When you consider your website, basically forget everything you know and try to see your website through your visitor’s eyes. Extensive testing should be done to identify any friction points and make changes enabling your site to offer a fluid user experience. Keep in mind, “Google is watching and counting”. Google’s algorithm has become adept at noticing patterns founds in poor performing sites and the opposite is true as well. By delivering an experience that is pleasing to your user, Google will naturally reward you over the course of time for continued performance.
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In the long run, how would you consider what a good performing eCommerce site is? Well, the objective is to sell and those websites that sell more often to more people WIN in the long run. Over the course of time, if you can continually optimize your site’s conversions, you will be rewarded with more traffic and more importantly, those conversions will carry over into all channels.
Let’s discuss some conversion optimization tactics.
1. Cultivate Relationships- The Right People, The Right Ads, The Right Places
In today’s SaaS marketplace, there are well established options to help you marry and optimize your marketing methods across all channels to your users. From Facebook Ads, Automated Email Marketing, Google AdWords and so on, you should be concentrating on not just looking at your customer’s worth for that one conversion, but think of their overall lifetime values. You may not make money on them the first time, but if you can get them into your funnel and nurture that relationship over the course of a lifetime, the benefits will far outweigh any initial investment you put forward to acquire them.
2. Concentrate On The Basics
From meta titles, meta descriptions, great product images etc., whatever you do, ensure that the basics are always up to par. If you fail to do the basics, you’re pretty much ensuring poor performance moving forward, unless you’re OK with that, then it doesn’t matter. Take any professional athlete, if there is one thing we know, they do the basics and they do them well. The same would be true for your site and its associated basics.
All in all, Semantic Markup turns what we visually comprehend about a site into what is known as machine readable markup. Considering Google Brain was built to take things such as Rich Snippets, Open Graph Tags and Twitter Cards into account, I’m sure you can appreciate how important it is.
3. Stop Customers From Leaving
The first part of the battle is to get customers onto your site, but then the bigger part is to keep them on your site and get them to convert. The worst scenario would be to have a shopper visit your site, browse your items, put them in their cart, but then not complete the sale for whatever the reason! Statistics show that close to 68% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Imagine if even half that volume were left sitting in the middle of your store incomplete- that would be massive sales lost!
Luckily, there are many ways in which you can help reduce abandoned shopping carts. Start by ensuring your check-our process is seamless. Offer multiple payment methods, including fast check-out options such as PayPal or Google Pay, offer competitive shipping rates and options, provide an embedded credit cart check-out process so your customers don’t question security from being linked to other web pages, and have customer service easily accessible in case any of any check-out issues.
Another effective way to eliminate abandoned shopping carts is to have integrated abandoned cart email campaigns setup. Through automated emails that you can send out to shoppers who leave their carts incomplete, sometimes even offer incentives such as “Save 15% and check-out now!”, you can bring your customers back and help get those conversions that otherwise might have been lost.
4. Prove To Google That Searches Stop At Your Site
All in all, this really plays into the 2 major factors you should walk away with and concentrate on this year for your digital marketing strategy. Provide users with a great website experience, deliver what they are looking for and most importantly, ensure they do not return to Google to continue their search that your website was unable to satisfy.
Google cares about “Search Termination”. If a user is searching for “Red Nike Running Shoes” and they go to your site and buy, BINGO, you’ve ensured your search position. Repeat this success continually and your rank will improve over the course of time. However, if the opposite is true, and you continually fail to terminate a user’s query, you can count on losing rank as well.
5. Make It Mobile First
On Monday March 26, 2018, Google announced that it officially rolled out “Mobile-First Indexing”. Moving forward, you can count on Google judging your site by its mobile performance, and honestly it should. Why? Well, more than likely the majority of your visitors are now visiting on a mobile device and that percentage will continue to grow over the course of time. We have retail clients who are seeing more than 85% of web traffic from mobile devices.
In my opinion, you must have a responsive site (one that automatically responds to any screen size) that is just as engaging as your desktop version, but more importantly, the data that resides on both versions should be exactly the same. These days your mobile layout is becoming even more important than your desktop version, whereas the opposite used to be true.
6. Build Your Social Proof
Social Proof is pretty much anything that resides outside of your current website. Social crosses all channels and although it may not be your top converting channel, it certainly plays an overall part in the customer’s buying journey. Social Proof is akin to the ‘good old’ person to person referral or ‘word of mouth’, except these days it’s happening on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google My Business, Yelp and so on.
Perhaps some of the lowest hanging fruits for digital marketing can be found on platforms we are not so familiar with such as industry related forums, video bloggers and more. Engaging on these related sites, linking back to your website, and being active in your online social community can reap long-term rewards.
All in all, do your best to keep your business out in front of your target audience as often as possible. There is no one quick answer- the best digital marketing strategy is one that has multiple layers and is continuously updated and tweaked based on current best practices. Google and other search engines change their algorithms often so what works best today, may not be as valuable next year. Reading blogs like this are a great way to help you keep up and hopefully apply what you have learned to your website. Even if you put only one item from this blog into action, it can help increase the success of your online business.
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