Conversions

Jayson DeMers

Which POS System Is Right For Your Startup Retail Business?

Once you've established your retail business model and you're ready to invest in the necessary equipment to start selling, a point of sale (POS) system will be one of the biggest choices you make. This combination of retail software and hardware will drive your business every day and either limit or maximize your customers' shopping experience. Selecting the best one for your business is crucial. ...

Jayson DeMers

Is Your Welcome Message Personalized? How to Create a Custom Greeting for New Customers

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is winning new customers. When a new customer makes a purchase or signs up for an e-mail list, you're immediately presented with a one-time opportunity to impress that customer. What you do next could make the difference between losing that customer or creating a long-term relationship....

Mike Moran

Does experimental marketing require lots of customers?

Everyone knows what a great job the big boys do. Amazon, eBay--you can go down the list. All of these "born on the web" companies have massive feedback loops that allow them to experiment with small changes in their marketing, their user experience, their offers, and ten other things. Whenever they make a change, they see if more people are buying and decide whether the new way "works" or not. Amazon's CTO once told me they can change a font at breakfast and know whether it was a good idea by lunchtime. But how can you do the same thing,...

Mike Moran

Can search marketing lower my conversion rate?

I got that question from someone once, and it made me realize what a lousy job we marketing "gurus" are doing in explaining what is important to people. I wonder if we have so emphasized the tools of the trade that we have forgotten what we are actually making with those tools. So, if you already know the answer to this question, then you can skip this post. For the rest of you, read on--I hope that you'll soon understand what we marketing "experts" have failed to get across so far....

Mike Moran

What if your boss only wants to measure brand awareness?

We've all seen that look on the face of the boss. It says, "What on earth are you talking about?" Sometimes that look is something we deserve to see, because we really don't know what we are doing, but often, it's because we just have something to say that the boss doesn't understand. Recently, a client asked me how she can wipe that look off the her CMO's face every time she starts talking about measuring Web conversions and offline conversions. Her boss waves these ideas away, saying he only wants to measure brand awareness. What can you do in...

Mike Fleming

Make Enough Profit? Warning: Don't Test Your Website!

Most companies don't test their sites.  Their main justification for this tends to be that they don't have the budget to take it on.  But, this is clearly a misunderstanding because free tools (like Google's Content Experiments) make it VERY cheap. When you put that together with the logic that testing is just going to help you improve conversion on your site, not doing it is costing your more than doing it. Not doing it is like telling your investors, shareholders, employees or other stakeholders that you already make enough profit and you'd really not like to make any more...

Mike Moran

Google is checking your conversions -- are you?

I've talked before about how Google might have cracked the code on qualified sales leads through search. Somehow, sites are seeing drops in traffic but not all of them are seeing commensurate drops in revenue, because Google is figuring out which keywords drive revenue for each site. So, the question is whether you know which keywords are driving your own revenue. How are you tracking the connection between marketing effort and spending and your actual sales? If you're an e-Commerce company, it's easy--just track the sales through to your shopping cart. But for most companies--the ones that sell offline--tracking sales...

Dave Cosper

Writing Google Places Reviews to Improve Rankings

A business owner recently asked me how to go about building positive reviews in a way that would "optimize" their Google Maps listing. This is about as provocative a topic as it gets in the Local Search community, I know, but it's also an unavoidable subject worth addressing. Search marketers ponder the same "How To" question, if for nothing else to try and understand every aspect of local search ranking factors and translate this to practical advice for SMB's....

Stoney deGeyter

Forget the Sale. Focus on the Customer

There are a lot of phases to the buying cycle. Searchers begin with a thought and then start researching answers via their favorite search engine. As they learn more about their query, they move into shopping and buying modes that hopefully lead them to a satisfied purchase.

Mike Moran

Will Google be your new credit card?

Mastercard and VISA certainly hope not, but Larry Page wants to be in your wallet. Well, not exactly--he wants to replace your wallet. Last month, when I talked about Google's new strategy--we do everything--I mentioned that Google is working hard to unseat PayPal, the online payments leader, but I think that I undersold Google's ambitions.  Google wants to be the leading form of payments anywhere, not just online....

Mike Moran

E-commerce innovation, and it's not from Amazon

If you're like me, you spend a lot of time looking at how Amazon does business. And for good reason. Amazon seemingly sells everything under the sun and they have been the standard for e-Commerce innovation since--well, since e-Commerce has existed. To me, their genius is in getting you to pay more than you would elsewhere, just because you like it so much. The experience is so easy, so trustworthy, so low-risk, and so time-efficient that you don't even think about shopping elsewhere....

Stoney deGeyter

Why Your PPC Campaigns are Like the Stock Market and Careful Management of Your 'Portfolio' Matters

In my experience, SEO often translates into better ROI than PPC! But the primary difference is that PPC is far more trackable than SEO. PPC analytics can give you amazing flexibility into your campaigns and insight into your conversions that just isn't available with SEO.

Stoney deGeyter

Hurry Up and Wait: SEO is About Quick Action and Patient Results

The process of search engine marketing can be defined as a strategic game of quickly implementing strategies that will increase your site's exposure and conversion rates, while also patiently waiting for the fruits of your efforts to bear out. Sometimes you're doing one or the other, but most often you're doing both at the same time.

Stoney deGeyter

Where SEO Stops, Persuasion Begins

SEO can only take you so far in achieving new business. In fact, it can really only get people in the door and help with the online persuasion process. But, you still have to do the heavy lifting, making sure your site meets visitor expectations, gives them the information they are looking for and walks them to the conversion goals.

Stoney deGeyter

The Dirty Little Secret of Conversions, Part 3: Give Customers What They Need

While it's great to know what people want, when you give them what they want, you only give them a partial solution. The want is the symptom. But, when you address the need, you are addressing the underlying problem and providing a much more holistic solution.

Stoney deGeyter

The Dirty Little Secret of Conversions: It's About Relationships

There are a lot of things that go into operating a successful business. But, when it's all said and done, the thing that really matters most is building relationships. Sure, your customers are concerned about price, quality, service, etc., but the most successful businesses are those that work to create some kind of strong rapport with both their customers and potential customers alike.

Stoney deGeyter

...But I Don't HAVE a Fracking Coupon!

Have you ever been to a site where, you've shopped around, found what you wanted, and when you went to check-out, they asked you to enter your coupon code number? WTH! You don't HAVE a coupon! But, you know that, somewhere out there, a coupon can be found!

Stoney deGeyter

Dear Client: I Love You, But Will You PLEASE Stop Obsessing Over Your Search Engine Rankings?

I get it, you hired me to perform Search Engine Optimization on your website. Why do we optimize for search engines? For rankings, right? Well, no, not anymore. It's been almost a decade since the SEO industry began it's turn toward a fuller website marking experience, looking beyond search engine rankings as a metric of success, and instead looking at business growth, conversion rates, and return on investment.

Stoney deGeyter

15 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever (Q's 11-15)

As much as the title is vastly overstated, these questions will at the very least help you ponder SEO in a way you hadn't pondered before. At least that's my theory.

Stoney deGeyter

Are You Preaching to the Converted?

In the service industry, once you've got a client, he or she is yours to lose. That means that, unless you screw something up, they'll often continue to be a client for as long as there is a need for your services. But, it's your job to continue to sell them on the quality of what you provide by giving the best service possible, and making sure the results are more than merely satisfactory.

Stoney deGeyter

Dropping in to See What Condition Your Condition is In - Part II

In the last post, we explored five of the Top 10 Guidelines to Establishing Web Credibility, provided by Standford back in 2002. Still relevant today, here we'll explore the remaining 5.

Stoney deGeyter

Dropping In To See What Condition Your Condition Is In - Part I

While revisiting the Top 10 Guidelines To Establishing Web Credibility (published by Stanford in 2002), I found it interesting how, with all of the advancements in site development and marketing, it all still comes back to the basics. Below are the first five guidelines. I've provided some of my own additional thoughts and commentary and would be interested in hearing yours as well....

Mike Moran

My CMO doesn't think search marketing is "sexy"

I'm Irish, so I am not often at a loss when someone asks a question, but I was a bit startled at a query I received while doing a recent Webinar: "How do I overcome search marketing's lack of sexiness to convince my CMO to do it?" Now, I've been doing this marketing thing for many years now, and I well remember the days when marketing indeed was about the sizzle instead of the steak. Branding is sexy and sales are not. CLIO awards are exciting--ringing the cash register, not so much. But I really thought those days were LONG...

Stoney deGeyter

Is Your SEO Chasing Algorithms or Chasing Analytics?

As an SEO, I understand the need to keep up with what's going on with the major search engines as a prerequisite to being able to perform solid optimization strategies. However, there is a point where you start getting diminishing returns from chasing every nuance in the search engine algorithms vs. building a solid, well-optimized website that performs well for both search engines and visitors coming through search.

Mike Moran

When is a search problem not a search problem?

I found myself asking just such a question when talking with a client of a multinational company. The problem they described to me sounded hard to solve. They worked in the UK office of this Web site, and were constantly bothered by the fact that the UK pages for their product offerings landed on page 3 or even deeper of the search results, while the US pages for their company were at the top of the list, even for UK searchers. They needed my help to get the UK pages to the top for UK searchers, but were flummoxed as...

Stone Reuning

Product Descriptions - Get Your Ecommerce Store in Shape

Consumers scour the Internet to research products before making a purchase. Today's shoppers want information before they buy. Those retailers providing the information shoppers seek in a unique manner can enjoy significant advantages over other retailers competing for a shopper's purchase. And now with Google's MayDay Update wreaking havoc on long-tail rankings for some ecommerce stores, the time is right for getting your product descriptions ramped up....

Scott Buresh

Chasing Leads: Offline Lead Tracking in SEM Campaigns, Pt. 1

Tracking the source of your leads is perhaps one of the single most important elements in your overall marketing campaign. It's the method by which you'll gauge budget, approach, revisions, and a host of other deciding factors.

Sage Lewis

Tim Ash's Upcoming Conversion Conference

ConversionConference.com is a very cool new conference being put on by Tim Ash. It's May 4 & 5, 2010 in San Jose. If you are looking to get the most out of your traffic you need to seriously consider this conference....

Mike Moran

Stop Selling Your Products!

No, I don't mean to take them off the shelves, or rip up your catalog. Yes, I know that if we don't sell things, we cease to make a living. I'm talking about a style of marketing that seems focused on nothing but the final sale, while missing all of the other steps of the process. You need to end this maniacal focus on the sale as being the only way you interact with your customers. Too many people have gotten the idea that search marketing is great for sales, but have forgotten everything else about search marketing, and maybe...

Mike Moran

Are You Undervaluing Your Web Site?

When I see the same issue coming up for so many clients, it makes me think that something more is at work. My latest issue that seems to crop up with nearly every client is tracking offline sales back to Web activity. I mean, I know it isn't easy, but it's amazing how rarely I run into a client who feels able to take on the task, much less has a system in place already....

Jeff Howard

When Should I Build a New Website & Invest In SEO

The Holidays are no further than one week away, and on the other side of everyone going bonkers is a new year. Chances are at this juncture new budgets will be set, taxes paid, and 2010 business goals established. If you're on the fence about SEO, or whether or not to build a new website here are objective methods packed into two PDF guides that can assist in the decision making process....

Stoney deGeyter

7 Steps to Improving Conversion Rates

Each entry point of your site (wherever the visitor lands first, not just the home page) needs to be treated as the starting point that will lead your visitors step by step toward the conversion goal. In order to guide your visitors from this starting point to the end point, you need to make sure each step along the way is aligned with the next; in sync and unbroken.

Aditya Mahesh

A Guide to Pitching Bloggers

From an SEO standpoint, the blogosphere is a goldmine. It provides the opportunity for marketers to build targeted natural "in-content" links which are not only great for increasing search engine rankings, but also can drive significant amounts of targeted traffic...

Mike Moran

What's Your True Conversion Rate?

Good Internet marketers pay close attention to conversion rates, checking their Web analytics system to see how many folks came to the site and how many actually bought something. Some interesting research from Sun Microsystems shad some new light on the limits to how easily we can calculate certain types of conversions....

Mack Collier

Blogging Small Businesses have 55% More Traffic, 97% More Inbound Links

A recent study by Hubspot found that among their small business customers, those that blogged had 55% more traffic and 97% more incoming links than non-blogging small businesses.

Jennifer Laycock

Website Sales Slow? It's Time for the Mom Test

What if you built a site and all the right people showed up, but none of them bought anything? What if you looked at your traffic reports and analytics and you saw traffic streaming in in droves for all the keywords that perfectly describe what you do? What if you had killer content and tens of thousands of links, but sales were flat? What if you knew you had the best prices or the most unique offerings in town and STILL no one was buying?

Scott Allen

Search Engine Strategies New York - Small Business Case Studies

Live blogging coverage of SES NY session: "Small Business Case Studies".

Scott Allen

Search Engine Strategies New York - Turning Simple Change Into Big Profit

Live blogging coverage of the SES NY session: "Turning Simple Change Into Big Profit".

Eric Brown

ADVERTISING, A HORRIFIC WASTE OF MONEY

I set off a small firestorm the other evening when I Re-Tweeted the following tweet; "RT @KathySierra: "WONDERING HOW IT IS THAT WE CAN BE HORRIFIED BY THE FINANCIAL CRISIS YET NOT SEE MOST ADVERTISING AS A HORRIFIC WASTE OF MONEY" For those not familiar with Twitter, a RE-Tweet is just that, you re-tweet someone else's tweet. A tweet is a 140 character or less statement you type for anyone who follows you on twitter  to read.  So, I didn't originate the phrase, "Wondering how it is that we can be horrified by financial crisis yet not see most advertising as...

Mike Moran

Is there a standard way to measure conversions?

I constantly counsel people to make their Web site more than just an online brochure—they must measure their conversions online and offline so they know what it's worth to bring that extra visitor to their Web site. Only then do you know what to spend on marketing. Simple, right? Not always. What do you do when you have multiple ways of measuring conversions?...

Eric Brown

SOCIAL MEDIA FAIL

If you think your customers aren't talking about you, better rethink your position. You can no longer bury your head in the sand without suffering the consequences. The story reported in the New York Times last week is a classic example of what Not To Do. It outraged folks and drew over eighty comments. Every company, small medium or large should be listening, and taking action. The world is different today, take heed, grasp and embrace this space we call Social Media.

Jennifer Laycock

Six Lessons from a Wooden Boy: Lesson Five: The Conversion is the Goal

When you watch the story of Pinocchio, it's easy to get caught up in the drama of the moment. Whether he's skipping school and getting captured by a man who wants to put him in a sideshow, running off to Pleasure Island or getting swallowed by a whale...everything about Pinocchio screams "get me out of this jam right now." It's easy enough to get in the same cycle with your web site; facing down each individual area of marketing without seeing the bigger picture.

Eric Brown

Compound Return on Social Media Marketing

The Great Debate; What is the ROI (Return on Investment) on your Social Media Marketing. Perhaps a better question is this; Is your Social Media Marketing efforts performing. I am not so convinced that businesses know as much about what piece and part of their traditional marketing approach works well, let alone what part of Social Media works. But, maybe, as with lots of things it isn't all that tough either, tell me what you think about this; ...

Stoney deGeyter

4 Tips to Improving Your Site's Ability to Sell, Sell, Sell

There are numerous issues that make their way into the visitor's conscious and sub-conscious, most of which must be overcome before they are willing to seal the deal and complete the sale. Here are just a few:

Karri Flatla

Are You Fighting the Etailer Price War or Circumventing it?

According to the New York Times article Websites Wage Holiday Price Wars (Nov. 19, 2008), small and large etailers alike are facing some tough choices this holiday season. It would seem that in the end, everything really does come down to price. And if you're not willing to fight the good fight--or if your bottom line simply can't survive the battle--your ecommerce business is doomed. Or is it?

Jennifer Laycock

All Links Are Not Equal: Why Twitter Links Grow Conversation

This morning I found myself in the middle of an interesting chat with Mack Collier on Twitter. It started when I joined in a conversation Mack was having about the metrics he measures when estimating the value of blogs. We kicked around the common ones like traffic, subscribers, links and number of comments. Then Mack made mention of how high his comments jump when he Tweets one of his own posts.

Eric Brown

Create Your Own Virtual Lobby

There are all sorts of ways today to connect with, participate and enjoy a conversation with your customer. There have been numerous posts about starting and maintaining a company blog, which is an excellent tool. Another favorable venue is to create a Ning site. It is a very easy application and can create a pretty cool place to have conversation and engage your customers. It is sort of like having your own My Space site, and very easy to update and foster community with your brand. ...

Jennifer Laycock

Embracing the Failure Metric

With fears about the economy impacting everyone's bottom line, small business owners who don't already obsess about ROI are likely to find themselves digging deeper into their data in the coming months. Chances are good they'll start with metrics like conversion rate, cost per lead, time on site and pass along rates. Those are all good, but I can't help but think they're overlooking one that's absolutely essential.

Scott Allen

Usability and Conversion Workshop - SBM Unleashed

Matt Bailey discusses the foundational elements of creating a user-friendly site that will encourage users to convert. If you weren't here you missed out! It was jam-packed with info on making an intelligent site that leads users down the right path.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: The Most Important Question You Need To Answer

When I ask for website submissions for this column, the very first thing I want to know is what is your goal for your website? "My daughter says I need to have one", or "everybody has one so I should too" definitely don't count. I'm talking tangible, profitable goals. And these goals ultimately come down to just one question: what do you want people to do on your website? This is the most important question you need to ask yourself when building a new site or revamping an old one....

Scott Allen

Conversion Optimization Part of Internet Marketing? If Not, It Should Be!

I'll be willing to bet that when you hear internet marketing related terms like SEO, SEM, PPC, etc, you don't think of conversion optimization. And vice versa, when you hear talk of e-commerce conversion improvements, you may not think of internet marketing. If you do, then bravo!...you're ahead of the pack. If not, that's ok, but you may want to read on for some reasons why you should be integrating them.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Fresh Eyes Often Find Unmet Expectations

It's easy to get so wrapped up in our websites that we don't always realize how they are perceived by our visitors. We know them so intimately that the gap between whether or not our sites live up to visitor expectations isn't obvious at all. That's where fresh eyes can come in really handy. This is certainly the case with this week's site clinic subject Tony Winyard, a disc jockey in London, and his website Streetlife....

Jennifer Laycock

What Saturday Afternoon at the Mall Taught Me About Web Sites

As the kids splashed around and I sat on a park bench in the shade with my husband and in-laws, I found myself thinking. We'd come for the free fountains, but had already dropped $75 on lunch at the mall. As I took in the environment and noticed the little "extras" the team at Easton had added to make the fountains more appealing for families, I couldn't help but draw an analogy between what Easton Towne Center was doing and what Web 2.0 allows online businesses to do.

Manoj Jasra

Attend the Free Webinar from Google

Google is planning on offering a free webinar on July 8th covering 3 of its most useful products: Google Analytics, Google Website Optimizer and Google Webmaster Tools. This trio of tools is key to the success of any business. Analytics, Landing Page & A/B testing and website configuration for organic insight are an absolute must even if you don't use Google products....

Jennifer Laycock

Cross Sell to Build Links and Increase Rankings

Good search engine optimization has always been about delivering great content to both readers and search engine spiders. Really good search engine optimization is about learning to balance who to keep happy at any point in time and understanding how one change to your site can impact multiple things. Excellent search engine optimization is when you find the "sweet spot." That's when you make a change to your site that results in increased rankings AND increased sales.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Basic Principles Of E-Commerce Design

An independent distributor sent me a plea for help: her site, Pets Love Flint River, is only generating a sale every few months. There are a few principles of web design and usability that are universally used on effective e-commerce sites that if implemented could make her site more user friendly and her sales go through the roof....

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Crafting Persuasive Web Content

Quality content is one of the key ingredients for improving search engine placement, gaining links, and driving conversions. If your content isn't written well, doesn't answer visitor needs, isn't asking for the conversion, and is hard to read, you're losing a whole lot of sales and leads from your website....

Karri Flatla

Has the Internet Made a Believer Out of You? Maybe This Will Rock Your Religion

Let's get one thing straight: much as we like to play God, Internet marketers are not the omnipotent beings some people think we are. The Earthly truth is that we're just some really driven people with a lot of knowledge about working the web to your advantage. And most would agree that this knowledge, when put into action, is worth a few bucks. Of course, it's easier to continue believing in the omnipotent marketer. As in, if you pay someone enough money to market your business for you, then that person is accountable for your business' failure to turn a...

Mike Moran

Book Review: Landing Page Optimization

At Search Engine Strategies in March, Tim Ash walked up to me after my speech and handed me his book. I (ashamed to say) did not know Tim and had not heard of his book before then. I leafed through it quickly and told myself, "This looks good," and promptly dumped it in my pile of books that take forever to get read. I told myself I'd eventually read it, but it took me quite a while to do so. That was a big mistake....

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Easy to Navigate Equals Easy To Buy

This week we're looking at an e-commerce website for educational toys, Brainwaves Toys. The current Brainwaves site has done many things well, especially usability of the shopping cart and checkout process. However, it needs a little help with design and navigation to get visitors to that point....

Jennifer Laycock

Targeting Conversions and Traffic with Long Tail Writing

As personalized search and universal search continue shaking up an industry that used to be dominated by "top ten results," more and more small businesses are learning the value of focusing on the keyword long tail. While there's no doubting the value of bringing in highly targeted traffic, many companies still don't quite get how to target the long tail in their copy. They also don't know that long tail friendly copy is also user friendly copy.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Content Is Key To Attracting Customers

Today we begin the first installment of a weekly site clinic column, where small businesses are invited to submit their websites for review. Can't beat a little free advice, right? I'll be looking at the design, copy, usability, SEO, marketing, and any technical issues that may prevent websites from drawing loyal, active visitors and meeting goals. Each week, I'll give the top five issues the website owner/manager can address to significantly improve performance. ...

Matt Bailey

Three Recession Proof Tactics You Can't Afford to Miss

SEO, Usability, and Analytics are the best investment that you can make for your online business. In fact, dollar for dollar, these recession proof tactics should result in some of the best ROI you'll see from your web site. If you're still on the fence when it comes to investing in any of these three areas, you could be missing out on a wide-open opportunity to get the most out of your website.

Diane Aull

Not Just More. Better!

Do you simply want more website traffic, or would you rather have better traffic? Did you know you can make more profit with the same (or even less) traffic? You can -- as long as you know how to get the right visitors and make the best use of the traffic you get....

Stoney deGeyter

11 Ways to Fill Your Shopper's Cart

Since the "purchase" is the ultimate conversion, it is imperative that you remove as many obstacles from the customer's research-to-buy cycle as possible. Providing your visitors the key ingredients in their shopping experience creates a smooth and worry-free transaction process. The easier it is to shop and buy the more customers will overcome the natural hesitations that many feel before they commit by hitting the final "complete order" button.

Stoney deGeyter

5 Engaging Ways to Engage Your Audience

How engaged a customer is with your website will determine whether they can be persuaded to buy, comment, download or submit their information for you to follow up on. Customer engagement goes beyond just getting the customer's attention, you must keep their attention. This can be done by providing your visitors near immediate gratification.

To do that you have to first know who your audience is, know what they seek and then also know their purpose for being on your site. Knowing all this then lets you work toward meeting the needs of your target audience. But it also means taking things a step further and building a relationship with them. The ability to build a relationship with your visitors can be crucial to driving them through the persuasion process. Relationship building starts the moment the visitor hits the website.

Sage Lewis

Video: Want to Double Conversions? I have two words for you... multivariate testing

Sage spotlights an article by Marketing Sherpa that reveals the results of multivariate landing page testing on SEM conversion rates. With little initial investment, companies have the potential to double their conversion rates. The artice also points out four major lessons to learn from multivariate testing, such as remembering that site redesign is crucial and to expect organizational barriers.

Manoj Jasra

50 Tips for Christmas Website Optimization

If you're an online retailer and you're looking to maximize this year's Christmas season then I suggest you check out Jessica Hupp's post at VirtualHosting.com because she has come up with over 50 ways that you can optimize your website for Christmas. From Landing Page Optimization to Usability to Analytics, she covers it all....

Stoney deGeyter

Converting Visitors Through Errors and Form Fields

Forms are one of your primary points of contacts with your visitors. While many visitors still use email or even the telephone to contact you or to place an order, the vast majority will contact you first via your web forms. Forms that are broken or improperly implemented cause frustration and can greatly reduce your conversion rate for leads and sales.

Stoney deGeyter

8 Items Every Shopper Needs In Their Shopping Cart

Customers who, by all means, appear to be ready to make a purchase are often found abandoning their shopping carts before they complete their online transaction. In many cases this is part of the normal online shopping experience as the shopping cart is just used as a place to collect items of interest but which the user has no real intent to purchase. But all too often it is a failure of the shopping cart page itself that leads visitors to abandon their items which they do, in fact, wish to have.

Stoney deGeyter

12 Product Page Conversion Strategies That Shant Be Ignored

To be effective, your website must implement product pages that are able to satisfy each of your visitor's needs. But information isn't enough either. While providing necessary information, these pages must be convincing enough to entice your visitors to move through the purchase process -- on your site rather than on a competitor's website.

Diane Aull

They're Dead, Jim

Is this the end of the target audience? Well, okay, to be honest... no. The target audience is alive and well. But what can you do to improve website performance further? Check out the concept of personas....

Stoney deGeyter

6 Ways to Get Your Visitors To Contact You From Your Contact Us Page

Along with the About Us page, your Contact Us page is one of the most important and crucial pages on your site to get right. In fact, the Contact Us page could be considered the absolutely most important page. Even if the rest of your site succeeds in the goals, if visitors fail to find the information they need to contact you then you will bring their shopping experience to a screeching halt.

Jennifer Laycock

Deliver the Goods to Sway "Social Researchers"

According to new data released by the e-tailing group and PowerReviews, nearly two-thirds of online shoppers now spend a significant amount of time reading consumer reviews before making a purchase. Dubbed "social researchers," these shoppers rely on advice and feedback from others to help them decide which products or services to buy. 86% claim these reviews are "extremely important" to their buying decisions.

Stoney deGeyter

Nobody Wants Your Stinking Content... So Give Them a Community!

On the web it is impossible to have a conversation without content. That is why content will never truly be dead. Every word written, every blog post, article, instant message, forum post, etc/ (the list goes on and on) is done via content. But content, outside of community, is not a conversation, it's merely a one-way communication. To paraphrase an old philosophical riddle, if someone communicates and no one is around to hear (or read) it, is he really saying anything at all?

Stoney deGeyter

25 Ways to DESIGN Your Way to Higher Conversions

During the design phase of building a website all too often we find that the end result is really nothing more than what somebody decided "looked good". In some cases it's a combination (or compromise) of what a handful of individuals have determined to be "good enough". What many fail to realize is that web design and visitor usability go hand in hand.

Sage Lewis

14 Days to a Better Website Seminar

Being based in Ohio, you know a seminar taking place in Cleveland is going to get Sage excited and the 14 Days to a Better Website Seminar does just that.  Matt Bailey from Site Logic Marketing and our very own Editor in Chief, Jennifer Laycock, will be hosting the seminar and Sage gives you the run down on why you should attend....

Jennifer Laycock

If At First You Don't Convert, Try, Try Again

Earlier this week in my article about aiming for less competitive phrases in the early days of your SEO attempts, I mentioned the fact that most searchers conduct several queries and visit several sites before making a purchase. This action mimics offline sales patterns as well. Research has shown over and over again that it takes multiple exposures to a product before a consumer is ready to buy. Yesterday, Patrick Schaber over at The Lonely Marketer drew a simple, but pointed analogy on this concept.

Stoney deGeyter

Giving Personality to Your Customer Personas

One of the things we've been trying to wrap our head around is the concept of writing content for both personas and the personality of site visitors. We battled with this for several days, trying to distinguish properly between a persona and a personality. I was finally able to boil each down into a few words that made it easy for us to see the difference....

Erin Lashbrook

Customer Personas - Who's Your Website Talking to?

Customer personas, unlike customer profiles, are not simply about what demographic groups will be targeted in the current direct marketing campaign - they represent the very different ways that each customer will interact with and think about your company....

Lisa Barone

Web Personas: Understanding Your Customers' Buying Decision Process

A web persona is a profile that represents your target audience based on calculated averages of your customer's buying processes, personality and demographics. By understanding the goals and patterns of their audience, companies can create archetypes to help create services to satisfy a specific, highly-targeted group....

Scott Orth

Educate Visitors to Convert Them to Customers

Do you sell a product or service on your web site? Forget e-commerce - that's too literal. What I'm asking is: do you sell your business online in hopes of enticing customers or clients to buy, sign-up, contact you, or register?...

David Wallace

SEO Compared To The Sales Process

Matt Bailey from SiteLogic has compared the process of making sales to SEO in a post entitled "10 Ways That SEO (Website Marketing) is Like Sales." He explains that his sales experience has shaped his philosophy of SEO and website marketing. It is definitely worth a read. read on for a few excerpts as well as link to entire post....

Stoney deGeyter

Google AdWords Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines

To add to Jennifer's post yesterday on Google's AdWords Quality Score, I found another bit of information provided by Google, Google AdWords Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines. Google lays out some information that is good nut just for PPCers but for SEOers as well....

Matt Bailey

Keyword Strategies - The Long Tail

In most cases, the top 10 terms provide a lot of traffic, but not nearly as much as the total terms after the top 10 or 20 most popular. Add up the terms that refer 1-3 visits during the month, and chances are, they will add up to more total visitors than the top terms....