Increasing Sales From Your Website
Today we ‘bring it home’ on this whole topic of conversion. By now, I hope you’re totally convinced that testing is the easy path to increased profit, a better lifestyle and a real competitive advantage.
In the final video, we’ll cover the logistical problems that can come up when testing and how to tackle these, and then we’ll walk through the very same conversion checklist we use.
Serious about Increasing Your Website’s Sales?
OK, so you’ve got to here, you’re obviously getting serious about conversion. (Well done! This stuff is ‘live in a nicer house’ kind of powerful).
So, we have a challenge for you. I’ve thrown in a few prizes to make it interesting, but really, the benefit you want (and can expect) is a long term increase in your sales.
Early in my career I saw this process directly add over $100,000 to a client’s website. I’ve also watched a very ‘average’ Internet Marketing consultant consistently charge $500+ / hour to undertake this exact process (and you can do right now for free!).
Here’s the challenge:
“30 Minute Site Makeover Challenge”
Step 1 – Remove distractions – Shut down the software that will distract you e.g. email, Twitter, Skype, and turn off your phone – (yes, the world keeps spinning if you don’t answer your phone for half an hour). If you’re a coffee drinker, go get yourself a cup (let’s enjoy this, hey?).
Step 2 – Print off and review the checklist – Print off a copy of our conversion checklist and sit it by you for reference. Take 2 minutes to skim through it from top to bottom to refresh.
Step 3 – Pick a website you want to improve – Pick your most profitable or your highest traffic website (the one where an improvement in conversion will yield the most benefit). If you’re just learning Internet Marketing and don’t own a website yet, you can still do this exercise on a competitor’s website or for a friend just to see how powerful this exercise is.
Step 4 – Pick a “starting point” – I almost left this step out, because I don’t want you to get stuck here (so don’t!).
Do you know “off the top of your head”, the most common way new prospects find you? If you do, we’re going to use this as your starting point (if not, your starting point is your home page).
You might be getting lot of organic search engine traffic, so your starting point would be the results of a Google search for your most popular search term (often your brand name). It could be an offline advert. Whatever it is, make note of this as your starting point.
If you don’t already know how customers commonly find you, don’t get distracted and try to find out, we’ll just use your website’s home page as your starting point.
Step 5 – Print off a copy of each of the pages a prospect will visit from the starting point through to finishing the ‘goal’ you want your prospect to complete (e.g. buying from you or submitting their details as a new lead). Printing off pages might sound like a bit of a time waster, but you’ll see in a moment why it’s super important.
The series of pages a prospect follows to engage with you, or buy, will vary greatly from site to site, but a common path might include:
A search result or PPC advert (be sure to print this page off too, it’s an important part of the process).
A landing page or your home page
A product details page
A single order page or a few pages in a shopping cart checkout
A thank-you page.
Now, for those generating leads rather than sales online, the path will probably be quite short but that’s fine.
Step 6 – Think about your prospect – Take five minutes to get a mental picture of a prospective customer. Ask yourself questions like:
a) What does a normal, average prospect look like? How old are they, are they male or female, what sort of income do they have etc?
b) Now think about what is their life like, how busy are they, what are their main concerns in life? What are they worried about?
c) How familiar with technology are they?
d) What are the ultimate benefits they want from the product we sell?
e) Why might they be skeptical about buying from us?
Take a moment and note down any key points or observations you make. We even like to mentally give this prospective person a name.
Step 7 – Critique your own site – Now you’re ready to be your own ‘highly paid marketing consultant’. You’re going to slowly walk through your website with fresh eyes. On one side of your desk place the printed checklist and on the other, a pile with a printed copy of each page a prospect follows from discovering your site to buying (or completing whatever the goal of your site is).
You need to intentionally forget all the ‘history’ about your site (like how the developer was a pain to work with or that time, your sister said she didn’t like the colors etc) and pretend to be your best prospective customer discovering the site for the first time.
Beginning at your ‘starting point’ (see above), carefully follow the process of moving from ‘discovering’ your website through to purchasing. Take at least 15 minutes to do this – it can be the most profitable 15 minutes you’ll have this year.
For each step in the process, glance over the checklist. Using a pen, make big, obvious notes on the printed copy of your website whenever you see a ‘conversion’ problem.
Maybe your main call to action is buried and less prominent than the affiliate offer you’re promoting. Maybe upon reflection, your claims are all generic and lack specificity, maybe there’s little urgency when you could easily create some, maybe the site is simply difficult to actually use and you’re annoying prospects (a sure path to the poorhouse).
Remember – you’re not thinking like a website owner, you’re playing the role of the casual website visitor, just noting down issues as you go through.
Step 8 – Prioritize your list – Make a list of all the conversion improvement ideas you’ve identified. Order this list in terms of the improvements you think will be most beneficial. Remember, improving the earlier parts of your sales process will generally yield the best results as these often get the most exposure and test results will come in quickly.
Something I didn’t mention in the video is that sometimes you’ll encounter a problem that just needs to be fixed and it isn’t practical to test the ‘old’ version vs the ‘new one’. For example, it can be difficult to split test two radically different ordering procedures. So mark any such changes as “just fix” and organize to get that done.
For the rest of the conversion problems, you’ve now got a priority list of what to work on to boost your sales.
Well done! Make it a goal to systematically work through your list and watch your income rise!
Did you take the “30 Minute Site Make Over Challenge”?
Have you taken the time to do the above challenge? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Simply use the comments below to list the name of your website and the top three conversion improvements you’ve discovered.
In a week from today, we’ll post a list of the three winning contributions and in a follow-up post we’ll do a live critique video, showing what you’ve recommended and how else we think you could boost improvement.
Can’t wait to see what you folks come up with,
P.S. I’m hoping you don’t watch today’s video and think, “That was interesting”, or even worse “Yeah that’s good, I should work on my conversion some day”.
I’m hoping you’ll think “Damn it, I could have been making a stack more money!” and take the time to get to work and test your sales funnel.