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April 5, 2011
Issue 658
Google goes shopping for patents - April 5, 2011
Google has made a $900m bid for the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks, the bankrupt Canadian telecom equipment maker. The patents could help arm it against potential lawsuits aimed...
(Full article at BBC News)

Microsoft sues Google for 'search biasing' - April 5, 2011
In an ironic twist of fate, dominant software maker Microsoft is accusing Internet giant Google of biasing search results on its Internet search engine in...
(Full article at GMA News Online)

Baidu considers acquisition of an English search engine - April 4, 2011
At the China IT Leadership Summit held last week, Marbridge Consulting reported that Baidu CEO Robin Li informally announced the Chinese Internet search company's...
(Full article at TNW Asia)

InfoSpace extends partnership with Google - April 4, 2011
InfoSpace, a provider of metasearch products, has extended its partnership with Google to distribute search results and advertising content through the InfoSpace network of...
(Full article at Computer Business Review)


How To Help Your Site Convert

Creating a site for your business is one thing, ensuring it is able to convert customers is quite often another.

Setting up your business online may seem like a relatively simple process these days.

After all, not only are there many companies willing to do it for you, but there are also a wide range of free tools and resources that can help you maintain your presence and make the most of your site.

However, the ease with which you can create a home for your business online shouldn't be confused with the ability for your business to then make sales based on that home. To truly take advantage of an online presence, your business needs to not only make itself available to customers, but to also engage with them.

One of the biggest problems for companies who have created websites that are primarily concerned with maintaining the brand they have spent so much time and money perfecting is a site that is hard for a customer to navigate and interact with.



While it's obviously imperative to keep a strong brand presence on your site, it's also extremely important to ensure that this doesn't overshadow the primary function of your site - to encourage people to convert.

A site that is unable to convert its users, especially for businesses in the retail sector, is completely failing to do its job. But it can be difficult to see where you are going wrong, especially when you have spent a lot of time and money creating your website and choosing your products carefully.

An added complication can be the fact that you may not be able to fully understand the statistics and analytics associated with your site, making it harder for you to understand why you are failing to engage your customers and encourage them to make that final click.

By being able to interpret things like the amount of time a user spends on one of your pages, or where in the user journey they decide to leave your site, you can begin to put together a picture of areas in which your site is failing - and thereby find places to make improvements.



Another way to find out about the stumbling blocks your business may be facing is to organise some user testing. Professional user testing can help you determine exactly how and why customers are having trouble with your site and provide you with reason for their failure to convert - and this is information that can be invaluable to your business.

Taking the time to investigate areas such as these, in addition to the time and energy spent on creating your site in the first place, is essential if you want to be able to function to the best of your business's ability online.

If you have the capacity to make some of these assessments and recommendations yourself, you may be able to discover any potential stumbling blocks for your business without help. Otherwise, you should be able to find web companies offering Conversion rate optimisation services that you can ask to take care of the research and recommendation for you.

Either way it's important to consider this angle when creating, revamping or auditing your site.

About the Author: Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey's other articles here to find out more.


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