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Improving Your Website Sales Funnel


Pixabay. CCO Licensed.

The ‘sales funnel’ is a term to describe the customer journey process and its different stages. It involves visually imagining the customer journey as a funnel in which potential customers go into the top of the funnel and are gradually filtered through until they make a purchase. The key to running any successful business is encouraging as many of those potential customers as you can through the funnel.

When securing sales through a website, the first stage of this funnel is getting people to visit your site. Once they’ve landed on your website, you then need to do everything you can to keep them on your website and encourage them to commit to a purchase (or potentially even repeat purchases). This post explains more about how to get consumers moving through every stage of the website sales funnel from visitor to return customer. 


For customers to visit your website, they first need to discover your website. There are many different ways in which you can help people discover your website…

Boost your search engine rankings

Many websites get the bulk of their visitors through search engines. Potential customers enter a search term and a relevant website pops up, which they then click on. By understanding how your customers use search engines, you can maximise your exposure through these platforms.

Identifying the search terms that your customers are using is the first important step. By then targeting these keywords on your website’s pages, you can boost the rankings of these pages whenever someone enters them as search terms. Of course, you need to be wary of which keywords your competitors are using too. Keyword research tools can help you find popular keywords that are not being heavily used by direct competitors. 

Of course, there’s more to attracting customers through search engines. This includes encouraging click-worthy title tags, collecting positive Google reviews and meeting other search engine algorithm requirements in order to rank well. This whole process is known as SEO (search engine optimization) and there are SEO companies that can help you to rank more highly by considering all the different elements.  

Invest in online advertising

Paid online adverts can also help you to get visitors by increasing your exposure. There are many different types of online ads to consider including search ads, display ads, in-app ads and social media ads. 

  • Search ads allow your website to be listed at the top of search engines for a certain period of time when specific terms are searched for. Both Google and Bing have their own search ad platforms.

  • Display ads are image-based or video-based ads that are found on web pages throughout the internet. You pay for your advert to display until a certain number of people have viewed it/clicked on it. Your advert is then distributed to different relevant websites that each collect ad revenue per click. 

  • In-app ads are picture-based or video-based ads that display within apps. This is often a pay-per-click system that is similar to display ads found on web pages. 

  • Social media ads are displayed on social media platforms and usually take the form of images of videos. You can also pay to promote posts containing links to your website. 

Combine print advertising

Many companies forget that print advertising can also be used to attract website visitors. Your website can be printed as text or a QR code onto various print media such as flyers, business cards, posters and billboards. Local businesses may benefit from this the most.


Not all visitors will make a purchase. Some won’t hang around for long at all and will immediately exit. The ‘bounce rate’ is a term commonly used to describe the amount of visitors that swiftly exit after viewing only one page. Ideally, you want to reduce this bounce rate as much as possible and encourage visitors to take interest in what your website has to offer. These interested visitors who take time to look around are your true ‘leads’ who you can convert into sales. Below are a few ways to increase website leads…

Make your website look good

A good-looking website will encourage visitors to stick around. Your website should be easy to navigate, contain high quality images and readable text. The layout should also feel smooth and engaging - you should avoid large walls of text and should not clutter your website with adverts.

Using a web design agency can help you to produce a website that looks inviting. It could also be worth hiring copywriters of product photographers. Self-made websites are a good way to save money, but can run the risk of looking too generic if you rely too much on templates and free stock images. 

Increase page loading speed

Slow-loading websites put off many visitors. Make sure that each webpage loads fast to discourage visitors from leaving. There are a few tactics you can use to increase webpage loading speed including using a faster website host, optimising images, limiting re-directs and avoiding too many ads or pop-ups. It’s worth noting that a faster loading website can also improve your search rankings, also helping you ro get more visitors.

Provide plenty of information

Many customers want to make an informed decision when paying for products or services online. By providing as much information as you can about a product or service, you can increase trust and confidence that your product/service is suitable for the customer’s needs. A few ways in which you can provide plenty of information to customers include.

  • Detailed product descriptions: Make sure that specific details like measurements, ingredients/materials, shipping options and warranty conditions are all included in product descriptions. Display this information in bullet points and use enticing language. 

  • Clear images/videos: Make sure that clear images of products are used in product listings. Multiple images or 360 images could be useful for some items. You can also demonstrate products in use with videos.  

  • FAQs: Consider listing some frequently asked questions to cover all the popular enquiries you get and put customers at ease.

  • A live web chat: Alternatively, you could look into the best live chat for website assistance. This allows customers to ask additional questions to a live sales rep. 


Once you have visitors interested in your product, the next stage is converting them into customers. Many leads are lost as a result of not preparing for this final hurdle. Some of the ways in which you can maximise the amount of leads converted into customers are listed below. 

Streamline checkouts/forms

Overcomplicated checkout processes and lengthy forms may put off some customers. Make the process easy for leads by limiting this checkout/form to one page if you can. Auto-complete features and simple drag-down menus can help too.  

Be upfront with all fees

Surprise additional fees are another common cause of abandoned shopping carts. Don’t wait until the end of the checkout process to add a high shipping fee or packaging fee, as customers may feel deceived. Instead, include these costs in the original product listing.

Consider supporting different payment types

Supporting a range of payment types can help customers to find the best suited payment options for them. Many payment gateways now allow a range of different payment options that you can accept or decline. A few payment types you may want to consider include:

  • Credit and debit card: Some customers will want to pay by credit card and others will want to pay by debit card. Set up a merchant account to accept both credit and debit card payments. For small purchases, you can set a minimum purchase limit for credit cards to ensure you make a profit. 

  • Payment plans/third party finance: With big purchases, you could consider helping to make your product more affordable by giving customers the option to pay in instalments. This could be through a self-managed payment plan or through third party financers. 

  • Foreign currencies: When selling to customers in other countries, consider setting up different currency payment options to reduce additional fees. 

  • Crypto payments: Cryptocurrencies are becoming a more popular payment option. Consider whether your customers are likely to pay via crypto and consider whether you should make this an option. 

Return customers

Some companies like takeout restaurants and hobby stores rely on return customers. In these cases, securing sales is not the endpoint of the funnel - you have to encourage customers to keep coming back. There are a few reliable ways in which you can do this.

Thank your customers

Thanking customers via an automated or personalised email is a simple gesture that can encourage customers to come back. This could be accompanied by a request to leave a review, which can help customers to reflect on their experience and also encourage return purchases. 

Entice customers back with promotions

You can also reach out to past customers via email with promotional offers. This can be a great way of winning back customers. Just make sure that these offers are profitable.

Set up a membership/loyalty program

You could encourage customers to sign up to an account during the initial checkout process or after via an email. This account could give customers certain privileges that encourage them to keep coming back. Some companies offer memberships that allow discounts or priority shipping. Others offer account holders the chance to collect loyalty points with each purchase, which could be put towards discounted or free purchases in the future.

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