website, But it’s Not Getting Traffic!

Welcome to the beautiful world of keyword research. If your website isn’t getting traffic, then you’re not optimizing for the right keywords. Thorough keyword research will help you choose the right high-volume, low-competition words for your audience. Then optimize for these, targeting either Google AdWords or for organic search (or both)! This is easier said than done, we know, so it is worth hiring an SEO consultant.

Help! My Website Gets Plenty of Traffic, But I’m Not Getting Enough Conversions!

What if your website sees a healthy dose of visits, but most prospective customers are leaving your site? That’s likely an issue with your website’s design, which can include anything from navigation to branding. There are countless ways to impact a user’s experience and prevent them from becoming a customer. If you’re not seeing conversions, take an honest assessment of your website and decide what needs improving.

The Bottom Line

Both clicks and conversions are important. And while it can all seem complicated, the good news is, there’s help! Speak to a Clarity representative today if you’re interested in watching both numbers soar.



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