Hey! Where’d Everybody Go?
We spoke with Anthony Severo, founder and managing partner of Vertical Spin, a business intelli-
gence consulting company,to learn more about conversion tracking. One way that Anthony helps
his clients is finding out where their site visitors are dropping out of the conversion process.
He explains: “Let’s assume that I have a 1 percent overall conversion rate from the moment some-
one views the keyword on a search engine to the point at which the purchase is completed.That
means that 99 percent of the visitors are not converting.This is great data, but you need to get to
the next level of detail to take action and optimize the conversion rate.Where are the trouble spots:
“Is the user not clicking through the ad [on a PPC sponsorship]?
“Is the user getting to the site and immediately exiting?
“Is the user engaged in the product description but not buying the product?
“Are they dropping off in the checkout process?”
Through further analysis and experimentation,Anthony works to discover exactly why users are
leaving the site.
For example, “…let’s say that 80 percent of the users exit when checking out.This clearly identi-
fies an issue with the checkout process.You can conclude that the visitor is engaged, they found
the product they were interested in purchasing, and were ready to buy,but somehow had a prob-
lem with the checkout process.This issue could be
“the checkout process is too tedious and time consuming;
“the checkout process has a bug that prevents people from checking out (I experience this
more often than you can believe);
“the visitor continued shopping and somehow got distracted and never came back to check out.”
The good news is,“If you can reduce this drop-off by even a few percent, it will greatly increase
your conversion rate.”Finally,a word of caution from someone in the know: “Tracking tools provide
so much data and you can easily spend hours per day viewing it.”For a streamlined approach,
focus on the highest-priority metrics:
“Am I driving visitors to the site?
“Are they converting?
“What are my ad costs?
“What are my revenues?”
Take Anthony’s words to heart with a focus on identifying drop-off and tracking actionable data
and your SEO campaign will be sure to flourish.
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