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Using Statistics to Improve Sales

EngNet Newsletter 4 of 6 : Using Statistics to Improve Sales

Perception and reality can often be miles apart. For instance, many people perceive a company to be successful by their fancy cars and offices, when in reality many are up to their eyeballs in debt. Marketers will tell you that when selling something, your company needs to improve the perception of your product or service to sell it. People buy something on what they perceive is the best, it may not actually be the best, but the perception created by the company sells itself.

Before you start improving your website for online sales, you need to believe that it is going to be worth your time, effort and money. You need to be happy that once you start making changes that you will receive the benefits of those changes. I believe that companies that have not yet benefited from sales through their website need to change their perception. So how do you trade in perception for truth? Statistics. It is not enough to wait for enquiries to come rolling in for you to be convinced that your website works. Stats will show you if your website is working or not, and if it is not working it will give you valuable clues to why it is not. I'm going to use 4 actual companies that I have dealt with as examples of how we helped them increase sales through their website.


» Company A: Spent money on a website that basically duplicated their catalogues with the purpose of saving money by not having to send out their catalogues.

  • Perception - Believed that their business would not receive new customers from the Internet because they service a low tech industry and the people they dealt with didn't really use computers. Therefore, they did not perceive that people would use search engines to find their products.
  • Reality - Keyword research showed that several hundred searches were performed each month for their specific products and if they geared their website towards those search engines, it would generate new business.
  • Solution - We provided them with an EngNet listing to prove that people are looking for their products online, they now receive several enquiries a month for their specific products. Through the stats they could see the exact keywords users used to find their company. Statistics are able to prove the effectiveness of a website as a new business generator in their industry.


» Company B: Developed a nice looking website 3 years ago and to their knowledge it hadn't brought a return on investment. After installing stats we were able to ascertain that the company was receiving very little benefit from their website.

  • Perception - From their experience they had formulated a perception that a website for their company was not really worth it probably due to the type of industry they are in.
  • Reality - Search engines and directories deliver 85% of new enquiries to websites, and their website was not effectively listed with the search engines. We performed keyword research to find that the keywords for their products are actually searched for several thousands of times every month.
  • Solution - We optimized their website and where there were no enquiries previously, they now receive daily referrals and we expect the referrals to increase every month. We are now tweaking the content to improve the accuracy of searches, as we found from the stats that quite a few keywords were not relevant to their product range.


» Company C: Website was receiving several hundred pages viewed a month and the website was worth the effort in order to service their existing customers. However, no sales resulted from it.

  • Perception - The website helped their overall marketing mix, but they did not perceive it as a new sales channel for their business.
  • Reality - From their stats, we could see they were getting some referrals but very little in comparison to the popularity of their keywords. By optimising their website for search engines we were able to substantially increase the number of referrals to their website.
  • Solution - By optimising their website for search engines, their website now receives over 500 referrals per month from search engines for their specific equipment. New business enquiries are now received on a monthly basis.


» Company D: Received many referrals every month but they were nuisance enquiries and not really relevant to their products.

  • Perception - They felt that mainly students who were looking for jobs and their competitors were viewing their website.
  • Reality - From their stats, we began to see what keywords where being used to hit the website, what country they were from and generally what pages were being viewed.
  • Solution - What we began to see is that there were many irrelevant keywords referring to their website. The ones that were relevant, were not from the same country and seemed not to follow on to the enquiry stage. What we did was refine the content of the website so that keywords were more accurate for the equipment they were offering. Next we began to promote the message that this company is active all over the world, in other words we built confidence in international visitors so that they became aware that company D could effectively provide a solution anywhere in the world.


Lessons Learnt:

1.  Get a reality check. Trade your perceptions in for reality by monitoring your stats.

2.  Even though you don't think people will use the Internet to find your products, do some keyword research and you may be surprised.

3.  Don't underestimate the power of search engines and directories to bring you sales.


Therefore, to improve sales from your website you need to:

a) Get them to your website- Get the people searching for your products to your website. You need search engine optimization. (Go to to see How to improve  search engine positions).

b) First Impressions Count- Remember last weeks email that the first page a user sees is not always your homepage so every page is important. Ensure navigation links and corporate images are constant throughout the website. (Go to to see How to improve  search engine positions).

c) Easy Contact- Contact details on a website is crucial as once visitors decide they like your products/services they want to contact you quickly. We have also found that a lot of people like to deal with local companies, so if you have world wide distributors this will help obtain sales from international markets. It is now easier for people to source products from overseas, but if a company is deciding between an overseas supplier and someone local, the company would probably go for the local company if the price is right. Remember that referrals to your website may come from America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. Therefore you need to decide on your market, if you only want to service the UK market it is a good idea to add your address to the bottom of every page. For example, when someone searches for Butterfly Valves UK, if you have a UK on that specific page you will have a very good chance of being right on the top of the search result If you don't have international distributors but it is a market you want to tackle, communicate your international abilities in the text.


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Kind Regards
Michael Cooney
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