Turning website visitors into customers

Website owners can often fall into the trap of becoming so obsessed with the number of visitors the sire receives that they forget about delivering a positive experience to those that do show up. This is especially true if you own a site that sells high-ticket items. You need to ensure that the customer is comfortable and trusts all the information on your pages if you want them to buy.

How to convert a visitor into a paying customer

Here are 5 tips that will help you make it happen more often than not:

1. It pays to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing with their online business. This doesn’t mean that you should run in and copy the successful sites, but it does mean that you should look for their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what works will help you gain the attention of the search engines and the visitors they send your way.

2. Information really is where your site will live or die. The more reasons you can give your visitors for making a purchase, the more likely thy will be to buy. Your conversion rates will soar if you can give away valuable information for free.

3. Visitors pay real attention to the experiences of your previous customers. Ask happy customers to leave a review or send referrals you way, as that is a great way to create new sales.

4. If you want to stay current and credible, make sure that the information on your website is fresh and relevant. If people are happy with what you offer, they will return, so give them valid reasons to purchase again when they do return.

5. Your website is perhaps your best sales and marketing tool, but it is not the only one. When using other marketing methods, you need to make sure that the message and brand you build on your website is consistent across all mediums.

The most effective ways to measure website performance.

There are plenty of tools available that will give you some real insight into how well your site is performing. Google offers analytics and website tools that should be accessed regularly in order for you to see if you need to make some tweaks to your marketing efforts.

1. Bounce rate – This is a great way to see how many of your visitors are arriving at your site and leaving quickly or only looking at a single page. If you have a high bounce rate, it will affect your search engine ranking.

2. Acquisition – This lets you know where your visitors are coming from when they land at your website. This lets you know where you should direct more of your efforts in terms of marketing your pages:

a. Organic visitors are those that come via a search engine

b. Referrals are those that come from other websites

c. Social media visitors arrive via Facebook, Twitter, or one of the other social media sites

d. Direct visitors will arrive directly using your URL

3. Search queries – This lets you know all the search terms that have been used to find your website, which can really help you cater your message so that more people find you.

Photo: Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass on Flickr

9 things to check before your website goes live

Before you rush into making your new website live, it always good to check to make sure that you have all of the simple things in place!

1. Check Your Spelling

You need to do more than just use spell check. Spell check will not always catch grammar errors or words that are spelled correctly, but not the one you meant to use. You should of course read thoroughly through your content, but even better than this, ask a trusted friend, who is not in your business, to look through the content of your website, to find any possible typing mistakes. This might include missing letters are bad grammar. Even after your website has launched you may still find errors, but you should try to correct all the obvious mistakes early on.

2. Plan Ahead for Future Content

You may find it difficult, after you have launched your site, to find the time to add blog pages or new content. If you create a few blog stories in advance, you may keep your site looking fresh and attractive to prospective clients and visitors, by posting these at a later date. This will allow you to have the fresh content you need without having to sit down and immediately write something on the spot.

3. Check for Broken Links

This one of course is easy to do, click on each of your hyperlinks and make sure they are working properly. This assures that your site is easy to use for your customers. There is nothing more frustrating than a link to nowhere.

4. Check Your Meta-Tags

Search engines, like Google, find information about your site through the use of these tags. The meta-tags are unseen by visitors to your site, however, search engine crawlers use these tags to check if your site is being updated regularly. They look for the sites content and to see who created the site. Be sure to incorporate your keywords, by using the meta-tags correctly. This will give your site the best chance at being found by the search engines. If you are unsure of how to use these meta-tags, be sure to ask your web developer.

5. Different Browsers See your Site Differently

The most common browsers used are Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. You should view your website with each of these common browsers, in order to make sure your site looks the same in each. By making it a practice to have your site look the same in all browsers you are assuring your brands continuity. You’ll also be able to make sure that your site is working properly no matter which browser your customer is using.

6. Mobile Devices

While your checking the functionality, among browsers, it is a good time to check to see how your site looks on mobile devices. Many of your visitors will be utilizing their handheld devices to access your website. The growth of mobile usage is now at a phenomenal rate. You want to make sure that even if your visitors are using a laptop or a tablet, their experiences still are of a positive nature.

7. Use Social Media

As you begin to revamp or launch your website, you should be considering social media as part of that launch. By setting up an account with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as an example, you can lock in your name and prevent others from using it. By using these social medias you can make your presence known online and keep things organized.

8. Make Sure Your Site Can Be Found

While your site is being developed, it is not uncommon for web developers to prevent the finding of your site by search engines. This is done during the development stage to prevent search engines finding your draft pages before your site has been completed. Because this is so common, it is important that you do not forget to enable the searching once your website goes live.

9. Not All Monitors are Created Equal, Size Matters

As you develop your website, you should remember that each of your visitors has his own monitor, your site will be viewed on monitors of a multitude of sizes. The size of the screens range from notebooks all the way up to supersized screens and everything in between. Some pages of course require scrolling from right to left in order to be seen on smaller screens, this is very common. However, if you work with your web designer, you should be able to find the optimal page size for your website, in order to give your visitors the best possible experience.

Photo: Image courtesy of Ged Carroll on Flickr