Most website business owners thought in the early days that simply owning a website would instantly bring more sales and enquiries. This inevitably ends in tears and sooner or later, they realise that they’re going to need to use some form of PPC advertising for quick sales along with a solid SEO strategy for moving forward in the long term.
But even then, you can get the traffic and site visits but that does not equate to making sales or obtaining enquiries.
The bottom line is traffic is really a pointless metric if it’s not making you money. Yes… Money: The reason you are in business and function of your website… Not to offer free advice but to make you money.
So let’s assume for a moment that you are getting the visits but not making the sales. What could the possible reasons be? How can you improve the situation? Here are a few suggestions.
How to Make Your Website Convert:
Always check your metrics in Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) to see if the data points to faults in your website that will be affecting sales: High bounce rates, short visitor durations on pages, errors and the like will all minimise any chance you have of converting.
Let’s not forget you can also clear your cache and load up an incognito window and view the site from the front end to see how it responds. You need the clearest path to making an enquiry possible and putting in a bit of leg work will help this. Better yet, get some feedback from first time visitors to your site and tell them not to hold back. They could be family or friends but honesty is the best policy here so leave ego at the door!
That said, here’s some food for thought when it comes to your website conversions:
Poor Calls to action:
This should be an easy fix: How clear are your landing pages to the visitors? What are you offering? How much does it cost? How do they enquire or buy? Why should they buy from you? What’s your unique selling point? Much of this is common sense but it would be backed up by the data. If something is not working then change it… It needs to be VERY clear for visitors to your site on the above points and if it is not then don’t expect sales and enquiries as a result!
Buying or enquiring is not a clear process:
This is the likely number one cause of your website woes. If you have landing pages that perhaps sell a service or product then make the enquiry method as easy and accessible as possible, the same goes for “buy it now” buttons. Often, there will be a distinct lack of visible phone numbers, enquiry forms or live chat when they are needed, the process funnelling visitors into the right place then becomes a difficult one and you’ll be missing out on making money. Ensure the process from landing on your site to converting is simple and clear.
Visitors will not wait around for your website to load, they will leave. This is a huge reason for high bounce rates and often small issues that can be easily fixed are to blame. For instance, you may have large images trying to load that need reducing in size or broken elements on the page. The first thing is to identify the problem if there indeed is one by using this handy tool from Google to measure your website page speeds: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/?hl=en
Slow response times to enquiries:
Ever considered that it might not be the site that is to blame? You need to ensure your enquiry process is fluid but also that it is followed up on by your team. Leaving enquiries sitting for weeks will lead to losing out on work so it’s important that response times are acceptable and that there is a process in place for following up on every call, enquiry or quote request.
Is your site content written for people?
We mention this all the time at DPOM: Your content must be written for people not search engines. Aside from the obvious keyword spam the Google hates (and I’m assuming is not a practice you partake in) then you have to consider how easy and well-laid out your site pages are for visitors. Remember that you don’t need two paragraphs of text when a few easy-to-understand at a glance bullet points will do. Use correct formatting such as H1 and the calls to action as mentioned above. I wouldn’t want to read half a page of text before buying a product if that could have been summed up into a few lines. Content may help you rank but it also could hinder you from selling, so find a good balance and always write for your human visitors: SEARCH ENGINES WILL NOT BUY FROM YOU!
Are the right pages ranking?
It’s pretty common to see the wrong pages ranking for the terms that matter and if this is the case, there will be a direct result in lost sales or enquiries from website users who are not landing on relevant pages. Ensure that you’ve not neglected a category in favour of a sub category or product… Sometimes a product may outrank a range for instance if search engines judge that page to be more relevant for particular terms. Attention must be paid to which pages rank for which terms and in many cases simple fixes can be applied such as improving the content on the page that should be ranking and passing the authority over with a link. Hopefully!
Talk to Your Site Visitors:
Often, a fresh set of eyes will help see the issues that you’re not seeing. It can be difficult taking criticism but if it helps your business then be prepared to listen and take advice on board. Just because it looks fine to you does not mean it could not be improved for the visitors and ultimately, they are the ones who will be keeping you in business!
Understand your online business goals:
You need to identify what you want to actually achieve with your website and work towards that. It may be sales or enquiries but nine times out of ten it will be making money and if that is the case you need to identify what measures need to be undertaken in order to make you money. So look at the process a visitor would need to undertake to become a lead, enquiry or sale and ensure that experience is fluid, easy and fast.
There are a multitude of other reasons that may affect your ability to convert but the bottom line is that traffic does not mean sales. Bear in mind the above points and do seek feedback from visitors to ensure you are making the whole process as easy as possible – Ignore website issues at your peril!
Failing the above, seek SEO management from a reputable agency such as ourselves and let us take care of it!