Not So Fast…
Before you spend any money on advertising to drive all that traffic to your website, it’s extremely important to understand how your website is performing, because if it’s performing poorly, you can waste thousands of dollars on unproductive advertising.
Optimize then Advertise!
This allows you to convert more of your website visitors into customers. Once your website has been optimized and you feel good about its performance, then you can test various ad campaigns. As campaigns demonstrate profitability, you can open the flood gates to drive more traffic and sales.
In order to determine how your website is performing, you’ll need an analytical tool such as Google Analytics. Most of you are likely familiar with Google Analytics and are already using it on a regular basis. For those of you not familiar with Google Analytics, it’s a free tool that allows you to track how many visitors your website is receiving, where these visitors are coming from, and how many of them convert into leads or customers. To learn more or sign-up, visit https://www.google.com/analytics/
There are many important web metrics to monitor within Google Analytics but for the purposes of this conversation, we’re going to focus on conversion rates. The conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors who become leads or customers of yours.
Conversion rates vary widely depending upon the industry or product, but generally speaking, we’re looking for a conversion rate of 1% or better. For a typical retailer, if a conversion rate is a fraction of a percent, something is usually broken on the website and needs to be fixed before moving forward with paid advertising.
A Few Causes of Poor Conversion Rates:
- A Poorly-Designed Website – An unprofessional website looks cheap and does not inspire confidence in your customers. As tempting as it is to have your 16 year-old nephew build you a website, spend extra to have it designed and built by professionals.
- A Slow Website – If a website takes more than a couple of seconds to load, most people will bail out. It is essential that your website load quickly. Heavy use of graphics, poor programming and a cheap hosting package can all contribute to slow load times.
- Get to the Point – You must clearly state the benefit of your product or service in five seconds or less. People these days are inundated with information and are time-starved. Don’t make them weed through extraneous information. State your Feature/Function/Benefit as quickly as possible.
- Too Much Information – Many people present way too much information on the homepage. This is overwhelming and confusing to the customer. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Lack of Calls to Action – Use large clear buttons and text links to guide your visitor down the conversion funnel. In your text links, use text such as “Click Here”, “Buy Now” or “Read More.”
Well, my five minutes are up. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.