Ok so presumably you're here because you own or run an ecommerce website and want to make sure you are making the most of its potential. If you don't feel your site can possibly be improved then clearly you're reading this while relaxing on a hammock in a tropical paradise somewhere. In which case congratulations, you have won at life.
For everyone else, here are a few things we have learned over the last 15 years of building and improving websites for our clients...
1. Make a good impression
Ok this is a biggie as there are many things that visitors consider when looking at a website, often without even realising it. Good design, accurate content, clear imagery, correct spelling, trust seals, security certificates, recognisable brands, the list goes on. It all counts to keeping new visitors from bouncing away from your website. Furthermore were you aware that an increasing number of your first visits will be via your product or category pages and not your homepage? We recommend that you put as much effort into these pages as you do your homepage, so that wherever your customer journey starts, it does not make them head for the ‘back button’. So make sure you dot the i's and cross the t's on every page!
2. Cross-selling works
For many sites, the products that are most readily associated with them are not necessarily the ones that make them money. For example, most camera websites & shops make very little money from selling the latest £3,000 Canon camera. Their profit is in the accessories. So for them it is ultra-important to ensure their customers can find all the extra little add-ons they may wish to purchase alongside their shiny new camera. This is 'cross-selling' and is something that all popular ecommerce sites utilise. If your's doesn't you are likely missing out on revenue.
3. Google is your friend
As a search engine Google's only interest is displaying the most relevant and useful search results to anyone using it. Many SEO companies see Google as the enemy, always looking for ways to trick it into ranking their sites higher. We don't see things this way. In fact our Search Engine expert, Lee, regularly chats with Google representatives in order to find ways to improve his adwords campaigns and Shopping feeds. We work hard to ensure that our clients websites are correctly optimised to rank well for relevant key phrases by doing the things Google likes - writing unique, useful content, obtaining links naturally and building a well structured, reliable website with authority.
4. Site Search Useability
Were you aware that the search facility on your ecommerce store is one of the key areas that could potentially have your visitors leaving in droves? It is often flagged up as one area of useability on a ecommerce store that is just left in default mode. But it shouldn’t be! We urge you to set up using a testing platform like www.hotjar.co.uk to review how hot your site search really is, then you will see how important it is to your customer journey. According to econsultancy 30% of visitors will use the site search box, these will usually be hot leads as they know exactly what they are looking for so it is vital they are presented with the information they need.
5. Be competitive
When you read ‘be competitive’, I bet like most people you thought ‘price’. This is important however there are other areas your ecommerce store can beat the competition. The obvious ones would be to sell unique products, offer next day deliver and ensure great customer service. A maybe less obvious one to you is to create content your audience will appreciate. For example if you sell flat pack furniture, you can deliver simple how to build videos on each product on your website (or at least on your top sellers), as well as provide all the instructions from the manufacturer. Create a story on how your products are used in the real world and how your customers can imagine using them - it can encourage impulse purchases. Not only will your customers appreciate the help - the relevant content will help your Google rankings!
6. Don’t forget the landing pages!
Ah landing pages! I bet you either use them or you know of them. So what are they?
Simply put, they are pages created with a single, simple aim. Usually to attract and convert a particular type of customer.
For example lets say you’re selling outdoor drones. You may have a pay per click advert with the text "
Best Selling Outdoor Drones in the UK" which is set to display when a user searches for “Best Drones Review UK” on Google.
Your Ad is displayed and clicked, but where does it link to? Your homepage? A category page? Neither of those are really relevant to the Google search your potential customer carried out. They will more than likely bounce straight back off your site and onto the next one leaving you to pay for another pointless click.
Instead, what about inserting a landing page in the customer journey and creating the content that your visitor was hoping to find? In this case a short article comparing 3 of your top selling drones including videos of the drones in action. You have now cleverly provided your potential customer with prices, delivery options and buy now buttons for 3 of your best selling products and at the same time given them a useful, informative article to read AND introduced your brand as an authority on their chosen subject. Does life get any better than that?
Well actually yes, because in addition to all that a well crafted, well optimised landing page adds to your long list of highly ranking pages in Google and may even gain links from other blogs and related sites. All driving traffic and sales for your business. That tropical paradise is getting closer by the minute isn't it?
We hope you have enjoyed reading a few of our insightful tips on how to create a successful ecommerce store. We do have loads more and we love putting them in place and watching the results speak for themselves. So please do contact us if you feel your ecommerce site needs the Diligence touch.