Are you attracting visitors, not buyers?

A few times each week someone will call saying that they are not getting any sales from their website and they want to know how to get more visitors.  Everyone seems to turn their attention to the number of visitors a site is getting, rather than the number of sales.  If you website is not set up to produce sales, increasing the number of visitors is not going to help.   

The first thing you need to do is define a "sale".  This could mean a lead, subscription to your newsletter, a request for more information, a scheduled meeting, or an actual sale.

If your website activity reports are showing a large number of visitors but you are not getting any "sales", then you may need to look deeper.  (And if your web host doesn’t provide activity reports, then you need to get another hosting provider.) 

First - are you marketing to your target market?  Your target market should be well defined and you should know how to reach them.  We don’t want just anyone finding your site, we want people who want/need your product or service.    I often tell my clients that it is better to have 100 people visit the site and have 95 "buy", then to have 10,000 people visit the site and still only have 95 "buy". 

If you feel your traffic is qualified, then take a look at your site.  Here are some places to start: 

  • What are your goals for your website?  Sales (online or offline), sales leads, subscriptions, phone calls, etc. Focus on your goals, not more visitors. 
  • Find out if your site is attracting potential customers, or just people. Are your search terms too generic?  For example if you are a Real Estate Agent in Green Bay, having your site appear for the term "real estate agent" is too broad.  You don’t care if someone in California is searching for a real estate agent in California.  You want people who are buying/selling real estate in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  • Look at your activity logs.  Are visitors coming to your home page and then leaving?  What pages are they not finding or going to?  How can you change that? 
  • Have a friend or family member review your site.  Would someone who is not familiar with your product/service know what you are selling?  Can they easily found more information, place an order, or contact you?  
  • Are your policies easy to view?  Having your shipping costs as well as your privacy policy and guarantee on the site, helps to put buyers at ease.  They don’t like surprises.

September 1, 2006

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