Back in the old days, when people are in need of any kind of service—whether it is pest control, wedding planning, or anything else—they turn to the phonebook and look through the yellow pages. These days, we have the internet and, millions of web searches daily take people to all the different websites that they need. As someone who manages a business, however, what you want is not only for people to visit your site and leave—called a “bounce”— but to take that last step into actually availing of your products and services. The big question: how?
How do people use your site? In a New York Times online article titled Three Proven Ways to Convert Visitors Into Buyers Online, Katherine Lewis asserts that just as you should know how customers move through your shop when they step through the front doors, you should also be aware of the activity within your website. Which pages are people more interested in? How do visitors navigate? Most importantly, what aspects of your website ultimately lead to sales for your business?
Is it time to for an overhaul? Ultimately, if your website isn’t bringing in much in terms of sales and profit, you might want to think of redesigning it completely. Sabina Idler, who writes for Smashing Magazine, writes in her article Better Product Pages: Turn Visitors Into Customers all of the different tips you would need for a better webpage. Making sure to stand out and incorporating a bit of fun and humor into your content are two of her tips for your website redesign.
Did it work? Don’t get overexcited with fixing up your website that you lose sight of the reason you are redesigning in the first place. Given a bit of time with the new format, do you see an increase in the number of buying customers? Are you getting more calls after you made your phone number more prominent on your homepage? The very reason for an overhaul is to make buyers out of visitors so the follow-through and metrics is very important.
At the end of the day, having millions of visitors will not keep your business afloat if none of them want to buy from you. Being popular is good, but you need something to show for it. If you’re going to be popular, be popular with customers and not mere spectators.