If you take a close look at this ‘working online’ business, you will see that it is quite simply a numbers game (this is actually the case with most if not all businesses).
At the most basic level, building a successful website is just a matter of getting sufficient visitors to the site and ensuring that some of them purchase something. I am a firm believer that you can sell pretty much anything if the price is right and whilst your products may not appeal to everyone, they will appeal to someone.
So, back to the numbers game. Once you know the percentage of visitors to your site that will actually buy something (the conversion ratio), you can give yourself something to aim for…
If one out of every 100 visitors buys something then you have a conversion ratio of 1% (which online is actually not that bad). This means that 500 visitors to your site should result in five sales.
To increase the number of sales there are a couple of things you could do. Firstly, you could increase your conversion ratio by improving your sales page or reducing your prices etc. Alternatively, you could work the numbers game and increase your traffic – you already know that 500 visitors will give you five sales so if you can get 1000 visitors to your site, you should generate ten sales (assuming that the quality of the traffic is equal to or better than that which you are already receiving).
This may seem obvious but it is often the most obvious things that people miss. I was talking to one of my customers recently and they had managed to build their site up to the point whereby it was receiving around 250 visitors a day and was generating approximately $50,000 a year in sales (this was a site selling physical goods so this figure is the sales cost, not profit).
Despite this, my customer was finding it hard to visualize the steps that he needed to take to improve his business further. His target was for the business to generate sales of $200,000 a year and the difference between the current earnings and the target earnings seemed too great to be achievable.
To get over this perceived problem, I asked my customer to look at things in a slightly different way. I asked him to forget about the sales figure and concentrate on visitor numbers to the site. If 250 visitors a day generate $50,000 a year in sales, then it is fair to assume that 1000 visitors a day will generate $200,000 in sales (as long as the quality of the visitors remains constant).
This made the task seem fair more achievable since my customer ‘only’ had to find another 750 visitors a day instead of $150,000.
Of course, finding that many new visitors a day is a big task but if you are mentally prepared and believe you can achieve your target, you are far more likely to succeed.
This numbers game principle can be applied to pretty much any aspect of an online business, for example…
If you write a newsletter and you have 1000 subscribers that generate income when you promote a product of, say, $100, then to increase this figure to $500 you simply need to increase your subscriber numbers to 5,000.
If you know that each time you add a new page of content to your site that this will generate, on average, ten extra visitors a day from the search engines (once the page has been crawled and indexed) then adding 100 pages of content to your site should earn you an extra 1000 visitors a day!
If you are a regular contributor to online forums and know that each post you make (that contains a link in your signature to your website) will gain you 5 new visitors to your site a week, then making 10 posts a day should boost your visitor numbers by 350 a week.
If you create your own products such as eBooks or software and currently earn $250 a month from each one, then it is perfectly possible that every new product you develop will earn you an extra $250 a month (once marketed and established).
And finally, if you have one website that earns you $50,000 profit a year, what would happen if you had two websites? Or three? Or five?…
Online business is just a numbers game – the principles behind the numbers are far more complicated and I am not suggesting for one moment that doing any of the above tasks is easy BUT if you keep the numbers at the front of your mind it should make the targets seem far more achievable.