Essential Conversion Tips

There are many ways to drive traffic towards your e-commerce website. Search engine optimization can move your site closer to the top of the search results, pulling in droves of interested visitors. Social media can generate buzz for your brand and a good email list can help keep prospects informed and interested. None of these techniques are worth much, however, if they don’t convert into a sale.

When you’re first starting out, it’s a common error to focus on traffic rather than on leads and sales. True, traffic is the lifeblood of any online enterprise — but only if you can establish a good conversion rate. These tips will help your enterprise to turn clicks into real sales.

Every successful enterprise starts with a solid and effective plan. The same goes for Web-based enterprises. Determine what you’re offering, how you’ll deliver it and what makes your business outstanding. Think about the elements your site will need to communicate with your visitors and what they’ll need in order to make a purchase. The better your focus at the beginning, the less patchy, fragmented or confusing your site will be.

Essential-Conversion-TipsIf your site is already up and running, the first item on your checklist should be your page load times. If there’s one thing that will send prospective customers fleeing, it’s a page that takes too long to load completely. Even a fraction of a second can be enough to cause your visitors to disengage. By streamlining your design and getting rid of any extraneous elements, you can shorten load times and make certain that you’re not keeping your customers waiting.

While multimedia elements such as audio and video can add value to your site, they can also be distracting and irritating. Media should not play automatically or obscure other elements when it launches. If the first thing your visitors have to do when they visit your site is close down an intrusive video or animation, they won’t be well disposed towards buying from you.

Next, examine your site’s overall usability. Your color, font and background choices can affect readability — ditch any low-contrast color schemes, distracting patterns or tiny typefaces. Interestingly, using a larger font size has been shown to improve conversion rates in many cases.

There should be a smooth path from your landing page to the point where a customer can place an order. If you make the process of buying your products too complicated, many people will be discouraged before they ever get as far as your checkout. Include clear pricing for every item and make sure there are easy-to-follow links to different products or sections. You should always include a site map — this is helpful to humans and also to the web crawlers that index your site for search engines like Google.

If you have a lot of different items for sale, don’t try to cram them all onto the first page. Catalog them and make sure that you have a fast, effective search system. Don’t limit the results per page too stringently — consider making the default 75 or 100 items rather than 10 or 20. You could even use an endless scroll, since most people are happier to scroll down the page than they are to click link after link to find the item they want. Just make sure that your automated scrolling element isn’t knocking navigation links off the bottom of the screen.

This final point can never be stressed too much: Registration should always be optional. Trying to force your customers to set up an account for no real reason can seriously damage your sales. Studies have shown that even if a prospective customer has selected their items and is ready to pay, telling them they have to register an account to complete their transaction will cause almost one-third of them to abandon their purchases. Only ask for the minimum amount of information you need to provide your customers with the items they want and reassure them that their privacy will be respected. Offer the opportunity to set up an account if they wish but always give them the option to check out without registering.

Instead, provide social media integration for your visitors. Giving people an easy way to link their Google Plus or Facebook accounts with your site is a more productive way of creating connections than adding an unnecessary registration step.

By keeping websites simple and avoiding common pitfalls such as unnecessary registration, Web-based businesses can avoid losing valuable sales. This article aims to address that problem by offering some helpful advice for those new to Internet marketing and e-commerce. It outlines some general ways in which conversion rates can be improved by making the sales process easier for customers to navigate.

Better Business Blogging: The Seven Rules You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Maintaining a business blog is still an effective way of engaging with consumers, but with so much online competition from other businesses and the growth of social media, retaining customer attention is harder than ever before. To be truly effective, your business blog needs to be highly focused on delivering shareable content that is also in line with your evolving marketing goals. Remember the following key principles and your business will stand a better chance in today’s crowded online environment.

Define Your Marketing Goals

Before launching a business blog and before each post, it’s vital to think about what your marketing goals are at any specific time. Are you trying to improve brand recognition, drive sales, gather important data about your customers, educate potential customers, or develop your brand’s personality? Maybe it’s a combination of the above. There are many different ways to approach a blog post, but each one should have a clearly defined purpose. This helps to ensure each post is optimized to engage, inform, and convert prospects. When businesses complain about their blogs not delivering results, it’s often due to poor planning.

Use Knowledge to Strengthen Credibility

Every blog post has the potential to increase the credibility of your brand. Informing and educating readers is a powerful way to gain the trust of people who have become cynical of old-fashioned advertising. Aim to become a powerful voice in your industry sector and you can soon become the go-to resource for news, information, and inspirational content. If you can achieve this, you will not only convert more readers into customers, but they will also promote your brand on your behalf.

Address Your Ideal Customer

Many businesses still focus too much on their own affairs instead of addressing the needs of their audience. Keep your blog content more in line with your marketing goals and remember that people are looking for solutions to their problems. One way to ensure your blog posts are relevant to your target audience is to ask your readers directly what questions they would like you to answer about your products and services.Better-Business-Blogging-The-Seven-Rules-You-Can’t-Afford-to-Ignore

Maintain Writing Quality

Many business blogs fail because they are poorly written and fail to engage the reader within the first paragraph. You need to quickly communicate the value of continuing to read your content. It’s also important to post original content, not only for your credibility, but also for improving your SEO. Use an editorial calendar to make sure you have enough relevant content to publish every month, and time each blog post to align with your marketing goals.

Don’t Forget SEO

The blog’s page title should include relevant keywords, and when appropriate try to include your company name in headings to gain authority for those keywords. Also make sure the page’s meta-description includes keywords to inform the search engines. The title of the post and actual copy should also contain relevant keywords, but not too many. Before you upload an image to a post, name it first with relevant keywords, and remember to include alt text for occasions when an image cannot be displayed. Navigating to other content within your domain and your own content on external sites will also help you rank higher with search engines.

Include Calls-to-Action

Many business blogs still struggle to engage effectively with prospects because they simply lack focus. Each individual blog post needs to a have a clearly defined purpose. Before writing each post, consider its main objective. Do you want it to generate leads, promote interaction, or boost sales? Perhaps you just need to raise awareness of a particular product or service. Whatever it is, remember to make it clear in the post and whenever possible, include a strong call-to-action.

Remember the Bigger Picture

There are various ways to optimize your business blog to maximize its impact. Remember to make it easy to navigate to your primary business pages and keep readers engaged by providing clear links to similar content within your blog. Linking to your social media channels will also encourage interaction on other platforms, enhancing your online presence. Don’t forget to use recognizable sharing icons to strengthen credibility. Including a social media share count on every post will also encourage people to share your content.

The Next Step

The best business blogs can become the heart of a company’s website, or even stand alone as a go-to resource, enabling customers and prospects to share content around a brand. If you don’t have time to write consistently good content and your marketing budget allows, you could even invest in a full-time or part-time writer. If not, just remember these golden rules for better business blogging and with a little creativity and dedication, your blog can give your business the edge over the competition.