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Recession busting tips – how to improve website sales in a recession

Monday 30 March 2009 | 13:08

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ConversionWorks specialise in leveraging the power of web metrics to improve the performance of your website and are one of our Google Analytics Authorised Consultants. "We perform best practice Google Analytics installs that ensure the data within your account is accurate and then analyse this data to identify and correct any problems that prevent your websites visitors from converting into sales and enquiries. The result is a substantial uplift in your site's conversion rate and profitability."

Our guest writer for today's post is Russell Sutton, Managing Director of ConversionWorks, and his article below provides some recession proof advice for improving your conversion rates without adding to your online marketing budget.

Recession busting tips – how to improve website sales in a recession

Feeling the pinch? Use our simple recession busting tips to get more sales for less money. Sounds too good to be true I know but we’ve used the same tips time and again to increase sales without increasing advertising budgets.

  1. Stop worrying about traffic.

    Chances are you already have plenty of it. Or to put it another way – chances are you probably already have plenty of people visiting your website who end up buying elsewhere.

    Our first recession busting tip is to stop for a second and take a look at how much traffic you receive versus how many sales (or leads) you get. This simple metric is your conversion rate and it’s crucial.

    If your conversion rate is low – let’s say 1% then doubling the number of sales by improving your conversion rate to 2% is much easier, quicker and cheaper than doubling your traffic.

  1. Measure, measure, measure.

    Now you’re focussed on conversions rather than just hits or visitors you need to get smart about measuring. Our second recession busting tip is – measure, measure, measure.

    With modern website analytical tools you can get phenomenal insight into what’s happening on your website and this insight lets you make informed decisions on how to get more of what’s working and less of what isn’t working.

    What’s more, some of the best tools such as Google Analytics (which we unashamedly love) are free. They just need configuring properly and some time spent reviewing the data.

  1. Segment your traffic.

    Knowing your website’s conversion rate is one thing but knowing the conversion rate of your PPC traffic vs organic traffic vs rich media ads vs brand traffic is infinitely more powerful.

    Overnight you can discover that one type of traffic converts twice as much as another type of traffic. And by the morning you can switch your budget to the traffic that works.

    If your Web or SEO agency are only giving you feedback on your overall conversion rate make sure you’re pushing them for the conversion rate per traffic source.

  1. Find the barriers

    Ever been in a shop or restaurant and waited ages and ages to get served? Ever got so frustrated you’ve left and taken your money elsewhere? That’s a barrier to conversion and your website is full of them.

    Sorry for the bad news but it’s the truth. But at least now you’re aware of this you can find those barriers and hopefully do something about them. Your website analytics can help you do this with amazing clarity.

    Please don’t think this doesn’t apply to you, because no matter how good your website is, and now matter how well designed it is, you will have barriers to entry.

  1. Act.

    “It is not the strong, nor the intelligent who survive, but those who are quickest to adapt.” - Charles Darwin.

    By now you should have a clear understanding of how well your traffic is converting, the performance of each of your individual traffic sources and where your barriers to entry are. Now you need to act.

Optimise your traffic and remove those barriers and you will start seeing big improvements in your sales or leads. Even just making minor modifications to your Adwords key phrases based on a better understanding of which ones sell and which ones sink can be immensely powerful.