You know what? I'm going to throw it out there that doubling or trebling your website income isn't very difficult.
In fact, doubling or trebling your website income OVERNIGHT isn't very difficult.
Actually, I'll take it one step further. Doubling or trebling your website income OVERNIGHT and for FREE isn't very difficult!
Your site already has low hanging fruit that's right there ready to be plucked that will produce these kinds of results. You're probably just not seeing it.
This point was driven home to me recently so significantly that I'll never again underestimate the power of this principle.
We're performance based partners with an online business that generates around $300,000 in income each month. (Sorry. To protect their privacy, I can't give you the URL.) Previously we'd been so focused on driving traffic to the site that we didn't see the low hanging fruit that was right before our eyes.
It was pretty silly in hindsight, but I reckon most people are guilty of the same crime. For most of us, we want more traffic. It's the lifeblood of any site. But the thing is, once you start ranking number one on all your key terms and dominating in PPC in your niche, generating more traffic becomes more difficult.
It seems to follow the law of diminishing returns which says that once you reach a certain point, more effort is required to keep growing at the same rate. In essence, you have to work much harder to achieve the same level of traffic growth.
Looking for new answers
We began to scratch our heads a little thinking of ways to keep growing the business significantly. We knew we could improve the lifetime value of the customer by improving the backend marketing so that each customer completed more transactions with us over time. But that was a longer term, much larger project. We wanted something easier.
Keep in mind we'd worked really hard to get the business to that point so we figured that based on this law of diminishing returns we'd probably have to work twice as hard to double the income. It was a bit disheartening.
So we went back to the drawing board and reviewed the entire site to see if there were any other areas that could be improved. It was at that point that we were prompted to review the conversion process. We had been constantly improving it over the previous 18 months and were pretty proud of the current conversion rates.
Nonetheless, we had enough humility to think that we could improve them even further. We hired an expert who gave us a few pointers that helped things a little. But it wasn't significant enough. We needed more.
So we went ahead and threw down about $500 for what is universally considered the bible of increasing conversions; The Landing Page Handbook by Marketing Sherpa. While it's looking at landing page improvement, what it's really about is improving your conversion rate generally.
Although it was a big investment, we believed that if we could get a little further improvement, it would eventually pay for itself. (It was far cheaper than the consultant!)
If you haven't seen the Landing Page Handbook, I recommend you check it out. It's a 270+ page book full of real world scientific data on what REALLY works with the conversion process. It shows exact case study examples with eye tracking charts, before and after shots with real data from multi-million-dollar companies. It's compelling stuff. But would it work for us?
We applied several principles from the guide which resulted in a drastic shift from what we were doing before. When we'd finished, the application form looked completely different and had new underlying methodology. We were a little nervous, but hawkishly watched the numbers once we deployed the changes based on the Marketing Sherpa advice and using the free Google Website Optimizer tool.
Specifically we made the following changes:
Dramatically modified the design of the application mimicking other successful examples in the guide. We were able to strip back some fields, reposition some elements and improve the overall appearance. One of the big things that seemed to help the most was the removal of the normal navigation and other distracting elements on the page. We weren't sure exactly which elements should stay for keeping people oriented on the site, and which ones were not necessary and would distract users. The guide helped clarify some of those issues. It was nice to work from the case study examples that already achieved good results. We weren't just guessing quite as much. We've got more testing to do in this department to see if we can improve it further.
Tweaked and added more trust indicators. This gave us a small push. I would estimate around 5-10%. We added the Hackersafe logo to important parts of the site as well as using some specific language to support the user in their concerns about security and privacy. I'm not sure from where the improvement came specifically, but I know collectively all the changes had a positive effect.
Improved the copy as recommended. Once again we were reminded that small changes in copy can have drastic results. We're still tweaking this, but we found that small changes (including the amount of supporting copy) had positive and negative effects on our conversion rate. In our case, more copy was actually worse.
Restructured the way the form was processed. Because we had redesigned the form elements, we were able to take it from a 3 page application form to a 1 page. It was difficult to find the balance between 1 really long form (which scares people off) and a multi-part form (which people bail out half way through). In the end with all the strategies put together, we were able to run with a single page application form and get great results. Next, we'll be trying out one of the other recommendations which was to have a smaller first page and a finishing 2nd page. Maybe this will be the sweet spot!
So what was the end result? Simply put. . . amazing. We nearly doubled the conversion rate of the application form. . . and we've still got room for improvement!
Now think about that for a second. Almost overnight we doubled the new business which has the flow-on effect of producing millions of dollars of new income for the company. Crazy stuff really.
Other than our $497 investment, we didn't have to pay a cent. That's staggering. In hindsight, we were annoyed that we hadn't done it earlier and couldn't help look at the business we'd lost by not doing it.
Valuable lessons learned
We learned a few valuable lessons from this. I hope you can take this on board so you don't suffer the same mistakes.
1) Focus on improving your conversions. In most cases, doubling your conversion rate is MUCH easier than doubling your traffic.
2) Take action sooner rather than later and keep aiming to improve.
3) Don't be a scrooge on getting the best information into your hands that you know can directly impact your business positively. For us. that $497 investment pays for itself many times over every day since!
If your business is making at least a few hundred dollars a day, I recommend investing in this guide. Sure no one is guaranteeing anything, but think about what doubling your conversion rate could do for YOUR business.
Turn 50k a year into 100k? Turn 100k a year into 200k?
Maybe all that means is taking your conversion rate from 1% to 2%. What if you could in fact take it from 1% to 5%? That would turn $100,000 into $500,000!
That's what I love about doing business online. These magical little changes can produce wonderful outcomes.
All you need is RIGHT information that you can trust. Information that's backed up by science and empirical data. Forget about generating more traffic for a moment. Think about doubling or trebling your conversion rate and make more money from the people who are already turning up to your website. It could be the difference between “getting by” and “getting rich”!