You have set up a website? Great!
You have made it appealing to the eye and updated it with interesting information? Brilliant!
You are getting more hits by the day? Amazing!
Are these hits translating into more revenues? Herein lies the most important factor when setting up and maintaining a website for your company or private entrepreneurial venture. Granted, a website helps your company gets exposure and alerts your target market to its existence and its offerings but beyond that, it should effectually result in increased sales. If this is not happening, then it is necessary to evaluate what you may be doing wrong. This is where conversion optimization comes in; this simply means maximizing the number of visitors to your website who complete a desired action, which is usually, converting their visit into a sale.
It is possible that there may be a disconnect between the way your website is set up and the target market; it may be appealing in general, but not to the market you are trying to pull in. For example, a car salesman operating a website that only has pictures of the cars but insufficient or scanty information on the make, models, engine/horse power, details on the interior and the price of each car. Without such details, a prospective customer’s information needs are not fulfilled thus they will proceed to look for another website offering more detailed information. Therefore, you need to carry out research on your target market prior to setting up your website in order to determine what their information needs are and ensure these are included. Once you satisfy their need for information, this will ensure more traffic to your website and they are able to make more informed decisions and convert a visit to your site into a sale.
Incentivise your target market; especially in the early stages, you need to pique people’s interest and make them want to come to your website. You can do this by running promotions or a competition on some of your product or service offerings, for example, a tour company offering a free holiday package to the person who gets the highest number of people to vote for him/her. This will increase your traffic exponentially as there will be a stream of people either trying to win the holiday constantly on your site and others coming on to vote for their friends. In the process, they will be exposed to your offerings and it’s very possible a number of these visits will be converted into sales.
It is vital to regularly update the information on your website to keep people coming back; if there is nothing new for visitors to read or see, they will eventually stop bothering. Regular updates maintain and build up the traffic to your website. It also promotes a sense of confidence in your brand as it shows you know your stuff and this can inspire visitors to try out your products.
Offer discounts to those who make purchases online thus driving more traffic to your website and in the same breathe converting this increased traffic into sales. Also, having a variety of secure options through which people can pay online will increase your conversion rate; you can have Visa, Mpesa, Direct debit into your account, Paypal etc and if possible offer delivery services. This offers the option of fast and convenient shopping.
Encourage feedback from your visitors and have telephone numbers, email addresses or social media accounts that they can easily access. These need to be attended to and checked constantly and ensure the responses are timely, professional and helpful. Customer service is one of the things that can make or break a company. A company may have great products but if their customer service is disappointing, visitors will not bother making a return visit. Feedback can also help the company improve their website thus encouraging more traffic and optimizing their conversion rates.
For companies selling high-end products, you can rope in more sales via your website by appealing to visitors’ aspirational desires. For example, if you are selling electronic gadgets, really play on their emotions and position each product as something that would not only add value to their lives, but as something that will elevate their status. You could go a step further and offer a payment plan enabling them to see it as an affordable option.
Lastly, be as innovative as you can be in order to attract the traffic you require to make your brand and website a success and convert an increasing number of visits into sales.