Part of the reason so many people beg, borrow, and steal for search engine traffic is because so many people have the same thin business models offering the same stuff. Rather than thinking of ways to differentiate or look within for ways to increase value, we figure just getting a couple more links will be all we need to do well. And it may be in the short term, but that is not enough to stay competitive.
Most websites are not set up to convert...even many well known sites ran by marketers (who should know better) do a poor job of converting. And improving conversion rates means you can buy more traffic or brand exposure (affiliates, AdSense, direct ads, paid search, partnerships, and public relations). When I changed the business model of this site there was an initial rush of sign ups, but then that fell off quickly. By spending a couple hours of research, writing, and marketing on this site I have since doubled the daily number of sales, not once, but twice.
At a minimum there are still 3 big holes in my sales process which need improved. But within another month or two I can see the daily rate of new sales with a recurring model exceeding the sales rate from a one off product that was sold at a cheaper price point. It almost seems criminal when you think how hard it is that we have to work to gain mindshare and marketshare, and then just throw away the value by not optimizing our sales process and sales funnels.
My wife is at a conversion conference hosted by these guys. Hopefully I can bug her to make a post or two about all the stuff she learns. And hopefully she can help double our daily conversions again, at least until we sell out.
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