The process of creating and growing a startup is as complex as it is nuanced. Having a great idea and a talented team is only part of the equation. Startup capital is important, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you can grow your startup and monetize your product or service.
That’s where the team at Growth Devil (GD) has found their niche. GD helps startups increase their traffic and build strategies for success. According to GD, one of the most common mistakes that startups make is just expecting their product to “magically” gain traction in the marketplace. For every story you see about a product going viral, there are 1,000 products that are just as good, but never gain the market traction needed for success. Startups need to remember that no matter how good a product is, no matter how in demand it would be, it doesn’t matter if consumers don’t know it exists.
According to GD, there are two other common mistakes that startups make. The first of these is, “not understanding paid traffic and the real impact of paying for that.” The second is, “not understanding that all traffic sources bring you customers. Not understanding the cost of traffic is a huge mistake.”
Just paying for clicks might seem cheap, but understanding how paying for traffic actually translates into paying customers is essential. A click brings a possible customer to your site, but its essential to funnel those most likely to become actual customers to your site. “I don’t think people understand that they can get a huge spike in traffic, but get no customers because the source of that traffic is not the people they want, and the people who want their product.”
Testing this principle, GD utilized Stumbleupon.com, driving huge amounts of traffic to a client’s page. However, “no one converted. When you look at the actual analytics, you realize that a Stumbleupon user was in there for about ten seconds before they exited.” While the traffic was cheap, because it didn’t translate into conversions, it was wasted capital. That money could have been spent on other acquisition channels that would have actually resulted in customers.
A “funnel” process is essential according to GD. Funneling a customer to the homepage, then a demo page, then a purchase page is crucial for conversion, but “many startups have no funnel strategy,” says GD. “Spikes in traffic are irrelevant unless they generate conversions.”
Understanding how traffic relates to conversions and how to increase conversion rates is a complicated process that requires research, analytics, and expertise. Many startups just aren’t equipped to analyze traffic and maximize conversions. However, doing so can be crucial to business growth and success.
To translate it to an analogue perspective, imagine you decide to put up a billboard advertising a new high-end tech gadget. People who drive by your billboard are an effective analogue to digital traffic. Now, if your billboard is on an interstate that gets a lot of traffic, but mainly rural drivers and truckers, that traffic won’t necessarily translate into sales. However, if they billboard is placed on a highway in Silicon Valley, it is likely to result in far more conversions. Figuring out how to target adds on the internet in a way that maximizes traffic and conversions is an even more complicated process, but it’s one that GD specializes in.
Growth Devil is able to look at traffic coming to a site and develop “personas” for that traffic, building a profile of those visiting the site and comparing that to the profile of a likely customer.
Slight adjustments to the marketing and content of your site can make all the difference, according to GD. Something as simple as adding a blog to your site can make a crucial difference, says GD. Blog entries can bring repeat traffic to your site that can translate into conversions.
It may seem simple when laid out like this, but the process itself is incredibly complex. For one client, GD has developed 18 key metrics to gauge potential clients. As a new startup with limited capital, it might be tempting to try to accomplish building traffic and conversions “in house.” However, startups need to realize that their time is also capital. Time spent analyzing web traffic and building targeted marketing is time you are not spending growing your company and improving your product. Companies like GD help free a startup to focus on what they are good at, and ensure that money spent on traffic results in conversions, rather than simply being wasted on clicks that don’t result in conversion.