Most of us get so caught up in our small business website that we forget success really comes down to three simple factors: traffic, conversions and sales. Let’s look at all three factors more closely and how they can help your business increase sales online.
It still amazes me that many small businesses don’t have access to or don’t regularly look at their website statistics, because these statistics can provide very useful information, particularly if you’re trying to increase sales online. A good statistics package will tell you much more than how many visitors your website has enjoyed in the past month (or other given range). It will also highlight key information such as average time on the site, which pages have been viewed and which keywords people used to find your site.
When I’m designing a website for my small business clients using my favourite content management system, WordPress, I always include a statistics package in the Dashboard. This allows small business owners to quickly and easily check their website stats each time they login. If you can do similar for your website, I’d recommend it.
Now that you know a little more about the traffic that is coming to your website, it’s time to look at the next key factor to increase sales online: conversions. Put simply, this is the number of visitors to your website who did what you want them to do. Depending on your business and your website, this could be any number of things, such as:
- Purchase a product
- Download a free tool or product
- Submit a form for more information
- Phone or email the business
- Go on your business’ email distribution list
You may have heard of a term called conversion rate, which is the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors to your website. Generally, a conversion rate of between 1% and 5% is considered normal.
Next comes the bit we all love and it requires little explanation. It is wise to note, however, that you need to focus on sales derived from your website, not other marketing tactics.
Put it together and what have you got?
Now, here’s a commonsense yet often overlooked observation: By taking a look at these factors more closely, we can determine where our online endeavours may be failing and then take steps to increase sales online.
So, for example, if your website is getting very few visitors you’ll need to put more effort into getting more traffic. If you’re getting plenty of traffic but few conversions, you’ll need to look more closely at why your website isn’t converting customers. If you’re getting enough traffic and conversions but few sales, examine your sales process or the services or products you’re providing.
This is when the real work begins and you may need to enlist the help of an online marketing specialist, small business website designer, sales expert or other professional to help you increase sales online. But at the very least you’ll have a better understanding of how your website is performing and where improvements can be made.