Archive for August, 2009

Do you have a successful website?

One of the things I seem to do a lot is figuring out how to make a particular website more successful – which first begs the question of how do you define success?  Then more importantly is the question of what you do to get things turned around.  There are tons of helpful articles online that will help you get started (see below), I also have some other marketing articles posted that will help, and you will quickly notice that many are saying contradictory things to the point that you will get confused on how to proceed. No worries – remember that no single solution is right for everyone, and definitely not right for every website. Because if there was one single “best design” for a website, then they would all look the same.

Here is a basic list of things to get you going.

  1. First of all look at the level of web traffic – you may simply not be getting enough traffic to do anything with. If that is the problem, this needs fixed first.
  2. If you are getting web traffic, but no one is converting, then do a little detective work on what is ailing you and then take action:
    1. What is your bounce rate? If it is really high, then people are either coming to your site by mistake or your web design sucks.  Fix it!
    2. What is the page views per visit? If it is very low, then your web content needs fixed (assuming your website is set up with multiple webpages). If you have lots of people moving round your site but no one is converting, then your offer may need to be tweaked.
    3. What is the fall-off rate in your sign up form, or shopping cart?  If people are looking like they want to convert by clicking the sign up button, but no one converts, take a close look at your form or cart first. In my experience that will have the greatest impact on increasing CR.
  3. Basically you need to figure out what is going on – there are lots of statistics available to give you hints, so just narrow it down to the likely issues, and then address them!  Take action!  Usually it means for you do some of the things that the experts say you should, so take a look at some other articles in this blog, or do a little research online.  Below are some links that will help with ideas.  I would not take any single article from anyone and think it is gospel (even this one) – instead you want to find the “golden nuggets” in each.
  4. Lastly I would urge everyone to have some sort of testing program for their website.  If you put two different versions of your webpage up – the normal one you have (the control) and another different design – it will definitely give you improvement. Let the two run side by side and see which is better.  Once you have a winning design in the test – immediately take the winner and run it against a new alternative one, and just make it a continual process of improvement.  Something as simple as the button that gets clicked on the form can make a difference – you just need to keep testing.

Here are some links you might find helpful:

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How Much For A Website?

Without doubt the number one question I get from people can be boiled down to two words: how much? There is lots of confusion about the costs involved with having a website, so let me break it down for you. Basically it can all be broken down into three parts: your domain, your host, and your maintenance costs.

Domain Name Costs: $10 / year. I’ve written about domain names earlier.

Hosting Costs: $25 / month. This is the typical charge I have for hosting fees. You can find some hosting out there for $5 dollars per month, and others over $100. The average hosting fees to a small business is supposed to be $45 / month. At my company, I sweeten the pot by offering free maintenance with each hosted website that I make.

Maintenance Costs: $0 – 85 / hour. The maintenance includes the initial design costs, as well as any costs later when you need to revise or update the information on the website. An important question to ask the person building your website is how much it will cost to maintain it later on, that way you are not caught by surprise. My standard rate for doing maintenance work is usually around 30 / hour.

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