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Attention! More Sales - Not More Visitors.
By Kevin Gold, Managing Partner, Enhanced Concepts, Inc.

"I expected sales from the volumes of visitors sent to my website". Have you said this before?

"I expected sales from the volumes of visitors sent to my website".

Have you said this before?

Let's imagine that you had setup a paid search campaign using a second-tiered paid search engine like ePilot to drive "visitors" to your website. Chances are you were thinking that if you can generate thousands of new visitors to your website that you will automatically generate more sales, right?  It's a fair assumption especially since like traditional sales, online sales is a "numbers" game.

Unfortunately, "assumptions" tend to oversimplify. In paid search as with other "marketing" channels whether online or offline, the relative quality of the "visitor pools" accessed by the marketing channels like paid search lead to the "conversion" of visitors into sales.  "Quality" in relation to the relevancy your product or service has to the target market and user profile accessed by the marketing channel. The higher the relevancy the greater the conversion probability. Likewise, a hungrier pool of qualified visitors, the greater opportunity for you to close more sales.

Each distinct marketing channel (like contextual advertising) and the visitors attracted through them will produce varying outcomes for the same website. Therefore, even if your website produces a favorable sales conversion from natural search engine visitors, there is only a probability that another marketing channel will deliver similar or better sales conversion results. Why?  Because...

"All traffic is NOT created equal".

So how do you know how to attract sales and not just more visitors?

By following these three steps:
1.  Define your Most Important Action
All businesses have a "most important action" which their marketing efforts seek to acquire from their website visitors such as sales, leads, and content or membership subscriptions. You must define your "most important action" and use it as a measuring stick for gauging results.

2. Test, Test and Test Some More!
Search properties like Google, Yahoo, MSN and content websites like Wall Street Journal and ESPN have their own unique user demographics and psychographics that you gain access to through specific marketing channels. Unfortunately, figuring out exactly which search properties and content sites have your perfect customer profile mix is neither a simple effort nor even a practical one.

Therefore, test multiple marketing channels including second-tiered paid search engines like MIVA, Kanoodle and Enhance or contextual advertisers like MetricsDirect using a small "speculative" budget. The most important aspect though of testing and of spending even your speculative budget wisely is provided in step three.

3. Use Performance Metrics to Judge Next Steps
Because you have established your most important action, you are capable of determining the success or failure of your test marketing channel.  Calculating your performance metrics is a straight-forward procedure. Here is what you do...
a)  Before you activate a new marketing channel, purchase a campaign tracking system like HyperTracker, Conversion Detective

Kevin Gold is Managing Partner of Enhanced Concepts helping businesses increase their online leads and sales through improving conversions and gaining greater visibility. Download "20 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Website

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