Many websites continue to have hard time to keep site
visitors coming back and make sales. Turning site visitors
into customers has become the biggest challenge for
e-commerce websites that run by small business owners.
Several areas should be re-examined before implementing
major promotions. It is crucial to understand following
guidelines that work for most small business websites.
-Improve Your Site Navigation
First of all, you must make sure that your website has a
user-friendly navigation structure. The first-time visitor
might get lost in your pages. It is very important to
enable your visitors to easily find way around your site;
In addition to a search engine, a site map should be also
helpful. It should contain fewer images so that visitors
don't have to wait too long to get through. Text links
connecting each page should be underlined. Most site
visitors no longer prefer buttons and text links without
underline. I highly recommend that you use a detailed
structure for your site map. Finally, you should avoid
large size photos on your website. Keep in mind that most
visitors are still using regular modem, you don't want turn
-Display Your Return Policy
Many site owners have asked me the same question: "my
website gets a lot of hits, but I'm not making any sales!
What am I doing wrong?" So many times, when I visit such
sites, it is not difficult to find the problem. Some of
websites lack basic details on return policy. It is
understandable that visitors will not buy when return
policy is not clearly displayed. From time to time, many
customers tell me that they are very concerned about
ordering merchandises at websites that are run by
entrepreneurs or home-based businesses. To boost consumer
confidence, you should have a FAQs page on return policy.
If you ship merchandise through UPS, then add a link of UPS
so that your customers can track their shipments online.
There are some e-commerce rating programs you might
consider to participate, such as VeriSign.com, Better
Business Bureau Online, ePublicEye.com. Sites with their
logos have a big impact on consumer confidence.
-Communicate with Your Site Visitors
Do you respond your site visitors' inquiry within 24 hours?
If not, you will definitely lose potential customers. It
is very important to reply your visitors' emails in a
timely manner. A while ago, I found an interesting
business newspaper that I had interest in displaying an ad
for our Internet marketing service. I sent an email to
inquire their advertising rates. After a few days without
any response, I sent another inquiry, and no reply was
received. I finally gave up because I did not spend my
money with a company that does not care about its
customers. Many visitors will not become your customers
when they initiated inquiries. Keep their emails and send
follow-ups on a regular basis and remind them your new
services and products.
-Implement New Approaches
As a website owner, you must continuously implement
different approaches to keep your visitors coming back and
attract new visitors. Think creatively. I have advised
our clients to offer a free sample or discount coupon with
each order that customers place. Online discount coupons
are very popular among consumers. You may consider offering
rebate to your customers during holiday season.
-Seek a Third Opinion
Ask your family members and friends about how they think
about your website. Your web developers are not always
telling the truth. Ask your friends to rate your website's
design and functionality. Constantly survey your customers
about their satisfaction and ask them to rate your website
as well as your customer service. An independent opinion
will help you conduct your e-business in a more effective
way.In conclusion, when you closely monitor your website and
keep asking questions, you will quickly find out why
visitors become your loyal customers. Reward your customers
with incentives, in return they will bring their friends to
your website and turn their purchasing power work for you.
I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.