In the current era, growing your business online is not as easy as it was a few years back and you really have to take everything seriously if you want to hit the sales graph that you presented in your business plan. When in the e-commerce business, things become tougher as competition in the online retail business is getting higher.
According to Forrester Research, Inc. U.S. online retail sales can hit $370 billion by 2017, which is the 10% share of total retail sales:
So, online retail business is tough and in order to hit the number in the sales graph you are doing everything from Social Media to PR, offline campaigns. You have even hired a new SEO company to build quality links back to your website but the results are not as “WOW” as you would have expected.
If this is the case, this post is exactly for you! There are literally tons of businesses I know that make silly mistakes on their website. These are stopping them from reaching out to wider audiences and increase their sales online. Even in the event where a website manages to attract the eyeballs of a wider targeted audience, they usually fail to convert those into customers. In this post I am going to discuss why and how one can fix these problems on their website and make it a number one choice for the audience.
Importance of On-Page Optimization
One-Page optimization is often overlooked and webmasters try to keep their main focus on building links. This is where the problems starts.
In my personal opinion, quality links are not going to deliver on the marketing and ROI increase promise, if the on-page of the website is not properly optimized. I was recently working on my own blog which was not ranking well for targeted key phrases and after just fixing the duplicate content and broken links, now the website is ranking for such powerful keywords:
The only advice before anything else is not to consider on-page optimization as secondary work. I am not saying working on content marketing and content promotion is a bad idea, but it is very important to fix the base first.
Slow Page Load Time
Google “page load time” and you will see literally dozens of articles talking about how important a page load time really is. According to multiple studies, people bounce from the website in the first 4 to 6 seconds so if the page does not load in that time, you will probably lose a potential customer.
If you are one of those e-commerce store where traffic is not a problem but conversion is, this can be one of the problems. I was working for a fashion brand and their conversion rate increased significantly just after fixing the page load time problem. Page load time also positively impacts the average time on site as well as reduces the bounce rate to a greater extent.
How to Fix?
There are a few major reasons why page load time goes high. Among them I would include coding errors, unnecessary JS scripts on the page, inline CSS and more. Kathryn Aragon from Crazy egg wrote a wonderful piece about how to speed up the website. Take a look and see how you can improve your page load time while improving conversion by around 7%.
Incomplete and Irrelevant Information
Another good reason why people come to your website, move here and there but do not convert is because you are either providing incomplete or irrelevant information or even both.
Workplace Depot, did a wonderful job here. They look in to the customer data, understand their needs and what they wanted to find on the website and design the pages accordingly. They conducted research and found that customers are mainly looking for trust, security and other options that make them stand out from the crowd and design the website in such a way that answers all of their question in a single go.
They displayed awards, phone number, physical addresses which proves that they are real and reputable. They also display multiple payment options as well as free delivery options which simply allow potential customers to convert in to paying customer.
If you are going to provide incomplete information that does not answer all of the customers questions, they will bounce to alternatives and you will most likely lose a potential customer.
How to Fix?
It is always important to look at the existing customer data, research personas and find out what your target audience is looking for. Then make sure you place the information on the website accordingly. Once you do that, people will find the answers of their unasked questions and your overall conversion ratio will increase dramatically.
Sending People to Wrong Pages
The main reason why e-commerce and online retail businesses are fighting over client conversion is because people are busy, they don’t have time. The online retail idea allows them to buy exactly what they want without wasting their time shopping in actual physical shops. If the traffic is coming in to your website and not converting, this means that either you are ripping them off or the traffic is not targeted. What if the traffic is targeted to your business but you are sending them to the wrong pages?
I mean if your target audience is made of teenagers who can spend $30 to $50 on a product you are selling and you are sending them to a page where the average price of the product in $200. They might like it, they might share it with their circle of friends but they will probably not buy it as this is not within their budget.
This is very important to see if you are sending the right kind of traffic to the right kind of pages or else you might lose the customers. This usually happens when one of your website page started to rank for a wrong kind of keyword.
How to Fix?
Map your keywords correctly on the website and make sure navigations are done correctly as this will tell search engines what pages contain which type of content and they will rank accordingly. In addition, if you are getting links to product pages, make sure that the links are relevant to the product page. I mean getting like to a t-shirt page with an anchor text “sexy shoes” does not make any sense to me.
Spelling and Grammar Errors
One of the common practices that I have, before I publish any blog post or anything on the website is to have a professional editor check for any possible grammar and spelling errors. This is especially important because visitors can’t see you but they will be judging you from the kind of website you have. If the website contains obvious spelling and grammar mistakes, it will not only leave a negative impression on the buyer but they might prefer someone else over you, a service provide with a decent language.
The common problem arrives when you are an American brand addressing a British audience. Technically you are not doing anything wrong as this is the great benefit of Internet that you can offer your products to anywhere around the world. If you are targeting a different geographical location, though, it is important to speak their language or else they might turn off and your potential lead might not convert in to paying customer.
(IMG source: Learn British English)
I highly recommend that you to give all your writing pieces to professional editors and get those edited before your content goes live.
How to Fix?
I usually use Express Writers and define the specifications like what my target audience is and more. They are a bit expensive but this is obviously a good investment in order to make your potential customer stay on the website and convert into paying customer.
Quality vs. Quantity Ratio
If you are in the online retail business, you must have a clear idea of content marketing and how important it is for your business. The real question is: how much content should I create?
There is no clear answer to this, but what I always recommend is not to focus on quantity and emphasize on the quality of content that can actually a make difference. Your audience will always remember and associate your brand with it.
I have worked with a startup, when we started they had around 3000 plus content pieces on the blog and none of them was powerful enough to help build the company’s image in the industry. Technically, having too much content is not a very good idea if you are not promoting it well.
If you have a content and promotional strategy like Think Geek, you probably should create content on a daily basis but if not, it is recommended to produce less but effective content.
How to Fix?
If you are creating content on your website, it is important to put together a calendar of your content. With every piece you create, you should have the agenda and target you want to achieve with it. Try to target the long tail keywords with your content and also target a certain audience your pieces are going to reach. In this way, you will get more eyeballs as well as links that point back to the website naturally.
There must be tons of more ideas that I can come up here right now, including the quality of image, adding on-page video work, UGC and more but I tried to pick the points that go with almost every e-commerce website present today.
Address these problems and you will see a significant amount of increase in your traffic as well as conversions. Fixing these issues will also help you decrease your website’s bounce rate.
Now it's your turn, comment below on your tips or if you have questions about the above conversion tips.