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Site Ecommerce Conversion Issues, Blog Hurting us? Help?

Ecommerce Site Conversion Issues, Blog Content vs. Ecommerce Content

3:28 pm on Sep 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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While reviewing site analytics. I noticed that in April 2013 our site experienced a dramatic drop in the web conversion rate. In investigating the issue, I explored all of the following potential issues. (1) checkout abandonment by browser (2) visits & conversion by browser issues (3) the effects of mobile on eCommerce conversions and lastly (4) visitor quality.

(1) checkout abandonment:
Upon reviewing rates over 12 months, by browser and device, I noticed that checkout integrity was in tack. It had remained unchanged.

(2) browser issues
Upon reviewing browser data over 2 years, I showed slight decreases in conversion % on Chrome and degradation on safari (due to Apple mobile products). This was not enough to cause the decrease in conversion rate globally. IE was still the dominate browser and it showed the highest conversion rates. I ruled out bad browser code.

(3) Effects on mobile vs desktop.
In analyzing this data over 2 years it was clear that as more mobile devices especially cell phones came into the visit mix, conversion was being affected. . However, ipad conversion was steady, and desktop conversion remained flat. I concluded that this was not the cause of the underlining issue.

(4) Integrity of site visits
I feel that I pin-pointed the cause for concern

We are an ecommerce site that is heavy in content creation, ie blogs and video. The blog is in a separate directory. For example. www.widget.com and www.widget.com/blog. Over time I saw through analytics that the blog was driving more and more traffic. To be more clear, I tracked visits over a 2 year period. Over this 2 year period I tracked total visits, ecommerce related site visits and blog related visits. For the first 8 months, 90% of the total visits were going to the ecommerce site converting at 2%. 10% of the visits were going to the blog converting at 0.15%.

In April 2012, I noticed the blog visit % increased dramatically. This wouldn't have been an issue if total visits increased. HOWEVER, WHAT OCCURRED WAS THAT ECOMMERCE RELATED VISITS DECLINED. TO BE MORE CLEAR. BLOG VISITS INCREASED, ECOMMERCE VISITS DECREASED & TOTAL VISITS REMAINED THE SAME. NET/NET = LOWER CONVERSION RATE BECAUSE BLOG VISITS VIA SEO DID NOT CONVERT LIKE ECOMMERCE SITE VISITS FROM SEO. THE END RESULT WAS A LOWER SITE WIDE CONVERSION RATE. Now back to march/April 2013 we again saw an uptick in the amount of blog traffic and a decrease in eCommerce visits, again leading to lower conversion? So here are my questions:

1. In April 2012 why did we see such a decrease in ecommerce related visits and such a dramtic jump in blog related visits. (Google change?)Is this an indexing issue?

2. Why in March/April 2013 did we again see what was just referenced above in question #1 but to a lesser degree (Google change?)Is this an indexing issue?

3. What are my options? Do we cut off the blog visits? Integrate the blog content to the main site? Please suggest?

4. I'm concerned that blog visits are eroding our ecommerce site visits. Why is there a direct correlation between more blog visits and less ecommerce visits. Why?