Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stop Chasing Traffic and Start Looking for Customers

When I ask people in my network:
"What's the biggest challenge you have about making more money from your Web site?"
by far the biggest question that comes up is, "How do I get more traffic to my web site?"

It's absolutely true that if you get more traffic, chances are you'll make more sales. But it's also true that if you were able to improve the conversion rate of the people you're already getting, then you'll also make more sales.

It's often much easier to improve the conversion rate than it is to get more visitors to the site, and it's also much more cost effective.

Most of the things related to your conversion rate have nothing to do with technology. They're mostly to do with psychology. It doesn't mean that you have to invest lots of money in having a much more slick, expensive, high tech Web site. That's not the case. It usually means that you have to change the wording on the pages of your site, which is usually a much cheaper option.

So if you've been obsessing about getting more traffic to your web site, stop! You don't have to stop completely, but also look at ways of converting the people that you've already got.

Know their mind set

When people go searching the Internet they've got a very different mindset than when they go shopping in the real world. For example, if you walk into a bookstore, chances are that you're looking to buy a book. On the Internet, when people go searching in somewhere like Google, what they're doing is generally looking for information and they may not have the mindset of buying something. This means you have to work much harder to convince them to buy your product.

This is a very important distinction, and most Web sites don't go far enough to convince people to buy. They just assume that somebody visiting a product page on their site is going to read about the product, take out their credit card and make a purchase.

That simply isn't the case most of the time. Occasionally you'll find someone who is just looking to buy, and in that case they might stumble on your Web site and buy directly from you. But that's the exception that's not the rule.

So one of the things to change quickly is to change the focus of your Web site to help people first, and sell them later.

Small changes can make a big difference

For most Web sites - especially those that have never considered conversion rate before - their conversion rates will be pretty low at the moment. The Internet marketing experts consider themselves very good if they get a 1% conversion rate. That means of every 100 people that come to the site if one person buys, they think they've done a really good job. If they get 2% then they're extremely good, and if they get 5% they're pretty much at the top of the Internet marketing field.

So don't be disheartened if you're not getting many sales at the moment, when you consider that even the experts are getting about one in every 100 to convert.

The really good thing about this is, of course, it means you've got 99 people out of 100 who are not buying every time they visit your site. If you can reduce that to just 98, you just doubled your whole conversion rate, which means that you've doubled your profits, you've doubled your sales, you've doubled everything. So if at the moment you're not getting a lot of sales that's not necessarily a bad thing. It could be the perfect opportunity!

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