What Should You Focus On First? Traffic Acquisition Or Conversion Rate Optimisation?

When it comes to optimising your businesses’ website you may need to decide where you want to focus your efforts; bringing traffic to your site, or increasing your conversion rate.


Both are important for a successful website, but which should you focus your attention on?

Building the Traffic First

The strategy behind this approach is to start off focusing on bringing traffic to your site, as once you have a steady flow of traffic some of them are bound to convert, right?  One of the key factors required to make this approach work is for the product or service that you provide to be something that there is a high demand for as this high traffic approach will create a less focused conversion funnel.

If you are successful you will have a high level of traffic coming into your site which provides the potential for a high level of conversions.  However, if you haven’t optimised your site to encourage people to convert, then having high levels of traffic will lead to missed opportunities as many leave without converting.

Optimising Conversions First

Alternatively, you may first choose to optimise your site to improve your conversion rate so that a greater proportion of the visitors to your site do convert (whatever “conversion” means for your website e.g. enquiry, call etc).  Think about your visitors’ needs and how the site serves them.  Try using different visitor personas.  It may take longer to get the initial conversions, but the conversions you achieve will be a good fit for your business – will be from your ideal target customers.

Once you have improved the conversion rate, then you can shift your attention to increased the levels of traffic with the confidence that a good proportion of the new traffic will convert.  This approach means that you will waste less time and effort in the early stages bringing in traffic that, for the most part will leave or provide you with enquiries that you don’t want.

OK Then, Why Not Both?

So why not split your efforts between both?  That makes sense doesn’t it?  Work on increasing your level traffic whilst improving the conversion rate of your site at the same time!

The problem is that it will lead to a lack of focus as time and effort will need to be spread across various aspects of your site’s conversion rate optimisation and bringing in traffic from a number of different channels.  On top of this it will also make setting goals and carrying out experimentation difficult as it will be hard to prove which changes you have made are responsible for the changes in conversion rate and/or visitors to your site.

If it were me, I would opt for optimising conversions first.

If you need any help planning out an approach to improve your website, or need help realising that plan then please do not hesitate to contact me on 01480 878 510 or at [email protected]

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Ben Joy
I have spent over 5 years studying marketing strategies across consumer and business fields. I have worked within retail and manufacturing and this experience has provided me with a broad range of marketing experience.