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Boosting Web Site Conversion Rates: A Commonly Overlooked Key to Online Marketing Success

Aug 17, 2007
A common myth is that the best way to sell more from a web site is to increase traffic. While it's certainly true that no site can succeed without traffic, and increasing it is a good thing, it's not the most efficient, least expensive way to crank in more sales from your web site.

A smarter approach is to increase the value of existing site traffic, by boosting conversion rates.

If your web site exists to make you money, its success largely hinges on how well it motivates visitors to act. Really, what good is even a million visitors to your web site per day, if it doesn't effectively prompt enough of them to take the action(s) you want them to take?

"Conversion rate" is a very simple measurement of this, referring to the percentage of visitors who take a desired action.

For example, if 2 out of 100 visitors buy, you simply divide 2 by 100 to calculate the conversion rate, which in this example is .02, or 2%. This is about average for most sites, although some enjoy much higher conversion rates (which you should aim for).

"Conversion rate," "conversion ratio," and "response rate" are all similar terms used to guage how well a site motivates visitor action. "Sales conversion rate" is also similar, although it more correctly refers to just one type of visitor action: purchasing.

Desired visitor actions may include - but are not limited to - purchasing, subscribing, registering, initiating a lead or inquiry (by email, phone, etc.), downloading a product sample, clicking a link to another page in the sales process, visiting another site through an affiliate link, etc.

Don't Overlook Potential Sales-Killing Bottlenecks

When seeking to boost conversion rates, don't myopically focus only on your sales letter, as many do. Other areas of your site can also have a major impact on conversion rates. Especially online shopping carts or order forms.

If you focus solely on your sales letter and neglect other areas of your site, you could be overlooking sales-killing bottlenecks that are costing you dearly!

Benefits of Boosting Web Site Conversion Rates

By improving conversion rates, your web site will generate better results, without spending more time or money to increase traffic. For example, with the same level of existing traffic, better conversion can reward you with:

More leads.
More subscribers.
More initial sales.
More repeat sales.
More repeat visitors.
Reduced web site and shopping cart abandonment.
Happier visitors and customers.
Less business lost to competitors.
Greater market share.
Greater credibility with your target market.
More positive word of mouth.
Reduced customer acquisition costs.
Reduced customer service costs.
Greater lifetime customer value.

Similar benefits can be gained in email marketing. Improved conversion brings greater profits - from the same size subscriber list.

What's more, resources invested in improving conversion usually bring longer lasting results than those invested in building web site traffic or email list size.
About the Author
Marty Foley's site at ConvertMoreTraffic.com helps web sites generate more traffic and turn more of it into buyers, leads, and higher profit! Check out Marty's free e-courses for boosting online profits: http://ProfitInfo.com/e-courses
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