Imagine: After months of hard work, your website is finally live. You’ve officially been open for business an entire week. And yet you haven’t made any sales.

Not. One. Single. Sale.

Argh!

Don’t despair. We’ve all been there. In fact, this is one of the most common problems new Internet entrepreneurs ask me to solve for them.

Here’s something that’ll help ease the pain of turning a “dud” site into one that rakes in the profits: Derek Gehl’s surefire “My Website Ain’t Making Money!” troubleshooting checklist.

If you recently launched a website and aren’t getting the results you expected, you need to ask yourself every single question on the list below, starting with number one. Once you can answer “yes” to all 10 questions, I guarantee the sales will come rolling in.

1. Is there actually a market for your product?

By that I mean, are you POSITIVE you’re selling a product or solution people are actively looking for online – and not finding? That’s the formula for a successful Internet business. And that’s the first question you should answer… even before you set up a website.

The best way to do that is with keyword research. (Our favorite keyword research tools are Keyword Discovery (keyworddiscovery.com) and BeBiz (bebiz.com).)

2. Are you getting enough traffic?

If you’ve had only 100 visitors and haven’t made a sale, be patient. Before you can begin to assess your website’s effectiveness, you need to have had at least 1,000 unique visitors (not page views).

3. Are you getting targeted traffic?

If you’ve had 1,000+ visitors to your website and you still haven’t made a sale, find out where your visitor traffic is coming from.

The best way to get top-quality traffic to your site is by bidding on extremely targeted keywords for your pay-per-click (PPC) ads. (By “targeted,” I mean keywords that speak directly to the people who are most likely to buy your product.)

If you drive 1,000 visitors to your site – using targeted keywords in your PPC ads – and you still don’t make a sale, then you know the problem isn’t the quality of the traffic you’re getting.

It’s your website.

So let’s take a look at that next…

4. Is your headline effective?

If the page you’re driving traffic to with your PPC ad doesn’t have a compelling headline that clearly communicates a powerful benefit, your potential customers aren’t going to stick around for your offer.

Writing a better headline is typically the easiest way to fix a floundering website. If you get more people to stay on your site and read your offer, more people will buy your product.

5. Are you distracting your visitors from your main sales message?

You need to get rid of everything that doesn’t keep your visitors focused on your main offer. This includes links to other websites, Google AdSense ads, banner ads for other products, free articles that don’t support the sale… the list goes on.

6. Are you using testimonials effectively?

Testimonials are one of your most powerful selling tools. Nothing says “Buy it now!” like an unbiased third-party recommendation.

If you don’t yet have any testimonials, give your product to a few friends and ask them to provide you with testimonials on how well it worked for them.

7. Does your guarantee take away the risk of buying?

A good guarantee is essential – especially when you’re selling on the Internet.

Unless you’re a major brand that your customers already trust (like Sony, Wal-Mart, Pepsi), you need to let them know you’ll stand behind your product. So reassure them that if they’re not 100 percent satisfied, they can send it right back for a full refund. And remember, a longer guarantee usually results in more sales – and fewer refunds.

8. Is your price too high? Or too low?

Most people know that if you price your product too high, you’ll hurt your sales. But this can also be true if your price is too low.

People get suspicious when the price is far below what they were expecting. They think it’s probably “too good to be true” – and, as a result, they don’t feel confident making a purchase.

9. Is your ordering system easy to use?

Just because you can figure out how to navigate through your ordering process, that doesn’t mean your average customer can.

To make sure your ordering system is “user-friendly,” find a few friends who aren’t very Internet savvy and get them to order your product. Watch over their shoulders and take notes. Where did they get stuck?

Fix whatever problems they encountered – immediately – because your potential customers are encountering them too.

10. Do you have good sales copy?

If you aren’t using well-written sales copy to sell your product, you’ll never achieve online success. It’s that simple. Your product isn’t going to sell itself! You need to have the right words to do the job.

So there they are… the 10 questions I ask whenever I look at a website that’s not turning visitors into sales. Once I’m able to answer “yes” to all 10 questions, I always see a substantial improvement in the site’s conversion rate.

[Ed. Note: Follow Internet marketing expert Derek Gehl’s suggestions, and you could see a major boost in your online sales. Derek has helped thousands of people grow online businesses that generate $100,000 a year – and often much more! Find out if you have the personality to create extraordinary wealth online for free right here.

And for targeted advice from world-class Internet marketing masters, pick up ETR’s 2008 Information Marketing Bootcamp “Home Edition” DVD Library. You’ll discover a rock-solid blueprint for earning an extra $100,000 to $1 million (or more!) over the next 12 months.]

Comment on this article