Online Advertising Traffic and the First Law of Web Surfing

Written by Joel Walsh

Continued from page 1

In order to get your visitors to convert once they arrive, you need to make sure they have a clear path to conversion fromrepparttar landing page. The simplerrepparttar 136993 path,repparttar 136994 better--a winding road might lose some potential customers. This conversion path could be as simple as a "buy now" button or a contact form, or as complex as a multi-step shopping cart with required registration with required email confirmation to scare away those who are not truly devoted buyers.

Targeting your traffic What you show visitors who arrive at your site is only halfrepparttar 136995 equation. The visitors themselves arerepparttar 136996 other. As with everything in life, you can't convert a sow's ear into a silk purse. In this case,repparttar 136997 sow's ear is paid traffic that is not targeted, or is coming from popunders or other forced viewing, or is just plain faked (there is software specifically designed to emulate human visitors so fraudsters can sellrepparttar 136998 "traffic").

Even inrepparttar 136999 best of cases, some traffic converts better than others. Generally speaking, visitors who are looking for you arerepparttar 137000 likeliest to convert, so conversion rates tend to be highest from advertising on search engines. Conversion rates tend to be lower from advertising on websites (so-called "content" or "contextual" advertising).

Conversion rates are lower still on advertising on website popups, and lowest of all on so-called adware (programs that display popups on a user's computer;repparttar 137001 people who sell this advertising often label it "targeted traffic"). Sending emails that consist of nothing but your advertisement, even if you've skirtedrepparttar 137002 legal definition of spam, is not worthrepparttar 137003 bad will and damage to your brand.

Preaching to non-converting online advertising traffic A significant percentage of visitors, maybe a majority, will never just click "buy now." How do you reach them?

Many people simply will never make a purchase without speaking to a salesperson first. For them, provide a convenient contact form, as well as a live chat option--if you can affordrepparttar 137004 time and expense--your email, and a telephone number. A telephone number is especially important since there are some visitors who will never convert without hearingrepparttar 137005 voice of someone on your end.

For visitors who are not ready to convert immediately, you should have informational articles, "about us" pages or FAQs ready to help them make up their minds.

For visitors who simply will not be ready to convert today, give a reason to bookmark your page. Good articles. A special offer. A newsletter to sign up for. Free advice.

Just make sure you don't place these alternative non-converting options in too prominent a position, or you'll risk distracting prospective customers. A few paragraphs up fromrepparttar 137006 very bottom ofrepparttar 137007 page is a good place to catch people who are interested in you enough to readrepparttar 137008 entire page, but still haven't converted. The very bottom ofrepparttar 137009 page should be reserved for a conversion option for allrepparttar 137010 prospective customers accustomed to scrolling torepparttar 137011 bottom ofrepparttar 137012 page to get a quick overview.

After all, if you want your visitors from online advertising traffic to convert into customers, shouldn't you at least make it easy for them?

Joel Walsh has written as a staff writer for St. Martin's Press and Barnes & Noble, as well as numerous online publications. He is the head writer for UpMarket, a website content provider and online advertising resource for small and medium-sized business websites. You can get a template guide for writing a landing page, with samples, at:

Coporate Website Content Design Failures

Written by Joel Walsh

Continued from page 1

Of course, Flash can be used as a way to present content—words, both printed and recorded, and pictures that actually illustrate something. But more often, it is used to impress. And most often, it ends up annoying. Who wants to spendrepparttar better part of a minute waiting for a rotation of generic pictures of smiling models?

Special Effect that Bombs Number 2: Splash Screens You type in expecting information on batteries—which you will find, if you haverepparttar 136992 patience not to hitrepparttar 136993 “back” button whilerepparttar 136994 site shows a picture of a battery revolving painfully slowly. On you're met with pictures of happy children playing with Ronald McDonald and a menu to select what country you're from. Johnson's and Johnson's web site shows a logo before automatically redirecting you torepparttar 136995 main page—that is if it doesn't crash your browser first (which happened whenrepparttar 136996 author tried to accessrepparttar 136997 page on May 2, 2004 ).

Another way big consumer corporations' web sites from Schick to Mercedes-Benz to Thomas Cooke waste your time with splash pages is by making you choose what country you're visiting from. This could have been detected automatically, or at least, useful worldwide content could have been placed onrepparttar 136998 homepage, with an option to choose a country prominently displayed.

Splash pages arerepparttar 136999 internet equivalent of making patrons wait in line out front before letting them inside. Unless a site belongs to a night club or a professional services firm with too much business, this can't be a good idea. Onrepparttar 137000 web, whererepparttar 137001 “back” button andrepparttar 137002 URL bars loom temptingly, making people wait is business suicide.

Special Effect that Bombs Number 3: Overbuilt or Badly Built “Dynamic” Functionality Every web surfer has a story about a shopping cart that malfunctioned just when they were about to click “purchase” on something they really wanted. Or a detailed form that lost allrepparttar 137003 information afterrepparttar 137004 “submit” button was pressed. When there are so many good “dynamic” sites out there, why are there still so many bad ones? Part ofrepparttar 137005 problem may be overbuilding and needless custom design. There are already excellent Open Source databases out there, which can be endlessly customized and updated by any skilled designer. Yet many companies prefer to spend their money reinventingrepparttar 137006 wheel so they can have their own proprietary technology, even if it doesn't work.

Sometimes, dynamic content can distortrepparttar 137007 way an entire site presents itself. Ifrepparttar 137008 dynamic content is so complex that it presents problems for many users, it is unlikelyrepparttar 137009 dynamic content is worth it. On, your first greeting is a message that your computer is sufficiently up-to-date (or not) to handlerepparttar 137010 site. Is that reallyrepparttar 137011 magical and fun impression you want to give visitors?

Joel Walsh is the founder, owner, and head writer of UpMarket, an online copywriting / internet marketing services firm & web content provider to small and medium-sized businesses.

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