One mistake to avoid when you start selling online is to offer too many products. Try to focus your site around 3-5 products at most and you’ll have get sales. Ideally, your site should focus on your money pages. To identify your money pages, use the advanced features in Google Analytics.

Identify Money Pages with Google Analytics

To get a better understanding of your money pages, log into Google Analytics.

  • Select the blog/website you want to analyze.
  • Select a 3 month range so you get better picture of how your site/products have performed.
  • Select Top Content from the side menu.
  • Select the top 50 pages from the Show Rows at the bottom of the screen. This is more than enough to determine and optimize your top performing pages.
  • Select Percentage from the View option (far left of screen). This displays the top performing pages based on the percentage of traffic to the overall site. It’s also color-coded so you can identify the top pages faster.
  • Click on the Second most visited page. This opens the Content Detail page.

Note: your homepage is probably your most visited page. Ignore this for now and look at the other pages as these are pages your customers (and prospective customers) are interested in.

Drill Down into Google Analytics

You now want to examine a few stats:

  • How visitors found your content
  • Navigation Summary,  i.e. Entrance Paths visitors used to get to your content and where they go next
  • Entrance Sources per page
  • Entrance Keywords per page.

To do this, you need to look at the Navigation Summary:

  • Click Navigation Summary – this shows you the paths/pages visitors used to get to your content and where they go next.

This shows you the:

  • Percentage of Entrances
  • Percentage of Previous Pages
  • Percentage of Exits
  • Percentage of Next Pages

What you’re interested in is the Exits and Next Pages.

If you look at the Next Pages, you can see where they went next.

Did they go to your sales page?

Use this screen to examine where your customers are going and see what patterns emerge. For example, instead of going to the Buy Now page, they go to the About Us page.

That makes sense. They want to know who you are before they buy.

But, look at the About Us page in Google Analytics and see if they are going back to the Buy Now (salespages).

If they are not, then look at where they do and see how/where you can adjust these pages to return to the sales pages. Sometimes this is as simple as including a prominent link/button to the Sales page. Other times you need to be more creative.

Other Sales Stats to Examine

Once you get to know how Google Analytics works, look at the:

  • Path they take once they enter your money page
  • How long they stay on these pages
  • Where they leave the site

Tip: if you’re running an ecommerce site, or any site that sells things, the Exit page SHOULD be the page where they buy the product, right?

You’re trying to get them to the site, read about the product, and then hit the Buy Now button.

Use Excel to Filter Sales Data

You can export all the data in Google Analytics into Excel (and XML and PDF). I often do this as I know Excel fairly well and can create charts faster in here. It also lets me compare the data against data from other sites such as Google Adwords, AdSense and other site analytics software.

google-analytics-identify-top-pages-export-csv-excelTo do this:

  • At the top of the screen, click Export.
  • Select CSV for Excel from the submenu.
  • This downloads the stats to an Excel file you can examine when offline and /or data mine with Excel.

Next week, we’ll look at Entrance Keywords as these are the words, terms, and expressions that customers are using to land on your site. While the other information is useful, the keywords tell you what they are looking for and… how close your site/products meets their needs.

What other ways do you know for finding your money pages?

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Ivan Walsh, Internet Business ExpertAbout Ivan Walsh Got a question about running an online business? Contact me on Google Plus, @IvanWalsh, and Facebook

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Next, let’s look at your Sales Target, the number of products you expect (need) to sell.

This is the most variable of our variables and you can play around with it based on your own numbers

Should you offer tiered pricing for your digital goods?

Tier pricing lets you price items differently for higher quantities. For example: you sell expensive cakes and you want to create a promotion where customers who buy three boxes of cakes save money compared to buying just one cake.

You can also offer a bronze, silver, and gold model, which is very effective if you’re selling membership sites or access to online courses.

Let’s say that you’re selling a product which has a standard, regular, and premium offering. For example, offers this.

Using a tiered pricing system, you can offer customers are entry-level product and then, if they are pleased with this, move them up to the premium offering. However, there are a few areas to be aware of when pricing like this.

  • Bronze – most customers will start here. This means you need to develop a way to upsell, ie suggest that the customer should move to the next product, after a certain amount of time. This takes some trial and error to determine when you should make this offer. If you do it too soon, it makes the customer feel uncomfortable as you probably come across as pushy. However, if you leave it too late, they may have unsubscribed or cancelled their subscription. One way to address this is to sign up with competitors and examine how and when they make upsell offers. Create a project folder on your PC and save all their materials in here, including email sales letters. You can use these for inspiration later on.
  • Silver – once you have moved the customer to the mid-level product, you have at least two choices. The first is to recommend another ‘partner’ product, something that compliments but doesn’t compete when your product. Let’s say you’re selling a course about learning Latin, then you could recommend some books you’ve found useful, for example, books on grammar. Of course, you can sell them using the Amazon Associates program and make a modest affiliate fee. It all adds up.~

    Note: The second option is to begin the process of moving them to the Gold product offering level. One way to ‘warm up’ the customer is to send emails (plain text emails often work the best) including interviews with other Gold level customers. Interviews are very persuasive as it gives the potential customer an opportunity to listen to someone who was probably facing the same issues as themselves. If the interview is structured correctly these fears should reduce the customer’s anxieties.

  • Gold – once you have the customer at the Gold level, you have the following options. The first is to make sure they stay as a customer. You don’t want to lose them after all this hard work. So, that means finding ways to engage with them, keep in touch to see if everything is going fine (with no sales agenda), and also trying to learn from them. What do they like most from the product? What could you change? What other types of products should you develop?

Of course, you can also offer other partner products to this customer in time. The skill is to make the offer at the right time and also to keep them engaged. One tactic is to offer special offers or exclusives before they go on public sale.  This makes the customer feel privileged to be in the inside track, especially if it’s a significant release.

A final suggestion is to send free, no strings attached, products to your customers as a small Thank You. Of course, you can suggest that they ‘give this a tweet’ to their Twitter friends.

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Ivan Walsh, Internet Business ExpertAbout Ivan Walsh Got a question about running an online business? Contact me on Google Plus, @IvanWalsh, and Facebook

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