Optimizing Contents for Sales and Conversions through Profit Index



One of the most important and yet not so obvious difference between a low converting website and a high converting website is the volume of profitable contents on the site.

Profitable content is that content which add value to the business bottomline. You can determine such contents on your website by creating and analyzing the profit index report.

I have explained in great detail about creating profit index report in a Google Analytics account, through this article: Measuring Content Marketing Success in Google Analytics

In the present blog post I will explain the use of profit index report in great detail and show you how it can be used to optimize your contents for sales and conversions.


#1 Send more traffic to pages with high page value but low page views

The web pages which have got high page value are one of the most profitable pages on your website as they were frequently viewed prior to conversions and/or transactions.

If you send more traffic to such pages, you can dramatically improve your website conversion rate.

Step-1: Go to your profit index report under the shortcut menu:

shortcut menu profit index

Step-2: Sort the page value column in descending order and then look for the web pages that got low volume of pageviews but have high page value.


Start from the page which has the highest page value and then focus on the page with second highest page value and so on.

Step-3: Use the following methods to send more traffic to these web pages:

1. Do intra-site linking so that more link juice pass to these pages i.e. frequently link out to these pages from other web pages on your website.

2. Kill all those web page which don’t add any value to the business bottomline. This can help in passing the link juice to the more important pages i.e. your profitable pages.

Do not hesitate sacrificing the number of pages in the Google index to improve Profit index.

3. Create and submit a sitemap which list only the pages in the profit index (also called Profitable Sitemap). You want to make sure that these pages are easily found, crawled and indexed by Google as they are the most profitable pages of your website.

4. Get external links to these pages through link building so that more of these pages can act as landing pages and attract higher traffic than usual.

Remember these pages are most frequently viewed prior to conversions and/or transactions. So when they act as a landing page your probability of getting conversions increases by several folds.

5. Keep these pages evergreen by constantly updating them. Google also seem to boost ranking of the pages which contain fresh content.

6. For most profitable pages (pages with constantly high page value over a period of 3 months or more), consider reducing the number of clicks it takes (also known as click distance) to reach to these pages from the home page.

You may need to make some changes to your navigation structure. Not only this will pass more link juice to the most profitable pages but it will also make it easy for your users to find these pages easily and in least amount of time. When people land on these pages then they are most likely to convert.

7. Use these pages as landing pages for your marketing campaigns (SEO, PPC, Email, Display, Social etc).


#2 Increase pagevalue of the pages with high pageviews but low pagevalue

The web pages which are getting lot of traffic but have low page value have huge potential to generate sales and conversions provided you optimize them for conversion rate.

 If you can improve user experience of such pages, you can dramatically improve your website conversion rate.

Step-1: Go to your profit index report under the shortcut menu, sort the pageview column in descending order and then look for web pages which get lot of pageviews but have got low pagevalue.


Step-2: Use the following methods to increase the page value of these pages:

1. Scan the content of the pages and ask yourself this simple question:

Does this content provide smart, simple solution which improves customers’ lives and at the same time influence buying behavior?

I consider this question as the holy grail of content development and marketing.

Don’t let questions like “is this content unique, credible and informative” fool you. While it is all good to have unique, credible and informative contents but they don’t necessarily results in conversions and sales.

First and foremost your content must serve your customers and that too in a way which influence their buying decision. If your answer to the above question is ‘No’ then you need to redevelop your contents .

2. Reduce the bounce rate of the pages. By reducing the bounce rate, you not only improve the user experience but also the conversion rate.

3. Conduct page level surveys, A/B testing and multivariate testing on these pages. Follow the best practices of landing page optimization.


#3 Increase the size of your profit index

profit index report

The number of web pages in the profit index is the size of the profit index.

Larger the size of your profit index, higher will be the number of conversions and e-commerce transactions carried out on your website.

There are two ways of increasing the size of your profit index:

#1 By converting more existing web pages into profitable pages through conversion optimization.

#2 by developing more profitable contents on your website.

Following tips can help you in building profitable contents:

1. Develop contents which align with your business goals.

2. Find a niche you are passionate about and then just stick to it.

3. Follow the 10000 hour rule

4. Hire a subject matter expert and not a purist.

5. First priority should always be Quality and then quantity.

6. Ensure you consistently produce high quality contents.


#3.1 Develop contents which align with your business goals

If you are developing contents on topics which don’t really align with your business objectives then you are just wasting your time and resources.

So if you are primary a link builder, you would be better off developing contents only on topics related to link building and content marketing because this is what you sell.

Similarly if you are a wedding planner, you would be better off developing contents only on topics related to wedding management.


#3.2 Find a niche you are passionate about and then just stick to it

Just few years ago, I was blogging about everything from keyword research, local SEO, Social Media to Link building. It didn’t help me in building authority in any of these fields.

I was writing about topics I am good at but not passionate about. My blog started to get traction only when I found my true passion in web analytics and started blogging about it in every single post I published.

If you look around in the search industry, you can find many people who seem to follow this practice and are considered authority in their respective fields. Bill Slawski is a recognized authority on Patents and he has been writing about patents for almost a decade now or may be more.

Both Jason Acidre and Jon Cooper are widely known for link building and both persistently write on link building topics. Joost de Valk (yoast) has become almost a synonym for ‘wordpress seo’ and he also persistently writes on topics related to wordpress.

Everywhere you look around you can find people who are considered authority in a subject field. But you will rarely find anyone who is considered an authority in multiple subject areas/disciplines. In fact it is almost impossible and also impractical for any individual/business to try to build authority in multiple subject areas. So stick to just one niche.

Building authority in a single industry vertical is relatively easy and is something which is possible through hard work, dedication, networking and bit of luck.

You also need to show lot of passion to carry on esp. during difficult times otherwise you will give up sooner or later. So find an industry vertical you or your client is passionate about and then just stick to it.


#3.3 Follow the 10000 hour rule

Malcolm Gladwell made an interesting observation in his book ‘outliers’. This observation is that

the people who achieve extra ordinary success in their field spend at least 10000 hours perfecting their craft. 

Though you can’t follow the 10000 hour rule on behalf of your clients, you can certainly hire people who have been following this rule and have spent at least 1000 hour in perfecting their craft. We call such people as ‘Subject Matter Experts’.


#3.4 Hire a subject matter expert and not a purist

We often hire content writer with good language and literary skills to develop contents on ……..any topic.

Now the problem with this approach is that at the end of the day quality of the contents suffers in terms of value added to the business bottomline.

Perfect grammar is not going to help you get sales and conversions, value proposition will.

Anybody can develop (or dare I say rehash) contents on any topic these days through little research on the web. That’s why internet is jam packed with poor/mediocre quality contents.

In order to stand out, you need to demonstrate high level of subject matter expertise and for that you need people who are expert in their fields. Without the help of these subject matter experts there is no way to build authority in any niche.

So if you want to build authority in say skateboarding field then you need to hire bloggers who are passionate about skateboarding or hire skateboarders who are also bloggers.

I know it is not easy to find and hire such people but then it is not easy to build authority either and without authority you won’t get high quality links and desired user engagement and exposure, which all are required to increase page value and eventually the business bottomline.


#3.5 First priority should always be Quality and then quantity

If you have been following me for more than a year or so, you must have noticed great improvement in the quality of my contents.

There are three main reasons behind this. First I blog only about one topic now i.e. web analytics. When you are blogging about same topic day in, day out, you are in a do or die situation. You have to come up with new ideas otherwise you risk failure.

Second I follow the 10000 hour rule which has exponentially improved my subject matter expertise and this expertise reflects in my blog posts. And third I spend lot of time in deciding how to structure my posts. How to present it to you so that it is incredibly easy to understand and at the same instantly useful.

For example it took me around 50 hrs (around one and half month) to write this blog post: Predictive Analytics & Marketing – The next stage of Business Optimization. This blog post is around 45 pages long and one of the most technical posts I have ever written. Read it and you will find out why : )

I remember, once I spent around 2 months researching on legal contracts for this post: SEO Contract | Sample SEO Contract Template. This post though several years old now, still gets rave reviews to date.

The whole point of telling you about my story is to reinforce the fact that developing contents which actually drive sales and conversions require huge amount of time and resources. It is not something which can be done in couple of hours.

You can’t expect to move corporate needle or build authority by writing 5 blog posts in one hour or churning out mediocre contents every single day. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to spend some serious amount of time and money on hiring subject matter experts and developing great resources for your target audience.


#3.6 Ensure you consistently produce high quality contents

1. Hire subject matter experts. Only they can bring expertise to your website and ensure high quality contents on a regular basis.

2.  Develop contents which provide smart, simple solution to improve customers’ lives and at the same time influence buying behavior. Just developing unique, easy to understand contents is not enough.

3. Create editorial guidelines and content calendar and follow them religiouslyEvery aspect of your content development and marketing should be planned out well in advance.

4. Constantly measure the performance of your contents. If you won’t measure the performance you will never know what works and what doesn’t and you may end beating a dead horse.

5.  Do more of what works and less of what that doesn’t work. It is not a rocket science.

6. Keep an eye on popular blogs in your niche and get ideas/inspiration from them.  Reading can spark lot of new ideas and topics to blog about.

Related Post: Measuring Content Marketing Efforts – Understanding Great Contents


#4 Monitor pagevalue overtime

The page value of your web pages must increase over time. This is a sign of profitable content marketing campaigns. Higher the page value, more profitable your web pages become in terms of generating conversions and sales.

Follow the steps below to monitor your page value overtime:

Step-1: Go to profit index report and set the date range to at least the last 3 months. If the date range is smaller than 3 months then you can’t analyze the trend.


monitor page value over time

Select ‘pagevalue’ and ‘pageviews’ as metrics and then look at the trend. The page value must increase overtime.


#5 Monitor the size of your profit index overtime

 The size of your profit index should increase over time. Bigger size means more profitable pages on your website and thus high probability of generating sales and leads.

If you correlate the size of profit index with conversions, you will generally find a strong positive linear relationship between profit index size and conversions volumes i.e.

when ‘profit index’ is larger than average, ‘conversions volume’ tends to be higher than average.


when ‘profit index’ is smaller than average, ‘conversions volume’ tends to be lesser than average.

You should always monitor the size of your profit index on monthly basis:


Another way of monitoring the size of the profit index is by comparing it with the size of Google Index (number of web pages in the Google index) overtime:

Note: In case of very big websites, the size of your profit index will most probably be a very small fraction (like 1/10) of the size of your Google Index. This is perfectly normal. But you should always aim to increase the size of  your profit index overtime.


#6 Segment Profit Index and Profitable Sitemaps

If you have got tens of thousands of web pages or millions of web pages in your Profit index then you need to segment both Profit index and your profitable sitemap.

You first priority should always be optimizing the most profitable pages on your website.

So for example, if the 100 most profitable pages on your website have ‘page value’ of greater than $1000. Then you should segment and monitor this high value profit index separately.

You may need to create several profit indices based on the size of your profit index and page value ranges you want to target.

 You should target profit indices in decreasing order of their page value range.

For example:

By segmenting your profit indices you will be in a better position to prioritize your marketing efforts esp. if you are dealing with a very big website.  I would also go ahead and suggest creating a separate sitemap for each profit index and prioritize your SEO efforts accordingly.

Your first priority should always be to focus on optimizing pages with highest page values because these are the pages which can generate maximum conversions and/or transactions on your website.

Now read another article in this series: How to measure the ROI of Content Marketing and let me know what you think.


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