Is It Time To Go Back To The Drawing Board?

So you hired a designer to build a site, even going as far as stretching your budget a little for that super-cool flash intro. It’s beautiful, functional, and it’s not generating a penny in sales. What happened? Well, there are countless ways for a site to be dysfunctional. The following are just a few issues that may require a trip back to the drawing board:

The site is more of an on-line brochure than an e-commerce site – Search engine optimization is only half of the battle. Your site needs to search engine marketed as well. Without it, the only way anyone is going to find it is if they see it on your business card. It’s still a common mistake to assume that “If you build it, they will come”. With 600 million websites out there you’re going to have to market the site to push it into, at minimum, the top twenty rankings on the search engines. Why the top twenty? The traffic on page three isn’t much different than the traffic on page 300.

Stats show that you have somewhere between three and seven seconds before a visitor clicks “back” and bounces off the site. Clearly displaying that you have what that visitor is searching for, and backing it up with compelling content is the best way to keep visitors on your site and increase the odds of conversion. A free e-book or white paper can enhance your site’s credibility and get visitors to leave their contact information for future marketing efforts. Conversely, a confusing first impression and/or listless content will send your visitors off to the next site.

It’s amazing how many sites that are intended to sell things don’t do any selling. The lack of a call to action and easy navigation can deter even the visitors that were likely to make a purchase.

While lots of un-targeted traffic is much better than no traffic at all, it’s still a sign that marketing, specifically the optimized keywords, needs to be narrowed. Analysis and testing of keywords can go a long way toward delivering targeted visitors that know what they want and are coming to your site to get it.

If you have targeted your traffic but they are still bouncing off of your site without purchasing or leaving information, it could be a sign that there are navigation problems or that there are issues with your shopping cart. With the prevalence of identity theft, consumers don’t want to see that your cart isn’t secure. The best you can hope for in that situation is that they will pick up the phone to place an order, but you will inevitably lose sales by making consumers take that extra step. Consider adding a secure socket layer (SSL) which encrypts the consumer’s information.

These are just a few of the dysfunctionalities that may be affecting the performance of your website. The good news is that they are all fixable by taking it back to the drawing board.

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