Larry BraunerCould it be that your website looks nice but fails to help you meet your web marketing objectives? Too often that is the case.

Lots of effort and expense went into building your site, but your return on investment is marginal or non-existent.

Here are possible reasons why your website isn’t generating leads or sales and some ideas that might help you correct the problems.

Too Little Website Traffic

Perhaps you lack an effective strategy for driving visitors to your site.

You set up your storefront but didn’t tell potential customers that you were in business, a mistake I often see both online and off.

Lack of traffic leads to lack of exposure for you and your offer or message.

Don’t assume that traffic will somehow find its way to you through word-of-mouth, search engines or otherwise. It rarely happens that way.

Generate exposure for your website offline via print advertising, direct mail, radio, etc. and online using social media, search engine marketing, search engine optimization and so forth.

Think big. You can dominate your niche, so don’t settle for less.

The Wrong Website Traffic

You have website traffic, but either your website traffic is not targeted or it’s poorly targeted, the result of using bad copy, selecting the wrong media, or choosing the wrong keywords.

For greater and more targeted website traffic, employ a good mix of research, analysis and experimentation.

Direct marketers have been using this approach offline since before you and I were born, and it works like a charm online as well.

Insufficient Stickiness

You have plenty of visitors, but they leave your website too soon.

Consider these questions:

  • Are you targeting the right website traffic?
  • Are your branding and message clear?
  • Are your pages too cluttered, or do you give your visitor too many choices?
  • Is your font hard to read? Try to avoid white on black in all your media, since it slows down your reader.
  • Is important content “above the fold?” Can visitors see your most important content without scrolling down?
  • Is your content up-to-date, relevant and interesting?
  • Do you use social techniques on your website to engage your visitors?

Poor Conversion

You have plenty of visitors who stick around but nothing happens.

Here are more questions to ponder:

  • Do you have a conversion strategy?
  • Does each of your pages have a call to action?
  • If not ready to buy, can your visitor join, opt-in to or subscribe to your site?

If you don’t have a lead capture mechanism and follow-up strategy, you’re leaving lots of money on the table.

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11 Responses to “Why Doesn’t My Website Generate Sales?”

  1. Morgan Mandel on June 11th, 2009 8:28 pm

    Great tips. I’ll have to check my website to make sure it’s right.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Lamar Morgan on June 11th, 2009 8:33 pm


    Your article is excellent. However, to be perfectly honest, I think that today a website is simply not enough to get the job done. Today, a website has to be connected to things outside itself - like blogs, Twitter, Squidoo, etc.

    If you have a web presence on the Net, the last thing you want is to be seen as “going solo.” In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you are on the Internet, it is in your best interest to be CONNECTED WITH OTHERS. I think that is the secret to Twitter. Here is a simple little software application that has turned in to something extraordinary. Why? Because it connects people.

    Speaking of connecting people, I think the fashionable thing to do these days is to be a community member of a “portal.” Here the SEO of all the portal members can be harnessed to work for the benefit of your business. Plus, you have the benefit of an opt-in lead generation system. Want to see what I am talking about? Visit Portal Power.

    Lamar Morgan

  3. DrErica on June 11th, 2009 8:49 pm

    I found this blog really insightful and could totally relate to getting traffic that is not targeted - and then not having a call to action when people respond. There is still so much for me to learn about this incredible online world.

  4. Steve on June 11th, 2009 10:10 pm

    A couple ingredients I hope to add in the future: podcasting, videocasting, and more frequent posts. I think all of those definitely help in terms of bringing valuable traffic to one’s site.

  5. Larry Brauner on June 11th, 2009 10:11 pm

    @Lamar - I agree with you that a website isn’t a web presence. Today social media are an essential complement to a company’s website.

    @Morgan and @DrErica - Thank you. Please let me know if I can help.

    @Steve - They may very well help. I have focused on blogging, online social networking and social bookmarking. We need to go with the media that best suit our personalities and styles.

  6. Debbie Morgan on June 12th, 2009 1:15 pm

    Hi Larry! Thanks for these tips. I’ll have to go over my site again and see if I can tweak a few things. Deb

  7. O on June 13th, 2009 10:35 pm

    Nice post, the question is, how do I improve my website? The best way to improve a website is to use web analytics to measure the impact each change has on the site, this is really the only way to consistently improve a website for the visitors.

    Using an A/B testing tool like Google Website Optimizer lets you see the effect each change has, helping you choose the design with the best conversion rates. A/B testing is often used in e-commerce websites.


  8. Market Segmentation on June 15th, 2009 8:17 am

    Hi Larry,

    I think you are right on all counts.

    The type of marketing we do much determines the type of visitors we get. If our marketing brings visitors not in our target markets, then it does it no good.


    Linda P. Morton

  9. LoneWolf on August 10th, 2009 3:13 pm

    I’d have to say that I’m failing in all 4 of these areas. I’m still learning as I go and have to work hard on the last 2 areas. Then I can work on the first 2.

  10. Larry Brauner on August 10th, 2009 3:59 pm

    Be careful Lone Wolf, because if you have little traffic or poorly targeted traffic, you won’t be able to judge accurately whether your stickiness and conversion strategies are effective.

  11. Dave on September 14th, 2010 4:26 pm

    Great article. I am looking for ways to improve seo without having to spend a ton of money on it. My current webgrade report gave my site an 88 and my alexa is at 418,000 globally and around 150,000 in the USA. I do currently use twitter and facebook for marketing which doesn’t do much for sales, so obviously my approach is all wrong. Any advice? How do you set up a lead capture? Thanks, Dave

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