No Sales? Increase Conversions not Traffic

In the last week or two I’ve chatted to a number of website owners about the lack of sales on their website. In each instance their first thought was to get more traffic.

I explained to them that just throwing more traffic at the site would not necessarily increase the amount of sales, at least not significantly. If you’re already getting traffic and no sales I’d be looking at why your prospects aren’t buying. Some issues to consider:

  • Your traffic isn’t targeted
  • There’s problems with your website

Targeted Traffic

Is what you’re selling what you’re visitors are after? This is a good time to review your search engine optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) and other marketing initiatives to make sure you’re targeting the right people. Perhaps your visitors are expecting “genuine widgets” and you’re offering “generic widgets”.

Website Issues

Is your website compelling? Does it provide your users with a reason to buy from you? Are your product/service descriptions informative? Are your product photographs of high quality? How does your site compare to your competitors?

Take the time to really review your website. Focus on the design, usability, your unique selling proposition (USP) and your copy.

Merely throwing more traffic at your site does not necessarily mean more sales. And let’s face it, if you’re getting 5 sales for every 1000 visitors wouldn’t you rather get 50 sales for every 1000 visitors. Then an increase in traffic will bring an even larger increase in sales.

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Are You Writing For Search Engines or Your Users?

Welcome to Widgets Online! We offer a wide range of widgets including red widgets, blue widgets, green widgets, pink widgets, black widgets and white widgets as well as cheap widgets, discount widgets and fast widgets plus many more widgets at great prices. For all your widget needs contact us.

Hardly compelling is it.

Sure you need to include keywords in your copy in order to help rank in the search engines but what use is ranking at number one if your sales copy reads like above? It’s hardly going to compel your prospects to purchase from you.

Your web pages need to be written to cater to both the search engines and your users. Keyword rich copy that is compelling should be your focus. Why should people buy from you? What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)?

As you read over your pages keep those questions in mind. If your site reads like a laundry list of keywords it probably needs a re-write.

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5 Common Mistakes of E-Commerce Websites

I consult to a lot of companies running e-commerce websites. Usually it’s not performing as expected and they want me to tell them why. While each website is different 5 common mistakes come up time and time again. Perhaps it’s time for you to do a quick check of your e-commerce site and make sure you’ve covered the following:

No Physical Contact Details

Far too many e-commerce websites have no physical contact details. If you’re wanting people to hand over their credit card details you need to provide information about your company and how people can get in touch with you. This is how you establish trust between your site and your prospects.

A common argument against providing a phone number is communicating via email keeps costs lower. A fair point. An approach I recommend is to include your contact details as well as a message along the following lines:

“Our preferred method of contact is via email and we provide prompt replies, normally within a few hours. As an online business, communicating via email enables us to keep our prices low, so please use this as your first method to contact us. However, should you ever need to reach us via phone, fax or post you’ll find all our contact details below.”

Make sure you state how fast emails are replied to so your prospects have an idea of how quickly their issue will be dealt with.

In 98% of case there will be no need for people to contact you, but providing these details will make your prospects much more comfortable handing over their precious credit card details.

No Clear Shipping Locations or Prices

Nothing peeves me more than getting to the end of placing an order to discover you don’t ship to my location. In fact my fists are clenching as I write this!

Clearly state where you ship and the cost of shipping to each of those locations. Place this information where it can easily be seen and label it clearly.

No Returns Policy

Again, encouraging people to order at your website is all about gaining their trust. Sometimes, for whatever reason, someone may want to return what they have ordered from you.

Prospects will feel far more comfortable buying from your site if you clearly state what your return policy is and how items can be returned.

No Testimonials

One of the best ways to show prospects they can trust you, and feel comfortable doing business with you, is to show them what other happy customers have said about your company, service and products. After all, these are independent, 3rd party opinions of you!

If you currently don’t have any testimonials start collecting them from now. You could also approach some of your long time customers and ask for one. Keep in mind testimonials that address specifics are far more credible than ones that say something generic such as “great product, thanks”.

If you’re selling online include testimonials that cover areas such as: ease of ordering, fast shipping, prompt responses to questions and/or issues and how great your products are.

Complicated Checkout Process

A common complaint I hear is having to register before placing an order. The less data people have to enter the more likelihood they will complete their order. There is plenty of time to collect additional information at a later stage.

Many out of the box e-commerce packages make first time customers sign up for an account before ordering. If your website makes prospects register before ordering I highly recommend you modify your checkout process.

These 5 simple steps will go a long way in establishing trust between you and your prospective customers which in turn will boost the number of orders you receive. Win, win really. :)

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Domain Names – Don’t Get Caught Short

I went to a new yoga class today (which is why I’m ever so relaxed dear reader ;)). It’s a new school and their identity, marketing materials and even the studio itself are beautiful. Being new, and a Thursday morning, I was also lucky enough to be the only student so effectively had a private lesson. The way they are set-up and marketing themselves I don’t expect that to last long.

They even have a website (this is Australia – it’s not that common yet) and whilst it’s not search friendly it’s beautiful and provides enough information about them and their classes. They also advertise their website address everywhere. The only problem, it contains a dash: and they don’t seem to own the alternative,

This is problematic for a number of reasons:

  1. They’ll loose a lot of traffic to people who type in the domain with no dash.
  2. There’s a chance a competitor (or domaineer) may snap up the alternative domain.
  3. The dash makes it harder for it to pass the billboard test. What’s the billboard test? Is it easy for someone to remember if they saw it on a billboard? I know I kept forgetting it and finally stopped and picked up a brochure to remind me.

When choosing your domain name make sure it’s as close to your business name as possible. If there are variations or common misspellings it’s worth registering them to.

If it’s a business you plan to market overseas make sure you have the .com version as well as the one for your own county code ( in Australia).

This may seem like a minor deal right now but believe me you’ll appreciate your foresight down the track.

Me being me, I did make this suggestion to my teacher at the end of the class and she was really appreciative. Unfortunately it turns out has already gone.

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