5 Last Minute Conversion Tips Before the Holiday Season

My Post - 2019-11-19T152753.898.pngHow to Quickly Boost Conversion Rates for Your Online Store

If you’re an ecommerce owner, you’re probably looking forward to the upcoming holiday season.

You’re planning your marketing campaigns carefully, maybe hiring new people to help, and waiting for more traffic to come. But you may also think it’s too late to do anything with your website to boost sales.

If that’s the case, I have good news for you! There are plenty of small tips you can follow to boost sales this holiday season.

As a UX consultant helping ecommerce businesses increase their sales, I’ve been using data analysis and A/B testing to turn visitors into buyers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a big player with a lot of traffic and thousands of reviews or you’re just taking your first baby steps in the ecommerce world – you can incrementally improve your conversion rates. And you don’t have to turn everything upside down and redesign the whole site.

In this article I will showcase a couple of real-life examples that you can use as inspiration to get the most out of the increased traffic during the upcoming months.

1. Product Page: Highlight Your Strengths

Your marketing campaigns are driving traffic to the product pages. Let’s take a look at them and analyse the options potential buyers have.

Having a choice between your store and your competitors is very convenient for consumers but let’s think about how they make the final decision?

It’s not always about the price! Safety very often comes first. Especially during the stressful holiday season – people care about timely delivery, great customer support, and a high product quality.

Letting them know you guarantee these will remove any possible doubts and convince them they should buy from you.

Real-World Example

For one of our clients, we ran a test in which we added our clients’ competitive advantages to the product page, right below the “Add to cart” button. This simple change alone increased the number of people adding to cart as well as sales. – Read more

What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

My Post - 2019-10-29T154315.044.pngConversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of optimising web pages and/or page elements to increase conversion rates.

This normally involves running A/B tests or split tests with two different versions of a page competing against each other. Traffic is divided equally between the two variants to see which version achieves the highest conversion rate, once statistical significance is reached.

That last point about statistical significance is important and it relates to the biggest mistake brands make with conversion rate optimisation.

Conversion rate optimisation is a data-driven strategy

Conversion rate optimisation is a data-driven strategy which means you need good data going into your tests and good data coming out of them.

Before you dive into testing, make sure you have the following in place:

  • In-depth conversion data: Conversion rates alone won’t help you to pinpoint what needs testing. You need in-depth data for the actions users are (or aren’t taking) on your site. Use heatmaps, events measurements in Google Analytics and tools like form analytics to pinpoint issues getting in the way of conversions.
  • Trends: With the right data coming in, you’ll start to see patterns that reveal opportunities for testing – for example, only 60% of users who start filling out your forms complete them successfully.
  • Hypotheses: For each trend, you need to come up with a hypothesis to explain what’s happening. Try not to guess; dig deeper into your data and aim to diagnose what’s causing the issue.
  • Test goals: Before you run your test, define what your goal is and pinpoint which KPI measures success – eg: increase form completion rate to 90+%.

Too many brands and marketers jump into conversion optimisation without having the right data processes in place – and this is setting yourself up for failure. Poor data delivers unreliable results and potential false negatives that could cause more harm than good to your conversion rates.

Read more

How to Create Lead Generation Landing Pages that Convert

My Post - 2019-10-17T120152.499.pngLead generation landing pages are the superstar sales team for your online business.

Even while you’re sleeping, they’re out there beating the pavement 24/7, drumming up leads and growing your audience.

It isn’t an easy job, either. Your landing page has to effectively perform the entire sales process in only a few seconds, grabbing visitors’ attention and convincing them to sign up for your offer.

That’s a lot to ask of one little web page.

Lead generation landing pages are easy to attempt but difficult to perfect. Pouring all your creative energy into crafting a superb landing page, only to watch your hard-earned visitors leave without signing up, can be pretty demoralizing.

Success requires walking a fine line between getting the information you need and overwhelming potential leads. Every element needs to work seamlessly to convert visitors into subscribers.

Fortunately, improving your lead generation landing pages and optimizing your conversion rate isn’t difficult. Let’s take a look at some simple conversion rate tips we’ve found that can help you create better landing pages and boost your conversions.

So what are lead generation landing pages?

Landing pages tend to come in two primary flavors:

  • Click-through landing pages
  • Lead generation landing pages

Click-through landing pages are designed to “warm-up” or qualify visitors before they buy a product or subscribe to a service. Click-through landing pages come in all shapes and sizes. Blog posts, white papers, product descriptions, and case studies all work well as click-through landing pages.

Lead generation landing pages, on the other hand, are single-purpose pages where you give something valuable away for free—like an ebook, newsletter, email course, or worksheet—in exchange for visitors’ contact information.

Lead generation landing pages aren’t about sales

The point of your lead generation landing pages isn’t to close any deals.

That’d be like me asking for your hand in marriage 10 minutes into the first date. Thanks, but no thanks.

You might not be asking visitors to pull out their wallets quite yet, but you are asking them to make a “transaction.” But instead of trading money for products, they’re swapping their valuable contact details (and permission to follow up later) for the information you’re offering.

That initial “transaction” is a vital part of the sales process for many businesses. For consultants, coaches, course creators, and other high-value products and services, generating and nurturing leads is a crucial part of the sales process.

No leads, no sales.

Now that you know why lead generation landing pages are so important, let’s dive into some practical tips for boosting your conversion rates.

10 tips to increase your landing page conversions

No matter what kind of online business you run, the core elements of every landing page are the same. Here’s what content strategist and landing page wizard Aaron Orendorff has to say:

At their core, landing pages that convert speak directly to real people with real problems in search of real solutions.

And people are people. This means that the rock-bottom, non-negotiable, absolutely essential elements to every high-converting landing page are the same.

So being real with your target audience is the key to unlocking more conversions. What does that look like in practice?

#1: Set one goal and eliminate distractions

You should design every landing page with a single goal in mind. The goal you choose is crucial—it should be the smallest possible step that visitors could take down the path to becoming a customer or client.

Some common goals you might choose for your landing page:

  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Download a free guide
  • Follow you on social media
  • Schedule a call
  • Sign up for a webinar

Every single element on the page should have a role to play in moving visitors closer to achieving that goal. That means removing any potential distractions, alternate paths, and secondary CTAs.

Navigation and outside links should all be left off your landing pages. These options all give users an easy chance to leave your landing page without converting, so they should be left off your landing pages.

Heat mapping software Crazy Egg’s landing page does a great job of guiding visitors toward their goal of creating their first heat map. Visitors have only one option, and that’s to enter their website URL to generate their first heat map and create their account.

Apart from creating their first heatmap (and perhaps enjoying the delightful illustrations), there’s nothing else visitors can do on the landing page. Simplicity is the key to improving conversions.

#2: Grab visitors’ attention with your headline

Once someone hits your landing page, you have only about 15 seconds to grab their attention and let them know whether you’re offering what they need. Your landing page headline needs to let readers know how your offer will benefit them immediately.

While writing attention-grabbing headlines might sound painful, it’s not all that difficult. Landing page headlines tend to work best when you follow one of three principles:

  • Ask readers a question related to your product
  • Promise the reader useful information
  • Explain how the reader can reach their goals

Let’s say you’re a freelancer creating a landing page for a free email course that teaches other freelancers how to grow their client base. Based on our three headline principles, you might choose headlines like:

  • Tired of waiting for clients to come to you? (asks a question)
  • Avoid the top 7 mistakes freelancers make when finding clients (promises useful information)
  • How to fill your client list in the next 30 days (without working for peanuts) (explains how to do something)

Each of these headlines would work well for the same product—pick your favorite one and try it out.

Check out our headline on the ConvertKit home page—it explains the benefits that customers get from the platform—growing their audience—without getting lost in the details of email marketing.

SEO tool Moz is another excellent example of a landing page headline, challenging visitors to up their SEO game by signing up for their software. – Read more

12 Simple Rules to Boost Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates

My Post - 2019-10-17T113307.983.pngWould you be frustrated if you discovered that tons of your potential customers are leaving your ecommerce website (and that your conversion rates are in the pits) because of a poor visitor experience?

Unfortunately, that’s often the reality: many ecomm storefronts don’t have the best checkout experiences, and it absolutely crushes their sales efforts. This is most often the result of not understanding what customers need to see before they feel comfortable with buying.

There are several things you can do to avoid common abandonment pitfalls. Today, I’ll go over the 12 rules I follow to create a shopping cart experience that’ll grow your ecommerce conversion rates.

Rule #1: Avoid long forms

Let’s start with a classic example. In 2011, Expedia made a change to their checkout form that increased profits by $12 million.

What was it? Take a look:

Expedia boosted ecommerce conversion rates by removing a single line from their form.

They removed a single and inessential form field. We can learn from this.

Like Expedia, make the checkout experience as easy as possible for your customers. The longer your form, the less inclined people will be to fill it out. This can kill your conversion rates. For that reason, only ask for the information you absolutely must have (including billing and shipping information).

Consider this from the customers’ point of view. Every additional field is just another hindrance keeping them from buying your product—another missed chance at conversion rate optimization (CRO). Focus on the possibility of a lost sale due to friction instead of focusing on filling up your lead gen list.

If a field isn’t essential to your business, then why have it?

Rule #2: Use “email” as the first field in your checkout forms

Repeat business (when a customer returns to your site to make a purchase) is essential for every retailer, not just ecomms. It’s vital to reach out to these customers to entice them to buy again.

For this reason, a customer’s email address is the most critical piece of information you can get during the checkout flow. 

Even if a visitor doesn’t complete their purchase, you can still use cart abandonment automation to recoup a sale you might have otherwise lost. (We’ll talk about this a bit more in our next point.)

An example of using "email" as the first field in your form.
The Fixed Gear Shop leads with an email address field and lets customers know that they can create an account after checkout if they’d like.

Editor’s note. Even if your customers are based outside of areas where it applies, it’s always smart to ensure your forms are compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Like other security features, it’ll help your visitors feel more secure as well as protect you from liability.

Rule #3: Use cart abandonment software

Even if your checkout form leads with email first, you’ll still have people who drop off during the purchase stage. However, you can use cart abandonment software to engage and nurture these customers—and, hopefully, get them back on track.

There are plenty of options for cart abandonment software available. For instance, you can use Rejoiner to create personalized emails and send them a custom number of days after the date of cart abandonment.

An example of Rejoiner.

Rejoiner automatically retargets window shoppers with products they’ve viewed and related items. It also follows up with abandoners in real-time by using messaging that relates to their desired product. Plus, it helps save your customer’s carts so they can continue checking out from any device without having to re-enter their data or retrace their steps.

The goal of this type of software is to catch people before they change their minds completely. Clearly, these individuals were in the market for your product and they were so close to getting it, but maybe the price or the cost of shipping threw them off.

You can use cart abandonment software to reach out to these individuals with discounts and other offers to get them to complete an order.

In addition, survey platforms like Qualaroo can poll visitors and find out what they don’t like about your site or why they’re lingering on certain product pages. Then you can put those insights to work to improve your checkout flow, too. – Read more

5 Common Mistakes eCommerce Website Owners Make & How to Prevent Them

My Post - 2019-10-07T115108.532.pngRegardless of how experienced you may be, there are mistakes that are easy to make when dealing with Ecommerce.

I have been working on eCommerce SEO projects in my career since 2007, and in 2014, I started my own eCommerce business. Along the way, I have gone through many trials and tribulations that helped me grow as a professional. My most recent project has been steadily growing and went from a new website with no traffic to a website that generates over $200,000 in monthly revenue with most of the traffic and sales coming from direct and organic traffic.

My goal in this article is to share some of the most common mistakes that are made when dealing with an Ecommerce project in general. I will recommend some software solutions that I have used in my experience, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other solutions out there that are just as good if not better.

Preventing Spam & DDoS Attacks Before It’s Too Late

Many of reading this article may already be familiar with spammers and how to combat common spam tactics using plugins or SASs. And most likely many of you had to find out the hard way after the attacks already took place (including myself). Proactive prevention for spam and DDoS attacks is recommended if you want to prevent the tedious cleanup work needed to get rid of countless spam accounts and or dealing with the post effects of a DDoS attack.

Many CMS’s even have built-in features that help reduce general spam on your site. DDoS attacks are common on eCommerce websites that are driving a lot of sales and traffic, especially when you have competitors who are privy to DDoS attacks and how to execute them. It is not hard to do, and unfortunately, I see them happen quite a bit.

The reason why spammers target eCommerce websites is because there are so many sites out there that allow accounts to be created and ultimately create a back door for getting back-links or hacking. To prevent spammers from creating fake accounts on your site, make sure to install Recaptcha by Google or a similar service. In my experience, Recaptcha does the job very well compared to other paid solutions.

To stop DDoS attacks, I recommend a service like Cloudflare, which has been around for a long time, and they are very effective at mitigating DDoS attacks that can really slow down your business. It is a paid service, but in my years of experience, it is a service that is worth the expense to prevent downtime. I am not an affiliate for Cloudflare, I just use them for my own eCommerce business, and many of my clients and peers do as well.  There are many other software solutions available for mitigating DDoS attacks which I implore you to research. – Read more

Ten Mistakes I Made Running Two Online Stores (And How You Can Avoid Them)

My Post - 2019-09-20T120319.547.pngGetting into ecommerce has been one of the best educational experiences of my life.

The things I’ve learned by actually starting a business would be challenging to find in an MBA or any business course.

With that said, the lessons I’ve learned were all born from mistakes I made. Each mistake sets you up to do better in the future as long as you reflect on what you could have done differently. I’d like to share some of my missteps with you so you can hopefully avoid them and succeed even faster.

Mistake #1: Rushing the math

If you ask any seasoned entrepreneur what the most important skill in running a business is, it’s math. When I started out, my business was like a hobby for me, so I didn’t create a detailed business plan or pay as much attention to the math as I should have.

As a result, I ended up in a niche that had good demand but not enough revenue potential to make it worthwhile. The products I was trying to sell were very cheap, and I had to sell way more than I forecasted to be able to make decent money.

Business math is very simple. To see how profitable your business can be, use this formula: Profit = Demand * (Revenue – Expenses).

To break this down, let’s assume altogether there are 20,000 people that are searching for your product (I’m using such a generous assumption to account for the main keyword, as well as some long tail keywords).

Assuming you can put yourself in front of even half of those people, that’s 10,000 potential buyers. If you convert at the average of between 1-2%, that’s 100-200 sales. If your average order value is $100, and you have a net profit margin of 30%, your profit will be anything between $3000-6000.

Of course, these are really rough estimates. But whatever you get into, if you’ve done the math, you know what you are in for. It took me two stores to learn the math lesson properly, because even though my second store had a very high average order value, the margins were so thin that I was barely making any money after factoring in costs.

Mistake #2: Not finding a gap in the market

Both stores I started were based on the dropshipping model. This meant that I was up against hundreds of people that would carry the same items that I was carrying.

Unless I could differentiate myself from them somehow, I’d just be a “me-too” store and I wouldn’t be providing any value to the situation. Not to mention you still have to compete with the likes of Amazon and Walmart.

With my first store, I just dove in, thinking it was a good niche, but without really researching any of my competitors to see what the market’s situation was. I failed to notice that the biggest player in my niche was just plain awesome. They had all the products I was carrying, hundreds of reviews, thousands of social likes, a popular blog, and tons of press coverage. They had every base in the market covered, and I still thought I could go up against them. Needless to say, the store was a disaster commercially.

With my second store, there was a big gap: not in terms of products, but in terms of information. I pounced on this opportunity and started doing my research, and managed to create a very comprehensive resource in my niche.

It’s not that the information wasn’t available elsewhere, but I presented it in a way that was easy to use and helpful for visitors. The result? With some search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, I managed to grow the store to 15,000 organic visits per month in a competitive niche.

The easiest gap to find is an information gap: you don’t need much of a financial investment, and your business’ worth will not only be that of your products and customer list, but of your content, too. – Read more

How to Improve Your Ecommerce Project Using Google AdWords

My Post - 2019-09-20T105448.521.pngThere are lots to be said about Google AdWords. Some entrepreneurs decide to abandon it altogether and focus on entirely different prospects.

However, Google Ads can be extremely useful, especially for those who do not have a budget for SEO or hiring influencers.

On top of that, you can also make use of a free Google Ads promo code, since finding those is not a big problem at all.

But regardless of all that, the goal of this article is to get the most out of your campaign. The following step-by-step guide will cover all the basic and most important aspects, so be sure to continue reading.

Bid More Aggressively on Specific Search Phrases

There is absolutely no reason to spend money on underperforming ads. You want to focus entirely on the best, the ones that bring the most returns.

Look at the history of search terms and take the ones with the most search queries.

Identify Best Sellers

One of the most common tips is to look at your ad campaign history and determine the best sellers, which you then pick and adjust the bidding campaign accordingly.

Audit and Optimization

Ads meant for boosting sales will not succeed without a decent optimization of product feed.

Auditing the feed should be one of the first things that you do. Ads have their own algorithm and even the smallest amount of missing information could lead to a lot of negative things. You risk paying more for each click, and it is possible that some of your ads will not reach potential customers.

Finally, keep product titles in check and do not stuff descriptions with too many keywords. – Read more

The 7 Most Crucial Ecommerce Metrics You Should Be Tracking Right Now

My Post - 2019-09-10T152841.071.pngSelling things online has never been both easier and harder.

On one hand, you have platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, all of which have lowered the barrier to entry for aspiring online merchants.

On the other hand, succeeding as an online store operator means having to track a lot of data, which is much easier said than done.

The most successful ecommerce businesses are the ones that can harness metrics to make informed decisions.

These metrics, in turn, tell you everything you need to know about your store’s performance, from the number of sales by day, week, and month, to the average value of all items purchased at any given time.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you should be tracking and optimizing every metric at your disposable. The key is to know the metrics that make the biggest impact on your ecommerce venture.

To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of the seven most important ecommerce metrics you should be tracking and optimizing today.

1. Sales Conversion Rate

Your ecommerce sales conversion rate is, simply put, the percentage of people who visit your online store or page who make a purchase.

To calculate your conversion rate, use the following formula:

Coversion Rate Calculation

So, if 1,000 people visited your store this week and only 10 people made a purchase, your conversion rate for the week would be 1%.

Obviously, you’d want as high a conversion rate as possible.

But the truth is that the average ecommerce conversion rate in the U.S. is much lower than you think – between 2% and 3%.

According to WordStream, however, you might fair better with Google Shopping Ads.

Now for the big question: How can I improve my conversion rate?

This is a huge topic in itself, but a few things you can try include:

  • Speeding up your product pages.
  • Upload high-quality images of your products
  • Optimize product listings using keywords

2. Website Traffic

Once you’ve tracked and optimized your conversion rate, you can then look at bringing more people to your ecommerce store.

This is where measuring website traffic comes in.

Let’s go back to your conversion rate of 1%, or 10 purchases for every 1,000 visits. After optimization, let’s suppose this rate increased to 5% – 50 sales for every 1,000 visitors. – Read more

15 Effective (& Easy) Ideas For eCommerce Conversion Optimization

My Post - 2019-09-06T162559.049.pngA seamless eCommerce customer journey is all about the transition from “buying” to “experiencing.”

The key to growing your online business is to let your customers explore, decide, and share, and then learn from their experience.

Over the years, A/B testing has evolved from a simple comparative study to a process backed up by a data-driven approach. Businesses and website owners can utilize this approach at every stage of their customer journey.

In this blog post, we take you through 15 A/B testing ideas for eCommerce conversion optimization that will make your cash registers ring faster than ever.

1. Use Browsing History for Personalized Recommendations 

Did you know that 45% of online shoppers are more likely to buy from an eCommerce store that offers personalized recommendations? So, if you aren’t leveraging user history on your online store to provide a personalized shopping experience and retargeting your customers, you are probably missing out on an enormous opportunity to increase your conversion rate.

Product recommendations are the ultimate eCommerce conversion optimization tactic that you need to include in your strategy. Keep track of user data such as location, traffic sources, preferences, purchase history so you can highlight products that are on top of your customers’ minds.

One of the biggest players in the eCommerce space when it comes to personalization of product recommendations is Amazon. Take a look at the screenshot below. Suppose you just viewed Dan Ariely’s book on behavioral economics. This is how your homepage is going to look the next time you land on it.

Personalized Product Recommendations On Amazon

2. Have a Persistent Shopping Cart

Persistent Shopping Cart On Jabong.com

Do you see that widget at the right bottom corner of Jabong’s homepage? Yes, that’s your persistent shopping cart. These items were added to the cart a couple of days ago, and as you can see, the cart is still intact with the items. What do you think happened here?

A long-term cookie was established when the eCommerce site was opened. And now, the cart can be viewed during subsequent sessions for a given period of time.

Magento defines persistent shopping carts as carts that keep track of unpurchased items that are left in the cart and saves the information for the customer’s next visit.

A significant percentage of online retailers employ persistent shopping carts as it positively influences buyers’ purchase decision. This is because 56% of visitors tend to save their carts for later and take days or weeks to complete their purchase, and you need to ensure their carts are intact when they return.  – Read more

How to Do Technical SEO for Ecommerce Websites

My Post - 2019-08-09T170524.451.pngEcommerce is one of the fastest growing sectors and is often perceived to be dominated by the likes of Amazon and Walmart.

However, with appropriate marketing strategies, small ecommerce websites can also get their fair share of customers.

That’s where technical SEO comes in. It is crucial for improving your online store’s searchability.

Here are 12 technical SEO tips that will help increase your web traffic and generate more sales.

1. Don’t Miss Out on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords may not attract more traffic, but they do have higher conversion rates as they allow you to understand the consumer intent correctly.

For example, a keyword such as “maternity yoga pants” rather than simply “pants” clearly shows what a consumer wants.

You have plenty of opportunities to use long-tail keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and product description.

Think about the various search phrases people may use to find a specific product. They will help identify the best suitable long-tail keywords.

You can use tools such as Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Trends for this.

2. Use Unique Title & Meta Descriptions

Create unique titles and meta descriptions for each product page. Try to include the relevant long-tail keyword in both the title and the meta description.

Make your meta descriptions as attractive as possible to encourage users to check out the product page.

For example, “Maternity Yoga Pants – best deals, big discounts, and free shipping on all orders. Order Now!” would be a fitting meta description for a maternity yoga pants page.

Ask your developer to insert such unique titles and meta descriptions dynamically into every page. – Read More