Why Does your Conversion Rate Stink? Part 1

seo-marketing-design-backlinks-illustrationSo, you’ve reached the nightmare scenario for an online company:  you’ve had your SEO services performed, you’ve spent thousands of dollars on them, you rank highly for a number of your targeted key terms, you are getting a decent amount of traffic, BUT you still aren’t getting the number of sales you need to remain profitable!  While back-linking helps your customers find your site by increasing your ranking in the search engine results pages, the simple fact is there’s much more to actually getting people to take the action you want – purchasing your products, or making a phone call.  There are many reasons this could be happening.  Take a minute to read a few reasons why your site may not be converting highly:

Do you have a target market?  Who is your target market?

Bigger companies have what they call a “customer persona” document, which is the result of thousands of hours and dollars worth of research.  This document tells them everything about their ideal customer – what kind of job he or she has, whether they are married, how many children they have, what kinds of vehicles they own, religious and political views, and so much more.  The more you know about your customer and his or her preferences, the more effectively you can sell to him or her.

The challenge smaller businesses will encounter is not having a budget available for research.  If you can’t develop one, you can develop an “eyeball” approach to gauging who your customer is.  Listen to their complaints – that tells you their pain points.  You can also ask basic information on your site’s contact form, but don’t ask too much, because if the form’s too long, people don’t fill out.  You might also offer feedback surveys after people purchase your product or service.  To incentivize them to fill these out, offer a small reward, like a chance to win a $100 gift certificate towards future purchases at your company.  If you serve businesses, you can typically find owner information on sites like LinkedIn.  So, when you think about it, there are many ways to get customer information at low or no cost.

Boring titles/meta descriptions.

Once you have a good idea of who your customer is, you have to know what benefits you offer that sell to them.  Online, people examine and click on attractive headlines first.  Then, they read some of the meta description.  If your site’s title reads “Joe’s Company” and the description begins “We are a…,” you have put your prospects to sleep!  Instead, put a benefit in the title, such as “Find Affordably Priced Widgets at Joe’s Company,” and then a meta description along the lines of, “You can save time and money by purchasing the affordably priced widgets we make.”  This answers the prospect’s question:  “What’s in it for me?”  To himself, the customer says, “Oh I see.  I can save time and money by purchasing these widgets.”

It’s not clear what to do.

Your whole site should be designed with one goal in mind:  getting the prospect to make a purchase or give you a call.  To get the prospect to do what you want, you have to make it very clear and easy.  You also have to use calls to action.  Even though the point of most sites on the ‘net is to sell, people are much more likely to take the action you want if you tell them what action to take.  If you run an E-commerce site, be sure to put your most popular products on the front page.  It sounds simple, but many people don’t do it.  If you run a service-based site, put your strongest benefits on the home page and tell your prospect to give you a call to learn more.

There are many more reasons your site might not be converting, but these are some of the main reasons why.

Why do you think your site may not be converting?

Be sure also to stay tuned for part two, coming next week. In the meantime, you can make your comments or suggestions below.

Last Updated on December 8, 2013 by Dan Stelter

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