Making money online is a tricky task. It’s certainly doable, but it requires an acute understanding of the niche you are operating in and the people that make up your audience. But it’s so much more than this. You also need to know about marketing and sales and about how people go from being just a reader of your blog or website to a loyal customer.
When you first start out, the primary goal of any website owner is traffic. Without visitors to your site’s pages, all your strategies for making money are pretty much moot. Most of this will be done through sound keyword research and SEO practices. However, driving traffic isn’t a magic formula for bringing in income. You need to convert these visitors into customers for all these efforts to pay off.
This is the really hard part when trying to make money online. Conversion rates tend to be low, with most sites converting at a rate of about 3 percent. However, top performers tend to convert in the 10-12 percent range, giving them a huge boost to their revenue.
Furthermore, being able to demonstrate consistently strong conversion rates sets you up for a larger payday down the road, if and when you decide to sell your website. There may come a time when it requires too much of your attention, and if you’ve done enough to build up the value of your site, you’ll be setting yourself up for a nice payday.
If your website isn’t converting, consider these reasons why.
There’s a very old idea in the world of sales and marketing known as the sales funnel. Many different variations have come out over the years, but they all refer to the process in which people go through when they are deciding to make some sort of a purchase.
No matter which model you are using, the first part is a general information gathering step. This is where people first become interested in a product or service. Then, over time, they get more and more specific, searching for more information about available options, the best deals and then eventually the one they want to buy.
Since you are not personally dealing with your site’s visitors, it is critical that the content you provide them be in line with where they are in the sales funnel. If they are simply looking for information, and the page they come to on your site is offering them specific products to buy, they will turn away. They’re not there yet, and your content is going to feel pushy.
On the other hand, if they are looking for the best option and are ready to buy, and your content gives them an overview of the market and what to look for, once again they are going to turn away.
The easy way to figure out where people are is the search terms they are using to get to your site. If they are searching ìbest driving glovesî (to give an example), chances are they are familiar with driving gloves, have a pretty good idea what they want and are now in the process of finding the best one. It’s your job to deliver this information to them so that they decide to buy from you.
Know what it is visitors to your site are looking for, and then make sure you communicate to them quickly that they are in the right spot.
On average, people read a blog post for about 15 seconds. So building on what we just talked about with understanding your readers’ intentions, you need to convey to them that you’re giving them what they want as quickly as possible.
There is a tendency, especially when trying to optimize a piece for SEO, to want to include a lot of content. This is a good strategy, as the more assistance you can provide to people the better. But you need to be careful you’re not getting carried away.
You need to make it very clear right off the bat that people have come to the right place. If they have to read tons of text just to find out if this is the spot where they can read reviews about the best driving gloves on the market, then there’s a good chance you are going to lose them, and your conversion rates will suffer as a result.
If you want to include more informational content so that you can appeal to a wider audience, that’s fine. Make sure you have a table of contents, as well as a streamlined layout so that people can jump around the page easily and find what they are looking for. Don’t assume that just because someone clicked on your link they are going to stick around. If you don’t provide them with what they want, they’re as good as gone.
One of the keys to conversion is your authority. People are willing to buy things from you because they believe in your expertise and they trust that you know what you are talking about. To build this trust with them, you need to be prepared to give a lot away.
And because it’s the internet, you need to be prepared to give it away for free. Instructional videos and eBooks are great for this. When someone comes to your site and you offer them a free eBook, you are creating two opportunities. First, you are ingratiating yourself with them by giving them something for free.
And second, you are placing in their hands a resource they can use that will help boost your credibility. If someone shows up to your site and see nothing besides a few review articles, you can expect them to be far more skeptical of you. But if they show up and instantly have access to a ton of useful, relevant and reliable content, you’ve got a good chance of converting them into a customer.
Your web design also plays into this. If your site looks unprofessional, people are going to think you are unprofessional. Web development is expensive, but it’s more than necessary. It’s how you visually convey to readers who you are and what you are about.
Boosting conversion rates can be a challenge, and one of the trickiest parts is that there is no one way to do it. Consider running some tests, exposing some visitors to one piece of content and others to something different. Or simply try out different forms of the same content to see which one works best. When you finally find the right strategy, you’ll see revenues grow, increasing the overall value of your website.
The points we’ve discussed here are likely at least part of the reason why your website isn’t converting. Put them into action and tailor them to your own site, then watch as conversions grow and your website starts making some real money.
About the author: Jock is an online entrepreneur who has started, run and sold several websites throughout his career. Having gotten his start more than 10 years ago, he has watched how making money online has changed. Nevertheless, he enjoys so much the lifestyle this line of work affords him that he works to help others enjoy similar success.
I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>