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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

When marketing online, there are two important steps to consider. The first step is to generate traffic to your website. The second step is getting browsers to convert into paying customers. Both aspects of web marketing are essential but I've noticed that most Internet marketers are focused primarily on traffic generation.

From my perspective, you need to focus on driving the right traffic to your website AND focus on improving on-site conversions. One of the biggest enemies of improving conversion is the concept known as deflection. Deflection occurs when a browser is taken away from the task at hand. Simply put, they are distracted and leave your site or get engaged with something other than the desired action.

A great example of this would be a website trying to sell widgets but placing Google Adwords on the home page. A user visits the site, clicks on an Adword and never comes back. The result is $.08 in revenue when the browser could have bought a $19.95 widget. Other examples might include online ads, free content, and so on. Thats not to say that leveraging your traffic to generate revenue is a bad thing, but taking them off the task at hand, usually a larger purchase, is a no-no.

The best way to effectively manage this is to follow a customer through the purchase decision process on your website. Once they hit your website, what path do they take. Are they distracted, deflected, or somehow taken off course? Try to streamline the steps required to purchase (keep it to 3 steps or less if you can). The result will be less deflection and higher sales.

As a final note, if you are going to offer other activities for browsers, ask them to register. You can go back and market to them using an automated touch program or email campaign. By doing so, you've minimized the deflection and can turn them from prospects into customers.


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