The following post was written by Peter Ellington. Peter has years of experience writing about internet marketing issues and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those new to the industry. He also knows how important the right business education can be, which is why he also works for a Singapore tution site.
If you're getting plenty of traffic but not enough sales - you're not alone. It's actually a common problem many blogs and websites face. When I started my first blog - I was getting plenty of traffic but I couldn't work out why hardly anyone was spending money on my site. After years of trial and error, I'm finally in a position where I can call myself an internet marketing expert, and I'd like to share what I learnt along with way with you.
These simple tweaks to your site should be enough to start making more sales straight away. Here's what I did:
1. Keep all calls-to-action clear and above the fold
Far too many websites bury their opt-in widgets or other calls-to-action. Whether you're looking for subscribers to a list, clicks through to an affiliate or a direct sale - make it clear. Don't have people guessing what they're supposed to do on your site - direct them to the right place effectively.
Use sticky widgets so that opt-in panels stay at the front no matter how far down your visitors scroll.
2. Reduce distractions
Similarly to the last point - reduce distractions from your main offer as much as possible. Additional adverts can be ok for a bit of extra cash - but the more distractions and opportunities you give people, the more likely they'll be to click away on to something else and miss what you really want them for.
3. Offer value at every stage
You might have been able to get away with spamming people or tricking them into signing up in the past - but it's not that easy any more. If you want people to opt-in to your list - offer them value to do so. I like using free reports or ebooks.
The next important step is to continue to offer them value after they've signed up. If you just start spamming them as soon as you've got their email address, people will unsubscribe in a heartbeat. Offer value and people will enjoy getting your mails and will open them more often. That means you'll have a captive audience for a few choice special offers when you're trying to get a sale.
4. Target active keywords
Not all traffic is created equally. Actually, some keywords like those with "free" in them might be giving you more of the sort of traffic that's less likely to make a sale.
Alternatively, you can target active keywords that deliver visitors who know they're about to spend some money - terms like "discount". Make sure the keywords you target are delivering you the right sort of visitor that isn't looking for a free ride.
5. Consider exit pop-ups
You've got to be careful with pop-ups - and entry ones are probably too much these days. But a carefully placed exit pop-up could be your last attempt to make a sale, so use them wisely.
6. Make your offers seem urgent
If people think that they can come back any time, they won't have a reason to act now. Most will leave and never come back. Make sure your offers are time sensitive - like with "limited" discounts and deals. These can be combined well with exit pop-ups to give people a reason to act immediately.
7. Make forms as simple as possible
Too many websites try and be clever by making people jump through hoops in their message forms. This actually turns visitors away, especially people who have requests that don't fit into the fields specifically. Make your forms as simple as possible. Just an email address is enough to get started.
8. Use testimonials to your advantage
If you've got some people saying good things about your site or product - make it clear. People have more faith in something when they know it's recommended, so don't bury your positive testimonials. It's even better if they're from recognizable sources or relevant authorities in your industry.
9. Make a clear and compelling argument about the benefits
Some sites assume people know why the offer is good for them. They don't. Spell it out for them. Make a compelling argument as to why what you're offering is right, and why your visitors should act now.
10. Offer a money-back guarantee
Money-back guarantees have almost become a staple in the online marketing industry. If you don't offer one - you could be turning potential customers away. The reality is that very few customers will request a refund - but the extra peace of mind they offer could be enough to make a sale.
11. Test alternative layouts
You can't assume that you know which layouts convert the best without knowing for sure. Try some A/B testing so that you really know that your site design is working as best it can.
12. Use custom landing pages for different sources of traffic
If you've got different sources of traffic that you'd rather direct to different pages or offers, then customize your landing pages accordingly. You could send your main traffic to the main site, people searching for a discount to a discount funnel and other keywords to something specifically relevant to what they searched for. Make sure your site is working efficiently for every visitor.