A website can only be successful in generating sales if visitors stay on it long enough to receive your message and then find it appealing enough to act on it. Improving your online earnings requires a careful approach to web design that blends a number of disciplines - graphic design, marketing, and technical skills.
Website design principles
A good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy coupled with a managed pay-per-click campaign will help to increase traffic to your site. Your profit margin is usually directly related to the number of visitors who view your pages every day. There are different statistics that can be easily provided by a website traffic analysis program (for example Google Analytics, which is free):
- Page views - this statistic measures how many pages have been displayed to users. Each user will (hopefully) generate several pageviews as they browse through your site. Page views is therefore not usually an indication of the number of visitors to your website.
- Unique visitors - unlike page views this statistic reflects the number of different visitors to your site and so is a much more accurate description of how many eyeballs have glanced over your pages.
- Repeat visitors - a website can drop a "cookie" onto a visitors computer (if this is enabled in their browser security settings) and so detect if a particular user is visiting for the first time or if they have been to the site before. This statistic is a loose measure of loyalty to your site.
4 ways to Increase Sales
- Provide useful content to your user - People use the Internet to find information relevant to their needs and interests. The mantra of search engine optimization (SEO) is that "content is king". Unless your site provides well-written, easily understood, and relevant information then users will have no motivation to stay. If your site provides useful information that is easily accessible then your visitors are more likely to browse for longer, bookmark and return to the site, and recommend it to their friends. Having a lot of good content will also tip off the search engines that your site is valuable and they will start to rank you higher in search engine results. We can see that content is a way to retain existing visitors and attract new visitors.
- Don't overwhelm visitors with content - Even though we are aiming to provide good content that serves the needs of our visitors we don't want to write articles that are thousands of words long. Visitors are seldom willing to sit and scroll through a wall of text. Keep your copy short and to the point. Use short paragraphs.
- Highlight key phrases - to help users find what they're looking for. Use a well formatted style that makes your content easy to read. Avoid unattractive walls of text. If an article is very long then split it into several pages, or even into separate articles that are linked together with "view more" links.
- Use article teasers - these summarize an article and let the user know what it is about. This helps the user to find articles that meet her specific interest. A well written teaser will pique curiosity and encourage visitors to read more.
Remember to track any changes you make to your content by performing A/B split testing using your analytics data, but that is for another article!