If you operate a website to market your home business, to conduct an online business to generate revenues from affiliates or ad programs like Google AdSense, to sell eBooks, or to sell other merchandise through an online store, you've probably already discovered that there are search engine marketing techniques, such as SEO and pay per click advertising like Google AdWords as well as other website promotion techniques to drive traffic to your website.
What happens once the traffic starts building and people come to your website? Are you converting them to paying customers? It's one thing to get traffic coming to your site, but if no one wants to buy what you're selling, your business isn't going to get anywhere.
The Other Success Factor: Conversion Optimization
Conversion optimization is the process of maximizing the percentage of website visitors who complete the desired action (this percentage is known as your conversion rate). If you're not doing so already, you should be tracking your conversion rates. For pay per click advertisers, this is the percentage of people who clicked your ad and went to your website and then took an additional action, such as completed and submitted a contact form, an estimate request, or took some other action that you can measure to see if your ads are successful.
Calculating Your Conversion Rate
For pay per click ads, you can calculate your conversion rate as follows:
- Number of people taking the desired action / Number of people clicking your ad x 100 = Conversion Rate Percent
For online store merchants, a simplified calculation for your conversion rate might be:
- Number of orders/Number of visitors x 100 = Conversion Rate Percent
The reason that improving your conversion rate is so important is that you can increase your sales with the same amount of traffic just by boosting your conversion rate. As you traffic grows, and it should grow naturally over time provided you manage your website properly, your earnings will multiply so that if you can double your conversion rate and double your traffic, your earnings should increase four-fold, all other things being equal.
9 Tips for Increasing Your Conversion Rates
Following are nine tips you can use to start improving your conversion rates and converting Web site visitors to cash. These tips are ideal for online stores, but most will also be quite useful for other types of websites for improving conversions. Most are very inexpensive ideas, especially compared to the cost of driving additional traffic to your site or paying for advertising. Keep in mind, too, that increasing your conversion rate will result in a greater return on investment (ROI) for your website promotion expenses you use to increase your traffic:
- Use your return policies to convert visitors to customers
- Offer multiple payment options to attract more buyers
- Provide easy access to customer service
- Offer a toll-free number and make it visible
- Be your own mystery shopper
- Make your site secure and make it known
- Visit your competitor's sites often
- Solicit and welcome feedback
- Offer special discounts and promote them heavily
It's not enough for online businesses to just think about getting their site noticed. They also need to get visitors to take the desired action once they arrive. Set up tracking mechanisms, calculate your conversion rates and then use these conversion optimization tips to maximize revenue from your website and you'll be well on your way to online success.