[Reducing Traffic Costs Series]
Introduction & Step 1

In the “Reducing Traffic Costs” series opener, Scott Reid tackles cutting traffic costs while maintaining quality. He addresses Ecommerce traffic pitfalls, including unavoidable waste from testing promotions. The episode segments traffic into Awareness, Engagement, and Conversion—each vital to the customer journey. Scott presents optimization tactics for scrutinizing and refining traffic approaches to balance cost-efficiency with quality. He concludes with a hands-on task, urging listeners to evaluate their traffic strategies by cataloging sources, objectives, and costs for a thorough assessment. This episode provides a foundational guide for efficient and effective traffic management.

EPISODE SNAPSHOT

  • [1:40] Reducing unnecessary traffic expenses in eEcommerce.
  • [3:27] Traffic types in marketing strategies.
  • [5:16] Optimizing website traffic for maximum effectiveness.
  • [6:38] Analyzing traffic sources and expenses.

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

00:00
Welcome to the Ecommerce Optimizers Show. I’m your host, Scott Reid. For our new listeners, I always like to start every show with my quick definition of ecommerce optimization since it means different things to different people. As a specialist in this field, I view optimization as a continuous evolving process with three core objectives, one, enhancing traffic quality to reducing traffic costs, and three refining the online customer journey. These aren’t just goals, they’re the pillars for scaling your business effectively. So why does this matter? Because when you blend these objectives together, you convert more visitors into customers grow revenue, cut costs, and boost your bottom line. It’s all about getting more for less, more conversions more revenue at a lower cost. Now this episode is sponsored by our very own e commerce 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. And the best part is that subscribers of the hub also get access to weekly optimization feedback and coaching from yours truly, you can take a test drive with our full access 30 day free trial, no credit card is required. And you can get all the details at ecommerce optimizers.com. All right, let’s get started with today’s episode. In each 10 minute tune up, we focus on one of the three core pillars. Today we’re focusing on the reducing traffic costs pillar, a key one, they’re all key because they’re all pillars. But whenever we’re able to reduce expenses, it’s always a good thing for any e commerce brand unnecessary expenses. And that’s really what we’re what we’re talking about today. Because reducing traffic costs is defined as reducing traffic expenses, unnecessary traffic expenses, without compromising on quality. And that’s key it’s without, without negatively affecting the quality of the traffic. Okay. So this is a common issue in E commerce and many brands, they definitely experience waste within their traffic strategy. I see it all day long. And let me be clear about that, I think it’s impossible not to have some waste in your traffic strategy. It’s just that many brands have more than would be reasonable, okay. And the reason that you may have waste, and you probably shouldn’t have waste in your traffic strategy, or at least a certain amount, is that you’re always testing things, you’re always trying to see if there’s a different way that you can approach promoting your product through different copy or creative. And just by nature of testing, there is going to be a certain amount of waste things that just aren’t effective. But either way, identifying and eliminating what’s ineffective in your traffic investments throughout your strategy. It’s crucial, but it can be challenging, okay, because there’s just a lot of moving parts. Ecommerce brands, typically are going to use different traffic sources, and they all have different reporting platforms. So really being able to identify what’s effective, and what’s effective, and then tying the cost back to everything it can, it can be challenging, but you got to get started. And so the question is, how can we cut traffic costs without compromising quality. So this is our central theme today. And we often based traffic decisions on a given traffic source campaign or ads ability to generate a transaction. However, not all traffic is created equal. There are three distinct types of traffic that exist in most strategies. And each one of these types has its own purpose and our goal. So the first type is awareness. Okay. And this traffic when we’re talking about its purpose, its objective, its goal. Awareness, traffic aims to make potential customers aware of your brand or product. It’s about visibility and reach. And its success. Awareness traffic isn’t measured necessarily by immediate sales, but rather how many new people are introduced to your brand. Okay. The second type of traffic is engagement traffic now engagement traffic, it seeks to build a relationship with the audience, and involves interactions like content consumption, news, could be newsletter signups on your site. It could be how many people are going to the blog and consuming that that blog or articles or video content. Here the focus is on deepening the audience’s interest and connection with the brand you’re adding value through that engagement, which helps move them through that customer journey. And the third type of traffic is convert version traffic. So this is traffic with a primary goal of generating sales or leads, it’s about turning interest into action. And it’s measured by the number of transactions, or signups for a newsletter or something along those lines. Now, well, a visitor can theoretically move through all these stages in one visit, it’s not always the case, okay. And most traffic strategies blend these types of traffic, these three types awareness, engagement, and conversion. They blend them together to maximize effectiveness again, so that they can move a person, a human, a website visitor from start to finish through that customer journey, ultimately ending in a crescendo with a transaction, and then many more, hopefully, from there. A key point here is that making decisions based solely on conversion potential can allow you to cut costs, but it will likely degrade your traffic quality and overall results. And clearly, you don’t want that it’s obviously quite counterproductive. To reduce costs without sacrificing quality, we must evaluate and make traffic performance assessments based on its ability to fulfill its specific purpose, not just on generating sales, unless, of course, the purpose of the traffic is to create a transaction. Now, this is crucial, because when you can measure, evaluate and make decisions at this level, at the traffic purpose level, if you will, you’ll not only see reductions in traffic expense, but your traffic will also perform better overall. Now this process, it can be complicated. All right, I’m not gonna lie about that it can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be if you break it down into chunks. For the rest of this episode, we’re going to discuss what this first step looks like and how to get started, we will go through the entire process incrementally in future episodes, I wish we could do it in 10 minutes. But this is definitely not one of those because this is, again, one of the core pillars, it’s one of the three pillars of E commerce optimization. And it does take time to get it done. Right. But again, this very first step is crucial. And I think it’ll go through this process. It’s just very, very instructive. And it will allow you to get your arms around your traffic strategy, which, when I speak with E commerce brands, I do find that most brands traffic strategy, it’s evolved over time. And in many cases, it’s kind of morphed into something that has essentially taken on a life of its own. So what you’re going to want to do is grab a pen and notebook, your laptop, whatever tool you would typically use just to do some general organizational work. So this is a process and it doesn’t have to be perfect at this stage of the game. And it shouldn’t be perfect at this stage of the game. We’re just taking some broad strokes, around what our current traffic strategy looks like. And we’re going to be looking at our traffic over between today, whenever you’re listening to this and the prior 30 days. All right, so the first thing you’re gonna want to do is make a list of all of your traffic sources, Facebook, Google ads, Pinterest, email, list them all out, tick tock, whatever it is, list them out, and then just take one to start.

08:18
And after you have that first traffic source, we’re going to drill down at the campaign level and look at what the purpose is for each one of those campaigns that have been running or had run or are currently running within the last 30 days. All right. Now, if let’s just take Facebook, for instance, if you’re running Facebook ads, it’s probably more likely than not that you have different campaigns all with different purposes across those awareness, engagement and conversion purposes. So write the name of the campaign, write the purpose next to that campaign name, and then write down the cost that you’ve invested in that campaign over the last 30 days. And then what you’re going to want to do is just go through and repeat that process for each individual traffic source. What you have in front of you after you do this is you have your traffic strategy, in terms of three different purposes across all of your traffic sources with the applicable costs. Now what you should do is just organize this so that you can see some trends and patterns in terms of expense across different traffic sources expense as it’s distributed across different purposes, and that type of thing. So just total up whatever the expenses for each individual source, and then roll all those expenses up into one large traffic expense number and write those down for each one. Then what I would do is I would total up the total spend based on purpose. And then what you’re going to want to do is calculate the percentage ad spend based on purpose. All right So if you spent $100,000 Over the last 30 days, and $25,000 of that was for the purpose of awareness, then the percentage of that would be 25%. And then when you complete this, you have a high level overview of your current traffic strategy based on purpose with associated expense. So this gives you some broad trends and patterns from which you can start to make better decisions with in future episodes we will drill into this more, we will talk about how you can take what you just did or what you will do hopefully very soon, and improve the management of your traffic based on the purpose that it was intended for. That is one of the keys to reducing expenses as well as of improving your traffic quality. Alright, thanks very much for listening to this episode. I really appreciate it and we will see you on the next episode.