Use Traffic Maps to Get to Your Destination

vinpay

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If every thousand visitors to your site generate $1,000 in revenue, then you can afford
to pay up to $1 each and still break even. If, on the other hand, a thousand visitors generate
only $100 of revenue, then you can pay only a dime each before you begin losing money.
Only a fraction of PPC advertisers appear to grasp this fundamental tenet of search
advertising. They rush into starting a Google campaign with very little understanding of
how all the parts fit together. This is where all the work we’ve accomplished together so far
pays off.
We’re now going to create a blueprint of your website traffic.With it, you’ll learn where
your prospects are coming from, what pages they’re visiting, what they buy, and how they
buy it. This map will be the key to your success with PPC advertising.

HOW DOES A TRAFFIC MAP HELP YOU?
You’ll Know ... Not Guess ...
Where Your Sales Are Coming From
First, it will allow you to clearly articulate where your sales are coming from. Few marketing
managers have a grasp on exactly where the revenue is being generated on their sites.They spend
days or weeks working on projects that often bear little fruit. Most of the time, it’s not
because they failed. Rather, it’s because they succeeded at optimizing areas that have little
revenue-generating potential.
If you dont know where your sales are coming from, it’s very difficult to identify lowrisk/
high-reward efforts that can be exploited quickly with a minimum of effort. The traffic
map, which usually takes less than an hour to create, will arm you with low-risk/high-reward
marketing projects that can literally multiply your sales.
You’ll Find Bottlenecks in Your Conversion Funnels
Second, the process of creating this map will invariably turn up sales bottlenecks on your site
that result in lost revenue. As an example of this, a traffic map I created for a well-known computer
security site showed that their main bottleneck was occurring on a single page in the
checkout process, where 53% of all visitors were abandoning their orders.
You’ll Redirect Traffic from Low-Value Pages to High-Converting Ones
For them, the map acted as a type of focusing lens. It told us exactly where we had to concentrate
our efforts. In just a matter of days, we were able to narrow down the problems to a few
specific areas:
- The order form was lengthy and confusing
- A European VAT (tax) notice was being displayed to U.S. users
- Brittle validation scripts on the order entry fields caused users to give up on placing orders
out of frustration
- The shopping cart was sometimes “forgetting” customers’ items during the checkout
process
This site, which received over 100,000 visitors a day, consisted of hundreds of pages. It was no
small feat to be able to narrow the problems down to a few quick projects with the potential to
make a noticeable impact on sales.
You’ll Learn How to Convert More Visitors into Revenue
As a result of addressing the above problems, the cost-per-acquisition (CPA) on the site dropped
by 30% almost overnight. In other words, we were making $1.30 for every $1.00 we had made
before. This allowed us to increase the spend for all of our advertising buys and drive larger volumes
of traffic to the site.

You’ll Identify New Landing Pages

Another important discovery was made in the process of creating the traffic map for this site.
We discovered a few pages that had a high $/Index value and were not included in our regular
sales funnel.We tested these pages and found one that wildly outperformed the original landing
page.
In the process of creating your map, you’ll also be looking at the $/Index values for many of
the important pages on your site. These pages often perform well in the landing page tests you’ll
need to run when optimizing your PPC campaigns.
You’ll No Longer Be Held Hostage by Your Designers
Web designers love to create beautiful and innovative new page layouts. They’ll insist that you
need to have navigation on a certain page, that your pages are created according to certain proportions,
that the font choice is critical to the integrity of the site, that the Flash animation is
absolutely necessary … well, you get the idea.
But the fact of the matter is that they are often wrong—at least when it comes to designing
sites that drive sales.With most businesses, creative needs to serve the functional, not the other
way around.With a map in hand, you will have logical and defensible reasons for insisting on certain
design decisions and you wont be easily swayed by the latest trends in web design. No, you
wont win many points with your designers, but we’re all in business to make money, arent we?
You’ll Make Life Much More Difficult for Your Competitors
The changes you’ll identify as part of the mapping process are often subtle and not at all obvious
to the untrained eye. A competitor who scours your site to find the secret of your success
will lack the numbers behind your page flow and design decisions. They will be subject to the
same guesswork and opinions that I am insisting you not rely on—and if you’re lucky, their
designers will insist that you’re doing it all wrong! As a result, their conversions will suffer and
you’ll be able to outbid them for paid search traffic.1

Before you can create a traffic map, you will need some website traffic

You cant construct a traffic map without traffic. If you dont already have a reasonable amount
of traffic on your site, you’re facing a “chicken and egg” problem. The solution? Start a simple
PPC campaign so that you can begin to gather some analytics data. (PPC is covered in the third
section of this book.)
You dont need to break the bank on this, but you will need to send enough traffic to reach deep
into your funnels and generate some actionable data. Ideally, you’d like to get no less than 25 conversions
on each funnel (100 is even better). This can easily add up to several thousand clicks.
If your website is already generating sales (presumably through organic search traffic), it may
only cost you a few hundred dollars to get the required traffic. But for those of you starting from

scratch, this may be a tall order, as your conversion funnels may be in bad shape.
Fortunately, there’s an easy workaround. Instead of mapping out your entire site, just map the
first page or two of your funnels. If you can get 25 people even halfway through the sales process,
you’ll learn a lot and can focus on getting some quick wins under your belt. As your site improves,
more and more people will find their way into the deeper pages of your funnels, giving you the traffic
you need to conduct split tests.
It may take a while to make your first sale, but dont give up. Progress comes slowly at first,
but as visitors begin to trickle closer and closer to the final “thank you” pages, the improvements
will come faster. It’s not uncommon to spend months making your first sale, only to have dozens
more follow up in the subsequent few days.

The first map is always the hardest

Creating your first traffic map can be frustrating at times because of the obstacles you’ll
encounter:
- You will find critical errors such as broken links on the site that need to be fixed
- You’ll find pages where the tracking code wasnt installed properly
- You may not yet have enough traffic to generate a map (remember, you need around 100
conversions at the tail end of each of your funnels to have confidence in your map)
If you have a large site that has plenty of traffic and sales, the process will probably be easy, as
your main problem will be broken tracking scripts (these can be quickly fixed). If you dont have
a lot of traffic, you’ll need to fix any errors you encounter and then wait until your analytics software
collects sufficient data to create the map. This can take days, or it can take months—so get
started!
The good news is that after you complete the process the first time, you’ll be able to easily
update your map at any time in under an hour.
 
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