This morning, I was going over the web stats for a site I manage, and I was struck by something interesting. See, I'm active on a couple of search marketing forums, and I notice that a frequent question from members is, “How can I increase my site traffic?”

Our usual answer is that it's not so much raw traffic one needs to be concerned with, as it is conversions. That is, how much of that traffic can your site convert from “visitor” to “customer”?

And that is a valid question. Unless your site can convert visitors into paying customers, you have little chance of making a profit online.

But what struck me this morning was that there's another, often overlooked measurement. And that's revenue per sale. Maximize that and you're really cooking with gas!

Here's what I mean. For the site I was analyzing, traffic was actually down slightly from the previous month. This is a normal seasonal variation that was totally expected, so it's no cause for alarm.

What was a little more alarming, though, was that the average conversion rate for this month is running about 20% below the average of the past few months.

Interestingly enough, though even with lower traffic and lower conversion rate, the site is still earning an average of about $150 per day more than it did last month. So I could breathe a little easier... but how can this be? Lower traffic, lower conversion rate, but more revenue?

Simple... our average revenue per sale is considerably higher this month than it was last month. We're running a couple of promotions this month that are convincing customers to buy more expensive items, or to bundle larger numbers of less inexpensive items with each order — so our average order is about $15 to $20 higher than last month's — and it's paying off, big time.

You can bet we're going to be looking long and hard at ways we can continue the momentum from these promotions!

So, what are you doing on your site to encourage higher dollar-value purchases? Do you highlight and promote your high end products or services? Are you suggesting related products? Reminding customers of accessory items they might like to add to their order? Suggesting bundled services? Offering a break on shipping for higher dollar orders?

Take a look at your site and see what you can do to not only encourage the sale, but encourage those who do buy to buy more. You may be surprised at how much better you can do even if you don't increase your traffic one bit!

April 26, 2007

Learn more about the ways Diane can help improve the performance and profitability of your business web site, or request a no-obligation personal consultation, by visiting

Search Engine Guide > Diane Aull > It Ain't Just About Traffic