Creating web traffic requires some work, budget, and strategy. But when your visitors and page views begin to rise, your objectives are far from complete.
Contrary to what every webmaster would like, people do not become customers, donors, or advocates just because they graced the pixels of your homepage. In fact, most visitors come and go without a sound. In the brick and mortar world, we call them window shoppers. These are people who look but do not buy, in fact, they do not touch.
The Rules of Engagement
Internet users do not engage with a website just because they find it. They do not engage just because they like it. They do not even engage just because it fulfills a need. People engage with a website when they find it, like it, need it, AND it feels credible. When a website says the right thing at the right time, it makes it easy for them to engage.
Here are some specific things that every webmaster needs to do in order to convert visitor-flow into cash-flow.
1) Make sure your website aligns with visitors’ searches. Carefully develop your SEO, marketing outreach, social media presence, and page content so that user expectations are met when they click through to your site. If an ad says you have a store and users click through, there better be a store there.
2) Confirm to your visitors that your page is what they need. Whether they find your site organically, through advertising, or website navigation, make sure users know where they are and it’s clear why they are there. Do not leave it to a lone logo to communicate who you are and what you do. Craft specific, clear, and concise headlines that reassure users that they are in the right place.
3) Out think your users. Think about what users of different levels of interest are looking for on your site. In general I almost always look for an About Us page. If I cannot find one within about 5 seconds, I become agitated. Same goes for a Contact page. For your site, anticipate what a potential buyer will look for, a skeptical buyer, and a non-buyer. Make sure each can easily find what they may want.
4) Give users multiple interaction options at different levels. Not everyone is ready to buy, in fact, most people are not. But if someone likes you, they should be able to take a lesser action like signing up for a newsletter or product update. Likewise, some users might like you, but not to the point of surrendering their email address, so give them a simple one-click option to follow you on Facebook.
5) Make your site sticky. Create ways to capture viewers’ attention and produce action. Some actions are intangible, like getting them to actually read the content on a page. Some actions are getting them to click through to see more pages that look interesting. You need to find a way to get them away from the window and into the store. Entice them with videos, captivating stories, good reports, information that is exclusive, and provide a fresh perspective.
Remember, your goal is to create interest and harvest intent. You cannot reach through the screen and pull users in, but you can motivate them to step inside the store.