Webmasters who are new to the biz think “I want money. Therefore, I need traffic. Therefore, I need clicks.” They think the connection is obvious, that clicks lead to traffic which leads to making money. They don’t necessarily understand the wide variation in the quality of clicks and traffic, because they don’t realize that the one important factor they need to be focused on is the conversion rate.
If clicks don’t lead to targeted traffic, you won’t get conversions. If traffic ends up on the wrong page, you won’t get conversions. There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure good clicks occur, targeted traffic arriaves in the right spot, and that conversions happen. Then and only then will money be made.
Let’s start with clicks. Most of the time when webmasters think of clicks it is because they are investing in an ad program such as Google’s AdWords. In these cases, money is being paid out for every time a consumer clicks on an ad, regardless of whether or not that consumer turns into a sale. Clicks, therefore, are actually a liability unless enough of them turn into sales to make a profit.
Say you pay a nickel a click. You get 20,000 clicks per month. That translates to a thousand dollars a month in adspend. If the lowest priced item on your site is $30 and of that $20 is profit, you need to make 50 sales to just break even – in other words, you have to sell $1500 worth of merchandise. This means you have to word your ads correctly, make sure your settings show your ads next to the most relevant results, and show at the best times of day and the best days of the week.
Once you’ve gotten your clicks under control, you have to ensure that the traffic sent you is going through the funnel correctly, This means carefully optimizing your site for navigability – searchers need to find exactly what they are looking for in 3 clicks or less, or they may give up and go elsewhere. Don’t be tempted to glam up your home page with extra features like flash – instead, make it simple for an arriving visitor to find the page they are looking for with clear, easy to read headers and side menus. This easy navigation will encourage visitors to stay and find what they are looking for.
Finally, make the conversion process as easy as possible. You need to have a simple shopping cart, obvious tax and shipping costs, and as few clicks and as little information needed as possible to complete the process. Payment should be a big, easy button, and your visitors should be absolutely reassured that buying from you is 100% safe and secure.
If you do all these steps properly, your conversion rate will soar and your ROI will increase. Using tracking and analytic will help you refine the process until your website is fully profitable.