Why traffic does not result in profit for your online business

Lee Biggins identifies the issues business owners have with converting online traffic into profits and reveals how to get it right.

With latest figures suggesting that around 40 per cent of the world’s population now has an internet connection, the appeal of setting up your business online is huge. Such a massive number of internet users might lead you to think that it should be easy enough to sell whatever it is that you’re offering. If, however, you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that high volumes of traffic to your site will automatically result in high profit for your online business, then it may be time to reconsider your strategy. Unfortunately, traffic does not always equate to profit; if you’re finding yourself in this situation then the following tips should be helpful when it comes to converting traffic to sales for your SME.

Attract the right people

While online traffic is a great way to get your company name out there, you should ensure that you are targeting the right kind of traffic. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that your business is doing well based on high volumes of visitors to your site, however, to bring in the money, you need to attract the right people.

If, for example, you’re selling cat food and products, but you’re gaining traffic based on keywords such as ‘cute pictures of cats’ then, perhaps unsurprisingly, you’re unlikely to make much profit. It’s certainly conceivable that those who actually have cats may go on to purchase your products, however, you would be better making sure that keywords such as ‘buy cat food’ are working to attract traffic to your site; this has a much higher likelihood of turning into profit.

If you find yourself in this situation, it may be time to rethink your advertising strategy and ensure that you are attracting the right people to your site, as this is one of the most important steps that you can take to ensure that your traffic converts into profit. Implementing an SEO strategy is also an effective way of ensuring that you drive the right people to your site; by focusing on what consumers are searching for, you are giving your online business the potential to really take off.

Introduce yourself

Your website might be receiving plenty of traffic, but if visitors don’t know enough about you or your products, they are unlikely to become customers. Having an ‘About Us’ page on your website is a simple way to boost your traffic to profit conversion rates; by providing visitors with information about yourself, your company and your background, you can start establishing a sense of trust. If potential customers really understand who you are and what your business stands for, they are much more likely to take you up on your services or products.

By encouraging communication with your visitors, either by providing a contact phone number or email, those visiting your site are more likely to feel valued. Similarly, by engaging your audience, such as by asking them to share their opinions via a short survey, you’ll be reinforcing the notion that they are important to you, as well as making them spend more time thinking about your product. Essentially, asking for feedback and suggestions is also another way to make your visitors feel valued, and this should really give your sales a boost.

Know your competitors

When setting up your online business, there are two groups that you should know inside out: your target audience, and your competition. By taking a look at what your competitors are doing, both in terms of the similarities and the differences, you’ll then be able to make any necessary adjustments to your own site. Doing some research into how your competitors are reviewed can also come in handy; what do their clients like about their service, and similarly, what do they dislike? This can be an effective way of creating profit from your site traffic; developing a way around potential flaws in similar sites, and mimicking the more successful concepts has the potential to be a useful tool in bringing in profit.

Provide the right product

If you’ve found a way to draw in the right traffic for your site and you’ve sussed out your competition, but you’re still not seeing a decent conversion from traffic to profit, then your next step should be taking a look at what you’re selling. Could it be that you’re offering your product to the wrong market? If this is a possibility, then it’s well worth taking a look at who you’re targeting.

Furthermore, it may be time to have a look at your product or service and see what adjustments can be made. Is it a case of price, or are you aiming at an already-saturated market? Researching similar products should give you an idea of the general price that you can expect, while giving you the chance to adjust accordingly. Similarly, if you’re offering something that is already out there, take a look at how you’re marketing it, and consider changing things up to ensure that you break through the noise.

Assess your purchasing process

By making changes such as titles and page layouts, you may find that your site becomes clearer and easier to use, ultimately resulting in conversion optimisation and more sales. Taking some time to go through the purchasing process as a customer can help you to see where any potential issues or confusion might arise; you should then be able to tweak this accordingly.

If you’ve got the perfect product and willing customers, the last thing you want is a lack of sales due to a confusing purchasing process. By implementing directions to guide your users through the process and providing them with confirmation messages, you’ll be ensuring that your site is easy-to-use and helpful; a sure-fire way to make sure you don’t lose customers at the last minute.

Improve user experience

It may seem obvious, but ensuring that the user experience on your site is positive is vital when aiming to convert traffic to profit. You should make sure that your site is full of attractive, engaging content; dull or poorly-written sections are unlikely to attract customers. Similarly, you should make sure that your site looks professional, whilst being easy to navigate. Is it clear what each section of your site relates to, and is it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for? A fussy, complicated site that doesn’t read well is likely to put potential customers off, resulting in high traffic yet low profit.

Constantly analysing where and how your website generates its revenue should allow you to make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts on improving your site. By making sure that you know your target audience, your competitors and your product inside out, you should stand yourself in good stead when it comes to converting your online traffic to profits.

Further reading on digital marketing

Lee Biggins

Lee Biggins

Lee Biggins is founder and managing director of CV-Library.

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Online marketing

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