Improving sales on your Web site is actually really simple. It’s a three step formula I have been focusing on and working towards: The number of customers (your marketing) X your average transaction (increase this with upsells and cross sells) X Average Frequency (a newsletter could help you do this).
1. The number of customers: Your marketing strategy is what drives traffic to your Web site. There are numerous ways to achieve this which I will discuss below.
One good place to start is advertising on the search engines through PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising. Google AdWords would love to take your money, so go sign up for an account. My advice here is to start slow! You can spend a lot of money, really quick. Let me repeat, you can spend a lot of money, really quick. The other most popular PPC option is overture.
After you start generating some good traffic from PPC, just monitor it once a week and begin working on another area, such as SEO (search engine optimization). If you have ever seen those deals on the internet that say they will submit your site to 1000 search engines for $50, just ignore them. It is a waste of time and money. The best thing to do is to go get a few links from websites that are already in Google. I recommend starting with a Yahoo directory listing and then submitting to DMOZ.org. After you get out of the Google sandbox (the sandbox is the point between submission and the point where you actually get added) and they have sent the spider to index your site, its time to start seeing results. Focus on getting links pointing to your website with your keywords in your anchor text (the blue underlined text in your links pointing to your website). More links are better. As your page rank starts to increase and you get more links pointing to your site with your keywords, you will start to climb on the SERP’s (search engine results pages). If you want to learn more about this subject, there is a good book called Stomping the Search Engines which could definitely help.
If you have a site that has some interesting information or is new to the industry, you should submit a press release to PR Newswire. If you get picked up by some online publications this will help your PageRank and get the word out about your Web site.
2. Average Transaction: Every good marketer has an upsell. Whether its supersizing your extra value meal or getting you to upgrade your order on checkout, you need upsells. A great example of how you can do this on your Web site is to add a little sales letter on the checkout page below the billing details and credit card information. This sales letter could have a simple check box to add this product to your order and a brief explanation of why you need it. This sales letter should be short because you don’t want them to abandon their shopping cart. By adding this option on your checkout page, you give yourself another opportunity to offer the customers products they may want to buy.
3. Average Frequency- This is your newsletter. Every Web site needs one and I am a hypocrite. I don’t have one on my Web site, but I am in the process of adding one to my website right now. I found a handy little newsletter tool at aweber.com. It will allow me to remind customers when they are about to run out of product, send them updates, research on various health conditions (I sell supplements), and to get feedback from them. I can also use this tool to capture the customers email address if they do not wish to buy from me when they first visit my site. I can follow up with them a few times and remind them of the benefits of my product.
And there it is. A simple formula that I printed up and taped to my desk. I stare at it everyday to remind of the things I know I need to do to have a successful website. Follow these steps and you will increase sales.