You probably won’t be surprised if we tell you that making a website is not enough to make sales online. No, this won’t be „7 secrets to skyrocket your sales in 3 days” type article. Even though this might seem super basic information, it will keep you focused on the right goals when creating a new website, modifying an existing one and it doesn’t matter if you are doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it. Let’s break the whole sales process into small parts and see how we can take action to improve our sales results online.
Anatomy of a sale
When you are setting goals, it’s good to mark some checkpoints throughout the path to the goal. The best way to do this is to go backwards from the desired result. For a classic ecommerce website it would be like this:
- Someone pays for your product.
- How can someone pay for it? By having a payment form.
- How can we get someone to get to payment form? By making him to desire your product.
- How do we make someone to desire your product? By addressing his fears/needs/wants.
- How do we address these things? Through design and content.
- How do we get people to see the design and content? By getting a traffic to your website.
- How do we get traffic to your website? Countless ways.
T(traffic) is getting people to visit your site – so T is all about dragging people from outside(not on your website) to visit your website, but C(conversion rate) is how good you are selling to the people who are on your site (T). Both are critical for sales – it doesn’t matter how good your product is if noone sees it(no T), and it doesn’t matter how many people see your product if it’s presented like shit(low C%). It’s obvious that to increase sales you must increase T or C or preferably both.
What should you focus on first?
If you are making a website from 0, then obviously it’s conversion that you should focus on, because you want to get maximum results when you start pumping traffic in. If you are modifying your website, it helps if you have statistics of user behavior on your website, then you can analyze and improve your C% based on it. Want to see how C% changes your profit margin?
Let’s say that you have a banner ad on some site and each click on your banner costs you $0.20. Your product costs $10.
So you get 100 clicks and visits to your site with a 5% conversion rate, you make 5 sales ($50).
Client acquisition cost – how much visitors you need to make one sale, you need 20 visitors to make one sale 20×0.2=$4
Your profit margin per product(not considering production costs in this example) is $6, and from 100 visitors you make $30 profit.
But what if your conversion rate was 2 times higher – 10%?
100 visitors, 10 sales($100), but now you need half as many visitors to make one sale – 10×0.2=$2, so profit per product increases to $8 and sales happen more often.
Now after 100 visits you will make 10 sales ($100)-$20=$80, that is a 266% increase in profit for improving conversion 2 times. Impressive, isn’t it?
How to increase C%
Well conversion is the ultimate goal of a business website, so if a designer tells you that he will design a site that looks fresh, modern, clean, it will be different from your competitors sites and some other vague shit, then he’s not a designer, he’s a pixel pusher. Fresh and modern look means nothing, differentiation from competitors doesn’t accomplish anything. You can’t even measure it. If a designer can explain his thought process about how his design will appeal to your costumers and why he is using certain things to improve conversions – don’t ever let him go! Design is about money(sounds greedy, huh?), making cool visuals – it’s art. Don’t get it wrong, aesthetics are always important, but a good design is based on research and analysis, not „looks cool” or „not pretty”. When someone doesn’t know what to say, he says the same things others say. And that’s where it goes wrong. You shouldn’t put testimonial section on your site, because everyone has that, but because it builds trust in your visitor’s eyes, therefore he is more likely to buy. So you think that sliders look awesome? Yes, maybe, but they convert terribly bad and that’s what matters – http://shouldiuseacarousel.com/
Action plan to improve conversion
1. Make it easy to consume information.
- Make your page load fast, people hate to wait. Compress all your images. We like to use https://compressor.io/
– Less text, more icons/images. How often do you read Terms and Conditions? People are too lazy to read, give them hints with images/icons. http://www.flaticon.com/ is an awesome resource for icons and http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up for photos.
– Make it responsive. The easier it is to interact with, the more it will convert.
2. Make it easy to find essential information
– Write down the most essential questions which people might have when they visit your website(pricing, shipping, etc.). Make sure they can be found in a few seconds.
3. Sell benefits, not features.
– Here’s why
4. Address fears, needs and desires.
– Be one step ahead and address them even before they have a chance to think about them. Do the research of your target audience to find what itches their minds, and address these things on your website.
How to increase T
Increasing traffic is way too product/service specific thing to have a one right way to do it. For some products it will be images on Instagram and Pinterest, for some it will be local offline advertising. But some things are the same for all.
1. Take advantage of your existing audience.
– Grab their e-mails, keep them engaged in social media and interact with them, long-term clients are the best!
2. If you have a blog, keep it in shape.
– If your blog’s latest article was written half a year ago it makes your company look dead and inactive, if you aren’t updating blog, remove it! Make sure you write for your target audience, so many people get this wrong. For example some designers write articles for other designers, but they real target audience is their clients.
3. Paid ads sweet spot.
– If you manage to create an ad that makes you more money than it costs(total ad cost is lower than profit after sales), that’s a sweet spot! Then it’s a no-brainer to keep buying these ads.
Now got get em tiger! Make some sales on your site!