So you thought all you had to do was to get a website and you would immediately start selling online!
Actually these days it isn’t difficult to either set up your own website using WordPress and an ecommerce plugin such as Woocommerce or by using one of the many online companies offering ecommerce websites such as Bigcommerce.
And maybe you are selling a few items and doing okay.
But how do you really get your ecommerce website to take off and start making a nice profit?
Marketing your website online is hard work but rewarding when you get it right.
If you currently don’t get many sales from your website or you want more sales then read on.
- Paid Advertising
This is the by far the quickest way I can think of to start increasing the number of people that come to your website. Google Adwords is probably the most well known way of doing paid advertising and the one that I will cover here.
All you need to do is sign up for a new account, enter your billing details and start a new campaign.
I would advise, particularly for an e-commerce site, that you create a Google Shopping campaign as well as specific targeted Google Search campaigns.
I find that Google shopping campaigns work out a bit cheaper and tend to give you better conversions particularly if your prices are competitive.
I would suggest starting off with a low budget and increase it once you start to see that the number of orders coming in out way the cost of your paid advertising.
And whatever you do don’t just set up your campaigns and leave them to run. You need to continually monitor them.
Make sure that you install conversion tracking. You will then be able to see which campaigns and even which keywords work best for you.
I would also suggest letting the data build up before making any rash decisions about what is and isn’t working. The longer you can wait the better decisions you will make.
You should also use split testing so do things like use 2 different adverts in the same ad group. Google will rotate them and you can see which advert gets the better click through rate and most conversions.
You might be able to point your adverts at different pages on your website and again see which one performs the best. I category page might work better than a product for example.
There is an art to making paid advertising work so this is an area where you might have to consider bringing in an expert.
- Is the Checkout Process easy?
This might sound a strange question but have you placed an order on your own website? If not then have a go and see how easy it is to complete the order.
Do you allow Guest checkout? This is a good way of getting people to checkout quickly without having to sign up for an account. According to statistics around 1 in 4 people abandon purchases where they are being forced to sign up for an account.
Also make sure that there is an option for returning customer to login to save them time and ensure they can make a quick and simple purchase.
Is your checkout running on a secure connection? A lot of people will be put off if not.
One thing that I find irritating is when I am on a site and I hit the buy button but then I can’t find my shopping cart to checkout. I personally prefer to see an option to go to checkout or continue shopping after adding an item.
When you get to the checkout page does it display everything such as tax and delivery charges? There is nothing worse than getting right to the end of the checkout process and suddenly seeing a different price to what you saw when you hit the buy button.
What payment options do you offer? Do you accept Paypal or credit cards? Give people a choice, we are all different and prefer different ways to pay.
- How do you get people to trust your website?
Internet fraud is big business so making sure that people see your e-commerce website as trustworthy is so important.
Stats show that most people make up their mind about a website within the first 15 or 20 seconds so you haven’t got long to show people that your website is genuine and trustworthy.
Initially that could just be the look of the site. A professional responsive website design looks like it can be trusted.
Other factors that make people trust a site include using HTTPS which needs to be paid for and encrypts your data making it harder for people to get your financial details.
Make sure that your contact details are easy to see and give as many ways for people to get in touch with you as possible.
Lastly on this subject if you have a physical shop then include a picture of it so that people can see that you exist on the high street. This is a really good way to get people’s trust.
- Search Engine Optimisation
E-commerce websites that are selling products that other websites are selling don’t tend to do well with search engine optimisation usually because of duplicate content. A lot of sites use the manufacturer’s descriptions of products and search engines, particularly Google, don’t like to show the same information at the top of their search results.
If you are selling the same products as other websites then either word the description of your products yourself making them unique otherwise you could try to add additional content by introducing customer reviews.
Another way to get round the duplicate content is by creating good landing pages with unique quality content based around what your products are. For example “How To” guides are a great way of driving people to your website.
Other factors that need to be looked at in terms of SEO include making sure that your meta tags are optimised. Your title tag should be about 4 or 5 words base around your product and the meta tag description needs to be appealing so that when your listing shows up on a search engine someone wants to click it. For example if you offer free delivery get that in your meta tag description.
If all of this seems too much then you might need to take on the services on an affordable SEO agency such as us but I would give it a go first before you go down this route. We love taking on new customers but our fees for companies that are either just starting out or aren’t generating a great amount of sales may be a bit high.
We would advise that you follow these tips and start to generate more sales before hiring a company to look after your online marketing.
- Email Marketing
Most people who run an ecommerce website still don’t use email marketing. I don’t know whether people are put off by the fact that we all get lots of spammy emails but if you have people that have bought from you and have signed up to receive a newsletter then you are entitled to send them an email.
Obviously keep the emails to no more than one or two per month and if you are sending out enticing offers or details of new products that these people might be interesting in then that to me isn’t spam.
Personally I would ask a web designer or graphic designer to come up with a nice template that looks professional and not too cluttered. Then on a monthly basis put together a nice offer or product review and use something like Mailchimp to send out the newsletter.
Make sure you give people the option to unsubscribe.
Try if you might be surprised at how many orders this can bring you.
If you follow all of these tips I am sure that you will see an increase in sales to your website but remember if you sales start to take off and you get very busy make sure that you keep your level of customer service as high as when you weren’t busy otherwise those horrible negative reviews might start to creep in and undo all of your good work.