Why website views are not indicative of conversions 📉

Views and impressions are metrics we all know and love. We judge a YouTube video’s performance on how many views it receives, and the success of a social media post on its impression count.

The theoretical benefit of views or impressions is pretty clear: the more people that see something, the more people that thing has affected.

This can be true. For instance, if you’re a musician and your music video goes viral, people will likely listen to your other songs and that one viral hit could result in your career changing forever.

However, this can also be false. For instance, a blog post answering an industry FAQ getting thousands of views on an ugly website is unlikely to result in a sale.

Or, another example, if you advertise for something loosely connected to your brand because it’s got a low cost-per-click or cost-per-mille. Sure, you might get a lot of views, but how many will become a sale or a subscriber?

A common misconception is that each individual view is equally valuable, and it’s a concept that can probably be trailed back to print advertising – as views were the only metric they could use to sell advertising spots such as in magazines or billboards. However, thanks to website data and research we know that not all views are equally valuable.

How should you value a view? 💸

A website view’s value depends on a range of details.

If you acquired the view through a search engine, the search term they used will largely determine the value of the traffic, such as whether they show intent to purchase or just looking to gain information about a product/service.

If acquired through display advertising, the demographic of the individual is one of the most important details to analyse, such as if they fit the target demographic for your product/service.

You can have thousands of people visit your website, but if they aren’t interested in your product/service they’re pretty much worthless. In 2019 I wrote about an influencer with a follower count of 2,000,000 who failed to sell 36 pieces of clothing, this is probably the best example of how lots of views aren’t reflective of sales.

Even pageviews on your website’s contact page are not indicative of a conversion. People might be going to a contact page for a multitude of reasons, such as to see where you’re located or maybe something else. After all, if every view on a contact page was a theoretical conversion, we’d just put a call-to-action in the advert and have them link to the contact page.

The best way to use online marketing is to focus on the accuracy of your advertising. Put it like this, if you’re selling a house, you’d be better off showing 50 people house-hunting in the property’s local area than 1,000 people who are in a completely different part of the county and are unable to buy a property.

After some careful consideration, I’ve decided to decrease the amount of articles I write to prioritise writing longer articles with better content when I am passionate about the subject.

I hope this means better content for my subscribers and better quality overall.

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