From Internet Retailer:
“Visitors returning to a web site are eight times more likely to make an online purchase than new visitors, according to new data from WebSideStory Inc. During the first three months of 2006, repeat visitors to business-to-consumer e-commerce sites had a conversion rate of 12.61%. That compares with a 1.55% conversion rate for new visitors.“
Now, assuming that data is correct and widely applicable – and I strongly suspect it is – what can webmasters do to help ensure the sale?
Some people may need to rethink their SEM strategy, for starters.
For example, say a webmaster gets top ranking/placement, and gets the visitor to the site. What next? Chances are, the visitor won’t buy a thing.
So, webmasters need to make sure that visitors return by locking them in. Encourage them to sign up for a mailing list, or RSS, or remind them to bookmark. Examine site stats and determine where visitors are exiting, and determine why. Most people aren’t getting what they want on the first visit.
There’s a lot of talk in the SEM community about how to get visitors to a site, and very little about what happens next. A few simple changes, beyond SEM, can greatly increase conversion rates and return on investment.