Increase the ROI of
Your Website By Enrique De Argaez,
With so much discussion centered around Search
and driving traffic to your site, it's easy to overlook another equally
important key to website ROI - content and navigation optimization.
You must design a website that gets visitors to take action.
1. Set your goals In the dot com days, people designed
websites around "user experience" and "usability". Clickthroughs
were considered a sufficient measure of success and very few of
us paid any attention to website ROI. This has all changed.
Today, website ROI is measured by conversions -- how frequently
visitors reach your goals. Goals are activities on your website
that are important to the success of your business. Obviously, a
sale is a goal if you sell online. A request for a sales call is
another example of a goal. So is an email registration. Even if
you have a purely brochure-ware site, you might consider viewing
the Contact page or a Product Spec page to be a goal.
The point is that if you haven't built one or more key
activities - goals - into your site, no amount of site re-working
is going to help. Without goals, you haven't created any
connection points with your prospects and customers and you'll
have no way of knowing how well you meet your visitors' needs or
of measuring your website ROI.
2. Get that first click
A visitor to your site will do one of two things upon
entering your site - click deeper into your site or leave. It's a
coin toss that most sites lose on their entry page.
Everything on an entry page must be designed and written to
entice a visitor to click. Why? That first click is going to be
either a conversion to one of your goals or the first step down
one of your conversion paths. The visitor gets to choose the path
that looks most interesting to her. In doing so, she gives you
valuable information about her needs and interests - if you use
web analytics and are paying attention.
In particular, I recommend that you look at your Entrance Bounce
Rates. The Bounce Rates will show you how many visitors you lose
from each entrance page. Do everything you can to lower the
number of "bounces". Next, look at each entrance page traffic.
This will show not only where visitors go, but how frequently
visitors who go there convert to each of your goals (in terms of
a conversion %).
It is likely that your home page has several audiences.
Potential customers, partners, investors, journalists all may
have an interest in your company. Speak directly to each need and
make the next step clear. Use active words such as "Learn",
"Ask", "Browse", "Sign up". Use "you" and "your"; avoid "we" and
"our". Keep copy short and to the point. Remember, you just want
them to make that first click and start down the path.
But if you don't sell online, how is it possible to measure per
visit value? The answer is that you can calculate per visit value
and ROI based upon goal values that you supply.
If you think about it, every goal online has a value. Let's say
you know that your sales team can close one out of every ten
leads that requests to be contacted. If the average sale is
$1000, that means that each request to be contacted is worth
Not all lead captures are equal. Let's say that only one of
every one hundred visitors who signs up for your newsletter
actually ends up buying. For the same average sale of $1000, each
sign up is only worth $10.
For sales, use the value of the transaction to calculate ROI.
For non-sales goals, use the value you've set for each goal.
3. Call your audience to action
Buy Now. Add to Shopping Cart. Calls to action, obviously, but
not the only ones you should have on your site. Make sure your
visitors always know what to do next, so that they aren't left
standing in your store, overwhelmed by choices. Add calls to
action on every page of your site: Learn More, Help Them Decide,
Compare, Next Step. Gently lead visitors down the conversion
path, and you'll earn more from the visitors you get.
4. Simplify conversion steps
The easier it is for a visitor to reach her objective, the more
likely it is she'll convert. Obviously, you need to provide the
information that the visitor needs before she'll buy or ask for a
sales call, but consider carefully how much information you need
to ask for. Do you really need to ask your visitors to select a
city from a form when they already give you a zip code?
The Defined Funnel Navigation will help you identify where you
are losing visitors on the path to conversion. The site stats
show the conversion path that you expect visitors to take.
Traffic tracking shows where the visitors who leave the funnel
go. Traffic tracking shows where the visitors who enter the
funnel come from.
Use reports to identify steps where visitors lose interest. Go
back and tighten up these critical pages. Make sure the next
steps are always clear and that you aren't asking for too much
from your visitors.
Effective Marketing + Content Optimization = Max. ROI
To summarize, you'll maximize return from the visitors you
attract if you do the following things:
1. Create key activities (goals) on your site.
2. Get that first click towards
3. Call your audience to action on each
4. Simplify the conversion
5. Experiment and measure!
Of course, content optimization doesn't
eliminate the need for marketing. On the contrary, the two are
complementary. Once your website begins to turn visitors into
customers, you'll have even more incentive to drive traffic.
In fact, with a content optimized website, you'll get that much
more benefit from sophisticated marketing and tracking reports -
allowing you to see which email blasts, ad campaigns, and
keywords really drive the quality traffic to your site.
Ultimately, your highest ROI will come from effectively using
site traffic tracking for tuning both your marketing and your
That's all for now friends. New articles will be added as we
find more interesting news, so bookmark this page and come back
About the Author: Enrique De Argaez is the webmaster of the "Internet World Stats" website. Since
2000 he has been collecting Internet Usage Statistics, and
publishing the data for over 233 countries and regions of the
world for free use by the academia, the global business community
and the general public. For more information on Internet World
Usage, please visit: http://www.InternetWorldStats.com