By Amit Kumar
If you’re wondering why you’re not making more sales from your online store you have to ask yourself: Are your products easy to find on search engines? Is your content informative and concise? Are you tracking your website metrics to measure the effects of your advertising and site design? If the answer to any—or all—of these questions is no, then there is no doubt that you are missing out on sales that could be yours. Stop losing customers and sales with these 7 tips.
1. Your Products + Search Engines = Sales
Customers searching online for what you sell don’t find you—instead they find your competitor’s products. If your products are not returned as results either naturally, through feeds, or via paid advertising, then your store might as well be invisible.
Most customers find your site by searching for your products and services using online search engines. Submit your product catalog to comparison shopping sites by using shopping feeds. Increase your natural search results and relevance by optimizing your site for search engines (SEO). Consider a paid search engine marketing (SEM) campaign.
2. Bounce Back
Average bounce rate is around 50 percent, so if your site’s rate is higher it means that all the work you did and money you spent to bring customers in via search engines was for nothing. Your online store must have a beautiful, functional design and be full of useful, targeted content. Ask yourself: Is your site functional in all browsers? Does it load fast or does it make visitors wait for a “cool” splash page that nobody but your Web designer cares about? Think about how customers come into your online store and make sure that if they clicked through to see a specific product they land there—and not on your homepage. Stop frustrating customers and get your bounce rates under control.
3. Keep on Track
You’re not tracking your website analytics. Maybe you don’t even know what your bounce rate is. You change your website, but have no idea if these changes are making any difference. Did updating your content increase traffic? Which search engine sends you the most visitors? It’s impossible to tell without tracking your metrics.
Install an analytics package and start monitoring these aspects of your business. Measure the effectiveness of your site design, your advertising and watch how changes to your site affect your traffic. Do A/B testing and multi-variant testing when you make changes to decide what is working and what isn’t—test colors, words, placement, you never know what can make a huge difference. Just remember, it’s not the data itself but what you do with the data that matters.
4. Make Content King
All that effort with SEO, SEM and beating down your bounce rate just gets your customer in the door—once they are there, can your content do the heavy lifting required to close the deal? Or does it fall short, leading to another lost sale?
Words sell, so create content that gets those conversions. Make sure that when visitors arrive at your site, looking for your product, they say “This is the one I’ve been searching for!” with words, photos and videos that inspire confidence. See your site as customers do and place your most convincing copy and calls-to-action in prominent places they can’t possibly miss. Never forget that visitors don’t read websites, they scan—so use fonts and layouts that are easy to read, and design with location, bolding, italics and color to get customers to that next click.
5. Get the Follow-Up
Now you’ve got spectacular content, but precious customers are sliding off your site, never to be seen—or sold—again. You’ve worked hard to get them there, so don’t let them slip past you without getting their email for marketing, newsletters or just for your database of prospective customers.
Offer visitors a highly visible place on your website to sign up for promotions, offers or notifications. You can easily connect this submission into an online email software program that can send an automatic reply and notification. Presto—you’re building a database of warm leads. Consider a “freemium” approach, allowing customers to sign up for free goods or services through your site and then market upgrades, paid or premium products and services to them. Either way—get those emails, they are gold.
6. Stay Top of Mind
Remember those folks who left your site without buying? Don’t let them forget you—if your revenue is mainly from return customers, then staying top of mind is crucial to clinching the deal.
A retargeting or remarketing strategy can have a great impact. Cookie the users on your site and then use banner ads on display networks to remind these visitors of your products and your site. Keeping your store in front of a visitor’s eyes is valuable because it constantly reminds the visitor of your products, giving your store a fighting chance to be first choice when it comes time to buy. Retargeting success is also a function of list size and duration so patience is required as visitors increase and impressions grow.
7. Retain Your Customers
No business survives, let alone thrives, without making an effort to get repeat business. Make customer retention your number-one priority. Provide excellent customer service and support, stay in touch via social media, email and personal contact, and make sure your current customers are still getting your best deals. Loyalty goes a long way in this economy, so do everything you can to make sure that your best customer’s business is something your competitor’s money can’t buy.
Don’t lose sales that should be yours. In these tough economic times, it’s vital to have thought through every angle and covered all the bases. Put these seven strategies to work for you and start seeing more sales today.
Amit Kumar is CEO and Founder of Lexity.com.