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Have to be missing something

mark schaaf
Posts: 398
Joined: 04 Oct 10
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Have to be missing something

I have spent a lot of time putting my main web site together did my research and wrote many good articles, I did my SEO on and off page have lots of links but I am still missing something that I just can't figure out. I am on page 1 of google and yahoo for at least 7 different pages of my site and get good traffic to my site, I know that travel sites have a lot of people that read stuff and come back a lot before booking anything because that is want I used to do before putting my site together. I have been told by some that my site has too much information and seems too clinical and I am working on that a bit, some say my site looks dated but others like it just the way it is but with all the things I have changed over the last year I might get 1 person out of every 1000 people who come to my site who books anything. My bounce rate most often is only around 40 to 45% and most people who stay on my site stay for between 3 to 8 minutes. I have banner links as well as text links to all the things I am promoting and get a lot of clicks to those sites which are all big sites but as I said I am not getting much in the way of conversion. I am thinking do I need some kind of point of sale line in the articles in a few places to get the people to book something. I haven't done anything like this as of yet because I don't what the visitors to think I am too pushy. Looking for ideas, suggestions.
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Mark
 
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cecille.l
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Joined: 25 Feb 11
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Hi Mark,

I'm sorry to hear that. I know you've been working on this site for a long time now and it is quite a site now. I personally think making the content more personal, like a traveler's blog, would help. Users would be reading about your personal experiences and opinions on travel. You can then recommend the products that have helped you in your travels.

Have you tried testing your pages? Like create a review page of one product, making it more "salesy" than usual, then another where you write a personal recommendation and see which one converts better?

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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marytordecilla
Posts: 970
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Hi Mark,

I remembered looking at your travel site before. Would you mind giving the link to this site again? Perhaps you can come up with "call to action" words within your content.

Mary
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mark schaaf
Posts: 398
Joined: 04 Oct 10
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marytordecilla I haven't been putting my sites url on my questions because I don't want anyone to think I am using it for a link but if you click on my name it takes you to my profile where my site is listed. Mark
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Mark
 
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jimcoe
Posts: 398
Joined: 13 Feb 12
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Hi Mark,

I think Cecille is onto something about testing. Have you tried A/B split testing? It's great, when you don't really know what to try next. Beats the heck out of just "trying hunches". You still do what you think will improve a page's results (hunches), then send 50% of your traffic to the new page and 50% to the old. And you need to make pretty radical changes to maximize your learning. People sometimes use split testing to test, say, just one word in a headline - but that's more for fine-tuning after bigger changes.

It's good that you're getting decent traffic because A/B split tests are meaningless until you have enough results to reach "statistical significance". Any good split test program (like Google's) will tell you when you've gathered enough samples to be meaningful.

Also, I always recommend www.MarketingExperiments.com as a place to study. They take a scientific approach to understanding the online sales process and how to improve it - and they really do that. Check out their free webinars too.

Hope this helps....
_jim coe
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mark schaaf
Posts: 398
Joined: 04 Oct 10
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Thanks for the site tip Jim I will have to check it out. As for my site I am thinking about a complete color scheme change as I have had some people tell me my site looks out dated and I think they think that way because so many sites don't have much in the way of background colors or on page colors, often the background may just be a light gray or some other color like this site uses. Also most sites use a white with black print for the pages and I know it sounds funny since I really like the color of my site but I do think that it is a nice clean look when it is black print on a white page. However I was planning on the color change for my home page then if things worked out I would change the rest of the site. I was planning on putting it up as home page 2 or something like that as a test page but I have never used google webmaster tools for doing this which I think they can switch between the 2 but am a little worried because I don't know how a different home page will work with the menu and all the links on the page. Has anyone used webmaster tools for testing and do they have good instructions on how to do this. Thanks
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Mark
 
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jimcoe
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The last time I used Google for split testing, it was called "Google Webpage Optimizer". I'm sure it hasn't changed much. And they walk you through it nicely (just like with Google Analytics and their other services.

Basically you add some Google copy/paste script into the header of your "A" and "B" HTML pages, then launch your test. Then Google starts gathering statistics and building your report. They warn you if you haven't had enough traffic for the test to reach 95% confidence level (or whatever percent). They show you results along the way - but warn you (correctly) not to base any decisions on early results (before you reach the statistical confidence level you need).

It does set a cookie on the visitor's computer, so that they always see the same page version when they come back to your page (and you'll also only see one version.

Things get more complex if you try to do "mufti-variate" tests ("A/B/C"), or change too many things on a page (such that you don't know which change was what caused the result).

My simple A/B split tests usually require a minimum of about 300+ samples to reach statistical significance. If you are testing against sales, that means 300 SALES - which can represent a lot of traffic (and make testing very slow).

Because that makes it impossible to split test new sites with low traffic, I sometimes use AdWords PPC during split tests and also sometimes use a "proxy" visitor action as an "indicator of buyer intent" - like if they used a link from the landing page to a "just-before-the-sale" info page (like a list of my info product chapters) or some such.

Hope this helps...
_jim coe
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jcdean
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Joined: 24 Nov 09
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My hunch is that your visitors are not far enough along the buying cycle. They are in the planing stages of a trip they are thinking about taking one day and not ready to book something.

Perhaps you could get a few of them to sign up for a monthly news letter and eventually get sales.
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marytordecilla
Posts: 970
Joined: 16 Apr 12
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Hi Mark,

I also suggest that you take a look at what JC advised. Try to experiment with newsletters. A list is a good way to get good sales conversion.

Mary
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