How can I convert traffic to sales?

My company sells adventure sports equipment and clothing. Most of our sales come through our catalogues, but we have a new website with a shopper cart system in place, and we are keen to boost web sales. We don’t have many online customers, and those we do have used to buy through the catalogue. How can I boost traffic and convert it into sales?

A. Andrew Atalla writes:

First, run Google Analytics on your site. It shows visitor numbers, where they’re from, how long they stayed and what they bought. Once you have a better insight into your site traffic, it’s time to start generating more.

Invest in pay-per-click (PPC) search, such as a Google AdWords PPC account. When choosing your terms, think quality, rather than quantity, as you want the words to be highly targeted on what you are selling. It’s OK if you only get a few clicks at first. In fact, it’s much better to start small and grow.

Put yourself in the consumer’s mind. Which words would they key in before buying and what information in your ad text would encourage them to click? You’ll know the keyword they’ve typed in, so consider which landing page is most appropriate.

Consider natural search engine optimisation. Getting more website links is a good way of climbing higher in natural search. Think about any offline relationships you have with companies that also have websites, and try to negotiate a link from them. Search the web for relevant directories and get a listing.

Optimise your site by building words into all pages that users are actually typing in, to help Google understand what your site is about. Also, give graphics ‘alt tags’, so search engines know what they represent. Investigate Google Base, a free way for online ‘shops’ to drive clicks directly to products. You can upload product details into Google, which will show them when users type in specific phrases. Again, volumes won’t be astronomical,  but the quality and therefore conversion rate will be high.

Andrew Atalla has worked in online marketing for 10 years and is founder of atom42, an online marketing agency in London.



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