With my coffee, I check the news on my iPad. After lunch, I take a quick peek at my Facebook or Instagram newsfeed, seeing what’s going on with my many “friends” (937 to be exact). My day marches on with small technology breaks here and there, grabbing a hot new recipe for dinner on Pinterest, and before bed, I read mystery novels on my Kindle. I’m not a technology addict. I’m technology average. The Huffington Post reports that, on average, adults use ⅓ of their waking hours on their smartphones. Your customers are somewhere in between, and understanding how that maze impacts your sales funnel is important to increasing your conversion rating.

When users hit your page, you want them to do something (i.e. email signup or purchase). You’re often left scratching your head, thinking: Where do I start? Where did they go? Here are some tips to embracing, understanding, and building your traffic funnel. Yes, you have one.

Before we dig into Traffic Funnels, if you feel like you're well versed, but want some deeper content, click here or the image below to read more about site speed and how it impacts your traffic funnels.

Traffic Funnels 101

Your Traffic Starts Meow.

When you’re watching cat videos, maybe the content creator just wants you to buy those kitten mittens. But how do we move from Point Cat Videos to Point Kitten Mittens? At its most basic, a traffic funnel answers that question; it is a marketing strategy that builds long-term, loyal customers, moving them from awareness of your brand, to familiarity, consideration, purchase, and loyalty, with the largest traffic piece at the top, trickling down in the shape of a funnel. Setting up a traffic funnel allows you to see the bottleneck in your customer acquisition.

You’ll see the conversions per step:

Product Page > Cart > Enter Checkout > Filling out Shipping > Filling out Billing > Confirm Payment + Order).

If you are able to see where your customers are stepping away from your website, you have the ability to try and solve the problem, moving them further along in the process.

Brick-by-Brick.

Ok, but how do you start to build the funnel? Many brands use social media at the beginning of the funnel, creating brand awareness. Here are some ways to construct your funnel, start-to-finish:

Understand how customers get to each stage of your traffic funnel.

  • Log into your Google Analytics. Look at the time on page and number of pages per session. Set a goal for yourself. If your time on page is 0:30 seconds with 2 pages per session, aim for 0:45 seconds with 2 pages per session, moving traffic towards the cart.
  • Place your feet in your customer’s shoes. Ask yourself what it will take to move your customers from stage to stage?
  • Make sure you are able to track your customers' actions as the move from stage to stage.

Answering all of these questions will allow you to flesh out your sales funnel and create measurable metrics to continue to evaluate the process.

End Piece or Center Piece?

Your traffic funnel is that tray of brownies, fresh out of the oven. Some want corner pieces, and others want center pieces (save me a center). Beyond bringing people to your website’s product page, social media - the corner pieces of the mix - can bring people into your traffic funnel at various other stages, hitting that sweet spot. Websites like Pinterest allow users to become familiar with a brand by sending potential customers to review videos, fan photos, and product specs, engaging them further along the traffic funnel. Forbes reports that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, with only 12 percent of people not regularly reading consumers’ product reviews. According to Econsultancy, 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates. Featuring reviews as part of your traffic funnel will allow you to connect with people who already love your product and will also give you genuine content to help promote your product and brand. Placing reviews on your page cuts down the amount of steps in the traffic funnel, dropping users into a page that allows them to both see reviews and checkout at the same time. You know your user base better than anyone. You know what it takes to build a funnel that gives them the kind of brownie piece they want.

All About Those Metrics.

Less can be more. Amazon once had 7 steps to checkout. To increase their conversions, they cut out many of the major steps, putting them on one page of the funnel, making their process 2 steps. Each industry is different, and each business model is different. You may compare notes, but you will find differences in metrics from website to website. Your funnel is a reference point. Your goal should be to increase your funnel conversions every step of the way.

Test. Tweak. (Rinse + Repeat).

This is the funnel that never ends. Yes, it goes on, and on, my friend. Some people started singing it. Well, no one is singing its praises just yet, but the more you engage with it, the more you will.

Still feel like you're stuck in traffic? Hit me up gnickas@gmail.com. We can custom craft a strategy that works for you!

Gabrielle Nickas