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  1. #1
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    okay, I'm starting to panic
    So I just did a major overhaul to one of my deal sites that was monetizing really well. Before the upgrade, my EPC in CJ was around $7.50 or so, getting steady traffic, and life was good.

    Then this past Saturday, I completely transformed the site with new graphics, and a ton of new functionality. While the interface certainly changed, the basic content is still there, and the flow of the site is still the same.

    I'm convinced the new interface isn't confusing people, because I'm still getting the same number of clicks when I check my reports on CJ, Linkshare, etc. However, my commissions have dropped drastically, like an order of magnitude. I'm getting an EPC of $0.80 over the last 2-3 days.

    Does anyone have any experience with overhauling a site that's monetizing really well, and the behavior patterns of your visitors immediately after the upgrade? I'm just hoping it's taking people a few days to warm up to the site, since traffic remains good even though conversions are terrible.

  2. #2
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    Ballpark, how many uniques are you talking about per day? And your conversion rate, went from what to what?

  3. #3
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    Around 7k unique visitors a day, and CR from 1.3% to 0.4%.

  4. #4
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    Dustin, you might feel that Trust's questions are intrusive, but it's really important to know the traffic volume and the change in conversion rate, in order to evaluate whether this is just a "statistical fluke" or possibly a seasonal issue."

    For example, if your site draws 10,000 visitors per day, of whom 5% (500 clicks) click to merchant sites, with a typical average conversion rate of 2% (10 sales), it's entirely possible that during any random 2-3 day period, there might be only 2 or 3 sales -- especially considering that it is summer, and some areas of the country have been under water and others suffering from heat waves.

    Look at your historical variations -- have you had similar fluctuations in the past?

    Of course, there are other possible factors: check to make sure that you aren't referring customers to buy products that are out of stock, and you aren't listing a price or offer that's no longer valid -- and of course, look to see if any of your merchants changed their own web sites in ways that might reduce conversions (or might have stopped tracking sales properly).

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    I'm still getting the same number of clicks
    what happens after that, they abandon your site or do they go to a different page? Maybe they see other links there and are directed away...

    Have you checked all browsers on browsershots.org? IE 6 for example. Lots of my visitors still use those.

    Maybe they are a bit confused. Announce to the "Our site has a new Look!" to confirm to them that they are at the right place?

    btw, nice site

  6. #6
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    Mark,

    Thanks for the response. So on an average day with CJ, I'll get around 1,000 clicks from approximately 6k - 7k unique visitors. I'll usually have 10-15 sales through CJ, which matches my 1.3% conversion rate.

    Mondays through Wednesdays are typically really strong for me. Last Monday (a week ago) I had 13 sales, the Monday before, 16 sales. Yesterday, I had 3.

    I guess you could argue that I don't have enough sample data, and probably need to give it a week or two. I certainly will do that, but still, I'm nervous and don't understand why my sales would drop off. I just want to understand, whether it's the psychology of the user or something else. I don't see anything atrocious on my site that would send people away. If anything, I expected traffic to increase and conversions to be better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah
    what happens after that, they abandon your site or do they go to a different page? Maybe they see other links there and are directed away...
    Well, my bounce rate is certainly higher. But I think that's because I have 3 deal sites, and I've added tabbed navigation across the top to promote better cross traffic between the 3 sites. So I think I can comprehend the bounce rate. Considering that, I don't see anything abnormal. Time of the site seems healthy, page views seem decent, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah
    Have you checked all browsers on browsershots.org? IE 6 for example. Lots of my visitors still use those.
    Woah, awesome site! I had never heard of this. I'm checking it now. I've checked with Opera, Firefox 2.0/3.0, and IE6.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah
    btw, nice site
    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    If your clicks are constant, but the sales have dropped, then it seems to be something more than your site update.

    Is all the traffic to 1 merchant?

    Could just be a delay in reporting sales? You can't really determine much from 1 or 2 days of data

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    If your clicks are constant, but the sales have dropped, then it seems to be something more than your site update.

    Is all the traffic to 1 merchant?

    Could just be a delay in reporting sales? You can't really determine much from 1 or 2 days of data
    It's traffic to several merchants, spread over several networks. I'm really hoping it's a combination of (1) statistical anomaly and (2) users needing to warm up to the new redesign, but definitely concerned that it could be something else that I just don't see from my perspective.

  10. #10
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    So you are only averaging 13 to 16 sales from 7,000 uniques?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    So you are only averaging 13 to 16 sales from 7,000 uniques?
    Yes, but I run a collection of deal sites, so the content is intermixed between merchants featured at CJ, Linkshare, Performics, Shareasale, Avantlink, etc. Overall, I have more average sales than that if I look at all the affiliate networks. But I'm just looking at CJ (my sales on other networks are way down too, I just chose CJ because I probably have the most clicks and, thus, the most data, from there).

    I think the better # to look at IMO is the product clicks on CJ to conversions, so 1000 clicks typically means 13 sales, or 1.3% conversion.

    I dunno if that makes sense? Certainly correct me if I'm missing something or my assumptions are invalid.

  12. #12
    Member niche's Avatar
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    Mate I think conversions is uniques sales over uniques
    But well done for generating 7K uniques a day, shows you have put in some hard work
    [URL="http://www.affiliatemarketingintro.com"]Affiliate Marketing Basics[/URL]

  13. #13
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    Would the new functionality cause any problems or conflict with tracking or bouncing the link to the merchant's site? Very rare but possible.

    Why don't you poll your customers/visitors (if you have a DB) about your functionality.

    When we redesigned our website, it was a 180' change and 98% love it, 2% just hate it in our poll. We gave store credits away.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    Why don't you poll your customers/visitors (if you have a DB) about your functionality.

    When we redesigned our website, it was a 180' change and 98% love it, 2% just hate it in our poll. We gave store credits away.
    Thanks Eric, I think a poll is an excellent idea and I think I will put one up asap. When you redesigned your site, did you notice any immediate slowdown in sales, or was it pretty much uninterrupted?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustin999
    Thanks Eric, I think a poll is an excellent idea and I think I will put one up asap. When you redesigned your site, did you notice any immediate slowdown in sales, or was it pretty much uninterrupted?
    I am on the merchant side of things, so it's slight different. We had so many things going on and a slow down was seen slightly. Slow down could be due to - we laid off the PPC company and brought it in house (transition period), SEO took some to come back (new URLs), lack of resources (I did the web marketing, website implementation, website planning, etc). On the flip side, we are stronger with email marketing, tested tv ads, brought in PPC, etc.

    If you do not have a email system, checkout www.icontact.com. They have a polling system there too.

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