Yes, I practice what I preach (time permitting). I have always tried to take the advice that I am given (when it comes from people I trust anyway) and one of the best tid-bits of info I was ever given was almost a year ago when I attended Search Engine Strategies NYC 2006. The information I am talking about included "site conversion issues" dealing with shopping carts during a "site conversion" seminar that I had attended. It has paid off for me big time!
The golden information for me at the time was getting the site to convert better, because I was getting the traffic. Really good traffic for the kind of site it is, as a matter of fact! I just was not making the kind of sales and my conversion rate was probably .000001% (if that). It was horrible.
This is where I was taught about the "3 click rule" and making sure it does not take searchers more than 3 clicks to get inside your shopping cart. This was for every kind of way they could get to your site. Search Engines, Articles, Press, someone tagging your site with a social network etc. Bottom line, no matter what when they get to my site, it should not take them more than 3 clicks to be able to purchase from me.
I started really hard to market the most targeted phrases I could, and make sure they engines knew those pages, and what specific keywords I had associated to them. I started getting a much better conversion rate with some of the products I was testing this on. Eventually I got the whole site redesigned (cart included) and anytime someone comes to our site it usually takes less than 3 clicks to be able to buy from us. We have several forms of navigation and good site breadcrumbs so visitors do not get lost.
The site conversion rate currently is at about 10%, which is a HUGE turn around, and the site is actually profitable now, and not a pain in my you know what!
The lesson here? Perfect navigation. Yes, perfect. Not ok, not even just "good" The site navigation, breadcrumbs and cart must flow perfectly. Once this can be implemented I am sure you will see a huge turn around on your sites conversion rate.