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As more and more consumers increase their time spent on the Internet, marketers look for new ways to offer their products and services. And most advertisers have jumped on the Internet bandwagon in some form or another to discover great successes or great failures.

Online advertising offers a variety of ways for advertisers to generate leads. But it’s easy to get focused on the web traffic, and not notice if the visitors are actually converting into customers.

A website is more than a “must have.” It’s often a first impression to a prospective customer. And just as you strive to make good impressions personally, it’s equally as important to make a good impression to a website visitor. You have one chance to impress them, entice them and convert them. Be sure to make it count.

First, take a look at your website as a sales tool. It’s not there to simply provide information. Rather, it should be viewed with the same eye for salesmanship that you use to judge your advertising. Is the website compelling? Does it communicate at a glance what your company does, and why it’s better than your competitors? If you were a prospect, what would you want to know about your company and does your website make it easy to find? Is your copy written in such a way that it will be motivating and compelling to your visitors?

Testimonials offer a great way to convert visitors into customers. If you have a retail site, customer reviews will go a long way to convince a prospective customer to purchase. But even sites for banks and insurance companies, for instance, can benefit from glowing customer comments. Why not hold a Facebook contest asking your customers what they like about you? You can generate testimonials for your website and Facebook likes at the same time.

Now what if you’re promoting a specific product? How do you get the most from your online promotion?

Let’s say that you’re running a special rate on car loans, and are using Google Adwords and banner advertising to drive customers to your website. Where will they land when they get there? It should not be your home page.

Internet savvy consumers want information quickly. If you don’t provide it, they will be gone in a flash. So create a landing page specifically for your promotion. Make sure it includes all of the details of the promotion. Your visitor should not have to click elsewhere in your site to get more information on the loan.

Next, be sure there is a large ‘Apply Now’ button at the top and bottom of your page. Make it noticeable.

Finally, when was the last time you tried using your loan application or order form? If it wasn’t recently, check it now. If your form is slow and cumbersome, or requires too much information, you will likely lose customers. Consumers who regularly use the web expect to get things done quickly. If your website doesn’t make it easy, they will find another one that does.

You can put a lot of money into great external advertising. But if your website is dull or outdated, your efforts will be wasted. Make sure your site is compelling, motivating and easy to navigate. And turn more of your visitors into profitable customers.

Julie Burmeister is thep of The Burmeister Group, an Atlanta advertising agency known for generating outstanding marketing results for small- and mid-sized companies. The agency has full service capabilities including research, strategy, creative, media buying and more.

One Response to “Converting Online Traffic Into Customers

    Simple but effective article with sound advice. I would re-phrase some of it in my e mail marketing campaign. Thanks for sharing.

    February 1, 2013

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