Definition of Website Monetization
In my previous post Is Your Website Ready I discussed various website monetization models and how important it is to have a well-designed website that is sticky and converts your site visitors into buyers, business leads, donors or brand enthusiasts.
Website monetization is a very important concept that you need to spend some time thinking through before you start buying keywords. You must look at your website with a critical eye to make sure it is designed for monetization. Otherwise, you will throw your cash away and, worse of all, you will assign failure to off-site factors (keywords, ads, etc.) while the reason for poor performance may be related to a poorly designed website.
Website monetization is the process of converting your website traffic into revenue. Website monetization refers not only to e-commerce sites that sell products online but also to generating business leads, making money through ads and affiliate programs, or attracting donors or political contributions. Every website should be designed for some ‘monetization’ that is measurable in business value terms. In other words, what are the actions (other than a visit) you want your website visitors to perform once the land on your website? Call 1-800 number? Sign up for a newsletter?
Website Monetization Strategy
Once you figured out your website monetization model, you need to take a moment to review the design of your site to make sure it supports your monetization objectives. The key components of a well-designed website are:
(1) easy and intuitive navigation so that visitors do not get confused and click away;
(2) clear and concise copywriting (the words on your site) so that visitors quickly understand who you are, how you can help them, and how to find out more; and
(3) call-to-actions (buy now, contact us, etc) placed strategically on your website so that your visitors are always a click away from converting
Sounds easy? It is not. Web browsers are typically impatient. They have the power to click on the back button in your browser anytime they want. So make sure your content is interesting, and clearly lays out benefits that your product or service can provide to your prospective customer. Keep the right balance between words and imagery, and make sure that there are no loading time issues.
Videos are great to increase site engagement and stickiness.
You should also constantly test
different variations of the site navigation and call-to-actions. For example, if you move that ‘buy now’ button on your website from left to right, and change the font color from blue to red, you may see a significant uptick in conversion rate. The only way to find out the optimal monetization design of your website is to test it. You should also conduct a competitive research, and observe how your successful competitors designed their websites to identify the best-practices that you could test on your site. Don’t just apply your new ideas blindly assuming that you need to constantly change things. Test against the status quo to make sure you actually improving things, and give it enough time to obtain statistically relevant findings.You can use different tools available for free (Google Website Optimizer
), or a more advance software such as Offermatica
, to conduct multivariate testing. If you are a small business owner, I will show you how you can conduct a simple A/B test in the following posts to improve your website ROI exponentially, without having to understand advanced statistics.
The ultimate goal is to ‘monetize;’ or convert, the casual browser on your site to a paying customer. If you do not sell online, you should assign another non-cash objective to your Web site, such as getting someone to sign up for a newsletter subscription or information inquiry about your product or service. This will allow you to measure your search engine marketing success, which you should always try to quantify.
Matthew Capala (@SearchDecoder) is a search strategist, speaker, trainer, innovator, author and blogger at SearchDecoder.com. Currently, Matthew is the Head as Search at Profero, the largest independent global digital agency. He is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU, where he teaches a graduate course on search marketing.