In this post, I'll cover four things that you might want to take a look at that could be affecting your site's performance.
This is a common problem with ecommerce sites – you invest good time and money in building a website, you invest in good ecommerce SEO to make sure traffic arrives at your site – but then no one buys anything from it.
1. Does Your Site Have A Professional Looking Design?
Keep it simple.
Google introduced several now-infamous algorithm updates that have been given names such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. These algorithm adjustments are intended to weed out poor websites and scammers, while also fine-tuning Google’s results page to display the most relevant organic search results quickly and accurately.
These ongoing algorithm updates mean that Google is constantly looking at the design of your site (at least to some extent) as a way of judging its authority. Google has to serve users with quality and authoritative sites they will actually use! If it doesn’t, its business will suffer. As users, we are drawn to the sites that look more professional and have a good quality design – what does your ecommerce site look like?
Does it look like this?
Would you actually buy your front gates from this site? The colours and navigation alone are blinding me!
Or how about this?
Customers are more likely to buy an Apple product from this simple, elegant and functional site.
Remember: Don’t let aesthetics overrule functionality!
2. Does Your Site Have Good Copy?
Well written copy should be used in most sections of your ecommerce site – from the home page to individual product pages. Although there are no real rules on how long or short the copy should be, there are a few things that you should take into consideration when crafting the copy for your site:
Do you have a voice? Copy on ecommerce sites can be quite cold, so why not let your unique personality come through in your tone of voice in order to stay memorable.
Is your copy sales led? Don’t forget that your website is likely to be the first port of call for many potential customers. Tell them what the benefits of using your products are rather than focussing on their features. Do you have testimonials or reviews that could be added as social proof of how amazing your products are?
Is the copy unique? Manufacturers often provide the copy for their products but don’t simply copy and paste this into your product pages. Not only will this be fairly obvious to consumers who are researching products but it will make it hard for your pages to rank in Google. Google doesn’t like duplicate content and will filter out similar pages – make sure this doesn’t happen to you by writing your own unique content. You can also add user generated content like reviews and feedback to add more content to your product pages, like these examples from Garden4Less.
Is your grammar
right correct? It might sound a little picky but make sure that there are no glaring spelling mistakes or grammatical errors on your site – if you were producing a brochure you would have it proofread several times. Poor grammar is one of the easiest ways to lose credibility.
Remember: Please don’t forget the importance of using visuals.
But just including a picture of your product is not good enough. You also need great product copy and a strong call to action. These can heavily influence a customer’s decision to add a product to their shopping cart and make that all important purchase.
3. Does Your Ecommerce Site Feel Safe?
Do you have trust signals? People will not buy from you unless they feel that their credit card details are going to be safe and that you aren’t some fly by night cowboys. Design goes a long way with this but you need to give people other trust signals too. One way to do this is by including Verisign and Visa sign, as well as credit cards that you accept, on your site in prominent places. This example is from Brand Outlet, where they’ve clearly displayed what payment methods they accept. The more variety available, the easier it is for the customer.
Remember: If you are a member of a professional body include the logo and make sure that users cannot miss it.
Would you buy bath coating or glazing from this website?
I certainly wouldn’t as there are no trust signals. Trust signals should be visible if you are a small to medium business. Well known ecommerce sites still show trust signals but do so below the fold.
Do you include testimonials? You should feature real testimonials on your site (users will know when they are faked) and try to include real names with them too. If someone gives you a testimonial, you could offer to link back to their business from the testimonial, if they let you use their full name. Include relevant testimonials on specific product pages as well, so that users are more likely to buy from you. Why not go one step further and put a few case studies on your site to further demonstrate just how good you are?
Do you tell your customers about your company? People want to buy from people, not a faceless website. Do you have a great about us page? Everyone has a great story to tell, so tell it. You may be surprised how many people look at the about pages of smaller companies so make yours count. The same goes for your employees and the ethics or guidelines that your company stands by.
People like working with people, and you should show your human side.
Remember: Visibility is key.
4. Are You Encouraging Return Visits?
Most people don’t buy on their first visit to an ecommerce site. Research is so easy nowadays that people scoot around from site to site – how do you make sure that they come back to yours?
First, it’s important to provide a positive user experience. Visitors are much more likely to come back to your site if they have a good experience on the first visit. Your site should load quickly, make content easy to digest, easy to navigate and much more. We’ve also pulled together a blog that looks at five things to know about user experience, which is worth checking out here.
Talking about blogs, do you have one? Blogs can be a great way to make sure that visitors return to your site if you make the posts interesting and comprehensive. For example, you could run a competition, review the products that you sell, or produce videos. Anything that will make your site stand out and encourage repeat visits.
You should make your email list a priority. Sending out an email or a newsletter to a list can be an extremely effective way to develop strong loyalty and encourage repeat visits. Through the emails that you send to your list, you can link to your site, to new blog posts, to new product pages, or to whatever area of your site needs more exposure. Make it easy to sign up or subscribe. Just a simple box will do the job, but make it prominent and visible.
Do you offer coupons and special offers? Maybe you have the odd special offer but can people sign up to an email list that will alert them to offers while they are still live? Can you have a separate feed on your blog where you announce one-day special blog only offers? The only thing that will hold you back is your imagination. MyProtein has really taken advantage of this concept, and have a dedicated page that is constantly updated with new offers and codes for their customers. See – https://www.myprotein.com/voucher-codes.list
Finally, your online checkout presents the last hurdle in turning eCommerce website visitors into valuable customers. There is a lot you can do to make this as easy as possible for your customers, you can read about how to reduce ecommerce checkout abandonments here.