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Conversions vs Traffic: The Jenius Way

The discussion of which came first, the chicken or the egg, has always been a fun philosophical one but really, who freakin cares? It’s not like the answer will yield any practical data. Either way, I can still make a delicious BBQ chicken pizza.

Similarly, I often get asked this question by clients and potential clients: “Which comes first, traffic or conversions?” This answer can greatly impact your online marketing results.

If you’re a savvy jenius your first answer is going to be, “Dude, everyone knows conversions are the way to go, otherwise all that traffic doesn’t equate to squat.” Spoken like a true jenius and it makes sense – no point sending traffic to have only to have them bounce.

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While some folks may assume that I agree with this, I do… but to point. Be still your gasps, my pneumonia has not fried my mind. I’m still the same conversion crushing connoisseur. But, here’s the thing…

To truly establish a baseline and gauge your conversions you need traffic.

So, here’s how I usually approach things:

Set the stage for conversions. Make sure there’s good copy, a compelling call to action, a layout that supports conversions, set up your analytics and tests, etc. This is all pretty basic but we always want to start with the end in mind and that end is, you guessed it, conversions.

At this stage, I’m not so much concerned with optimizing for conversions as much as creating a page that should convert (tests have shown that what I think should convert sometimes doesn’t, but I need to start somewhere).

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Turn on the traffic. Once you have what you “think” should be a converting website, go ahead and open up your traffic pipeline. This is basically the juice that will power your conversion engine.

Optimize for conversions. Now that the traffic is coming in, you’ll be able to get stats that are worth a damn and your tests will yield better intel. This is where the real conversion work gets done. If need be, new copy gets written, new images used, colors tweaked, etc.

The process then starts all over again BUT site conversions have been boosted which is what we’re ultimately after. And that means it’s time to celebrate… with a delicious BBQ chicken pizza and beer. Who’s buying?

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Written By

Mark Eckenrode is a Certified Master of Guerrilla Marketing raised on comic books, punk rock, and Pepsi. He's also the chief marketing trainer at HomeStomper where AgentGenius readers can learn unconventional methods for winning with social media.



  1. Vicki Moore

    February 16, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I’ll buy but it’s got to be pepperoni and mushrooms. BBQ chicken? Yuk.

  2. Ken Brand

    February 17, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I’ll buy the 2nd round.

    Chatting over beers with you and Vicki would be fun and expansive. Hope your health snaps back quick:-)

  3. Mark Eckenrode

    February 17, 2009 at 11:31 am

    @vicki: come one, have you tried it? it’s like two wonderful meals – chicken and pizza – in one. delicious 😛

    @ken: thanks for the well wishes and i agree… an AG beer party would is the cure for just about anything negative.

  4. Vicki Moore

    February 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Yeah I tried it. Yuk. Don’t want no healthy chicken type stuff on my pizza.

  5. Melina Tomson

    February 18, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I have a mean alfredo chicken pizza and stuffed spinach pizza that I make…

    I agree, and I am in the midst of rewriting some content for my website because it isn’t performing the way I want.

    I agree that sometimes what you think will work really doesn’t. I am constantly looking at who people use my website, keywords they search for my blog, and using that to get me a better conversion rate.

    It’s hard to convert if you don’t know what they want.

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