Do More With Less: Getting Rid of Junk

Apr 23rd

I am probably not the biggest conversion expert in the world, but after you start playing around with pixels and offers sometimes doing a few small things makes you realize how important some of them are.

One of my web only clients was making about $3,000 a month in sales when he contacted me. I did SEO and PPC for them and got them up to $12,000 a month. I tweaked some of the conversion aspects of the site and the same traffic now brings in over $40,000 a month in sales. Some sites have their link equity split up between the www version and non www versions of their sites. By consolidating that link popularity (via a 301 redirect) your net number of pages in the index goes down, but each page becomes more authoritative.

My sales letter had a couple broken links to reviews (due to a JupiterMedia analyst moving on and another site changing its URL structure).

My sales letter had a couple broken links to search results due to MSN changing their search string and Ask killing the Teoma brand.

Some sites use sequential URL names and screw up their page level link reputation when they add a new page.

Some about pages or sales letter pages place AdSense front and center, which end up killing the brand credibility of those sites. Many of these sites would also make far greater profits if they sold ads directly instead of through AdSense.

Many websites have Liveperson contact me buttons even on content pages about topics they would not want contacted about. Many many many sites have too many things competing for attention which end up killing their conversion ratios. Give me too many things to do and most likely I will do none of them.

If you flip a person to a related idea in your content make sure you label it as being relevant and explain why the related idea is relevant and useful to the site visitor.

Many sites have content areas with text but no headings or subheadings, and worse yet no links in the active content window of their site. Assume people are going to ignore your sitewide navigation if you want to build a site that converts.

If you are using pay per click marketing try to aim some of your ads at the high end of the market. Write ads for conversion instead of clicks, and perhaps sell the idea of selling a quote for large orders instead of selling an item. If you already rank in the regular search results then you can limit the incremental spend of PPC while ensuring you attract the big fish by reminding them that you service big orders.

Use analytics. Some of the terms you are focusing on may be a complete waste of time.

Your email address may also hurt your conversions. If you are selling relationships some people may prefer to email help@, name@ or support@ instead of sales@.

If you give people information via your site give them an automated follow up email. This is an area where I need to work on. I also should have an autoresponder series set up, as that would surely help me make thousands and thousands of dollars for minimal effort.

Direct transactions also likely convert at a better rate than transactions which require you to go to another site. Eventually I hope to either better integrate the payment system or move away from Paypal for some of my transactions.

What are some common errors you see on many sites that could be corrected to drastically increase their profitability?

Published: April 23, 2006

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Comments

April 24, 2006 - 4:51pm

Putting Adsense on sales pages does far more than kill brand credibility.

If we have a targeted audience, product that converts well, or a decent profit margin at all, the $15-17 CPM for Adsense is like trading dollars for nickels.

I had a "throwaway" golf site promoting a particular product. I hadn't looked at since I had learned anything about conversion (the design was a bit embarassing - easy to forget : ) By simply taking the affiliate links out of the sidebar and inserting them where the Adsense was, I tripled the revenue from the site. Probably similar to Aaron's discovery w/ the pitch for SEO Book.

This was for just a $10-30 commission on a golf club. Imagine if you are selling an informational product, recurring subscription, or some other product w/ more margin...

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