Hits, Conversion Ratio CR Traffic Analysis

Author: Bob McElwain

So you know what hits mean. Unique hits or user sessions, I mean. And you know what CR means. Right? If so, you're in great shape, for many people don't. They think they do. But they've got it wrong.

You see a single hit is invaluable. It may have come from the first visit to your site by one who will return to buy repeatedly. One who shares your name with others who do the same.

The catch is you can't say which hit matters. Thus you need to assume every single one is crucial. Else you can strike out on the ones that matter most.

So What Is A Hit, Really?

A hit is generated when someone visits your site. You don't really want off-target hits. If you get mention in a prominent newspaper, you might draw 10,000 visitors simply because of a delightful comment you made about cats. But where's the gain, if you're selling water skis?

Maybe 1 in that 10,000 might coincidentally have an interest in water skis. The others are not potential customers. They only waste your bandwidth and often even your time with off-topic questions. And what happens if each is determined to share their favorite cat story?

You want only targeted hits. And you want these visitors to arrive with their interest front and center. This is why search engines listings, ads, and such, matter so. You want to draw only visitors interested in what you offer. A misleading ad is a waste of money, for hits generated are off-target.

CR: Conversion Ratio

CR is tossed about casually with a knowing nod of the head. But many who use the term don't really know what it means. It means different things to different sites, and in differing situations.

Briefly it is the percentage of visitors who buy, or take some other action you want them to. In general, a 2% CR is considered good. That is, if 2 in 100 visitors buy your product, you may figure this is fine.

But such models are so crude they often mislead when applied to your site. A CR of 2% may be nifty (or a disaster, if more was expected). However good it is, it is still only an average. It gives a useful picture only over the long term. It says nothing about today. Or right now. Or about what your next visitor will do.

Turn this the other end to. Given a CR of 2%, how many sales can you count on in your next 100 visitors? 2? No. I said, "count on," and the answer is none.

Say you make 20 sales on your first 100 visitors today. But not a one off the next 900. Still, 20 sales in 1000 hits is a CR of 2%.

There is no way you can say your next visitor will buy. Or will not. Come up with a way to do so, and you'll be a millionaire right quick.

You simply do not know what your next visitor will do. But you probably hope he or she ...

Buys - Terrific
Returns to buy - Great news
Returns to buy again - The key to success
Tells a friend who visits - Very nice

Your list will differ. And there are other actions you may want your visitors to take. For example, sign up for free information of interest, delivered by an autoresponder over time. This often brings people back to buy. And if you can get them to set a bookmark, this may do the same.

The Secret To Improving Your Business

You can not afford to risk losing even a single visitor. Period. The big boys counting sales in the millions and hits in the billions can safely ignore a bunch. You can not.

Accept the potential value of every single hit as unlimited. Then act in every way to draw them. And never ever turn even one aside.

Obvious, don't you think? But look about on the Web and you'll often see visitors not encouraged or even turned away. Then, of course, look to your own site and be certain you are not making such blunders.

About the author: Bob McElwain, author of "Your Path To Success" and "Secrets To A Really Successful Website." For info, see http://sitetipsandtricks.com/webways/

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