To describe precisely, the above three are the primary steps to earn money online.
While website setup, marketing and gaining traffic is easier, getting the traffic to convert into $$$ is a damn tough job.
The Internet explosion has changed the way people seek and consume information. Before buying anything, the consumer wonders if the same thing is available for ‘free’ somewhere else or not.
This thought process has the potential to negatively influence the conversion strategy of any product or service site.
Nonetheless, it is also a fact that the Internet business is valued in billions. In other words, somewhere some people are doing something well enough to generate revenues in millions, contributing towards the billion dollar Internet business. For example, check out Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income website.
What are they doing right that YOU are not doing?
In the write-up, you will see 7 ways to implement and convert website visitors into buyers.
Let’s explore these ways.
1. “Above the Fold” Info Placement
Placement matters a lot for a website.
The MD of Design UK, a digital marketing agency, Leigh Whitney, says: “It’s vital that in the first second of a site opening users see everything they need to keep them engaged and exploring”.
The purpose of “above the fold” placement is to maneuver the visitor into taking an action. The action could be a direct one, that is, purchasing something or an indirect one, like subscribing to an email newsletter.
For instance, take a look at how Jane Sheeba has optimized her site, ProBlogging Success. The first thing you see on her blog is this:
Here’s she is actively motivating the site visitor to sign up. Later, she can utilize the email list to generate sales.
A lot of resources are available online to create such ‘above the fold’ CTA (call-to-action) pages. You can hire a developer to create a custom CTA.
Whitney says: “The perfect website accounts for the fact that users scan web pages quickly, so typographic ‘scent trails’ are needed to draw users into the content that they are seeking”.
In other words, give visitors exactly what they are looking for; this, clever “above the fold” info placement works wonders.
2. Site Loading Speed
It is a very important factor to convert visitors into buyers but sadly, ignored by many webmasters. Have you ever seen popular eCommerce sites like eBay, Flipkart or Amazon load slowly?
This is because they invest a lot in enhancing the site uptime. They have a dedicated maintenance team.
You maybe a small business entrepreneur who cannot afford a team but you can surely afford a good hosting provider.
See this portion of an Infographic developed by KISSmetrics.
Each second of delay causes 7% decrease in traffic conversion. Visitors today don’t have the patience to sit around while a page is loading. They move on. Who loses? YOU!
You can read the full case study and view the full infographic on the KISSmetrics site.
If nothing else, you should check out Google Pagespeed tools to speed up your website. The tool rates the domain on a score of 100 and suggests accurate measures to improve site response time.
Do check out. It’s important.
3. Case Studies
Impressive and result-oriented case studies are another way to skyrocket website earnings.
If I have to quote one person who makes a hell lot of precious $$$ from his websites, it would be Pat Flynn.
He actively conducts “Niche Site Duels” where he and other super bloggers set up niche sites and generate money, something other newbie bloggers try and completely fail. These “Niche Site Duels” are nothing but a detailed explanatory journey showing visitors how to make money online.
His niche case studies are hugely popular. Just imagine the number of sales he’s making via recommending products in his case study write-ups!
In July 2013 alone, Pat gave BlueHost 20,000 customers, earning $36,150 in commissions! Once the case study finishes, he doesn’t close down the niche sites. He keeps generating recurring income.
Take a look at this snapshot. It is his July 2013 earnings from two ‘disclosed’ niche sites.
Amazing, isn’t it?
You can read his full income report for July 2013 here.
Similarly, Neil Patel is another person who optimizes case studies to convert visitors into buyers.
According to him, an impressive 13.8% of website visitors convert into potential leads with case studies.
Case studies are nothing but “proofs”. It is a way of showing to a potential buyer that “see, I am not boasting my capabilities, I can actually DO IT”.
This is also a good way to gain reputation and authority in a chosen industry or niche segment.
4. Lead Nurturing
If you are using the indirect lead collection method given in the “above the fold” info CTA strategy (step 1), simply collecting leads doesn’t convert them into buyers.
You may have thousands of email subscribers but no sales.
Therefore, you need to nurture them to get benefits in the long run. Just sending subscribers promotional emails won’t work. Sooner or later, they will unsubscribe.
You need to build an ongoing relationship with the email subscribers. Take a look at this email newsletter sent by Ana Hoffman, the founder of Traffic Generation Café.
She sends this weekly marketing skinny to her subscribers, informing them of the latest happenings in her chosen niche. The subscribers are actually able to connect with her and establish a relationship.
The point is that if she tries to sell to her subscribers, there is a higher chance of them becoming loyal buyers because her choice has credibility and authority.
5. Use Testimonials
No matter what kind of business you are doing online, you need credibility.
Ask yourself – how can you convince people to buy from you? Competitive pricing and product quality are important factors but what else?
The answer is credibility and testimonials help to create this medium of trust with potential buyers. Look at prominent and successful internet business owners; they do have a dedicated page for customer testimonials.
In short, testimonials are a ‘testament’ to your expertise.
Another example of credibility – suppose you want to buy a weight loss supplement. You see it listed on Amazon and another unknown retail site. The retail site even offers 10% discount. But, chances are higher that you will purchase from Amazon only because it offers credibility.
Depending on the business model, you can ask customers to leave reviews, feedbacks or just email a testimonial. Use these testaments to further sales. Add them to the whole site, but don’t make it too cluttered. Sprinkle them wisely and see an increase in conversion level.
6. Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment
How’s this? You are doing everything right and leading visitors’ right through the checkout page but wait – they don’t buy!
They just click ‘X’ and abandon the page. Just imagine how much loss the business suffers.
This is called “shopping cart abandonment” and there are several reasons for this. In fact – did you know that globally the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 67.75% (Source: Bynard.com)? Some ways to deal with this situation are:
• Offer free shipping for products or instant download for digital products. Buyers don’t want to pay extra for shipping nor do they want to wait long to download their digital purchase.
• Reduce the number of clicks on the checkout page. No buyer wants a cumbersome process. Keep everything simple.
• Offer a lot of payment options. PayPal and credit cards are a must. Offer local payment options too for local buyers.
• Incorporate trust seals. Buyers are wary to give credit card information given the fact that identity theft is common in the online world. Hence, use trust seals on the website to ensure buyers that dealing with your site are safe.
• Don’t force sign-ups. Offer the buyer to purchase without signing up. Asking buyers to register before checkout often leads to abandonment.
• Follow up. You should be able to follow up with those who abandoned the shopping carts. Often, the prospective customers are unprepared to make a purchase so following up with them later helps to increase conversions.
Keep these points in mind.
7. Create Herd Mentality
People like to follow others. It’s called the herd mentality.
In other words, if a group of people are doing something that something might be worth it. In business terms, if 6000+ people are signing up with Basecamp, the software might be worthy.
As I have been reiterating throughout the post, once again, authority, credibility, quality product and ability to create a large following plus a formidable web presence are the best ways to convert visitors into buyers.
Here, you are giving the visitor a chance to sample the product or service. You are giving them a reason. If 6000+ people have found this product worthy for their business, it won’t hurt to try it out as well – that’s the message Basecamp people are trying to get across.
You too should apply the herd mentality concept.
Building a profitable business online is a damn hard task, no matter what others so.
There are no ‘plug and earn’ opportunities that will bring you money on autopilot. Those who claim to provide such systems have worked very hard to bring it to you.
There is no alternative to hard work. Read the above tips again and start implementing. Getting website visitors to convert into buyers will take a lot of time but the wait is worth it. Try to build a brand / authority and everything else will follow.