Maximizing Ecommerce Success:
Traffic & Website Synergy

Welcome to the first episode of the “Ecommerce Optimizers Show” with your host, Scott Reid.

In the debut episode of the “Ecommerce Optimizers Show,” Scott delves into the dynamic world of Ecommerce marketing. Focusing on the critical integration of traffic and website optimization, he uncovers how to maximize revenue and profit through an optimized “Ecommerce Conversion System.”

He explores common challenges, including the pitfalls of optimizing in silos and the complexity of clearly understanding “what’s working and what’s not” when it comes to executing your overall marketing strategy. Through real-world examples,  Scott illustrates how a cohesive approach to traffic and website optimization can quickly transform your business results.

EPISODE SNAPSHOT

  • [0:00] Ecommerce marketing strategies and website optimization.
  • [4:26] Traffic management and attribution in e-commerce.
  • [9:06] Managing traffic and website performance in silos.
  • [12:35] Analyzing website traffic and ad performance.
  • [17:31] Optimizing ecommerce traffic and website for maximum revenue.

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

In the inaugural episode of the “Ecommerce Optimizers Show,” Scott Reid embarks on a deep dive into the core of D2C Ecommerce marketing, focusing on vital strategies for driving traffic and optimizing websites. Reid aims to equip Ecommerce professionals with practical, actionable insights for immediate, measurable enhancements in their marketing efforts. He stresses the importance of understanding and applying optimization in a cohesive manner across both traffic and website domains, debunking the common siloed approach that leads to significant revenue and profit losses. Through comprehensive analysis and integration of traffic and website data, Reid outlines how to pinpoint and leverage optimization opportunities, ultimately aiming to boost revenue and profit for Ecommerce brands. This episode serves as a foundational guide for entrepreneurs, marketers, and optimization specialists seeking to refine their Ecommerce strategies and achieve substantial growth.

SPONSOR

This episode is sponsored by our very own Ecommerce Optimization HUB – your essential tool for enhancing traffic quality, reducing traffic costs, and refining the online customer journey. With The HUB, complex marketing data becomes easy to understand, helping you to clearly identify what’s working and what’s not throughout your traffic and website. 

The best part is that subscribers of The HUB also get access to on-demand support, feedback & coaching from Chief Optimizer (and show host) Scott Reid. You can take a test drive with our full access, 30-day free trial – no credit card is required. Get all the details by clicking here

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

0:00
Welcome to the E commerce optimizers Show. I’m your host, Scott Reid. In this podcast, we’re gonna delve deep into the world of direct to consumer, or d to c e commerce marketing. And throughout the show, we’re going to focus on two of the most critical components of any e commerce marketing strategy, those being traffic and the website. And we’re not just going to scratch the surface, we’re going to really go deep into practical, actionable strategies that you can apply directly to your business for immediate, measurable results, which, as I’m sure you’d agree, is what it’s all about at the end of the day. So whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking to increase your confidence and making better marketing decisions, which is always a good thing, or you’re a marketer that aims to boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and overall ability to execute the marketing strategy that you’re responsible for. Or perhaps you’re a professional in either traffic generation or conversion optimization. And you’re looking to deepen your understanding, and ability to generate results, better results than this show is definitely for you. I thought it’d be a great idea just to talk about my perspective on E commerce marketing. Because this perspective is going to run through every single episode it’s going to drive the content is going to drive what I talk about, and what I share. So here’s my perspective. All right. Every growing e commerce brand has two primary overarching objectives. And those are number one to maximize revenue. And number two, to maximize profit, you have to have by definition, if you’re a growing brand, that implies that you’re growing revenue, and you need to maximize that profit to fuel your growth. The other thing that I want to talk about in terms of E commerce brands, and I like to keep things really simple. So every ecommerce brand needs at least three things in order to be an E commerce brand. Number one, you need a product or service. Number two, you need a website so that you can sell that product or service online, thus being an E commerce brand. And number three, you need traffic, you need visitors to visit your website in hopes that they will purchase your product or service. And here’s what I see the way that ecommerce brands manage their traffic in their website, I’m not going to talk about product because if that’s not my area of expertise, but it certainly is traffic and websites. So what do I see 90% of the companies do is that they manage each one of these really crucial components of their marketing strategy of their business in silos. And that’s a huge mess, as a result of the way in which those two crucial components are managed separately and distinct. Ecommerce brands leave a massive amount of money on the table because they lack visibility into a number of things that I’m going to talk about right now. And really, if we talk about what are they lacking visibility, and as a result of that silo focused approach, it’s that they don’t clearly and confidently understand what’s working and what’s not. Throughout those two components. Now, I refer to the integration of those two systems or components as an ecommerce conversion system. And I believe that these should be managed and designed and structured for mutual optimization. But that is not what I see at least. And this is just a, you know, out of the, like, through my experience, at least 90% of E commerce brands manage those separately and distinct, they do not manage them together, they do not mutually optimize. So let me explain what I mean by that. Let’s just say that. And before we get into that, I want to back up and say why, and the why is not because they don’t want to, it’s not because they don’t realize the relationship. It’s because it’s complex, it’s really hard to do that. It’s really hard to see and optimize your traffic and your website in a joint cohesive manner, due to the level of data complexity. And it’s just a huge stumbling block for pretty much everybody and even experienced marketers who are really good with analytics. It’s a heavy left. All right. And so that leaves causes a lot of money to be left on the table and a lot of profit to drain out of businesses. And my perspective is is that that’s 100% unnecessary if you have the right tools and mindset and structure in place. So let me explain and talk about that. If we talk about traffic first. So how is traffic managed? A lot of E commerce brands leverage multiple ad platforms. Let’s just talk about Facebook, Google lad’s tick tock, then they have email going as well. All right, and they’re proactively managing those four platforms. What I typically see in virtually all cases is that the marketers or the decision makers are going into each one of these platforms individually. And they are looking at the reporting interfaces that are created and managed by that specific traffic platform. And what happens is that all these interfaces are different. They’re separate and distinct. They have different methods, they have different ways of looking at the data, they have different attribution models. And it’s darn confusing. There’s like a, just a massive amount of numbers and reports and metrics and all that stuff. And I don’t know how anybody makes any sense out of it, to be honest with you. It’s just like data overload. And it’s almost kind of like by design, that’s my conspiracy theory on it is that if it’s so confusing, there’s no way that you can possibly really understand what’s going on. But here’s the other thing is that those traffic platforms, when we look at, what are they showing you, they’re showing you clicks from the ads, and then they’re showing you transactions that are attributed to those ads. So it’s really the beginning and the end of the customer journey. Okay? It is what add key word, email, video message, whatever it is caused that person to click, which then visited the website, and then what happened on the other end, but there’s nothing in between, okay, you do not see through those traffic platforms, anything in terms of on site behavior. And that’s just like this massive gap, that causes a massive amount of money to unnecessarily drain out of companies, due to the lack of visibility and that one crucial area. So you’re just seeing like part of the story, and it’s probably really only like 10% of the story. And so this in and of itself, this level of confusion, and complexity, and disjointed this, it’s just hard to manage, it’s hard to optimize. And it’s hard to really know what’s working and what’s not. And then when we throw in the term into the reality of, you know, attribution mean, everybody’s heart rate and blood pressure just went up when I said that the attribution issue is another bear. Like as a for instance, let’s just say, and these are just numbers, just broad numbers out of the air, let’s say you have 1000 transactions over 30 days. And you can see that in your, in your system, you can see it in your bank account that you sold. And let’s say that, assume that each product is $50. And you sold 1000 transaction, so you sold $50,000 of product, and you know that to be gospel, because that’s it. That’s the that’s the source of final truth. But then you go into Facebook, and Facebook says, Oh, 700 of those transactions that month, 700 transactions we take credit for, that were attributed to the campaign’s the ads that you ran during that 30 day time frame. And then we have Google Google ads, and they say 600. So that’s 1300, or 300, more than what we actually have. And then we go into tick tock and tick tock says 500. So now we’re at 1800 transactions. This is this is just an example. No. Have I seen over attribution like that before? Absolutely. Is it common? Is it that severe all the time? Probably not. But you’re never going to see it match up exactly. And that level of confusion, in terms of over attribution, in terms of really trying to understand what’s actually working is really tough when you’re looking in these in these traffic platforms natively. Because they’re incented to take as much credit as they possibly can. And they do. You know. So that’s, that’s one thing that adds to the layer of complexity. So I don’t know how anybody in today’s world really can make

09:18
really can confidently make marketing decisions based on this cluster that is traffic, measurement and performance when you’re working across different platforms with all the aforementioned complexities and challenges. Now, some people try to normalize this and put it into spreadsheets and in effect, in an effort to put it all on the same playing field, but that has its own its own idiosyncrasies and challenges. Now, the other side of the coin, so actually, before I move on to the other side of the coin being the website, we’ve wrapped up the traffic it’s confusing, hard to make decisions confidently, if at all leads to indecision, and just A lot of wasted money at the end of the day, unnecessarily, I might add. So the other side of the transaction, or the other side of the equation is the website. And so the website on site behavior is typically going to be measured through something, a platform like Google Analytics for now. As we all know, Universal Analytics went away on July 1, it was replaced by GA four. It’s a whole new measurement approach, new reporting interface, new metrics and dimensions. Some of this, some are similar, some are renamed. It’s like learning a new language. And in a lot of respects, it’s not fully cooked yet. And as a result, it’s hard to understand what’s going on on your website, in terms of behaviors, like what’s actually happening, where are the friction points, where are the drop offs, where things performing well. And so that’s one level of complexity that’s just there. And you know, over time, it’ll become easier for people clearly. But right now, it’s, it’s tough to really understand what those onsite behavioral measurements are. And here’s where the, the reality is, is that both of those if they are being managed, and traffic is being, in my opinion, much managed much more diligently and more than the website, but let’s just say that a company’s really on the ball. And they’re making a good faith effort to look at both of these, in almost all cases, they are being managed in silos to being optimized in silos. And they may have different agencies that are managing Facebook and Google Ads separately or the handling it in house. And they might have a CRO conversion rate optimization agencies is trying to optimize their website, but they’re not looking at it through a cohesive blended lens. And this right here, this one kind of miss is where they leave significant potential untapped. There’s this crucial connection. And I firmly believe that this crucial connection, which is that it is essential to understand that your traffic and your website work together as a system, they are not separate and distinct, they are very much a system to convert a visitor to a customer is crucial to not only understand take it to heart, but also to optimize it. So I refer to this as the E commerce conversion system. And again, it starts with traffic. Visitors hit the website, they interact in various ways. And at the end of their visit, they either complete a transaction or they don’t, the traffic platform show you the beginning of the of the customer journey and the end. And then the website measurement shows you what happens while on site. But the key and where the gold is where the money is made, where the profit is generated, where the extra profit is generated, where companies are able to grow faster, and more confidently. and stress free is when you understand, and you can clearly visualize what’s working and what’s not with all of your traffic, because you can see how each individual traffic campaign ad set ad is flowing through the website. And what’s happening with that traffic down to the individual visitor level. We obviously work in trends and patterns. And we don’t analyze every single visitor but you get my point. It’s having that complete holistic view of the entire customer journey from pre click, which is when they are on an ad platform thinking about whether to click all the way through to when they either transact, or they bounce, and they leave the site. And so let me frame this in an easy to understand kind of basic example, to wrap my point home. And we’ve got these two separate and distinct things that are usually almost always handled differently. But what if we could see the entire customer journey from that first click all the way through to whatever happens at the end, whether it’s a bounce, or it’s a transaction. And we’re going to take use Facebook as an example. And we’re going to look at two different ads that are going to come from two different campaigns. Each ad is in a different campaign with a different ad set. So different targeting scheme, in each ad has different copy creative and a separate link that’s bringing them to a unique landing page. Alright, so each basically the ads are completely separate, but it is operating within the Facebook platform. So if you were just optimizing your traffic, you would see what the performance was of each one of these two ads. And let’s assume that there are no transactions attributed to either one of those ads. And let’s also assume that we had the same number of clicks we had 100 clicks for each for each ad and Facebook is showing us that 100 100 00? Well, how are we going to manage that, we’re going to think that both of those ads were ineffective. And we very well might cut both of them and say, You know what? I don’t want it, you know, if if the person who’s managing this is really paying close attention to it and looking at it, you’re gonna cut both of those ads. But here’s the thing, what if you were able to see the onsite behavior post, click, so that customer journey that occurred for each one of those ads, and look at that story that is being told through on site behavioral customer journey website measurement. So in the first example, this is going to be our winner. By the way, in the first ad, we had an average of four different pages in terms of page depth. So visitors are navigating through the site, they’re interacting, they’re hitting four separate pages across the site. There’s a lot of video views, there is scroll, there are clicks, there’s add to carts, people are starting into the checkout, right? That’s one scenario. No, we don’t have any transactions, but we have a lot of behavior. And people do exit at different points. But there’s a lot of behavior right there that we can see. So that’s an engaged audience, I would consider that a successful ad. Right as an optimizer. However, if we look at the second scenario, add to this is the loser, okay. And so, so the losing ad, still had 100 clicks, and it still had no transactions. But what we can see in terms of that on site behavioral measurement, is that the average time on site was like four seconds.

16:59
Hardly anybody went onto a second page, there were no add to carts, maybe one or two, and nobody went into the checkout. So those two stories are very, very, very different. But we know that, because what we’re doing is we’re blending it through a holistic, integrated approach.

17:18
And we’re clearly able to understand the behavior and the performance of each one of those ads, after the click, but before the transaction, and that is incredibly instructive. And it’s instructive. Because we’re going to treat each one of those scenarios, and really address another scenario that I’m going to talk about in a moment in two different ways. So the first one, well, let’s just talk about the more successful one, we’re gonna say, number one, the copy was great on that the headline was great, obviously, because we had some engagement, the or at least it was effective, I should say, maybe greats an over stretch, but it was effective to get people to engage the image, the creative was effective, maybe the audience targeting in that ad set was also effective, we are targeting right type of visitor. And that is evidenced by the on site behavior, right? But then we look and we compare it against the poorly performing on site behavior. And we’re gonna look at that and really try to unpack and say, like, what went wrong here, it could be very easy, it could be that there was a landing page error. And there was an incongruency, between what the copy and creative the expectation that was being set for that visitor. And when they click the link, they were brought to like, they wanted to go look at men’s socks, and they were brought to children’s sweatshirts. That’s a classic example of an incongruent link to an ad. Okay, so there’s a disconnect there. But we would be able to identify what the problem was in order to improve that ad that wasn’t working. Or the other thing that we see here, okay, and those are just basic, kind of like, fundamental examples of how clearly understanding what that onside behavior is, and matching it to a given ad campaign or what have you, and how you can analyze it to extract insights to truly understand what’s working and what’s not, and how it’s working. More importantly. Now, in that first example, the one that really performed, the first thing I would do is I would then go and I would drill right down into the checkout, because if we had a lot of engagement, clearly people were happy with, with where they were, they were able to navigate they’re adding to the cart, but then something broke down in the checkout. So the first thing I would do there is I would go right to the checkout, and I would troubleshoot and I would create a hypothesis. around what might be broken in that or need improvement in that part of the process in that step of the customer journey. So that’s really how we’re able to drill down and identify optimization opportunities across that traffic silo, and the website silo by combining them together and blending them together and integrating them from an optimization analysis standpoint, to identify optimization opportunities, because when we are able to do that, and we are able to clearly see what is going on, in other words, what’s working and what’s not, we can then make much more confident, educated decisions in terms of how we should improve our marketing strategy, right down to the ad level, right down to that page, on your website, those friction points, whatever it is, you can see it in black and white when you get to that level. But so many, and this is the biggest kind of like, again, it’s the biggest opportunity in the E commerce and digital marketing, in my strong opinion, in my experience, opinion, is that there is billions of dollars of money left on the table because of the lack of visibility. And if you are able to unpack this, and if you choose to put your arms around this concept of seeing the complete customer journey and integrating your analysis and your optimization process to integrate your traffic and your website together, that’s when you win. And that’s when you make big improvements, you make big progress in terms of generating more revenue, generating more profit. And really just growing a much stronger, much more stable business, you eliminate risk, you eliminate stress, and you have more control, and your level of confidence goes through the roof. So that’s the first episode, I think it gives you I hope it gives you a good broad understanding of kind of where we’re going with this and my perspective on the market in the way that I see, really the secret to optimizing an E commerce brand. And we’ll have many more episodes about how you can optimize your traffic and your website together to maximize your revenue and maximize your profit, because that’s exactly what this podcast is going to be all about. So in closing, I just wanted to revisit a topic that I touched on earlier. And that was that it’s really hard for ecommerce brands and marketers to optimize the traffic and website together in an integrated cohesive fashion to get the most out of both of these crucial components of their business. Again, it’s because there’s multiple platforms, they all have different metrics. They all have different approaches. And it’s really hard to make sense out of what’s actually going on and what’s working and what’s not across these multiple platforms. So what we’ve done at ecommerce optimizers is we’ve created what we refer to as the E commerce optimization hub, or the hub for short. So basically, in a nutshell, what the hub does is it takes all the complexity out of optimizing your traffic and website makes it really, really easy makes it easy to understand, you save massive amounts of time you make better decisions, you increase your confidence, and it will shine a light on exactly what’s working, what’s not, but more importantly, how everything is working together to create results. Because when you clearly understand how everything is working together to create results, you can make better decisions. And those better decisions are almost always by definition, more profitable decisions. So at the end of the day, you grow your revenue, and you maximize your profit a heck of a lot easier without the struggle that you might be experiencing at the current time. So you can go over and check that out at ecommerce optimizers.com/hub. And I will also include a link in the show notes. We actually have a 30 day trial on that with a whole bunch of extra bonuses. So I urge you to go over there and check it out. I guarantee you that you will absolutely love what you see on that on that page. So ecommerce optimizers.com/hub Have any questions you can email me directly at Scott at ecommerce optimizers.com. Thank you very much for listening to this episode. I really appreciate it. And please subscribe, and I look forward to speaking with you soon. Have a great day.