I just got off the phone with Michael Fortin, one of the top copywriters and conversion experts on the web.
We were doing a teleseminar for our members on conversion and testing for website owners wanting more out of the traffic they already enjoy, rather than constantly having to promote their sites to support low conversion rates. Specifically, we were talking about all the things you can do to test different “calls to action.”
A call to action is anything you are trying to get people to do on any particular site or page of a site. It could be buying a product or service, getting people on an announcement list or newsletter, or getting people to click on your advertising links.
Most web publishers are so happy when they finally have a site up that they consider their work done and get right to marketing it. Once the traffic rolls in, they enjoy whatever sales or clicks they get and try to make more money by driving MORE traffic to the site.
Then they start building another site. And another. And another.
This is a disturbing trend that is creating a massive amount of waste. Both in resources and time. Especially when it comes to niche publishers who are building massive networks of sites on different topics in order to capture emails, generate advertising revenue, sell affiliated products and services, or to build their lists to generate backend sales to their subscribers.
The waste is generated when people are in too big a hurry to build more sites, add more products, and get more traffic to sites that can convert sometimes 1000% BETTER than they do now.
They are moving at a hectic pace, in this scenario, to build build build, when their income goals can most often easily be met without so much waste.
One example of waste is when someone builds a content-dry site that has nothing but Adsense and some links on it. People hit that kind of site and can’t wait to find a reason to leave. The thinking is, “Great! My ‘click thru ratio’ is sky high! I am getting almost everyone to click on my ads!”
But here’s what’s happening in reality: you are working VERY hard to get traffic to such a site, only to “burn” it on a 35 cent click! No email capture, no followup, and most importantly no desire on the part of the visitor to EVER see your site again!
Would you rather have someone come through your site and click immediately on an advertiser’s link, never to return? Or would you rather have someone come to your site, read some great content, sign up for your list and not click on ANY links that first time?
I will take scenario #2 any day of the week. And I won’t have made a single penny off of that person with that initial action. But I will in the future!
If you have a site that you constantly test and tweak for performance (beyond its ability to repulse your visitors into clicking on an advertisement just to get to a QUALITY site) then you have a real business.
You can test and track SO MANY variables to make a site more profitable than it is now. Every site on the web can perform better than it does right now. Every single one!
The people who understand this never stop testing their calls to action to get their visitors to do more than something that results in a one-time action.
Traffic is the most expensive thing on the web both in the time it takes to get it and the resources you have to use up for each and every hit.
The traffic you have now might be all the traffic you EVER need on a daily basis to make a killing with your site. You will never know until you test and track everything about your site.
The headlines, the offers, the opt-in forms, the guarantees, testimonials, bullets, adsense placement, followup… In short, every webmaster on the net has a lot of work to do on every site they own if they really want to reap the kinds of profits their sites are actually capable of pulling in.
Most people get a site up and are happy with the sales or clicks they get and move on. NO! You are leaving so much money on the table thinking you are done with a site right after you put it up.
That site is the worst it should ever be! Wasting another domain fee, hosting fee, bandwidth and the costs associated with getting traffic to a brand new site before you have optimized your current site for the very best conversion it can pull is NOT good business practice.
I know people who have literally thousands of domains. And one thing I can guarantee you is this: They are making a pittance, even if they are making $60,000 a DAY, in comparison to what they COULD be making with far fewer sites and more testing and tweaking of that smaller group!
And Fortin seems to agree. He is going to be at my seminar in New Orleans September 9th – 11th, 2005 to expose everyone who attends to just how much money they have left on the table over the years because they have never tested different aspects of their calls to action.
It is enlightening, as well as depressing to find out how much money you COULD have made all this time had you tested from the beginning!
But the point is, you cannot go back to get all those lost subscribers, sales, or clicks. You can only start testing today to capture more money from each site you own. Thereby alleviating the need to have a massive network of sites all performing at half their potential or much less!
About the author:
Jack Humphrey is Managing Partner at Content Desk. He is also the author of Power Linking 2005, now in its 4th edition. http://www.power-linking-profits.comTo learn more about the profitable niche publishing industry, check out http://contentdesk.com/mardigras