Turning Your Website Visitors Into Customers

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Do you have a steady stream of traffic coming to your website?

That’s great. But now you need to take it a step further and convert your visitors into customers. It’s pointless to get traffic to your website if you don’t have specific goals in place to measure your site’s performance. During this post, I’m going to cover helpful tools to track your site’s performance and tips for converting your website visitors into customers.

You NEED an analytics system with goal tracking

The best way to improve the performance of your site is to understand how your current visitors use your site. This starts with understanding how people are finding your site (Google search, Bing search, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) moves through how people use your site, and ends with visitors either becoming your customer or leaving your site. It’s important to look at the types of visitors that are becoming your customer, but more importantly look at the types of visitors that are leaving your site. Understanding your non-customers better will help you make appropriate changes to your website that will turn your non-customers into customers.

There are good, free analytics systems with goal tracking out there. Here are two I recommend:

Installation’s really easy with both Google Analytics and Piwik. You can always email me if you need any help with setup as well: koby (at) choosewhat (dot) com

After your analytics system is installed, take the appropriate time to set up goals. Goals define your website’s business objectives allowing you to accurately and efficiently measure the performance of your site.

Analyze your website visitors

Now that you have your analytics system with goal tracking set up, make sure you spend time to analyze your website visitors. You have a wealth of information at your fingertips, so definitely make the most of it. Focus on the areas where you have the biggest room for improvement. Your biggest opportunity areas typically include the following:

  • Entry pages
  • Funnel abandonment rate
  • Keyword conversions

This is the time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. You need to view your website in the eyes of your visitors to better see things through their lens. Understanding your website visitors is a continual learning process, so don’t expect to learn everything over night.

Make improvements to your website

After analyzing your website visitors, you are now ready to make evidence-based changes to your website. For example, if I have an e-commerce site and everyone’s abandoning my funnel on my checkout page, I know where to focus my efforts. I don’t know what to change yet, so determining that is just as important. Talk to people and survey your visitors to find out why they’re abandoning. Then, make changes to your site based on this information. Everything you change to your site should be driven by data.

It’s imperative to use testing software to accurately measure the impact of changes to your site. Testing software allows you to split your website traffic, so that one traffic set sees version A of your site and another traffic set sees version B of your site. You can compare the conversion rates of your versions and choose the one that outperforms the other. Testing software usually includes statistical significance, so you know when you have collected enough data to have a version that’s deemed as a conclusive winner. In laymen’s terms, this means that there’s enough information available for you to be confident one version really is better than the other version.

Here are two testing software tools available on the market. I’ve used the Google Website Optimizer before and have heard great things about the Visual Website Optimizer.

WhichMVT.com has a full-blown unbiased comparison of testing software tools.

After you make improvements to your site, continue to analyze your website visitors and run tests on your site. Running tests in an iterative manner is the best way to turn even more of your website visitors into customers.

This guest post was written by Koby Wong, a Search Engine Marketing Manager at ChooseWhat.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CW_KobyW

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24 Responses to Turning Your Website Visitors Into Customers

  1. Barry
    Twitter:
    January 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Turning visitors into customers is crucial for any kind of business. With the help of so many useful tools you can monitor and measure the success rate. Google Analytics is a free tool yet very comprehensive.
    Barry recently posted..TOP AFFILIATE NETWORKSMy Profile

    • Koby
      Twitter:
      January 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Barry. The great thing about the widespread usage of Google Analytics is that there are always being updates and plugins created to make it an even more powerful tool.

      • Robert
        Twitter:
        February 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

        there are so many different analytic on the Internet today but I find that Google analytics is more than adequate even for the more advanced user
        Robert recently posted..Google Hates Adsense!!My Profile

  2. Debbie
    Twitter:
    January 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Thanks Andrew and Koby for the great information.I was looking at Google Website Optimizer. Is this something that I should do?

    Thanks again and blessing to the two of you,
    Debbie
    Debbie recently posted..What the Denver Broncos Can Teach Us About RelationshipsMy Profile

    • Koby
      Twitter:
      January 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Hi Debbie,

      If your blog is already receiving substantial traffic, then yes, the Google Website Optimizer may be something you’re interested in. The best way to utilize the Google Website Optimizer on your blog would be to look through your analytics to find the post that is receiving the most traffic. Then, use the current post as the original version and create a testing version of the post to see which performs better. This way, you’re getting more out of your current posts. Feel free to email me if you have any follow-up questions.

  3. Mike January 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Conversion rate is always a tough nut to crack. However, my major problem is that people often have emotional investments in their websites and often are resistant to any suggestions to change it, even if it would make them more money. I wonder if there are any before and after studies that I could show them to explain that, yes, this needs to be done.

    • Robert
      Twitter:
      February 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

      I always say the same thing to people That have websites and it is.

      “your site might look good to you but To your customers they have not got a clue what’s going on when the land on your site”

      We have to continuously change and adapt our blogs or websites because sometimes some things don’t work as well as they should.
      Robert recently posted..How I Get 5,000+ Backlinks With One Click Of A Mouse Button Without Using SoftwareMy Profile

  4. Tushar
    Twitter:
    January 12, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    I am using Google Analytics since last two years but have not been able to get the best out of it. I will check this video that will help me in teaching goal tracking.

    Thanks for the share
    Tushar recently posted..Incorporating Professionalism in Your Blogging StyleMy Profile

    • Koby
      Twitter:
      January 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Appreciate your comments Tushar. Definitely just try and get a little more out of Google Analytics each time you use it. That way you won’t feel overwhelmed with trying to learn everything at once.

    • Robert
      Twitter:
      February 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Google is its cover so Many different areas that can be overwhelming.

      But there is a special feature you definitely check out and it is called ” in page analytics” It shows you what your visitors are getting on.

      When I had this information I took some Elements of my website because they were not needed.
      Robert recently posted..Google Hates Adsense!!My Profile

  5. Felicia January 12, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    I’ve always heard of optimizing your website but I’ve never really put much time and effort into it. Even if my site gets several hundreds of visitors per day, maybe if I optimize it enough I may increase that number. Also, thanks for information about the optimizer. I think I’ll try the free one.
    Felicia recently posted..PCA: Faraz Jaka still going strong in BahamasMy Profile

    • Koby
      Twitter:
      January 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Hi Felicia,

      If you spend a little time and effort, you’ll definitely reap the benefit. Hope it goes well! Let me know if I can help at all.

      • Robert
        Twitter:
        February 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

        so true SEO is a long-term project and if you were to tweak your pages with everything a big difference in your traffic and SERPs positioning
        Robert recently posted..SEO What’s The Point?My Profile

  6. Koby
    Twitter:
    January 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Mike,

    Here are a few great case studies by the folks of Conversion Rate Experts:

    http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/voices-case-study/
    http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/seomoz-case-study/
    http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/sunshine-case-study/

  7. Manuel Marino
    Twitter:
    January 16, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    about makind improvements, lately I completely redesigned my blog, new header, new colours, new graphics. and I’m having more visitors, so this was the right move.

    don’t know if I need to update it more, but I always search for space for improvement.
    Manuel Marino recently posted..Find out more concerning Guitar TunerMy Profile

    • Koby
      Twitter:
      January 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Great to hear you redesigned your blog and you’re getting more visitors. Conversion optimization has to deal with what happens after you get traffic to your website – it’s definitely a natural progression from where you currently are.

  8. abhiz
    Twitter:
    January 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Thank you very much! now my 3 month old website have only 90 – 120 daily visitors. I dont think they are targeted :(.
    This post inspired me to work more with my site for earning huge money.

    • Koby
      Twitter:
      January 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Glad to hear it. Work at your site to just make a little bit more money than you do now and don’t worry about earning huge money. That will come later on.

  9. Nick Stamoulis
    Twitter:
    January 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Generating traffic to your website is great, but what really matters is getting those visitors to take some kind of action once they get there. The key is to make it easy for them to do so. A business website needs to be user friendly and include calls to action on every page. Lead the visitor down a path to conversion.

    • Koby
      Twitter:
      January 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Great advice Nick. Each page of your website must have a distince purpose that helps lead the visitor to an eventual conversion.

  10. Robert
    Twitter:
    February 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    I have really been looking at my Google analytics data in great depth of late because I’ve heard many people speaking about it.

    For most people Google analytics is A tool that most people use to see how many visitors they got that day.

    One of the secrets to being successful online is the ability to read analytics data in more depth so we can make necessary changes.
    Robert recently posted..How I Get 5,000+ Backlinks With One Click Of A Mouse Button Without Using SoftwareMy Profile

  11. Koby
    Twitter:
    February 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Robert,

    I definitely agree. Make sure action items come out of looking at your analytics data. It’s the best way to progress and continually improve your site.

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