They told you that in order to be a legit business you need a domain name. So you got one. And then you navigated the process of getting your website up and ready to go.
But where are the sales? Where is the money? Where are the website visitors? Before you start thinking that there is something wrong with your website, you need to understand five reasons why your site might not be making money for your business.
Why Do You Need a Website?
If you have spent anytime around me, you will quickly learn that I am a huge fan of social media. I am a people person. I love the psychology of a customer. I love interacting and getting to know my audience. I teach my people to do the same things. So when I teach you to find your target market, post with a purpose and you inevitably start seeing social media wins left and right, what is next? Then it is time for you to have a website.
Why not Etsy or Amazon? Those are possibilities. You can definitely look at the pros and cons of Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy to see if that’s the next step for your business. These are great options if you are still building a social media presence. Or if you don’t have a built in audience begging to buy from you.
But if your social media is booming, then it is because you have done the work to find those people. These are your people.
Before I had a website I would run sales on Etsy driving traffic there from my Facebook Group.
I am here to tell you today why I eventually stopped that and transitioned to my own website. I started to see I was making Etsy a lot of money from my hard work. I would post on the Facebook group, create a frenzy around my product and then Etsy would reap their commission of my sales.
These weren’t Etsy customers finding me on the Etsy platform. These were my customers being funneled to Etsy by me. I decided it was time for me to send my people to my website and get more of a commission than give it someone else.
What Do You Want Your Website To Do?
It seems simple enough, right? People are online. You have products to sell them. So you set up a website and the people will come and buy from you. So you get a domain name, hosting, set up a site, list some content or products. And then you sit back and wait for that first sale. And then what happens? Well sales may trickle in, but most likely they are coming from names you already recognize. What happened to all that hype about people being online and you needing to be online so they can find you? Are people even online?
Yep. They are. And good for you for being online, too. But online is a big place. And there’s a good chance that people aren’t finding you because of how big the space is and how many people are there.
Think of a brick and mortar building. Has it ever happened to you that someone tells you about a wonderful place to eat, or shop or visit. And you go. And it is wonderful! Which leads you to wonder out loud, “how did I not know this place was here? It’s amazing?” Just like in the real world, we have to be found online and sometimes it takes some extra work.
If you’ve set up a site and expect people to suddenly know that you are there and how to find you just because you opened up, you are going to be disappointed. A site can bring you sales, income, new customers, recurring customers and all the things you are hoping for. But there’s a good chance that it’s not doing that for you, yet.
Why Your Website Isn’t Making Money For Your Business?
Let me tell you the reasons that your website might not be bringing in the revenue you had hoped after spending countless hours or dollars to set up your online space. But, before we dive into this, you have to know that there is a lot here than can overwhelm you. I want you to understand that this is all stuff you can learn and implement. But we can’t fix what we don’t know.
I can hear some of you saying “Holy cow Ashley! How many things do I have to do here?” I hear you. I get you. But, hear me out. These are all things that you can work on with knowledge and time.
1. You are not engaging with your social media pages.
I always tell my students if you are not engaging with your audience how are you expecting them to engage with you? If you have an engaged audience folks will follow you anywhere. Once you learn how to engage with your social media audience you can funnel them to your website to be able to purchase from you.
This is one of the cheapest ways to promote our website. It doesn’t even take an ad. A simple Facebook group sale will get traffic to your page. I used my own Facebook group to consistently make thousands of dollars a month. And this is something you can do, too. By creating this frenzy of customers lined up to go to your website and purchase.
What if you are not engaging on social media? Or you don’t have a social media strategy in place? I am going to be honest. You are missing a lot of traffic that could be buying from you and your site.
Let’s face it, social media allows us to gain that loyal following that is hard to get through ads. Most small businesses don’t have the kind of money it takes to run ads and show up against all of those big companies, so having an engaged audience is one no fail way to bring people to your site for a lot less money.
2. Your website is not being found in search.
Speaking of competing with other companies, it can be done. But we have to understand one key component.
If you are still reading this article and you just read those three little letters and you have no idea what I am talking about, it is time for you to learn. SEO stand for a fancy phrase, Search Engine Optimization. In other words, SEO is what customers type in to a search bar to find your product.
Remember, you are a customer yourself. You use SEO every day that you are online. What do you type in when you are looking for something on Google, Etsy or Amazon? This is SEO and how we get seen by potential customers.
The truth is, I won’t be able to teach you all about SEO in this short article. Our Creative Codebook course has nine training videos on just the basics of SEO. But I can tell you this is key to your website success. When creating titles for your products are you using long tail keywords that describe your product? Are you using alt tags for your pictures? Are you spot on with your description and tags? All of these things and much more can help SEO for your site.
SEO is also key in getting found on any platform you decide to sell on. So understanding how to make it work is a necessity for any online seller.
3. You are not adding anything new to your website.
This is simple to understand. If you walk into a store and nothing has changed since the last time you were there, you will start to assume that there will never be new things to see. Eventually you will stop going to that store because you already know what they have.
Your website is the same, we want to make sure whether we have a product based website or a content website that we are adding new products, services, opt ins, and articles. We want our pages to look new, fresh and be a good source for our customers. At least every quarter make sure you are give your website a fresh lift in content or products.
This helps your site in Google’s eyes too which means you might rank higher the more updates you are placing on your site.
4. You have no abandoned cart recovery plan.
So many times we will see on our website that people reach the payment processing and then they leave. We call this an abandoned cart. Are you trying to capture these sales? They were an engaged shopper, but what stopped them from completing that purchase?
- Was it your shipping?
- Was it the final price?
- Were they were just being nosey or wishing or daydream shopping?
What stopped them at that very moment? So many times sales work because customers feel they won’t get another deal as good as the one staring them in the face. Make sure you have a plan in place for your abandoned carts to send those customers a juicy deal. Some options might be…
- a discount from their next purchase
- free shipping
- a coupon for that current purchase
- even just a simple email to remind them they left items in their cart and stock is getting low!
Whatever the case may be you need to make sure you are reaching out to these people. They have engaged with you and your product. They have your product in their cart. And if you are not trying to close the deal, then you are loosing out on money.
5. You have no strategy for your site in place.
Is your plan to start a website, put some pictures up, and then sit there and wait to get sales? Chances are good that you will be sitting there for a long time. A lot of things that take work will impact making money with your website.
Your pictures, your user experience, your opt ins, your email list, social media, SEO…the list just keeps growing as your business grows with ways to use your website for your business.
As a business coach I want to tell you, you don’t have to have it all perfect to get started. That is a mindset we have to get out of. But you also need to be realistic with yourself and plan out a strategy that will work for you. Organize your strategy to fit your schedule and build your website to be a selling machine.
As an example:
- Month 1- Pick a domain name. Get your domain. Feel accomplished.
- Month 2- Pick a layout you like. Learn the platform. Make sure you create an easy to use website that will offer the product your customer needs.
- Month 3- You have everything in place to start listing product. Make it a goal to engage your social media and get them excited for what’s to come. Make sure your pixel is set up so you can in time collect those people that are visiting into an audience that you can target with ads.
- Each month- Keep going. Keep adding strategies for your website traffic and sales growth.
For some, a website might not be the right step right now. If you don’t have the money or the time to start one, then don’t. It will be a waste of time and money if you don’t have a plan and a strategy in place.
A website can be an amazing sales generation tool for your business. A website can and should be bringing in more money and more sales for you. Focusing on these areas can help you gain access to the money that your business deserves to make from your website.
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