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    3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 12, 2008 11:24 AM by mediawan

    Increase Conversions - 8 Ways to Skyrocket Your Online Sales

    ZekeLL Adventurer
      Any online business needs to do two things right to get sales. They have to get traffic and they have to convert those visitors into paying customers.

      This post will give you some amazing ideas to increase conversions. But before I start with my list, let me give you a warning. If your website is not getting any traffic, focus on that first. A friend of mine called me the other day and she told me that he was worried because she wasn't getting any sales from her online store. I asked her how many hits a day she was getting. She laughs and said: "How am I supposed to know that?"

      So the first thing we did was to install Google Analytics and the reason why she wasn't getting any sales became evident: in seven days she got 13 visitors. If traffic is your problem, focus on that before you start working on tweaking your website to increase conversions.

      Now, if you are getting several clicks a day and your conversion rate is too low (less than 2-5%, depending on the industry) then this post is really going to help you.

      Make it easy for your visitors to contact you
      Is your phone number visible at the top of every single page? Is the Contact Us page easy to find? Once people reach your contact us page, are you providing them with a contact form, email address, a phone number, and mailing address? If you have a fax number, include that, too.

      Even if you have a contact form, include an email address. People might not want to email you at that moment but they might want to have your contact information for future reference. Make it easy for them.

      Have a toll-free number. It's only $10 a month. And display a physical address, not a PO Box. Most people don't want to deal with online companies that do not have a phone number and a physical address displayed on their website.

      Make information easy to find
      First, use your analytics tool to find out what information people are looking for on your website. Maybe there is one product that gets a lot more attention than all the others. Once you've found out what information people are looking for, make it more prominent and easier to find. Don't bury it "three clicks away".

      Have intuitive navigation
      If you expect people to figure out how to get to where they want to go on your website, a majority of them will leave. The navigation is not where you want to get "creative".

      Your website is a marketing tool
      A nice design is really important, but good copy is equally important. Don't depend on cool graphics to make the sale. Use your words to convince them to buy from you. In my opinion, each website has to answer two questions using bullet-points:
      • Why your visitors should buy what you sell
      • Why they should buy it FROM YOU. (What sets you apart from the competition? Make sure that what makes you different from your competitors is of value to your customers.)
      Make the text easy to read
      Some tips:

      Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Most long sentences can be broken down into two or even three sentences. Don't go over 6-7 lines per paragraph.

      Use bold text to highlight the most important part of each paragraph.

      Use bullets as they are a great way to summarize your main points.

      Show your accreditations
      If you are a member of the BBB or your local chamber of commerce, show the badges on your website. If you process credit cards online get VeriSign verified and get PayPal verified if you accept PayPal. If you've earned awards or are linked to an industry association, your website is a great opportunity to show your credentials.

      Reduce sign-up and checkout times
      Have you ever gone to a website, clicked on the Sign Up link and the form was so long that you decided not to fill it out? It happens all the time. If a piece of information is not vital to your business, don't ask for it. If you really need to ask for a lot of information, get the names and email address in the first step. That way, if they don't complete the registration/checkout process at least you know who they are and can remind them to finish the process later.

      Avoid mistakes with your contact form
      If your contact form has a CAPTCHA (that weird strings of characters that you need to type to prove you are human), get rid of it. CAPTCHA codes are annoying, and depending on your audience 10-50% will leave if you ask them to prove they are human.

      Avoid having a "clear" button next to the "send" button. Many people browse the Internet intuitively. They don't read everything they click on. If they spend 5 minutes filling in a form and then erase all the information by clicking on the wrong button, chances are they are not going to go over the whole process again. What is the purpose of a Clear button anyway?

      For one of our clients we increased their inquiries by 27% by getting rid of their CAPTCHA code and the clear button. Do you realize how big that is? A tiny change increased their revenue by 27%!

      If you enjoyed this article, visit my blog at www.TheOutsourcingCompany.com/blog for more great tips on entrepreneurship and online marketing.

      Join Our Entrepreneurs Group on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52648031032
      ---
      Zeke Camusio
      The Outsourcing Company - Professional Web Design
      Blog: www.TheOutsourcingCompany.com/blog
      www.TheOutsourcingCompany.com
      info@TheOutsourcingCompany.com
      (1)877-581-3921 (Available 24/7)
        • Re: Increase Conversions - 8 Ways to Skyrocket Your Online Sales
          Iwrite Pioneer
          Nice post!

          Can we stay on the copy for a little bit? Please have a message other than I have a product or service. Would that be enough to sell you? No, sell what you are selling, talk to the people the way you would like to be talked to when being sold to.

          Inject some humanity into your copy. The people visiting your site are human beings, we humans like experiencing emotions - use this to build a connection and make a sell. In that order!

          And this one is for all us writers out here: JUST BECAUSE YOU SPEAK, READ AND WRITE THE LANGUAGE, THAT DOESN'T MAKE YOU A WRITER.

          Copywriting is not something you pick up by watching TV or reading ads or websites, it is a craft that has to be learned and honed over time.
          A good copywriter can bring a logical flow to the information being presented. Copywriting is more than cute words and phrases it is the creation of a message designed to invoke a response. When possible and affordable, get a writer to craft your message.

          Many of the members of this forum could benefit from having a copywriter touch their copy. Your sales might actually improve with a better message.

          I didn't say this to take away from the rest of this post - the other 7 ways are so important but the writing seems to suffer the most.
          • Re: Increase Conversions - 8 Ways to Skyrocket Your Online Sales
            SOHOguru Wayfarer
            Captcha code can be necessary for a site. Competitors are notorious for constructing automated scripts (bots) to run against a site and generate useless form submissions. Validating email addresses or other forms of simple validation does not stop bots. Several of my clients have to maintain Captchas in order to eliminate hundreds of bogus form submissions per day polluting their databases.

            Niche market traffic requires research in order to increase "quality" traffic. That is more important than quantity of traffic.

            For instance, how would you propose to drive better qualified buyers to a web site that sells only something like, say, car batteries, battery testers and battery equipment (jumper cables, cable pullers etc.) and the site carries it's own brand - not nationally marketed battery brands. How would you assist branding and drive traffic to a battery company that has only begun to build brand recognition?

            The tips are good. I enjoyed your input.

            Cheers,
            Karen