Conversion rates.  What are you doing to increase them?  We believe that conversion is affected mainly by three major factors: site trust, selection and price.  We’ve gone into detail on a previous post on these three pillars of conversion, but it may be a good idea to review.  Why is conversion so important?  Well, if you could double your sales without adding one more visitor to your site, would you do it?  Of course, who wouldn’t!?!  Let’s say you bring in 10,000 visitors a month to your site and your conversion rate is 1.00%.  This means you are making 100 sales a month on those 10,000 visitors.  If it is possible to up your conversion rate to 2.00%, you will have 200 sales a month, and everyone will be very happy!

So, how do you do it?  Let me just say that Google Analytics is your friend.  Let’s look at 5 steps to improve conversion rates.

1.  Troubleshoot Bounce Rates – Where are you missing out on sales?  A great report to look at in GA is the Top Landing Pages report.  Hit the Content tab and then the Top Landing Pages.  In particular, study your bounce rates.  Bounce rates are the percentage of single page visits resulting from this set of pages or page.  So immediately, this report gives you some red flag pages to work on, those with a high bounce rate.

2.  Compare Time Periods – Use the calendar feature in GA to your advantage.  I like to use at least 3 months worth of data when doing conversion rate analysis.  I also like to use the Compare to Past feature that allows me to track improvements or declines.  Set it to compare weeks, months or years.

3.  View Keyword Conversion Rates – Now that you’ve looked at your best and worst pages from a bounce rate perspective, apply the same idea to your keywords.  Click on Traffic Sources and then the Keywords report.  Which keywords are performing the best?  Which are the worst?  Is it price?  Is it selection?  I like to look at my top 100 keywords from a traffic perspective and view all of their conversion rates.  If it is high, 3% or higher, I’m going to do anything I can to drive more traffic to that page.  If it is low, 1% or lower, I’m trying to figure out why so that I can fix it.

4.  Research Your Competitors – So you have 10 products in your “xyz” category, and you think you are the cats pajamas.  Yawn.  Joe Schmo searcher sees 50 products on your competitor’s site, which renders you irrelevant.  Oh yeah, and it’s $10 cheaper when I look in Google Shopping.

Compare your site to others on the internet.  The simplest way is to Google the keyword phrase you are targeting.  Drill down into every website on the first page as well as the PPC ads.  Study your competitors products, selection and prices.  Can you match them?  Can you beat them?  We always tell our clients that your goal is to reach Comprehensive Saturation for a particular category on your site.  We define this has having the best perceived selection on the internet for a particular search phrase. If your competitor has 20 products for a keyword phrase, then you need at least 20.  Think of your category pages as sub-niches in your niche market.  Become successful in categories one by one and your conversion rates will improve.

5.  Make the Changes and TEST, TEST, TEST – Do whatever you need to do to be as good or better than your competitors.  Add more vendors and their products.  Be competitive on pricing.  Experiment with shipping options.  Make the changes on your site and test their impacts using Google Analytics.  If done correctly, you should see in increase in conversion rates and sales.

I can go on and on with this list and that’s what makes Marketplace Earth great partners to work with.  We have ecommerce experience from our own stores, and we know exactly what to look for to help improve your sales.  Yes, hire the SEO company to help get you traffic, but what are you going to do to convert that traffic to revenue?  SEO is useless without conversion.  But with great organic traffic and high conversion rates, the marriage couldn’t be more beautiful!