Hi, guys. Louis here. Today I want to talk to you about how to increase website sales on your e-commerce website or app and it might not be the way you think. Some of the stuff we’re going to cover today include smart and measurable goals that will help you create actionable insights and be able to perform real-time audits on your website to make sure your sales increase and you can be measured over time.
First things first, I should say that many of the opinions, ideas, and hacks that will be sharing in this post will be personal opinion based on our experience, not necessarily granular marketing activity that can be tracked. We are talking broad strokes here but we will be covering the nitty gritty implementation in future posts so don’t forget to subscribe. A lot of it is sort of soft and intangible, but that’s the sort of stuff that we often find resonates best with some of our clients and customers.
So let’s jump straight in. First up, it’s always good to have a bit of a checklist with things that you’re trying to achieve. Obviously, there’re lots of sales checklists out there in the marketplace and everyone’s going to have their own different style of the checklist. We find that it is really useful to create, to give you a bit of a guide as you’re going through trying to manage and make sure your website application or social page is to the best of its standard.
Some of the things that we find work really well, number one, is buyer personas or profiles of ideal customers. This helps you basically set out your ideal customer to make sure that you can get in their mindset and start thinking about how they would think as they navigate through your website. This affects things like user flow, navigation elements, star attributes, image treatments, and color palettes. It even affects things such as tone of voice and the way you would craft content to sell to that particular person.
Number two is driving relevant traffic or creating relevant messages for those particular personas. So I previously touched on it in the first point there, but really nailing down how you are going to speak to that particular audience and that particular persona at any stage in the sales cycle basically.
Next up would be number three and that’s elements of good design. One of the big things we are seeing at the moment across a lot of our customers is a large reliance on good design. It’s having a really big and significant impact across the search marketing community because gone are the days where you can build a whole bunch of dodgy backlinks to a particular website, post, or page and get results. Now you really need to make pages that resonate with the user and really capture the user’s attention and convert them into a sales funnel down a path of conversion. Good design sort of permeates in everything you do, from really well-styled image treatments, consistent brand guidelines, to really helpful support tools that really just make it seamless for a user to navigate through.
Number four, compelling value propositions. One of the big things we tackle with our clients and ourselves a fair bit is making sure that we have consistent and compelling propositions for our users. If you’ve got a page, say, about skin cancer and it’s not giving the user a really valued proposition at the end of each section or the end of each post, it really helps to spell out to the user what the value of that particular piece of content is and the value of basically…what action you want them to take at the end of the day.
Next up, we have understanding buying paths or purchase paths. Basically, people navigate differently on different types of applications. If you’re navigating on Google or some other type of search engine, you’re navigating with intent. And you are looking potentially to research something or to purchase something. Whereas what we seem to find with a lot of different customers, clients, and in our own research, is that a lot of social networks drive impulse buying and really are there to increase brand awareness. Obviously, the social signals that affect that come into play when people decide they want to buy something because they see someone else having it.
Next up, we have the ability to reduce friction. This is a really important one for me. From everything from the basics, like site speed and mobile-responsive websites to really, really seamless forms. I know forms aren’t the sexiest thing in the world when it comes to websites and building great web applications, but making sure people can enter these details really quickly and easily with things like single sign-on.
Or just limiting the amount of fields that you display to a user so you decrease form drop-off and making sure validation is really simple and obvious for your user. Giving really descriptive introduction texts, mobile pop-ups, icons, and icon tooltips, to make sure users can navigate through your…not only your forms, but your pages and your subsections really, really easily.
Next up is clarity, clarity of messaging. One thing we often run into is clients that are trying to present too many options to their users. This muddies the message, muddies the water and prevents customers from being able to make clear and concise decisions about what their next step is and often results in bounces or page drop-off. Having that succinct message but that really clear line of messaging so that people understand the next step of them as a user. They’re not just there to read and acquire information, which you’re hopefully already providing them. They also should be prompted for an action. That might be signing up for a newsletter, or sharing a post, or purchasing a product.
Next up goes hand-in-hand with the previous point, clarity. Noise and distractions. So reducing unnecessary pop-outs, share icons, back to top tooltips, overlays, ads basically. Keeping the distracting elements on a page to a user down to a minimum. Not to say that they hide every element on the page, but making sure that any user can easily navigate through your page without too much distraction and execute tasks in a really quick and easy manner.
Engaging visitors are the next one. We often use the word or the term “excite and delight.” Making sure your users are highly engaged. Whether they’re new or returning, making sure they get some serious substance out of any web page that you’re delivering to them. That can be a post, a page, or a product. But making sure they are really reaping the reward. Gone are the days where you could write 2,000 pages or 2,000 words even and hold the user’s attention. Now you really need to give them something that’s immersive and engaging that they can participate in and feel a part of.
Urgency is the next one. Making sure your users feel a sense of urgency. Maybe they want to save your article for later because it’s so good, they have to read it but they just don’t have time. Then you want to give them a “too long didn’t read” snippet to make sure they get the most valuable points of your piece of the content straight away. Maybe there is a stock limit or a time limit on a product so they feel the need to acquire it or purchase it straight away. Potentially making content perishable to feel like it’s only going to be around for a little while and they should get the most out of it in a fairly short period of time.