In a world of super-sizing and the maxim of "more, more, more" we sometimes lose sight of the concept of quantity not equaling quality. This especially applies to web site traffic.
Everyone wants more traffic to their site, that's normal, and the search engine optimization industry has boomed on the back of this desire as have services that allow you to buy visitor traffic in bulk.
But what happens once the potential customer hits your site? Are they just scooting away? This is known as bounce or abandonment and your goal should be to reduce abandonment and bounce rates as much as possible before branching out into other areas of promotion that are going to cost you bucks.
The leaky bucket syndrome
If a bucket has a hole in it, it can still usually be filled. It just takes more water. The bigger the hole, the more water is needed and you can never stop adding water in as it just leaks out.
I'm often asked by folks how they can improve their rankings, but the first thing I usually do is to look at their site; not so much for keyword density and such, but how the site works.
Conversions and profits
Let's say you get a hundred visitors a day and from those visitors you get a sale. The "more, more, more" mentality that's been ingrained in us says that if you can get a thousand visitors a day, you'll get 10 sales - so the battle for search engine rankings begins.
But what if you initially invested that time and effort into plugging the leaks in your web site bucket? You may quite easily boost your sales to 5 a day from those 100 visitors. After you've dealt with the leaks, then focus on your search engine optimization and you'll get 50 sales from the thousand visitors instead of just 10.
Common web site leaks
Here's a list of very common leaks in ecommerce sites and links to further information on most points. Many of the issues can be easily and cheaply dealt with, sometimes for no cost at all aside from a bit of your own time.
Reassurance type issues feature heavily in the above list and I offer a more in-depth article with other related ideas in my article, "Reassuring your web site visitors".
Another major issue is poor navigation - offer a site map or search facility. Google offers a co-branded search for free, but that will display competitor ads also. Their premium version, competitor ad free, is quite reasonably priced at a hundred bucks a year. Also make it a goal that users can get to any page on the site from any other page on your site within 3 clicks.
Fixing any one of the above issues can substantially reduce
bounce/abandonment rates and make a marked difference in your online sales. Attend to them all and you should have yourself a nice little ecommerce powerhouse, ready for the next stage -
search engine optimization.
In the interests of transparency and disclosure, please note that the owner of Taming the Beast.net often receives goods and services mentioned in reviews for free, or may receive payments or affiliate commissions for advertising or referring others to merchants of products and services reviewed.
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