The X Factor


Article source: Used with author’s permission.

So you’ve invested more time than you ever believed possible on your website and in optimizing the pages for the search engines. Having sacrificed weekends and holidays, you’ve ensured that your site ranks in the Top 10.

Eagerly, you monitor your site’s progress as it slowly makes its way up the rankings. Day after day, you run searches on Google, Yahoo, MSN & other major engines to locate your site. Over time, you gradually achieve higher rankings until one day it happens. There you are in the Top 10. You’ve made it. You are now a member of the search engine ‘elite’. So why aren’t you making any more sales?

It is the content, look and feel of the website which is preventing visitors from becoming buyers. The “X” Factor is the ability of your site to actually entice visitors into becoming paying customers, or to at the very least move them in a direction of wanting to contact you for more information. Is your site competitive? Can people trust you?

The “X” Factor basics are simple–does your site have what it takes to keep visitors there longer than 5 or 10 seconds? The psychology of buying is one where your customers come to you wondering what it is that you can do for them. Can you offer great prices on great products? How do your prices compare to your competition? Shoppers are interested in the benefits of doing business with you; the benefits to themselves.

Here is a starting point for better results:

  • Find a professional design company that includes SEO marketing with their design work
  • Keep your site up to date and add new content constantly
  • Make it very clear what you sell and for how much near the top of your home page
  • Don’t show confusing slogans which must be decrypted
  • Offer a return/exchange policy
  • Hire an outside professional to review your site

A great way to find out if people are actually spending time on your site is to run a visitor tracking log program on your website. A good tracking software will enable you to monitor visitor trends and to uncover potential marketing problems before it’s too late. You can determine if a website suffers from “X” Factor related problems by regularly reviewing the site logs which reveal the average length of time visitors are spending on the website. If they’re consistently only out there for a few seconds, something needs to be changed–and quickly.

The “X” Factor is different from site to site, and customer to customer. One visitor may praise your site for looking great, while another will quickly click away as it simply doesn’t appeal to them. There are certain elements that you can use to improve your chances of making additional sales, but you cannot appeal to everyone all of the time; so focus on appealing to your target audience by making your site user-friendly, easy to navigate, competitively priced, and using a professional look that says the visitor can trust you.
Kevin McElligott owns and operates iTech Developers, a web design, web marketing and web hosting company. With over 15 years of experience, Kevin is moving in the direction of “consumer advocate” by taking his technical background and applying it toward helping to protect the online business owner. He worked through most of the 1990’s as a Novell NetWare and Microsoft NT network technician. During his final years as a net-tech, he taught MCSE certification courses for a short time before completely changing his focus to the Internet in 1998. Starting in 1995 he began developing websites, and by mid 1996 had started a second company which focused solely on website design, hosting and marketing services which is his current company, iTech Developers. Working in and around web development, he’s discovered several trends in the industry which consumers need to look out for. He continues to teach and consult for both small businesses and established businesses alike.

He can be contacted by writing to him at Visit his website at


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