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I've got a terrible conversion rate - what to do?
I mean, we're talking BAD!

 3:07 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've found the info I've read in this forum excellent, and the posters here are clearly the experts - which is why I turn to you.

Feel free to check out my site. It's my homepage in my profile.

I have managed to rank quite well for several important search terms in my industry, so I get some steady targeted traffic - say 600-700 uniques a day for a relatively specific field. We make widget software as well as offering the widgets and widget accessories themselves. Our software is quite unique in the market, but our real profit potential is in the widgets and accessories.

Of our 600-700 uniques per day, we sell about 2-3 copies of the software - that rate I'm not worried about. However, since most of our traffic is actually looking for the widgets and accessories and doesn't even know the software exists, I'd expect a higher rate for these, even though the widgets cost $400-550 (and up to a couple thousand). However, we only sell roughly one widget or accessory every other day. So we're looking at about 0.5% on the software and 0.08% on the widgets and accessories!

We just started an Adwords campaign. We get about a 1.4% CTR and that's with the price in the ad, so we're happy about that. The ads have as their keywords our two best selling widgets (I'm talking real specific), and have generated 827 clicks. Of these visitors, none have purchased the widget. In fact, our only purchase was for the software - and we've only had 1 such purchase.

Our site is relatively fast, you typically (always in the case of Adwords), land on the most pertinent page (or one click away), and navigation is pretty standard. I think our design looks professional, though it does need to be cleaned up in some cases. I'd like some more experienced opinions, though. Why wouldn't you buy from us or why do you think others aren't. Keep in mind, our prices are at worst, competative, and in some cases, the best you can find - period.

What should I change?
1) Can I expect more conversions by adding a merchant system?
2) I will be dumping the Paypal shopping cart soon (plan to write my own for ease of customization and integration), so I'll be able to track the purchase process as closely as I'm able to track my visitors.
3) Add contact info? Where?
4) A more taditional store? I don't like them, but do my customers?
5) More thumbnails and less product descriptions on the main pages?
6) Anything else?

Thanks a lot everyone. With the traffic I get, I should be able to quit my day job, but I'm not there yet... I'd like to be.

-Jon Piper



 3:18 pm on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

The question is why would you want to put your home address up anyway? I mean, even if no one could figure it out - you really want anyone with a web browser to know where you live?

That's a bit paranoid, wouldn't you say? Anyone with a web browser can already find where you live, whether you post the address on your web site or not. I'd be a lot more suspicious of someone hiding behind a rented mail drop at some "Mailboxes Etc." store...


 3:24 pm on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

> > Like I said, I've got a day job (it's flexible and in an entirely different industry), so I won't be able to answer the phone on demand 9-5. Is this going to be a problem?

Another way to go about it is to use an 800 toll free service that allows you to forward your incoming telephone calls to your mobile from certain times of the day ... most of them offer it as part of their plans.


 3:40 pm on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

okay I have taken a look at your site.

Dont mind me being frank here.

1) Site was not professionally well designed.You need that to inspire more confidance to purchase these widgets at such a high price.I dislike the moving links on the navigation bar. You need to find a way better designer. Navigation is not good. need to look into proper linking within the site

2) Images were too large. Lags up the loading of site.

3) Check on the number of searches on that keyword.Use ****. If you space the name of your domain into two different words, your ranking for that phrase is 5th on google. You need to space the words in your content.

4) Lack of relevant incoming links

5) Words on home page were very small, making it difficult to read.

6)spelling mistakes.. absolute no no

7)didnt check ur tags. remember the basic tags.

8)create a proper affiliate program.

try these first..and then give me a mail if u wish



 3:53 pm on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just an idea....

Why not put the software online as an asp, let the users get the info they need and then send them to the appropriate widget page where they can purchase the recommendation of the software?


 2:32 am on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Martyt wrote concerning posting one's home address on their website.

That's a bit paranoid, wouldn't you say? Anyone with a web browser can already find where you live, whether you post the address on your web site or not. I'd be a lot more suspicious of someone hiding behind a rented mail drop at some "Mailboxes Etc." store...

Paranoid? You wouldn't believe some of the middle of the night phone calls we've gotten on our business line since we started promoting it on the internet. There are some real creeps out there, and posting a home address on a website comes far too close to an invitation for just anyone to pay an unannounced visit - just as posting a phone number is an invitation to call. It would be insane for me to give out my private address to the vast number of people who come to my site just because the few who may be determined enough can track me down. OK, so I'm female and disabled, but I seem to recall a fairly recent post here about an unhappy customer who sounded far too much like an all out stalker.

I recently had a number of progressively more insane sounding emails from a guy which ended with something like "you peeverted idiot". Why? Because I had the nerve to tell him we don't do the kind of custom work he wanted. No. I don't think it's paranoid not to hand such people my home address.


 2:53 am on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Paranoid? You wouldn't believe some of the middle of the night phone calls we've gotten on our business line since we started promoting it on the internet.

Exactly. I may have told this story once or twice before, but for those of you who don't know me I'm not one of those 24 hour connected type of guys. I work at the office, I DON'T WORK when I leave there. If someone needs to reach me after hours, tough crap for them - they can leave a message and I'll get it in the morning.

One time when I had left the office some jerk of a customer decided my hours weren't good enough for him and proceeded to go through the phone book to find a home number for me. I'm unlisted, but he did find my father's home number (I'm Jr., he's Sr.) who had no idea what he was talking about. When he finally realized that the guy was a customer of mine, he called me and relayed the story. Apparently the customer had gone by the office first and since the office was closed he started looking for my home number. Now keep in mind I don't do walk-ins, my product is sold by phone and online and that's it.

Instead of calling him back the next morning, I waited for him to call me. Which he did, quite promptly, furious that I hadn't called him back and that he had "told my father" to give me the message - some nerve, eh? At this point I still had no idea WHY he was trying to reach me. To make a long story short, I refunded his credit card purchase and gave him the option of keeping the product or returning it - I didn't care as long as I never saw or heard from him again, then I hung up.

Anyway, there are some rude and crazy people out there ... If I had put my home address on the site this clown would have been knocking at my door. Don't do it.


 3:08 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

mbennie had the same idea I had. If you will be making most of your money selling widgets, give them the advice they need to choose widgets for free. You can even use that to increase your CTR.

As for increasing sales... Jakob Nielsen's last alertbox was on the topic of B2B sales, but a lot of the ideas could be used for large-ticked items. You have to help the decision making process.

A 1-800 number is great; you could also have a live chat feature. Basically, in your position I would not count on the site doing all the selling- I would measure how well the site gets people calling or clicking on a chat button.

A well priced product, an application that lets you choose the right one, and a site that drives leads: it should work. Assuming of course that you do a re-design as suggested by previous posters.

Oh, and do tell us how it worked out for you! :)


 3:30 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I can make a quick suggestion - something that seems to make a digital-only product feel more "tangible" is to make a graphic of a professional-looking box.

I know that it sounds lame on the out set - but a software program that I am aff'ing for started converting 18% better when I made a "packaging" graphic for it.

I can sticky you an example if you want, but there a tons out there, especially in the business software category.

Umm... what does "wastagted" mean? The only place I could find reference to it was on your site and ...a sister site?

Finally, I think it's time for a website update, it looks a lot more "2001" than "2004".


 4:15 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Umm... what does "wastagted" mean?

LOL. Pretty lame. It's a misspelling for "wastegated". Man, you ask experts to have a look at something you do, and all the can do is take jabs. Well, that and make excellent suggestions. I've got a lot of work to do on the site. And I'm coming up on having a little more time to do it, so I'll get cracking. Thanks a lot for the suggestions everyone - if anyone takes a look at it and has some ideas that haven't been mentioned, let me know. The queue is never full!

One thing though: I've never liked the store-out-of-a-box look for a website. People have been suggesting that I make it look like every other online store out there (eg: logo in upper left, blah, blah, blah). From my own personal view, I've gotten tired of that look. I uderstand the argument - familiarity and comfort. So... do I just need to bite the bullet and do it?

Keep in mind everyone, I set this all up before I was making enough money to justify working too hard on the site. I know a lot of you think it's pretty weak. I'll work on it.

Thanks again!


 4:31 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just a suggestion. I would change the name of your product from KKK to something else. It could definitely dissuade customers from buying from you, whether it was intentional or not. Also, you definitely don't want your business to start ranking high for KKK.


 4:34 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

KKK is a product brand name. The company was bought out and is now known as Borg Warner, but when people want this line of widgets, they search for KKK, not Borg Warner. Not much I can do about it if I want to sell these widgets or advertise that the software includes info about them.


 4:53 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey don't feel bad about the criticism - don't forget that the electronic medium of message boards etc rob tone of voice and body language - why do you think they invented "smilies"?


> I've never liked the store-out-of-a-box look for a website

Do your visitors a favor and make your website act like they expect it to.

Have you ever had a light switch installed upside down some place in a house? You know that weird "short circuit" feeling you get when you have to switch down to turn it on - that's what you are doing when you "go against the grain".


First "KKK" and then "Borg Warner" - jeez if ever a company needed a branding consultant.

This just in... they're doing a product re-launch under the name "The Auschwitzinator". ;)


 5:27 am on Apr 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

This just in... they're doing a product re-launch under the name "The Auschwitzinator". ;)

LOL. That's terrible.

Don't worry, I don't take it personally. I was being a little tongue-in-cheek with my last post. Like I said, I appreciate the suggestions, and will do what I can to make them a reality.

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 43 ( 1 [2]
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