Everywhere you look these days, people are telling you that in order to sell through your website, you need tons of traffic.
Well, even though my business is traffic generation, *I'm* going to tell you that it's a BIG FAT LIE!
The secret of a successful website isn't just in the amount of visitors it has; it's in the amount of visitors that are converted to buyers. It's no good having 4,000 visitors if your means of bringing them to your site means that they're vague rather than targeted visitors.
Time for some figures!
If you get 500 visitors to your site a day and convert 1 in 100 into a customer (making 5 sales a day), how do you increase sales? Sure, you can spend some more money and try and drive 1000 visitors a day, which will in turn gain you 10 customers a day.
Or, you can work on your website copy and where you're getting the visitors from, and drive up your conversion rate. If you can increase your conversion rate to turn 1 in 50 into buyers, and make those 10 sales without increasing your traffic or spending any more money, isn't that a better (and cheaper!) option?
So how can you increase your conversion rate?
1) Look at your front page
Go to your website right now and read the front page as if you'd never seen it before. Is it obvious what you're selling? If I don't know that you can solve my problem, whether that is a business or a consumer one, how do I know if I'm interested in your site?
Use bold text, large text and headlines to let me know I'm in the right place.
2) Look at your copy
Being brutally honest, I don't really care how many clients you have, how many awards you've won, how long you've been trading for, or whether you think you're the best at what you do.
On first visiting your website, I care about whether you have what I'm looking for.
So if your website starts with "Company XYZ has been trading in the Buckinghamshire area for over 27 years and has a client list of over 500", change it! Don't send people to sleep before they've found out what you do. Try something like:
"Looking for the best Wedding Photographer in Bedford? Well you've found him!"
"Need business cards at a low low price? Click here for our price list or here to browse our styles"
"Looking for that perfect Christmas gift? Send one of our luxurious fruit baskets"
Get the picture? All of those headlines tell me I'm in the right place for what I want. Equally importantly, they will also help search engine placements.
3) Target your traffic
If you just have hundreds of links in freebie web directories, it's easy to get lots of traffic and no sales. Look at your web stats and find out where your visitors are coming from.
If you're spending money to get visitors, look at the phrases you're using. Being at the top of the search engines for "Christmas gifts" is not only going to cost a lot of money, it's also pretty useless if you only sell one or a few things. "Christmas gift baskets" is more targeted and will help raise your conversion rate.
Other fairly useless phrases I've come across people using recently (and I use the word useless to mean that although they generate a lot of traffic, they don't generate targeted traffic).
Web design (on a site that was very focused locally, so "web design Northampton" would provide more qualified traffic)
Graphics (on a printing site where 'exhibition graphics' would have been more targeted)
Coaching (on a business coaching site - 'business coaching' would have been better
Sales jobs (again on a geographically focused site - "sales jobs Milton Keynes" would have been more suited)
Think differently - search engines aren't the be all and end all of website traffic generation;
* The Northampton based web design company would be better off targeting local search phrases, and putting their link on localised websites. Most towns and/or counties have local directories. They could also try a targeted email campaign to Northampton based businesses.
* The exhibition graphics company could advertise on sites that promote exhibitions, as well as finding better targeted phrases for search engine promotion.
* The business coaching company could advertise on sites devoted to new and growing businesses, as well as a targeted email campaign to businesses of a certain size.
* The sales recruitment company could again advertise on local sites, as well as free recruitment sites, and job seeking newsgroups and forums.
So there you have it, 3 top tips to increase the conversion rate of your site; Look at your front page, look at your copy and target your traffic.
If any of you would like me to make some suggestions on different ways you could be promoting your site in order to increase conversion, please email me at email@example.com.
Nikki Pilkington is owner of Milton Keynes based Internet Marketing Company Nikki Pilkington.com, and writes articles, hints and tips to help people looking to promote their website for free, as well as running paid e-marketing campaigns. For more of her articles visit http://www.nikkipilkington.com and sign up to the newsletter.