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Common Question: How Can I Get More Visitors to Purchase From My Website?

By Ayo Ijidakinro


Most people don't want to shop at a cluttered store. Does your website look like the online version of the above picture? (Photo from tallkev)

Summary: This article will help you understand that to increase sales on your website you need to: be found, generate human contact with your customer whenever possible, have an organized and uncluttered site, keep in touch with all interested customers, and give the customer a good deal (don't fake it, really give him a good deal).

An All-to-Common Dilemma

You’ve got plenty of visitors, but few of them are purchasing. What can you do? In this article we will discuss five ways you can get more visitors to purchase from your website.

Search Engine Optimisation

If a hungry customer wants to find a good Chinese restaurant in his city he might look under restaurants in his local phone book. If a restaurant is not listed, it will never be found. Likewise with your website. Eager customers will find your website by searching Google. If they enter a search, will your business be found? Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO helps makes sure it is.

A user doing a Google search is more likely to be considering a purchase. Thus, getting on Google will increase the success of your business. So just how do you get the attention of Google? And more importantly, how can you turn high rankings into high rankings that attract buyers?

Sadly, it’s not as easy as simply selecting an assortment of keywords that define your product. There is a lot of competition in the market and understanding consumer search patterns, gaps in the market, and which keywords are going to convert to profits is required. Spend time broadening your keywords. Instead of selecting the same words as your competitors, try to find some lesser-used words or phrases that still relate to your offering. For example, if you sell basketball shoes, you might try using a common slang word like “kicks” on some of your pages. That could give you a slight edge if many of your competitors neglect to use those niche words on their site.

Lead Generation vs eCommerce

Do you feel that your website should totally replace human contact with your customers? Probably not. Some customers won’t buy from your website directly, but they might contact you, or you might be able to contact them. In that case, you haven’t generated a sale but you have generated a lead. SEO runs the most smoothly for your business when applied with the goal of lead generation; that is: generating customer interest, identifying serious potential buyers, and getting that customer on the phone or shooting him an email! Some also use sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch.

Think seriously about communicating more with your website visitors human-to-human rather than simply trying to get people to buy from the website. If it ends up making money for you, it's worth the extra effort!

A Well-designed Website

Do you prefer eating at a dirty restaurant or a clean one? Where would you prefer to shop, a cluttered disorganized department store or a clean and well organized one? In both cases clean and organized is generally better. Is a website any different? Apply the same organisational logic to your website as you would to a physical store. Your website needs to be uncluttered, intuitive, updated daily, weekly or monthly and full of relevant, quality articles, videos, and helpful information. Valuable information will attract attention from other websites in the form of links, and links back to your site from other sites will increase your Google’s rankings.

Email Marketing

Who are you more likely to buy from, someone you’re familiar with or a stranger? Probably the familiar person. You trust that person a little more. Periodically emailing your customers can build familiarity. Build and maintain a database of customers that have expressed interest in your product and stay in touch with helpful emails. This will enhance your relationship and reputation as a brand. Remember your customers and let them know you’re thinking about them.

Have a Good Offer

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. In other words, all the Search Engine Optimisation in the world won’t convince people to jump on your offer if it isn’t a good one. For example, if you’re renting carpet cleaning equipment, can you throw in a couple free bottles of cleaning liquid as a bonus? Give something to your customer to show that you’re genuinely generous and want to give them a good deal. Your customers know what your competitor is offering. If you give your customer a better deal, they will know it and they won’t hesitate to pick up your product.

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Site Review: Get Quick Feedback On Your Website with UserTesting.com

By Ayo Ijidakinro


UserTesting.com video for Ayos Website Design

Summary: Watching users stumble through your website is an uncomfortable but eye opening experience. UserTesting.com is an excellent tool for getting real live testers to use your website and give you feedback. Depending on how usable your site is, you'll find yourself cheering or cringing with every mouse click.

I just tried UserTesting.com this past week, and I was eager to share my positive experience with my readers. I highly recommend you try UserTesting.com. But, to understand why I feel this tool can benefit you, please read the below article.

Your Website Its Own Worst Enemy?

Pause, and try to answer this question before you read on: Has your website placed stumbling blocks in front of customers?

Imagine this example. Richard is looking to buy health supplements from someonlinedrugstore.com. He is ready to buy, but the checkout process requires he create a user account first. Frustrated, Richard leaves the website without purchasing the product.

It is all too easy to design a website that shoots itself in the foot repeatedly. How can you know if your website is chasing away customers?

You have to get feedback from real users. Usability tests on your website are the most reliable means of finding stumbling blocks that keep you from getting sales.

Real Users Give You a Fresh Perspective

Don't make the mistake of thinking you can find the stumbling blocks yourself! Your and your employee's minds have spent hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours staring at your website. Your brain has gotten used to your website. A fresh perspective, from real users, not your employees, is the only way to get reliable feedback.

But how can you quickly round up some testers without spending a lot of your precious money and time?

UserTesting.Com Provides Rapid Usability Tests At A Price I Like

As of this writing, UserTesting.com offers usability tests for your website at $29 per user. Each test consists of a 15 minute video, with audio, in which the tester tries to accomplish a set of tasks defined by you. The whole process generally takes MUCH less than 24 hours.

Here is the process in a nutshell:
  1. Sign up for User Testing
  2. Choose Demographics of Your Target Audience
  3. Select the Number of Testers You Want (1 tester - 20 testers)
  4. Pay for the Test
  5. Users Record Video of their Screen and Voice as They Use Your Website
  6. You Get an Email Whenever a Tester Finishes
  7. You Watch the Video and Listen to the Testers Thoughts About Your Website
  8. The Tester Also Gives You a Written Summary You Can Read
Is UserTesting.com a Quality Service?

In my experience and opinion, Yes. To verify, I tested UserTesting.com on my website. I was very pleased with the quality of the feedback I received. You can watch the video at the top of this article.

At first I was concerned that the testers would be of low quality. However, that was not a problem. My tester was very articulate, computer savvy, and knew how to evaluate a consulting firm's website. Also, you can pick the demographics of the testers you want to test your website.

Notice these quotes from other website owners and operators about UserTesting.com.

"Generally, my expectations of the service were blown away, and I would definitely use it again." (Smarticle.com, 2009)

"It was no wonder Amazon.com has selected them as a finalist in the Startup Competition. Based on the results I was able to pick up on about five usability flaws in our site." (Serena Safe Mode, 2009)

Did It Take A Long Time to Get Test Results?

No. For my test, the results were rapid. It took less than 24 hours for me to get my review.

The site owner at Serena Safe Mode had a similar experience, saying, "I submitted the request at 9:44am and the test was completed at 10:20am and that was with a 15 [minute] review of my site." (Serena Safe Mode, 2009)

UserTesting.com Yields Actionable Results

I wanted to see if I would actually be able to take some sort of action after watching the 15 minute video of a user testing my website. Surprisingly, in the 15 minute test of my website I found 11 insights that I have already started taking action on.

Notice, some quotes from others who have used UserTesting.com.

"'After just a few tests we were able to identify some key problems with our interface.' - Justin.tv" (UserTesting.com, 2009)

"Based on the results I was able to pick up on about five usability flaws in our site." (Serena Safe Mode, 2009)

How Many Testers Should You Request from UserTesting.com?

I had only one tester test my website. You'll generally want to request more than one tester. Jakob Nielsen, an expert on usability testing, had the following to say on this matter: "To identify a [website] design's most important usability problems, testing 5 users is typically enough." (UseIt.com, 2003).

Here is a good article that explains why only 5 testers are needed for a good usability test.

Sample Video from a Real UserTesting.Com Test

I am going to gather more videos, but for now here is the video for Serena Safe Mode.

Conclusion

I highly recommend you give UserTesting.com a try. I plan to use it many more times for my website and I firmly believe that you will profit from using it on your website.

If you read to the end, you also get this special treat. The first 20 readers to use this link, will receive their first test for only $19 instead of the usual $29.

Happy testing!

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Common Questions: Can Websites See Who Visits Them?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Yes. Clicktale.com provides a service that allows you to watch users as they navigate your website. With Clicktale you can record website visitors and watch these videos to improve your website's usability and to discover areas of potential frustration.

Clicktale provides mouse tracking and excellent visitor analytics that enable you to monitor the visitor's entire clickstream from start to finish.

The below video explains Clicktale in more detail.



With Clicktale, in only minutes you'll be able to start recording visitor interaction on your website and watching videos.

Please contact me if you have questions about how to use Clicktale for your website, or if you're curious about other solutions that will help you to see your website visitors as they visit your site.

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How Does Google AdWords Work? Ad Position

By Ayo Ijidakinro



Summary: Google has published an excellent video explaining how Google AdWords works and gives insight on how ad position is determined. I recommend that any website owner watch this video to understand how he can advertise his website effectively using Google AdWords.

Google Ads are ranked by a metric Google calls Quality Score and the amount advertisers are offering to pay per click. Though many advertisers try to improve the position of their ad by offering to pay more money, improving your ad's Quality Score is often a better approach. Why? Better quality ads generate more business and save money.

Optimizing for Google's Quality Score can help you, because the way Google calculates ad quality is generally in the end-user's (e.g. your customer's) best interest. Better quality ads are probably going to be clicked more often, result in better qualified leads, and thus are more likely to lead to a purchase.

Again, I highly recommend you watch the entire video!



Related Articles:


Get Elastic. 2009. "PPC Myth Week Pt 2: Bid Higher to Appear Higher"
The Click Equations Blog. 2009. "The Preface: Quality Score in High Resolution"

Promotions:

Building link popularity is not an easy task especially for those who don't know much about search engine optimization.
MatrixMT has services to help you.

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Gradually Make Your Website a Store of Treasures

By Ayo Ijidakinro


Slowly building his variety of wares and freely sharing knowledge made his shop a well-trafficked destination. Can you apply the same to your website? (Photo by KrisHaamer)

Summary: It is not rare for a new website to get off to a very slow start. However, rather than becoming discouraged, you should focus on increasing the quantity, variety, and value of the content (e.g. articles, videos, diagrams) and items for sale on your website. By focusing on helping people and through patient endurance you will eventually notice an uptick in your visitors and sales. The fictional story of Bartolo, an Italian fisherman, illustrates how a website can suddenly go from being perceived as having little value to being seen as an essential online destination.

Bartolo and His Ever Expanding Variety of Wares

Bartolo was an old man with an untiring zeal for helping others. As is the case with most zealous men, he was not one to give in to the geriatric lifestyle of his peers. His energy far exceeded his years, and his eyes maintained a brightness like the sparkle of white wine on a sunny summer day. Though well into his eighties, he still found plenty of adventurous projects to busy his day. And Bartolo still had one more endeavor he wanted to embark on.

For Bartolo’s whole life he had been a fisherman. His mind had become a treasure trove of knowledge regarding the most arcane aspects of his trade’s tools and vernacular. So now, several years after he had hung up his nets to dry for the last time, Bartolo decided to help his fellow fisherman by opening a fisherman’s shop on the rugged coast of Manarola a small village on the Italian Riveria.

Bartolo started small, with only a few of the oddest tools that a fisherman will find he needs in that one rare situation that is encountered perhaps twice in a lifetime; and because of his shop's specialty nature, Bartolo received nary a visitor. Occasionally the stray fisherman would stroll into his shop looking for advice on his trade, but purchases were few.


The small fishing village of Manarola where Bartolo started his shop. (Photo by ezioman)

It is worth noting that Bartolo was highly respected by other fisherman for his knowledge, but the oddity and narrow selection of tools available at his shop puzzled them, and his shop’s emptiness left him the butt of some ridicule. But Bartolo did not let this deter him. In his head he envisioned a day when his shop’s selection would grow to provide such a variety of useful items that no fisherman would find his shop unneeded.

So Bartolo steadily added to his shop's selection. Each week he increased the variety of tools and items available. As the number of items slowly began to multiply, a change of perception occurred. Suddenly local fishermen were interested in more than merely Bartolo’s advice. With amazement, each fisherman began to realize that Bartolo’s shop offered a tool for every strange event and odd happening that he might encounter out at sea.

Thus, Bartolo’s shop became known as a must visit destination for local fisherman to brush up on the knowledge of their trade and also find the odd tools that could be found no place else, or at least no other place brought together in such useful profusion the wide variety of odds and ends that a fisherman could need.

So Bartolo’s patient endurance was ultimately rewarded. By continuously searching for more odds and ends to add to the store of treasures available at his little fishing shop, and by freely sharing knowledge with his fellow fisherman, Bartolo was able to grow a thriving store that became an essential destination for the fishermen of Manarola.

Conclusion: Constantly Expand Your Website

Here is the key point from the above story. If you, like Bartolo, focus on steadily expanding the information and products your website offers, you will find that eventually more and more individuals will see the value of your website and over time it will become a well-trafficked destination.

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