There are two main aspects to getting more sales from your website:
- Getting people to your online store
- Persuading people at your online store to buy and buy more
Here are some are some of the ways we have helped customers more than double their sales online in 2011.
Getting people to your store
There’s probably a whole bunch of people out there searching for stuff and some of that stuff is what you’re selling. You want to get them to the best page in your website so you have the best chance of turning them into customers. This doesn’t happen by accident.
1. Target the right search terms
Imagine you’re a florist in Christchurch. You can’t target the keyword “flowers” alone even though its high volume. You’ve got huge competition in your region for that keyword and people searching for it will be after any manner of things from a florist, to botanical information to gardening. “Florists Christchurch” or “Roses Christchurch” are probably good contenders as they have high volumes. All the keywords around buying plants online are in the low dozens per month so its a waste of time investing time in pursuing those.
2. Make sure your search terms and sitemap align
Make sure that you map your search terms to the right pages. You want to know where people will land on your site and make sure that their first impression is a good one. You’ll also need to treat those pages a little differently.
3. Get your page build right for search
Make sure your pages are built to be search engine friendly. For example your use of heading tags and other code heavily influences how much sense Google can make of your pages. You only want one H1 tag per page and that should be for the page title.
4. Make sure your landing pages are persuasive
People will probably come from Google to many pages other than your home page. Many key leads might land in the middle of your site on a product category page for example. Many sites give a lot of attention to their home page but lower level pages are neglected. Know where people land on your site and make sure the important landing pages are given the design work they need to convert for you.
5. Structure your site for search
Structure your pages to build up keyword silos for your important keyword sets. Make sure your navigation and folder structure plays nice with your keyword collections and supports building your search rankings. Its easiest to do this when you first build the site but you can realign.
6. Update your content monthly or more
Google doesn’t bother visiting your site as much if your content looks stale. Update content on your key pages regularly.
Getting people to buy
Great, all these people are now coming to your store. The last thing you want is to make them jump through a whole bunch of hurdles or worse still drive them into a brick wall. Here’s some key ways to persuade people to buy your product.
1. Make your shipping terms easy and clear
Tell people the costs up front. Don’t make them go halfway through the checkout process to find out. Make the shipping free and include it in the price if its practical to do that.
2. Big quality photos with rich detail
People want to see what they are buying in detail. They examine the finer points of a product. For example people buying a shirt take a close look at it, the weave, the cuffs, the collar, the stitching, the material label.
3. Use categories that make sense to your customers
Organise your products around terms that make sense for your customers. For example, people buying flowers want assurance that the flowers can address a particular need - eg. Birthday, Valentines day not flower species.
4. Show a human face to your company
Many sites are devoid of humans. Its reassuring for customers to see the people behind the site along the way while purchasing, especially when trust in the company and service are important.
5. Support your customer’s buying behaviour
Changing behaviour is hard. Its easier to support the natural buying behaviour your customers use. For example, avoid making them enter a date for a tour when they’re just wanting to explore possible tours. Don’t make them work out a slightly cheaper delivery cost using complex rules when they’re in a hurry and would just rather pay a bit more and know it’s correct. Show them only the information on product category pages needed to support their next click.
6. Invite people to contact you for help
This builds trust in a number of ways. Firstly it shows a willingness to be helpful. Secondly it shows that there is support available if needed. Finally if people do want advice it provides an easy invitation for them to ask for it and increase your sales. This is especially beneficial where high value items make that investment of time useful and profitable.
So hopefully that gives you some new years resolutions for a big selling 2012. Good luck!