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More Traffic Doesn’t Equal More Sales

Are you experiencing more traffic but no sales?

Years ago, when the Internet was in its infancy and businesses were urged to get their very first place in cyberspace, there was a philosophy that ‘if you build it, they will come.’ There was this ‘first on the scene’ mentality that if you could get online first, you could reap all the benefits of the world-wide-web. Suddenly, local businesses could have worldwide audiences. Businesses were dreaming big.

Then came the onset of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. The goal was to utilize the power of search to get more traffic and more sales.

Website traffic used to be a modern-day version of a popularity contest where businesses promoted their page views as a factor in their success. That school of thought is now over because not all traffic is good traffic, especially if you have more traffic but no sales!

What good is having all of that traffic if your visitors are not actually converting – using your services or buying your products? No matter how many people visit your website, or how good your ranking position may be on Google, it’s not helping if your visitors don’t do anything.

Businesses are now demanding so much more from their websites and from their Internet marketing partners because more traffic but no sales won’t sustain a business.

ROI (return-on-investment) has quickly become a very important buzzword. SEO professionals are now elaborating on their reports. It is now necessary to include key metrics that show how ranking results and traffic are also converting and helping the bottom line.

Lead-generation and conversions have since taken over as the new buzzwords. And, rightly so. After all, most websites are built with a goal in mind: to generate more business.

More traffic but no sales could mean you are not attracting the right kind of traffic. It could also mean that you do have the right kind of traffic but your website isn’t helping that traffic to convert.

In either case, it may be time to conduct a conversion and lead audit.

Evaluate Your Website Traffic

What steps do you need to take when you have more traffic but no sales?

First, you need to determine if the traffic you are getting is the right kind of traffic. There are a lot of questions you can ask to help you get to the bottom of what your visitors are doing on your website and what they’re looking for.

  • Are your website visitors looking for what you have to offer?
  • Are they ready to make the next step?
  • Are they purely interested in information?
  • Do they fit in with your target demographic?

You or your Internet marketing professional can dig deep into your website analytics to uncover a lot about the people who are visiting your website. You need to uncover how they got there, what they did once they got there, and even what they might be looking for.

How to Identify Your Target Market?

If you haven’t yet identified your target market, now is the time to do so. By identifying your target audience you are defining your ideal audience for your particular niche. The better you understand your target market, the more you are able to customize your advertising and website content to match.

Some businesses start with a very broad target such as Baby Boomers or Millenials. Others tighten up the demographics slightly such as single professionals ages 30-60. What you need to know is that the more you tighten up your target market and then speak directly to that audience, the higher your conversions will be.

Here’s how you can identify your target market:

  • Compile research and stats on your current best customers including age, location, interests, spending power, spending patterns, language, and stage of life.
  • Analyze your website and social media analytics to determine the types of people who are interacting with your business already. If you have more traffic but no sales and your website isn’t converting, ask yourself if your analytics match your ideal target market.
  • Then, once you’ve uncovered your ideal target market you should create a target market profile. You can even name him/her.
    For example: Meet Jane. She is {gender} aged {age range} who lives in {place or type of place} and enjoys {activity}.

Target Market – Is Your Website Reaching The Right People Based on Their Demographics

Once you’ve identified the type of visitor that is most likely to convert, it’s time to really analyze your website traffic to make sure they are the ones who are visiting your website.

Then, you need to take a look at your website and landing pages with a critical eye for what this target market expects. If your website is soft shades of turquoise and blue but your target market is a business executive, your website probably isn’t attracting their attention.

Location – Are You Reaching The Right People Based on Where They Live?

Use more traffic but no sales to your advantage. By that, we mean analyzing your website data based on city demographics. This can help you determine if you’re falling flat in reaching the right people in the right locations. If you have multiple locations and markets you should determine if there are locations that could use further marketing efforts based on traffic markets.

In some cases, your traffic might be coming from everywhere other than your ideal location. In these cases, you need to set a new strategy to do location-based targeting.

More Traffic But No Sales – Where Are They in the Sales Funnel?

More traffic but no sales could also mean that the traffic is still in the wrong part of your sales funnel. Ideally, your website will be designed to speak to and reach visitors at all the various parts of the sales funnel. But, all too often, many websites fall short at capturing visitors when they’re ready to convert.

If your website has a lot of traffic, it could be because you offer some really valuable information. In fact, providing information, articles, and tips is a great strategy to get people familiar with your brand and your expertise. But, you want to make sure that also offer then the correct calls-to-action – get them to take the next step so you get something from them in return, right?

It’s time to take a critical look at how you move people through the sales funnel on your website and ensure they utilize your services or products when they’re finally ready.

Your Calls to Action – Are Your CTAs Working?

When your visitor is ready to convert, whether it’s buying a product or contacting you, are you making it easy for them to do so? Where are your calls to action (CTA) in relation to your visitors’ movements, habits, and actions? Visitors these days are impatient. They don’t want to have to search for your contact information. They don’t want to have to look for how to make a purchase or get in touch. Your CTAs need to be intuitive. If you can capture them impulsively, that’s even better.

If you are getting a lot of traffic but no sales and you are not seeing the business benefit of all of these people, it’s time to audit your calls to action. What are they? Where are they placed? What do they say? Are they intuitive for the visitor?

Ideally, a call to action that speaks directly to the visitor and asks them to move forward in a specific manner will convert better than a very generic “contact us” button.

Content – Is Your Website Saying The Right Things?

More traffic but no sales will also affect your bounce rate. How’s your bounce rate? Are people hitting your website or landing page and then failing to move further? Are they leaving your website once they’ve arrived? If so, you likely have a problem with your content (text and visuals).

Once you understand your target market, you can identify what it is they will be looking for online. Your content needs to:

  • Match their inquiries
  • Solve their problems
  • Capture their attention
  • And help them on their journey

If it can do this, you’ll stand a much better chance at connecting with and converting your traffic.

Your issue might not be with the people visiting your website, but rather, with the website itself. All too often we’ll get calls from businesses who want to get more website traffic; however, sometimes the best strategy is to really analyze the pages all this traffic will be landing on. You need to build your website and content strategy based on your target demographics and what they will like and be interested in, rather than based on what you like.

If your website is bringing in a lot of visitors but they aren’t converting, it could be an issue with your content, your colour scheme, your page layout, your images, etc.

It’s important that you provide detailed information for SEO; but, it’s also important you don’t give away everything online. Leave the visitor hanging and then follow-up with a strong call to action to get more information. Lead them in. Tease them. Give them good, solid information. But, leave them with a question that only you can answer. And, encourage them, at the right time, at the right place, to reach out to you.

Here’s the thing: many visitors are actually unaware of what they need, where to find it and what to do next. Do this for them. Guide them, lead them and then hook them.

Trust Signals

Items that many pages and websites are missing are what we call trust signals. If you have more traffic but no sales it could be a trust issue. Trust signals include reviews, testimonials, and other elements that prove that your business will do what you’re promising. Portfolio items, case studies, reviews, awards, and certifications are all trust signals that can help your traffic convert.

Mobile vs Desktop

Analyze if your visitors are on a mobile device, a tablet, or a desktop. Does one screen size convert better than the others? Navigating websites on mobile devices must also be intuitive and if it isn’t, it could also lead to more traffic but no sales.

Now, take a look at your website and landing pages on each screen size. If your website is hard to use on a phone and yet 75% of your visitors are browsing from their smartphone, you’ve got yourself a usability problem. There isn’t any amount of traffic that can fix this.

In short, if your website is getting a lot of traffic but is underperforming, there’s a lot you can do to fix these kinds of problems.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve covered.

  1. Identify your ideal target market. Who is your ideal visitor?
  2. Identify your current website visitor.
  3. Are the people visiting your website actually your ideal target market?
    – If yes, it’s time to analyze your website.
    – If no, it’s time to begin to target your ideal visitor with your SEO and marketing efforts.
  4. Identify the steps in your sales funnel. Generally, people are either conducting research, comparison shopping, looking to have a question answered or are ready to make the conversion. Does your website address every stage and then provide a clear call to action or lead-in to the next stage? Are visitors arriving on the right information based on what they’re looking for? For instance, if they’re just at the research page, they shouldn’t be arriving on a page that is designed for purchasing.
  5. Analyze your content. Is it written, created, and designed for your ideal target market?
  6. Analyze your calls to action. Don’t be vague. Don’t use marketing language. Be simple, clear and concise. Tell them, show them, and guide them to what they need to do next.

When it comes to more traffic but no sales, you either have a traffic-type problem or a website usability/target problem…or both.

Target the right people with your traffic-generating tactics. Use your website and content to speak directly to your target audience, answer their questions and provide them with the information they’re looking for. Quickly and easily lead them to the next step and capture their information along the way.

When you look at your lead generation strategy from the perspective of the visitor, rather than from what you like or think the visitor should do, you can begin to look at your strategy and content with all new eyes.

You should then have more traffic and more conversions. Your return-on-investment from your website and marketing efforts will be greater. After all, it isn’t just about getting people to your website. It’s also about getting the right people and then ensuring you’re handling them appropriately based on where they are at in the sales funnel.

And, the number one tip to achieve this? Make it simple for the visitor to understand what they need, what their next step is, and why they need the services/products of your business.

About 1st on the List

1st on the List is one of North America’s leading SEO companies that offers complete SEO services. Please call our SEO experts at 1st on the List toll-free at 1-888-262-6687 to learn more about SEO or if you still have any questions about getting more traffic but no sales.

Why update WordPress plugins is a very common question…more common than you might think.

Keep in mind, however, that WordPress themes and plugins are software programs. Over time, these programs can become outdated, or the software developer may have released newer updated versions with better features or even bug fixes. So, the main answer to “why update WordPress plugins” is to help keep your WordPress website up-to-date and working optimally.

One of the selling features of developing a website in WordPress is there is pretty much a plugin for everything and anything you might want to do on your website.

That’s what makes WordPress web design so powerful and popular. In fact, according to whoishostingthis.com, WordPress powers almost 15% of the top 100 websites in the world. That’s big brands trusting WordPress to get the job done. But it’s more than the big guys using WordPress. In fact, according to w3techs:

  • 32% of all websites in the world are run on WordPress
  • WordPress is the most used CMS system
  • With 59.4% market share, WordPress is far ahead of any other CMS system (by comparison, #2 is Joomla with 6% market share)

Why is WordPress so popular?

Another great answer to “why update WordPress plugins” is that WordPress is open source software. It’s free. And, some of the greatest minds work openly to create seamless and useful website functions, which we know as plugins. This helps web developers and designers code and create websites more efficiently and effectively.

What is a plugin?

Most WordPress websites are compiled of a group of functions that are pre-programmed for functionality and integrate seamlessly into the WordPress platform. WordPress plugins are pre-built software solutions that can save web developers a lot of time and money when programming their own solutions.

There really is a plugin for almost everything, from SEO tools to rotating banners and from image resizing to pop-up messages. If you can dream it, there’s likely someone who has already built a WordPress plugin solution.

Here are a few other reasons why updating WordPress plugins is necessary.

Proliferation – The WordPress Plugin Directory currently lists over 56,365 plugins (and growing) with over 1.3 billion downloads.

Too Many Plugins – Overuse of plugins can slow down a website. Plugins can also clash with each other, which could then cause problems with your website that might be difficult to assess.

Stale or Outdated – Some WordPress plugins are completely useless and others no longer function as they should or are now obsolete.

Nevertheless, if you need something for your website, chances are there’s already a plugin for that.

Web developers are also continually challenged to answer this important question: “When to use and when not to use a plugin?” The key to using plugins effectively is to only select plugins from verified sources and only install them if they solve or serve an essential function that isn’t already a part of your framework.

Keep Up with the Changing WordPress Platform

From security and bug fixes to enhancements and improved speed, every WordPress update is released to help your website function better.

Your website sits static in its hosted environment. Meanwhile, the Internet and programming languages are constantly evolving. As well, hackers are consistently finding new vulnerabilities. WordPress plugin updates are released in an effort to keep up with the improvements and bug fixes.

As of March 12, 2019, WordPress was running version 5.1.1. By the time you read this, this number will most likely have changed. WordPress is constantly releasing new updated versions in an effort to ensure functionality and security.

Ensure Regular Backups of Your Website

Change is another reason “why update WordPress plugins” should be a mantra.

When you make any sort of update or change on a website, anything can happen. Even with the best-laid plans, sometimes updates or plugins are incompatible with other functions, even unrelated functions of the website. This is why it is important to ensure regular website backups.

There are plugins for website backup protocol! Popular solutions include:

  • iThemes Backup Buddy
  • UpdraftPlus
  • Vault Press.

With the ability to run daily or weekly site backups, you’ll be thankful you have a recent backup to revert to should you ever get hacked or run into a major problem.

Use a Security Plugin To Protect Your Website

According to Sucuri, WordPress is the world’s most hacked CMS system and 61% of infected websites are running an out-of-date version of WordPress. Meanwhile, 52% of the vulnerabilities reported are coming from incompatible or outdated plugins, as reported by WPScan. Why update WordPress plugins indeed!

Common and popular WordPress plugins that are often a gateway for hackers include:

  • Gravity Forms
  • Revslider
  • TimThumb

In order to protect your website from potential vulnerabilities and hackers, you need to ensure your website is secure. While ensuring you are up-to-date on WordPress plugin updates is a great start to ensure your security, you can do more to protect your website. Popular security plugins include:

  • iThemes Security Pro
  • WordFense Pro
  • Sucuri

Update Your WordPress Theme

Themes are another reason why update WordPress plugins are important. Most WordPress websites use a theme to ensure consistency in look, feel and function. A theme is akin to a skin. A theme provides more control over the look and presentation of a website, without having to make constant custom updates.

Many WordPress themes have a variety of features, customizations, and functions already embedded within the theme. WordPress themes can be updated to improve security, reduce vulnerability, and add features and functions. If your chosen theme has a new update, it’s important to listen and act accordingly. If you fail to stay up-to-date on plugin updates, it can cause website problems down the line.

Update Your Plugins Regularly

As is the case with the WordPress platform and themes, plugins can also have updated versions. Most plugin creators continue to add new features, improve code, enhance quality and reduce vulnerabilities. These changes are released as updates. It is important to ensure your plugins are up-to-date so your site can benefit from these updates immediately.

Solving Plugin Incompatibility Issues

Plugins…the very thing that makes WordPress so great can also cause major issues! Because there are so many plugins available from third-party developers, it is common to run into compatibility issues.

  • Some plugins are not compatible with updated versions of WordPress
  • Other plugins will have issues working in tandem with other plugins.

How do compatibility issues arise? Well, different plugins might be trying to do the same thing on the website, or they might be trying to change or update a feature or element but in different ways. Plugins may also have been developed based on a past version of WordPress. Finally, a common reason for compatibility issues is when a plugin was created with bad or buggy code.

Generally, somebody else will have already discovered the compatibility issue and will have made a note of it or offered a possible solution. So, before you install or update a plugin, it is wise to search for any known issues.

What does a compatibility error look like? Well, it can be anything from broken functionality to something less obvious. In fact, sometimes you might not even realize the issue because it will manifest in a way you are not expecting or looking for. This is why it is important to test and do a thorough run through of your website whenever you perform a WordPress or plugin update.

Only Keep Plugins That You Are Using

Keeping your website clean – another reason why update WordPress plugins help. You can help prevent future problems and vulnerabilities. Often, plugins are left active or installed on a website even if they are not being used. They are then forgotten and left abandoned and vulnerable to hackers, or they can cause other issues within the website.

Regularly perform a plugin audit and disable any plugins that you are no longer using.

How to Update, Maintain & Secure Your WordPress Website

You can find out more about this topic by reading this Guide to Updating WordPress Plugins courtesy of SitePoint. Now that we’ve outlined why it is important to ensure your WordPress platform, theme and plugins are up-to-date, maintained, and secure, it’s now time to discuss how to do this properly.

When you log in to WordPress you may see a message alerting you to a core WordPress update or plugins that have available updates.

If you are an experienced web developer you shouldn’t have any issues making the updates; however, if you are a website user, you should have your web developer make the updates for you so you can try and avoid any issues that might be caused. GitHub is a community that is great for feedback, so posting here can help save you time and avoid issues.

But, guess what? As you might suspect; there are plugins for this, too. Site Push, Theme Check, Sandbox and Plugin Detective can help you before you run into big problems.

If you run into an incompatibility issue you’ll likely want to take your website to a staging server and deactivate every plugin. Then, one-by-one, reactivate them until you can source the plugin causing the issue.

If you decide to run updates yourself and run into an issue, this can cause further issues down the line. The best practice when it comes to website maintenance is to let the professionals handle it.

The Importance of Regular Website Maintenance Plans

Years ago, when most businesses got their first website there was a mindset of “set and forget.” In other words, you had your website built for you, the content was static and you didn’t really have to think about it again unless you wanted to make a change. It was likely built and coded in a custom environment and likely lacked complexity and functionality. In other words, there was no need for website maintenance, except if there was something you specifically requested.

With the advent of content management systems such as WordPress, updating your own website got a lot simpler; however, vulnerabilities opened up. Functionalities increased and websites got better; however, with one update you can cause serious issues.

It’s important to have a long-term site maintenance plan. While the most obvious risk to your website is a site hack, there are other problems that can arise if you fail to, or wait too long to make updates.

From improved functionality to increased speed, regular site maintenance plans are designed to ensure optimal user experience. A regularly-maintained and updated website helps search engine rankings, helps with speed, improves usability, protects your brand, and can even increase customer retention and conversion.

Unfortunately, your website is at risk. Wordfence reports there are up to 90,000 attacks on WordPress websites every minute. Even non-WordPress sites are just as susceptible to a hack.

Functionalities can Change, Break and Evolve

Think of your website as a car. With regular use, your car needs regular maintenance including gas, oil changes, tire alignments, etc. Think about modern-day cars and the vast speed of new technology that has become available in recent years. The same is true for websites. Today’s websites are complex with a variety of moving parts, much like a car. Even elements that do not seem to be integrated with each other, can be connected in some way.

Just like you take your car to a mechanic, it’s important that your website has a professional team looking out for it.

Maintenance plans generally include things such as ensuring the hosting environment is optimal or updating themes and plugins. Larger, more complex websites often have a custom, hands-on approach to maintenance that involves a lot of testing when things are updated.

Generally speaking, the more complicated your website the more regular maintenance that will be needed.

Here’s the thing. You could wait for your website to break before you realize it needs to be maintained, or you can pre-empt disaster and get a handle on a proper maintenance plan now. Back to our car analogy: regular oil changes end up far less expensive in the long run than replacing your entire engine because you failed to maintain your oil.

About 1st on the List

1st on the List is more than just an SEO company. We can help you understand “why update WordPress plugins” is a question that needs to be addressed, continually. We offer website maintenance plans to ensure your website is running at optimal levels because we know that a well-running, functional website helps with SEO and lead generation.

Trust your website maintenance to the professionals so you can focus on your business without any risky technical interruptions.

Did you know? It’s because of services like our WordPress Maintenance and Security Plans that we are recognized as a top E-Commerce Design & Development Company on DesignRush.

For more information, call us toll-free at 1-888-262-6687.

There are so many platforms to build a website in, and undoubtedly, WordPress is one of the most popular. For many businesses, this is a popular choice because it allows them the ability to have a website within a popular CMS platform. Plus, when using a theme or a template, a professional looking website can be created at a fairly reasonable price point.


The Pitfalls of a WordPress Theme

WordPress themes and templates are designed for ease of use; however, sometimes the very things that make them easy, make them difficult moving forward. When your website is built within a theme or a template, you are locked into the features and attributes of that theme and it can be hard to do customizations.

WordPress is home to a variety of plugins that make it easy to have complex features on a website. Unfortunately, many of these plugins can bloat or weight down your site which can result in decreased performance and speed.


The Pitfalls of Custom Design

Sometimes, custom website design can be cost prohibitive when compared with a template or theme design. It can also take longer to build.

Generally, if you’re aiming for a good return on investment, lead generation and top SEO results you will either want a custom design or a hybrid of custom design and WordPress theme. WordPress is highly customizable and top, experienced developers and programmers can create amazing features and designs with quality code that will not weigh down your website.

For more information on web design, contact us today.

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.