Thursday, September 13, 2012

Your Must-Read of the Day: 3 Ways to Convert Visitors Into Buyers Online

Any PR or marketing agency has people who do social and digital media. They can tweet all day long, manage an AdWords campaign, and craft a blog post. But what you really want to know is whether these "experts" can generate ROI? Can they drive not just eyeballs to your website, but also conversionsthat is, people who sign-up for your e-newsletter, click on your ads, and buy your products and services? Can they convert traffic into revenue?

In an article for the New York Times, freelancer Katherine Reynolds Lewis walks us through a handful of small businesses confronting this challenge. Her case studies offer insights that anyone trying to make a buck from their website would do well to heed.

Here's an excerpt:

"The three most important elements for a small business selling on the Web, Mr. Shaoolian said, are solid guarantee and return policies, responsive customer service and a prominently placed phone number at the top of every page. Even business-to-business companies, he said, should invest in clear messaging, developing a few short phrases that speak directly to customer needs and are accompanied on the site by a call to action such as “contact us” or “view our portfolio.”

"The goal, he said, is for business owners to bring the same rigor and detailed attention to online efforts that they employ offline. Most owners of retail stores can tell you what their last 10 customers bought and which shelves they browsed, he said, but when it comes to their Web sites, many owners have no idea.