Ayo's Website Design

[Video] Site Review: Online Bargain Hunting Website

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Summary: A good homepage is one that gets straight to the point. In today's review of DealJuggler.com, we see a website that does this well. This is probably why DealJuggler.com is a consistent money maker. However, as with any website, DealJuggler.com can make improvements. Most importantly, the quality of some images on this website is poor. Poor quality images immediately make your website look amateurish. By improving this aspect of DealJuggler.com the website would look that much more professional. However, changes like this won't drastically change DealJuggler.com's earnings. This is a good website, without too many bad points. The best way for this website to grow sales is to keep finding shopping bargains. Watch the video to see the entire review.

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[Video] Site Review: Family Discount Shopping Website

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Summary: Today we review, Frugal Parents Online, a website that helps parents save money online by offering shopping tips. This website does a good job of using pictures to set the right tone. For a small mom-and-pop website like this, the About us is effective. It is written in the form of a letter to the reader. However, Google advertisements play too dominate a role on the homepage. It hides the quality content the owner has made available to readers. We have to always be careful not to focus so much on the revenue driving potential of our website that we obscure the focus of the website, which is to help others.

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[Video] Site Review: Music Instruments Website

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Summary: Today I review a music instruments website. This website does an excellent job of providing visitors with articles, encyclopedia links, pictures and more about hundreds of instruments around the world. By educating customers, this website will satisfy visitors and get more Google search visitors. However, the site lacks a method for speaking directly to the customer, like I am with this blog. Blogs give a visitor incentive to come back to your website for further education. Watch the video to see the full review.

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How can you use live chat to increase your website conversion rate?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

An agent chatting with a customer.  This type of interaction can increase your website conversion rate.
Having live chat on your website is a good way to add a human touch and increase your website's conversion rate.

Summary: Customers that use live chat on a website can have conversion rates double website visitors that do not use live chat. Chat improves your conversion rate by building a human relationship with the customer. It is most appropriate for mid-sized to large companies, because it requires an employee always be available to chat online. Consider integrating live chat on your website so that customers can speak directly with one of your sales representatives when they have questions or want more information.

This article, by David Kain of Kain Automotive, points out that chat is an excellent way of improving a website's conversion rate.

Francis Bilodeau, Web Project Manager for Drummond Designs, says "chat helps our company double conversion rates over visitors who don't chat."

What makes chat so effective for generating website sales?
  1. The internet is a very impersonal medium. Human contact builds a human relationship.
  2. Many customers are more apt to chat online than they are to call your phone number or send an email.
  3. Chat protects the customer's privacy. For example, sending an email opens the customer up to annoying return mails (e.g. spam) from the company she has contacted. Calling might reveal her phone number on caller id.
In my personal experience, which agrees with companies such as Drummond Designs, I am far more likely to use a company's chat option than to call or email. I have used chat a number of times to gather information about a company, but I have called or emailed rarely.

So what chat solutions are there? Talisma is one I've seen large companies such as Microsoft use. LivePerson is another. However, honestly, helping you choose a solution isn't my area of expertise. I'd recommend searching Google for "chat solutions". You'll get plenty of results you can research further.

Chat is not for all companies. The biggest problem you're probably going to run into, if you're a small company like mine, is who can be available to answer customer chat inquiries? That's where we each must take time to learn more about chat, look at the costs versus benefits for our business, and make a decision about how to move forward.

In conclusion, if you sell a product or service online, strongly consider putting live chat on your website. Start small, and as you see improvement, grow it out. If you thoroughly plan your approach, you will see that live chat can help you increase your overall website conversion rate!

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Is your website useful?

Alexa ranks Google as the number one website on the internet in the United States.  This is because Google is one of the most useful websites on the internet.
Google is the number one website on the internet. What can we learn from them?

Summary: A useful website generates sales because it convinces the customer that your product or service is likely to also be useful. Google is the quintessential useful website. Therefore, we do well to analyze our website to see if the website is really useful or if it is nothing more than a glorified business card.

Why is Google the number one website in the United States? Is it because Google has the prettiest colors? Is it because Google has the coolest logo? Or is it perhaps because Google is a great name for a website?

No. It's because Google is very useful to the people that use it. And what do those users do? They use Google over, and over, and over again.

We then should be seeking to do the same with our websites. Just like Google, our website needs to be useful if the customer is going to use it and tell his colleagues to use it.

What constitutes a useful website?

First, we must keep in mind why people use the internet. The average person uses the internet to get information. When a customer is on your website, remember he or she is likely looking for a specific piece of information. He may not be ready to buy just yet. So if you don't have the information he needs, the customer is going to leave in frustration and may never come back.

Therefore, what are some types of information you can and should provide on your website?
  1. Detailed specifications for your products and services. Make sure to include prices and price or fee structure.
  2. Articles, audio, and video to educate the customer about when your product or service should be used and when it should not be used.
  3. Interviews with company executives, employees, and customers.
  4. Case studies showing how your product or service has benefited previous customers.
  5. Presentations demonstrating pertinent research your company has done in your field.
  6. Data to help keep the customer informed about his competitors use of your industry's product or service.
No doubt there are many other valuable pieces of information you can give to your customers. Don't say, "Well, I sell a boring product and thus, I can't provide an abundance of helpful information to the customer." Can your customers benefit by understanding more about your products, your industry, and their own needs? If you answered, "Yes," then start sharing that information now.

What will be the result?

A useful website increases sales. When your website helps the customer, the customer is more likely to believe that your product or service will also help him. Therefore, he is more likely to give your product or service a try. However, if your website is useless and frustrating, the customer will doubt your entire company and your sales will be scanty.

That being the case, your goal should be to show the customer how valuable your company really is. Prove your value with a useful website that addresses his needs. Educate the customer, become an expert, and build the trust that generates sales.

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How Can You Get Free Website Promotion For Your Website?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Logos of different social networking companies that can help you gain exposure.

Summary: Social networking sites are great sources for free website promotion and great tools to increase site traffic. This includes sites like
StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, etc. This article on the SEOCO Blog outlines not just which websites can help you, but also how much traffic each can generate. You should make sure to regularly post any good content (emphasis on good) you have on these social networking sites. However, don't spam these sites, as that is sure to hurt your company in the long-run. Just let them know, every once in a while, when you have valuable information you want to share with others.

Do you struggle with getting your site visibility? How can you rise above the clutter on the web?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. However, the most reliable answer is to provide your visitors with helpful content such as articles, research papers, use cases, etc. The reason is that if you sincerely help people, they will come back to you and they will tell their friends about you.

However, what if you have helpful content, but you still have no readers? Then consider posting your content to social networking sites that will let other internet users know that you have something valuable to share. This is an excellent free way to promote your website. Who doesn't want free website promotion?

SEOCO has a blog with an excellent list of social networking sites you can post to. I don't want to plagiarize their content, so rather than re-display their list, I am providing a link to the original article.

I hope you succeed at getting visibility for your website. If you need more help promoting your website, feel free to give me a phone call.

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[Video] Site Review: Conversion Rate Success for a Skating, Surfing, and Active Wear Website

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Summary: Today I review a skating, surfing, and active wear website to look at what they do well and what they can improve on. As always, the goal of this review is to look for lessons business owners and executives can use as they think about how to improve their site conversion rate. This website does a very good job of using a black background to target the young skater demographic. Also, a large prominent picture on the home page draws in the shopper. Watch the video to learn more.

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What is a Good Website Conversion Rate?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Top ten websites by conversion rate in December 2007.
Chart based on marketing research data from MarketingCharts.com.

Summary: The best retail websites have a double digit conversion rate. If you are a retail website you do well to set a conversion rate target of greater than 5%. However, some websites, especially those that also mail customers a print catalog, can obtain a site conversion rate greater than 10%.

Just what is a good website conversion rate? For reference, Amazon.com had a 17.6% conversion rate in December 2007. This number can help us set a baseline goal for our websites.

Your website conversion rate should be one of your most tracked website statistics. Why? Because it doesn't matter how many visitors you have; if your conversion rate is zero that means your website has generated zero business. Thus, improving your conversion rate is often the most reliable and cost-efficient way to increase your sales.

Your conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of website visitors who spent money with your company by the total number of visitors to your website. For example, if your website had 10 purchases last month and you had 100 total visitors, then your conversion rate would be 10% (e.g. 10% of customers spent money on your website).

A well designed website is generally going to have a higher conversion rate. You do well to ask yourself:
  1. What is my conversion rate today?
  2. Am I happy with my current conversion rate?
  3. Is my current conversion rate good for my industry?
  4. What can I do to improve my conversion rate?
Unfortunately, conversion rate statistics for each industry are difficult to find. I did, however, come across data from MarketingCharts.com that lists the top 10 websites on the internet by their conversion rate!

What can we learn from this list? I can identify at least two lessons:
  1. That conversion rates in excess of 10% are possible for a retail site. Compare this to your site.
  2. That sites that send out a physical catalog to customers dominate the conversion rate list. Perhaps you can include direct mail marketing in your budget.
This list leaves us with some questions. For example, what makes The Popcorn Factory such a successful website?

If we can learn lessons from successful websites that have proven their ability to convert website visitors into paying customers, then we can generate more income from our websites.

To accomplish this, I will soon be analyzing some of the companies from this list and sharing that analysis on my website. Please check back for the analysis.

In the meantime, why don't you examine these top ten websites and see if you can determine why they are so successful at converting website visitors into paying customers. Then apply these lessons to your website. If you'd like help improving your site's conversion rate, give me a call and tell me that you're looking for help improving your website's sales.

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[Video] Site Review: What contributes to a successful e-commerce website?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Summary: A good e-commerce website should have large, quality pictures, clear pricing, and a professional clutter-free design. In this video we analyze the website of a hardware tools e-commerce site and see how it rates on each of these factors. As you watch this video, think about what you are doing well and what you can improve on your website.

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How Can You Tell if Your Website is Effective?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

View of top content Google Analytics report for Ayo's Website Design
Above: Example Google Analytics Top Content report for Ayo's Website Design

Summary: To improve your site's conversion rate you must be able to tell if an how your website is effective. The only way to tell if a website is effective is to have an analytics package such as Google Analytics. With an analytics package you can measure how customers are interacting with your website. Google Analytics is one of the most popular packages and it is free. Other packages are available from other companies at reasonable cost.

How would you prove that you have a good website?

As with most aspects of business, opinions are not very reliable. One man's beauty is another man's ugliness. Put another way, the website you think is great may be horrible to the customer. Thus, the only way to prove whether your website is good is by measuring it at work with real customers.

To illustrate, let's ask another question. How does a sprinter know he is fast? Can he just say, "Well the wind seems to be going pretty fast by my head. I must be fast?" Nope. The sprinter might think he's fast, only to be smoked by his competitors on race day. Indeed, a sprinter must keep close watch on the time it takes him to complete his race. If his time is faster than other runners, he knows he is fast. Measurement is the only way.

How can you measure your website? First you must figure out what you want/need to measure. The simplest statistic you might want to track is the total number of visitors. Yet, this statistic won't get you very far.

More detailed statistics are generally better. For example, you might want to see what percentage of users, that are finding your website from Google, are requesting product information from your company. Is the number lower or higher than you expected?

A popular statistic in retail is your shopping cart abandonment rate. What if 99% of shopping carts that are started on your site are being abandoned? That would be frightful. It would indicate that 99% of users, intending to purchase from your company, somehow were scared away. Perhaps a small change to your shopping cart would make a huge difference.

Depending on the design of your website, you can get all of the statistics mentioned, and more, from a website analytics package such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free resource that allows you to get awesome analytical data about traffic on your website.

In this post, I will not show you how to integrate analytics for your website. Nor will I recommend what metrics you should measure. That's for each company to decide separately. But I will tell you that, unless you have some sort of analytics package for your website you will be operating blind.

So don't assume you have a great website. Invest in a good analytics package today and prove it through measurement. Google Analytics, one of the best packages around, is free. So there is no reason for delay. Once you start measuring your website, you are on your way to improving your site's conversion rate.

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