Tracking & Troubleshooting for Increased Sales
Copyright 2005 Diane Hughes
So many times, online business owners are confused about where their sales come from. They think they are helpless after a visitor arrives at their site. Nothing could be further from the truth!
In fact, as the site owner, you are extremely powerful. With just a little tracking and troubleshooting, you can dramatically improve both your site visitors' experience and your overall profits.
Knowing where your visitors are coming from gives you a lot of ideas. While the site stats that come with most hosting packages are OK, there is a lot of room for improvements in most cases. Between hits, clicks, unique visitors, and page views who really knows just how many people end up at your site and from where?
Once you understand which ads, banners, or PPC search engine lists pull better, you are able to spend your advertising funds more effectively.
Track Your Ads
Spend a little time investigating tracking services. ProBizTrack (my own service) is affordable and effective. It will give you a start. Even if you choose to go with a service besides mine, use something to help you know for sure which ads are pulling and which are just wasting your money.
If you think tracking services are too expensive, you can still track results semi-effectively. Use coding at the end of your links. By placing "?code" (without the quotes) at the end of your domain name, you create a unique page. This page will be visible in your Web site stats. For example, if you are advertising in The Best Ezine, you can use the URL of http://www.mydomainname.com?best to track visits to your page.
Become Your Own Affiliate
Another idea for those who sell electronic products via ClickBank (or other services) is to sign up as your own affiliate under several "nicknames." Then you can use your various affiliate IDs in ads. NOTE: You will have to pay your affiliate program’s fee on any sales made through the affiliate links, but you’ll get some good information in exchange.
Once you have narrowed down where your visitors are coming from and which ads are pulling best, you’ll want to be sure visitors have a good buying experience when they reach your site.
You know your site. You are familiar with which pages link to what and how the shopping cart works. First-time visitors will have no clue! Don’t assume your site is a breeze to navigate. Pay attention to elements like:
- Ease of navigation.
- Shopping cart application.
- Location of “help” buttons and links.
Make every effort to give your shoppers a simple and quick way to buy from you.
Conduct A Survey
Conduct a survey of your visitors. Find out if they were able to locate what they were looking for. Ask how their experience with your payment gateway went. Question how their contact with customer service was. One simple way to do this is to create a survey using Survey Monkey. They offer some simple and free survey tools. Just load up your questions and post the link on your site. (To get the best results, you’ll want to offer a gift or the chance to register in a drawing to thank visitors for taking the time to participate.)
Ask a few people who have never been to your site to take it for a test drive. Make sure these folks know they should give their honest opinions. Sugarcoating problems might boost your ego, but it certainly won’t boost your sales.
By taking a little time to give due attention to how your visitors make their way to your site and what happens once they arrive, you’ll stand a much better shot at increasing your profits. While it may take a while to gather the information you need, this short-term sacrifice will reap some hefty long-term benefits.