Improving Online Sales and Conversion

I talked recently about continuing to educate yourself, even after your site starts making sales and things seem to be on the up and up. Education seems to be so essential in whatever field you are in. As some of you know, I love sports. The best athletes seem to be the ones who are “students of the game”. They know what they are going to do in every big situation because they’ve studied it out, watched film and are prepared to succeed. This preparation also has a direct effect on their confidence, which really separates the mediocre from the extremely successful.

One of the things I’ve been studying about a lot lately is online sales conversion. I found a great article that gave a long list of things to do to improve sales online and keep your clients coming back. These are a few of the things I felt were most important:

  • Set up an analytics program. I recommend two stat tracking tools – StatCounter.com and Google Analytics. Both are pretty easy to use and free.
  • Track visitor trends. Watch where visitors are coming from,what they are doing on your site, what keywords they are searching for to get to your site, and work on improving bounce rate (the visitors who just come to the home page and then leave without doing anything).
  • Analyze keywords visitors are using to find your site. Make sure that the products matching the three most popular search terms appear on your home page.
  • Resize and compress your images using an image editor. While you can resize an image by simply changing the ‘height’ and ‘width’ attributes in HTML, that doesn’t make the file smaller. So someone may sit for 30 seconds waiting for that postage-sized image to download.
  • Always evaluate your home page. Does it have a clear ‘shop now’ call to action, above the fold? If it doesn’t, add one! Some of your visitors don’t even know they can buy from you, direct, online.
  • Remove any animation you have on your home page that doesn’t directly sell a product. It’s a distraction. Get rid of it.
  • Remember, you’re selling products. Everywhere you show a product, show a price and a ‘buy now’ button, or at least a ‘learn more button’. This is one I need to implement on my clogging shoes website.
  • Promote yourself! On your home page, make sure you have a heading that says why you’re great. “We ship overnight” or “All walnuts checked by squirrels” are great, compelling calls to action.
  • Ask for the sale! On your home page, show your products! So many online stores fail to do this. Instead, the front page is a testament to their web designers’ talent (or lack of talent). Don’t make that mistake.
  • Make products easy to find. If you don’t have a search tool on your site, get one. Google custom search is easy to set up.
  • Use your web real estate wisely. Don’t put ‘about us’ in the main navigation. Frankly, no one cares. They want to buy stuff, not hear about you and your three dogs.
  • Show multiple ways that visitors can contact you. Put your phone number and other contact information in plain view on each page of your site. It tells people that you’re for real.
  • Keep your text simple and easy to read. Use sales copy that scans well. Short, 2-3 sentence paragraphs and bullet points scan more easily than huge paragraphs of text.
  • Use a spell checker. Nothing says ‘You will never receive your order’ like a page full of misspellings.
  • Get a second opinion. Have someone else proof your writing.
  • Get names and emails from visitors. If you don’t make a sale to a new visitor, at least get them to sign up for something. A name and email is almost as good as a sale – it’s future sales if you use the list wisely.
  • Paid Search Marketing: If you don’t have a pay-per-click account, start one, at least with Google Adwords. Spend $.10/click or so to start, and see how it helps sales. These should be the first ad dollars you spend online. Nothing else makes sense until you’ve tested the PPC waters.

These are just a few ideas I found that I either implement now or plan to implement in the near future. Let me know how they increase your sales and which ones work best.

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5 Replies to “Improving Online Sales and Conversion”

  1. Hi again Nate – – Sorry – somehow I sent over my msg before completion.
    I’m also going to try to access my home computer through gotomypc.com to forward msgs from me sent earlier to Triton giving additional info for your review. My next msg will probably be from amorris@thesettlementgame.com instead of this email address. Thanks!
    We’ll talk more tomorrow.

    Angie (Epting) Morris, Author of
    THE SETTLEMENT GAME: How to Settle an Estate Peacefully and Fairly

    PS> You may want to sign up for my affiliate program to see how all of that works as well. I’ll get the link for you by morning. Here a beginning for the sign up page – – go to:
    http://www.peacefulsettlements.com/passingthefamilytorch/banner_affiliate_page.htm
    l

  2. Hi Nate (or is it Nathan??)
    Likewise about our chat today – – I finally felt someone there was listening to me. FYI – I love (some) sports too — ie. FOOTBALL. Grew up in Athens, Georgia (Univ. of Georgia – – which is where you can’t make it to adulthood unless you love football.) – – I married a high school football coach (& history teacher) – we raised two boys who were both excellent athletes in football and all other sports. In fact – my job was to make the
    game film each week for the team for 5 years – – which means I saw every play through the eye of the camera – – and I must admit I did a good job. Sometime when we talk I’ll tell you a quick /funny story about that. Not so big on basketball – but baseball comes in second.
    More on that later. I love what the discipline of sports does to teach some major lessons in life – – so I can tell we speak the same language.

    FYI – I am going to be brief tonight – (my eyes are shot for the night). BUT, I’ll be up very early in the morning and I’ll finish up what I don’t get over tonight. I want to provide you with information to review before we get started on all of this. Here are a couple of quick links for you to
    consider. I’ll send more in the morning much before our time to discuss all.

    1. Following link connects to 90 second audio commercial about the book: http://www.peacefulsettlements.com/audio_of_commercial_Passing_Torch.htm

    2. This link – to my online store: (We’ll discuss a slight problem with this)
    http://www.thesettlementgame.com/content/store.html

    3. This link to new banner for “Passing the Family Torch” – which was the
    name of my recently complete 13 week internet radio show by the
    same name: This has several other links on same page – (for your use)
    http://www.peacefulsettlements.com/thesettlementgame/Links_Show_Affiliates.htm