Who doesn’t like something for nothing? We all know that in the real world of business, there is no such thing as a free ride. The closest you can get is to re-coup the cost of your investment. In short, your ROI (return on investment) for any asset must be achieved within a reasonable amount of time. Learn 3 ways that will help you recover the cost of your web site in record time. Mastering just these three basic principles will get your website to pay for itself and have you on the road to more leads, more sales and a highly targeted client base.

1 Design with conversion in mind

web-site-design-with-conversion-in-mindWhen you walk into a grocery store have you ever noticed that you can usually tell exactly where the cash registers are and where the entrance and exits are.  Aisles are normally marked and logically grouped with similar or related products. The simple but often overlooked rule of optimizing for conversions is to keep things simple, easy to navigate and easy to understand. Don’t clutter your site by trying to show everything on one page. Design your site structure logically and in a way that builds on the keyword research you’ve done. Your site design needs to have logical flow, and answer questions that solve problems. Don’t make people think and make sure your page title or article title delivers on the promise.

When it comes to generating leads online, you need forms, but don’t get carried away. Use as few fields as possible to get just enough information from your user so that you can follow up with them. People need to build a relationship of trust with you, so don’t ask for more information than would be comfortable to disclose in a first encounter with them. This would be like meeting a girl for the first time and immediately asking her to marry you. Don’t be a freak. When asking people for something online, get just enough info from them so that you have a way to contact them going forward, like an email address for example. Email addresses are probably your most valuable asset in long term revenue. They are gold mines, if used correctly.

2 Track everything and fail fast

Track-everything-and-fail-fastHenry Ford once said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Incorporate some form of web site analytics and use it. Make very few assumptions and test everything. This is overlooked by so many web site owners that an entire post should be dedicated to this topic alone. Tracking allows you to see which areas of your site does well and which sections perform poorly. When you buy advertising and send visitors to a specific web page, but the page fails to achieve your goals, whether a sale or a lead, find what you’re doing wrong and rectify quickly. Fail fast and learn from your failures. In a time where we have the ability to track almost anything our visitors do, we don’t need to guess and continue to repeat failures of the past.

There are many forms of tracking and analytics packages available. Some are free but will need to used in conjunction with others in order to generate usable and actionable data.

3 Make use of free or low cost channels

make-use-of-free-advertising-and-low-cost-channelsUnfortunately, the old adage: “You get what you pay for”, is true with most things including advertising. However, just because you get better results when you hand over the simoleans, doesn’t mean that you should sell your left arm to pay for it. There is a plethora of free or low cost advertising options available that will drive traffic to your site. When you utilize lower cost or free methods, you still pay for it albeit not with money. When starting a new business or low cash flow, good old fashioned hard work is all you need. Just like foot traffic in the real world, web site traffic is a necessity for conversions. Learn about and master one channel at a time before moving on to another. Your return on investment will be greater when you’re not aimlessly trying a bunch of things all at the same time in the hopes that something will work.

When the learning stops, so does progress

Learning about how people act online is going to be one of the most valuable things you can do for business, that is of course, if you’re online – and why wouldn’t you be? See: 5 Tips for doing business in the 21st century. The most frustrating and yet rewarding thing you can do is learn a new way of doing something, improving on it each time, then repeat it, until you’ve perfected it. When you’re first starting out, everything you need to know about doing business online may seem rather daunting. Don’t stress about it. Just take one bite sized chunk at a time and understand it. Each time you learn something new, the knowledge you gain will build on top of that which you’ve learned before.