This is something we hear often. I get all these visitors to my site, but they don’t buy or they don’t fill out a form or they don’t do whatever it is that I am hoping they will do when they visit my site. These webmasters have well-optimized sites, all the t’s are crossed and I’s are dotted, they show up well in searches, but still the number of visitors far outweighs the resulting purchases or form filing or whatever action is hoped for.
Granted there can be mechanical or design flaws that might be preventing a visitor from becoming a customer/client, but that would be very obvious when some sales turned to no sales.
So how can it be that so many visit and only a few give us the results we had hoped for?
Who visits your site?
- People who have searched for a service or product but through a search engine snafu it isn’t the product or service you offer.
- If you are using keywords that are only vaguely related to the focus of your site it’s possible you will get visitors as a result. Since you don’t really have what they are looking for, they leave.
- You aren’t in the area – a janitorial service in Detroit won’t do someone in Dallas a bit of good.
- Your competition may be visiting to see what you are up to.
- People who are just cruising the net, killing time.
- Search Engines crawling the site.
- Oddball visits from spiders harvesting email addresses
- If you have backlinks from other sites they may bring in the curious who aren’t potential clients. This is especially true of social networking sites that you may participate in.
- Your mother visits, your brother, your friends, etc.
- Your visits to the site will show up as well as those from anyone who works on your site and checks it from time to time.
- Someone you’ve told about the site visits just to see what you have – they aren’t potential clients.
- The visitor who has ‘over-surfed’ and by the time they get to your site they have lost interest.
- Interruptions can often be the cause of a visitor not following through – the phone rings, the baby starts crying, the boss walks in, etc.
- Visitors may return several times before they actually do something.
- People who are shopping around for the best deal or specialized information.
Who are your potential buyers?
In the list of 15 visitor types only the last two can realistically be considered potential clients/buyers.
Statistics show that only about 2% of visitors will convert to customers – this is true whether you are selling widgets or providing some type of service or information. What do these numbers mean? 2% of 100 may only bring you two sales, 1000 visitors may only yield 20 sales and the math goes on. Most people have unreal expectations of what their website will accomplish, thinking that every person who comes to the site will take the hoped for action. The list above demonstrates that most website visitors don’t convert to clients/customers.
Remember the 2% is just an average. There are sites that may never get enough traffic to be successful. The competition on the web is vast. Rather than competing against similar businesses in your local area, on the web your competition is the whole world, Some sites offer a product or service that is unique and has little competition and as such they may do well.
A well-developed site that is visitor and search engine friendly and adheres to the best practices of website design will stand a better chance of being successful. As will the webmaster who understands that a website will always be a work in progress and continues to monitor and make appropriate changes.
Whether you are selling a service, information or a product, success on the web requires time, patience and work to create a site that has the potential to succeed on the web. There is no quick fix.
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