As 2019 gets underway, here's ten ways that what we think you should be doing to get more sales on your website - lets face it, isn't that what we all want from our online stores? And let's be under no misapprehension - if you are in a service-led business you still want sales from your website - and if you are not getting sales from your website you need to re-evaluate your business.
1: Secure Your Site with an SSL Certificate
Potential customers visiting your site for the first time want to be reassured that your site is safe, and that it's not dodgy. So by having an SSL certificate your are getting a green light from the search engines like Google that your site is secure. And now what is happening to the sites without it is any potential customers will see the words "not secure" in bold in front of your web address. Just think, thats the message you are giving to your customers. It seems obvious to me however I see it time and time and time again. Maybe you don't realise that is what is coming up, well here's the opportunity to go and check. Also, google will actively rank secure sites above non-secure sites, so make the most of the money you are spending on SEO by ensuring your site is secure.
2: Display your Trust Marks/Partner Logos
This is all about building trust, and showing your potential customers that you are professional committed business. People are happy to spend money online in unknown shops if they can trust the business to handle their money and data appropriately.
3: Open Your Business on Mobiles & Devices
I can't stress this enough, your site has to work online. I don't just mean resizes the text and regigs the layout. Make sure it works on a mobile connection and don't test over a broadband connection. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages to create mobile specific sites to suit all devices. Google now ranks on mobile usability and will base the rankings on speed, readability, usability, button sizes etc. This is an area I think many websites are weak on, and business owners are misguided if they think that their customers aren't searching for businesses like theirs on their devices, via Google.
4: Target Your Existing Customers
It's all about building relationships and if people feel they have had a great shopping experience from you they will buy from you again, if you remind them! They will also recommend you, and become a free marketing tool in the days of word of mouth recommendations.
5: Use Video
Here's the thing, more people going to google for advice and recommendations and guess what they are watching videos. I bet you have watched videos too, so why aren't you using videos to market your products. My recommendation would be to create a You Tube channel because don't forget Google owns You Tube! You Tube is now the second biggest search engine in the world. Don't forget to add your SEO tags so people can find them! Whether its a "How To" Guide or Video Testimonial, the more video the better!
6: Customer Testimonials
Create a specific after sales process to remain in contact with your customer, sort out any niggles and primarily obtain a testimonial from them. The best way is through a third party verified platform, again helping to build trust that the recommendations are real. They can do this via an email survey, or logging into their account on the website, or asking them to visit Google My Business. We are living in a market which lives on word of mouth recommendations, we need to move from ad hoc inconsistent reviews to a strategic approach to testimonials which becomes part of your marketing strategy.
7: Accept Different Payment Options
Give your customers what they want, and they want quick easy payments from your site. Customers get annoyed when they can't pay they way they want, whether it be Paypal, credit card, Amex, or ApplePay and GooglePay. If you are looking to grow your international customer base, be aware of whats the primary preferred payment in that country, it might be different to the UK.
8: Showcase Top Selling and Related Items
Help you customers to make decisions by showing them your top selling items, and also showing related items when they have something in the basket. Customers don't always know what they want and do need to be directed to great products!
9: Plan Your Campaigns for The Big Seasonal Shopping Events
Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Christmas, January Sales, all happen every year so be prepared and plan the strategy now with an organised campaign. Don't be that last minute larry ramming sale posts down our social media feeds. Come up with gift solutions and create discussions and chatter around them. Make the promotions worthwhile and ensure your logistics are in place to manage the increased sales.
10: Use Reporting To Help Grow Sales
Ok so there are hundreds of reports and stats available and I think reporting overwhelm can be a real thing. However one of the key things to look at is your abandoned basket report - this is a good one as it suggests someone was about to buy from you and then something put them off, they got distracted, etc etc. It identifies potential bottlenecks in the buyer process. Improve this one area and you've got improved sales, guaranteed!! You can set up automated emails that can be sent to customers who don't check out, and it can help convert them into a buyer.
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