16 Jul 4 Simple Techniques to Boost Your Online Sales
So you’ve built your website and you’re working on your search engine rankings. The question is what else you can do to increase your online sales?
As it turns out, the answer is “quite a lot”.
In this article we’re going to discuss four simple techniques you can apply to your website in order to successfully boost your sales and grow your bottom line.
It has been said many times that most leads won’t buy on their very first visit to your website. Indeed it has been suggested that most people need to be exposed to your offering at least seven times before they feel comfortable enough to actually buy from you.
One highly effective way to boost your online sales is therefore to make these “repeated interactions” easier to maintain.
One of the most successful strategies for repeated exposure to your prospects is to start collecting email addresses. In doing so you can launch a regular newsletter, providing valuable trust-building content to your leads.
Over time you’ll build up rapport and name-recognition with these people. When you send out a mailshot about a special offer or a new product release you’ll find far higher response rates from your mailing list than from “cold” visitors who are arriving at your website for the first time.
Even better, once you have a prospects email address and can contact them on a regular basis you just might succeed in turning a one-time sale into repeated transactions.
When someone arrives on your website they might be ready to buy at that very instant. But in reality it’s more likely that they’ll buy some time later. Perhaps they get interrupted while visiting your site. Maybe they’re just doing some advance research. Perhaps they’re waiting till payday.
If you’re unlucky however that visitors won’t remember you when the right time comes – and they’ll end up spending their money elsewhere.
Retargeting is a solution to this very problem. In essence you “tag” visitors to your website so that you can advertise to them on other websites.
You may have found Amazon product adverts that follow you round the internet for example. This is retargeting in action.
And unsurprisingly if it didn’t work, big companies wouldn’t be willing to pay for it. The reality is that while some people find retargeting rather annoying, it can be highly effective. Not only are you advertising to a group of people who have already shown interest in your product or service but the costs of reaching these carefully targeted individuals is often less than untargeted forms of paid advertising.
Split testing is the process of creating different versions of your website to show to each visitor.
Take your homepage for example. You could try different colour schemes or headlines or product pictures. You could change the text, or the layout, or your call-to-action. Each time you carry out an experiment you’ll find that one version performs more strongly than the other.
Over time you can therefore gain progressive improvement. These experiments compound over time producing ever higher response rates from your visitors.
In other words split testing allows you to accurately and scientifically identify the exact “hot buttons” that turn browsers into buyers on your website.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Our fourth suggestion for improving your online sales is to invest in professional conversion rate optimization. Conversion rate optimization (CRO for short) is the process of making improvements to a website’s content, layout and design in order to boost sales.
In essence CRO achieves a similar result to split testing, but without the same level of technical wizardry and often much quicker too. The reason why CRO can bring quicker results is that an experienced conversion rate expert will largely be able to look at your existing website and make informed suggestions based on dozens of previous experiments he or she has carried out.
In essence while some testing may still be required, the CRO expert will be able to make suggestions that will likely need to near-instant improvements, rather than split testing which can be rather more hit and miss.
The reality of the situation is that SEO no longer exists in a vacuum. That is to say that if you want to rank highly in Google for your target keywords it often isn’t enough to just focus on link building.
The fact that Google now applies user metrics as a ranking factor means that sites which engage visitors, extend the time they spend on your site and that encourage some kind of commitment are likely to see a very real rankings boost.
If you’ve been “doing SEO” for months or even years and aren’t seeing your results improving then it might be worth considering applying one or more of the above concepts. You’ll then succeed in not only boosting your sales without needing more traffic, but the changes alone can be enough to provide ranking gains – especially for more competitive keywords.