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11 Reasons Why More Web Site Traffic Isn't Always Equal To More Sales!

By Richard D. Bailey Copyright © 2003

If you are a newcomer to the world of Internet business, you may have already learned that it's just not that easy to make a sale, regardless of how many visitors land at your site. Even with the best search engine marketing and professional online and print advertising you might be confounded by the fact that your sales are not getting anywhere, and for some reason you just can't seem to get your feet off the ground.

Well, you're not alone. There are thousands of web sites and businesses on the net, some getting thousands of visits to their web sites every month and many of them have yet to sell a product or service. Vendors of both physical and digital products face this problem on a daily basis. The cause of the problem can be attributed to several possible reasons-all of which you have to consider when analyzing your own situation and before launching your next marketing/advertising campaign or before blaming the company that sold you that million guaranteed visits.

Any item or combination of items below might be affecting your chance of sales success.

Here are my top 11 reasons:

1. Your web site can't be found in more ways than one: It is imperative that you market and promote your web site both on and off the Internet. Try every ethical technique available to you: Search engine promotion, banner advertising, pop-under advertising, newsletters, print and online magazine ads, word of mouth, etc. Just don't resort to using SP*AM (unsolicited email). And be sure that your pages work. It really hurts to spend money on advertising only to find out that your site was down or your pages were dead during an important campaign.

2. Your web site looks unprofessional and detracts from your credibility: Ask yourself, the question. “Would I buy from a site that looks like mine?” If you hear the words “liar, liar” continually echoed in your head as you answer “sure I would!” then it's time to get a second or third opinion. Web site visitors will often flee from a site selling great products, simply because of the way it looks. If you don't want to spend money on web design, try looking up “web site templates” using search engines and see what you can find. These templates will allow you to plug in your content and basically get a professional looking web site for a lot less than you might imagine.

3. Your product/service has little appeal: If visitors are not interested in what you're selling, you can pump hundreds or even thousands of dollars and countless hours into advertising and it won't make any difference. In other words, maybe that glow in the dark camouflage suit wasn't such a great idea.

4. You're targeting the wrong audience: If your product/service is ideal for a certain type of person, region or interest group, don't ignore this fact and waste time and money promoting outside of this focus area. In other words, try focusing your advertising on a targeted audience. If you're selling automotive products, don't advertise to computer enthusiasts unless you're selling a car computer. Instead figure out where automotive customers shop and what sites they like to visit and then try to focus your advertising on those destinations instead.

5. Your product/service is too expensive for your target audience: If visitors can't afford or don't want to afford what your selling, maybe you need to target a different audience. Don't try to sell expensive perfumes (Eau De Mortgage) to an audience looking for discount 99 cent store products.

6. Your product service is too cheap: Some products/services don't cost enough. Think “perceived value” and price your products/services for what they are worth. A great product can be scarred for life, if visitors perceive it as too cheap to be of quality. Try raising your prices/fees and see what happens, you might be pleasantly surprised.

7. Your product is free so why should anyone pay for it: Many great downloadable products have been created as free trial versions with just one problem, they are full working versions with no real incentive to upgrade. Most people ignore the so called “nag screens” and continue to use these products for years without ever realizing that they are violating the developers license. Give the user a reason to upgrade. Maybe by disabling features that are critical to the operation of your product, but won't prevent the user from experiencing your products value. When they upgrade (pay) they get all the features turned on.

8. Visitors can't figure out how to place an order: It is surprising as to how many web sites are-not order friendly. Some web masters spend time and money developing fancy web sites with flashy graphics and animation only to forget the most important reason for their site's existence. They forget to invite and make it easy for visitors to place orders. I recently visited a site with great enthusiasm after getting an email announcement. It was the “must have product” for Internet Marketing. Problem is that there was no order button!

9. Your order buttons, links or contact forms don't work: Test your order pages and contact forms. Be sure that they are not broken links and be sure that your contact forms work by sending yourself a test message and by placing a test order or two. Believe me, even seasoned marketers make this mistake.

10. Your order process is too painful: Try to place an order yourself. Click on one of your order buttons/links and experience the process. If they (order pages) load too slowly or the process is too painful, you will lose potential customers. This sales losing process is called “abandonment” by the industry and affects many online businesses where visitors wanting to become customers suddenly abandon their order in mid-process to do something else.

11. You have unrealistic expectations and need to take a scientific approach to advertising: Don't buy a 100,000 web site visitors package and then expect 100,000 sales. It won't happen unless there was no oxygen left on earth and you just so happen to be selling Oxygen. There are proven formulas that can help you estimate (at best) the amount of sales that can be achieved by driving a certain amount of traffic to your site.

Use this simple formula to estimate how many visitors you need to meet your sales/sign-up goals.

A). Figure out your conversion rate: A conversion is = to a visitor that becomes a customer or a sign-up. A conversion rate is defined as the number of actual sales or sign-ups divided by the number of site visitors in a given period. For example two sales per 100 visitors = 2% or a .02 conversion rate per 100 visitors.

So take a good look at your recent sales and number of visits to your product/service web page. This can be done by taking a look at your web site's statistics. If you make one sale per 100 visitors to your site then you have a conversion rate of 1%. This number, by the way, is considered by many average marketers to be difficult to achieve and rightly so. Many web sites, lacking million dollar budgets, are happy to get a tenth (.001) of a percent. Still, anything is possible. We are using 1% in this calculation to make the example easier to understand (the industry average is said to be 1% to 2%)

B). Figure out how many sales/sign-ups you want (quantity--not dollar value)

C). Once you have this info, plug your numbers into the equation below.

Number of Visitors = Desired Number of Sales / Conversion Rate (in decimal)

So as an example: To sell 200 items at a conversion rate of 1%

Number of visitors = 200/.01 (200 divided by .01)

The minimum number of visitors required = 20,000

Therefore, you would need at least 20,000 visitors (minimum) to get 200 sales, assuming that you can convert your visitors with a hot offer! The "right words" can convert the "right visitors" into paid customers. Just as easily as the wrong words can turn them away. Sometimes a single word can make a difference. If you can raise your conversion rate by applying the ideas in this article, you can also reduce your cost of Customer Acquisition.

The information above is certainly not exhaustive, I'm sure that there are other reasons that I did not list in this article. Regardless, if taken seriously, the information contained herein will help boost your sales and sign-ups. Just remember this final thought. “Sales are never guaranteed… no one can guarantee that a customer will put funds into your bank account” You can, however, increase your probability of success by becoming informed and then taking positive action.

© 2003 Richard D. Bailey - Client By Design.

About the Author:

About the author: Richard Bailey is an Internet marketer and entrepreneur with over 8 years of Internet selling and marketing experience. His coaching and consulting company, Client By Design, LLC develops methods and technology to attract customers. Phone: 914-206-4477

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