“We’re getting the traffic to the site, but we’ve only managed to sell a few things. I can’t put my finger on it…”
It’s a train of thought we hear a lot from businesses, especially SMEs who feel they’re on the verge of taking the next step toward serious growth.
It’s a problem that can be maddening for a lot of small businesses. They have a grasp of some basic, free industry-standard marketing tools such as Google Analytics and are seeing large numbers visiting their site daily.
Despite that, though, sales are poor. People aren’t connecting with their content and it isn’t being shared. It’s the internet equivalent of window shopping; people are stopping by, having a quick look around and then moving on.
In these circumstances we like to pose a question: Do you want to carry on seeing those numbers, or would you prefer a smaller number of visitors who spend more and become regular customers?
Traffic isn’t always the answer
In each of those posts we’ve always highlighted one key point; that traffic will mean absolutely nothing to you and your business if it’s being directed to the wrong places, is misleading or your site is stuck in the dark ages.
It’s easy, after looking at Analytics all day, to forget that your traffic typically equals human beings; people with shopping intent who are visiting your site for a reason.
If they’re not buying anything or leaving your website as soon as they arrive then something’s obviously not right.
It’s a problem a lot of small businesses face. Some figure it out and move onto the next level, while others tread water in a figurative traffic limbo.
The majority of the time the problem is solved by housekeeping. A more technical term would be Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) – the process of making your site and its product pages as best as can be to maximise sales and retain customers.
When was the last time you updated your website? We don’t mean adding a new photo or blog, but the overall look, feel and design of it?
We ask because we often come across small businesses and SMEs that haven’t even thought of touching up their sites in years. Like a physical shop, you have to constantly keep things fresh online to not only attract people, but to reflect people’s ever-changing tastes and internet habits:
1: Make sure you’re mobile-friendly
The world has shifted from desktop PCs to smartphones and other mobile devices. Google especially puts serious emphasis on ‘responsive mobile design’ when ranking websites.
There are thousands upon thousands of articles out there about it; to boil it down, your site needs to be mobile-ready, so when people visit it on mobile it loads quickly and is incredibly easy to use.
2: Make sure the message is consistent
If people are already visiting your site but leaving almost immediately, is the message on your site consistent with the reason for their visit? Does it match their intent?
That traffic’s coming from somewhere; say they see an offer too good to resist on Facebook and visit your site. Is the offer everything you said it would be, or are they railroaded elsewhere with confusing and cluttered content?
3: Visualise and incentivise it
The web is turning more visual as networks like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat all show. Most marketing budgets are going toward images these days.
Is your site making the most of what you’re selling? Are product images crisp, clear and showing people what they’re buying? Don’t forget to be as descriptive as possible with other content, too, like pricing and delivery info, returns policies and more.
4: Make payment simple and secure
Filling out forms is the scourge of the internet, but can also be necessary if you want to capture specific bits of data from people.
Make sure that your payment options are quick and effective. PayPal integration for instance allows people to do it at the touch of a button, and is safe and secure. Explore other payment options so people aren’t getting frustrated when trying to buy from you.
The bottom line is to make the experience as simple, as seamless and as effective as possible for your visitors so it’s easy for them to shop and tell their friends about who you are and what you do.
Getting the right targeted traffic to your site can be done effectively with paid social and search advertising, but it’s so important to get the foundations of your website right first of all so your marketing efforts (and budgets) aren’t wasted.
It’s why partnering with an agency can be so effective when you’re looking to tweak a few key areas or engage in a complete site overhaul.
A good agency will streamline your users’ journey and put your site through tests (such as A/B testing) to gather key data to improve conversions and sales.
But, most importantly, CRO needs to be based around your business model and the wants and needs of your potential customers.
A website shouldn’t exist for the sake of it. It should be there to help bring in new leads and grow your business while you concentrate on other areas, such as the management of your company.
Your website needs to reflect the plans of your business, the mood, passions and interests of your audience with good, interesting and effective content, and be easy to use so they keep coming back for more.
Once those foundations are laid and you begin driving traffic to the right and most profitable areas on your site, serious business growth will only be a matter of time. Getting traffic just for the sake of getting traffic isn’t worth it.
Attracting the right traffic that’s willing to invest in who you are and what your business is all about is the key to CRO, and the way to take your brand to the next level of growth.
If you’d like to find out more about inbound marketing and how CRO mixed with social can help your business reach new heights, contact the Webpresence team today to find out more.
The Conversion Surgeon: A Guide to Conversion Rate Optimisation by Jack Kinsella