Return On Investment (ROI). Without it, all the online marketing and web traffic in the world means nothing. And for those companies who conduct a majority (or all) of their business online, positive ROI is essential to having a successful business.
From an SEO standpoint, showing a positive ROI is critical in building and maintaining client satisfaction. Sure, the primary goal of any SEO company is to drive traffic through a variety of methods (rankings, social media, viral marketing, etc.). And for the purpose of sales, getting tons and tons of traffic is great- if that traffic is converting. Otherwise, you’ll have the most popular, but least profitable website in your industry.
So, how do you get your web traffic to convert into sales? There are a ton of techniques out there that, depending on your site and your niche, may or may not work for you. Here are a few tried and true methods that we have come across and implemented on a variety of our client’s sites:
Begin with a Solid Website Design or Improve Your Current Site – If the foundation of your online business (i.e. your website) is shaky, don’t expect to convert many visits into sales. I’ve spoken with several business owners who settled for a cheap, easy website over a more professional one and have suffered because of it. Think about your own online buying tendencies: Do you purchase from a website that looks like a college student’s side project, or do you purchase from a clean, organized, professional looking site? Putting up some extra cash for the creation of your site and lead to much better conversion rates down the road. If you’ve already made the mistake of cheaping out on your website, then a re-design may be the next best solution. Your goal should be to create a clean, unified look while providing easy navigation for users. You want your pages to share a common theme and be pleasing to the eye in order to draw visitors deeper into your site. Keep in mind that loud and flashy is not always the best way to convert visitors.
Create a Prominent Call to Action – A common theme we see with sites who are having trouble converting visitors is that their call to action is located at the bottom of the page or in some other obscure area. How are visitors supposed to buy from your site when they can’t even find the checkout page? Placing your call to action toward the top of the page (preferably above the fold) will let visitors know exactly where to go to place an order. Make the call to action stand out using enticing language (i.e. “Buy Now”, “Order Today”) and bright coloring (make sure the design/ coloring fits with the overall theme of your site).
Get Visitors Involved– If people are coming to your site and leaving right away, you have no chance at getting sales. Decreasing the bounce rate on your siteby improving the “stickiness” will keep visitors looking at your pages longer, which means there’s a better chance they will convert. Improving site stickiness can include adding a search box, restructuing content to be more reader friendly, or implementing a forum where visitors can actively participate.
Funnel Visitors to Important, Sales-Focused Areas of Your Site– Funneling visitors to specific areas of your site incorporates aspects from the above three techniques. Make it easy for visitors to find your products and navigate through your site. If possible, include your best-selling or most important products on your homepage in a prominent location. Allow visitors to reach all of your products is as few clicks as possible. Any more than three or four clicks, and you run the risk of losing people’s interest. One method that works well is to place product images or references on the side of your blog and then submitting to popular social media sites.
Focus on Your Target Market– Taking a “shotgun” approach to marketing your website may lead to a conversion here and there, but focusing your efforts on your target market will yeild much better results. Put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes: where would you look and what would you look for when searching for your product or service? Your goal should be to place your website in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Do some research and find out where your potential buyers may be visiting and what they may be searching for, then tailor your website to match those results.