There are a series of steps you need to take to make your first online sale, which we discussed in detail in this post. This time around however, we’ve decided to focus on strategies for increasing visits to your site, and how to increase the conversion rate once your customers are there.
1. Optimise your site for search engines
The biggest challenge for new sites is being discovered. It will be tough to get your site to appear amongst the first search engine results if you don’t put some serious effort into, especially if you have a lot of competition. You should think about optimising your site for SEO, meaning you’ll rank better on google.
2. Generate content
One of the best ways of improving your ranking on search engines is by producing relevant content. To do this, we recommend you open a dedicated blog for your business. This is a strategy that we ourselves use at Jivochat, blogging about various topics related to our field. The more valuable content you generate for your visitors, the better your ranking will be on google.
3. Link building
Link building is an essential SEO technique. The term means getting other sites to link to your site, making your site more relevant. Google treats links like a sort of vote of confidence, an indicator of your authority on a certain topic online. This also improves your ranking on Google, consequently increasing the number of visitors to your site.
4. Understand the algorithm of Google links
Link building is one of the most important SEO techniques, and Google assesses every link using set criteria. Its algorithm takes three factors into account: quantity, quality and relevancy. Check out how each of these work below.
The more links that lead to a page, the better your ranking. As well as writing high quality, relevant content, partnering with others to write guest posts is also a great tactic for improving in this area.
Google evaluate the quality of links based on the ending of the web address. Web addresses that end in .end and .gov rank better than those ending in .com, and, in turn, those ending in .com rank better than all other web addresses with different endings to those already mentioned.
Google’s systems also avoid spam by analysing the relevance of each link, that’s why just to including lots of links to pages with poor content doesn’t cut it, as their ranking is considerably lower.
8. Become an influencer
Getting to grips with SEO techniques is one of the best strategies for increasing your visitor numbers. As well as optimising your texts so they can be found by search engines, gaining influencer status could even mean you can compete with big chain stores.
Dr. Robert Ciadini - is known for his theories on influencing and persuasion, and one of his main principles is to do with ‘liking’. This means that the more people that like you, the better chance you have of persuading them to do something. Whilst SEO helps your site to be discovered, being an influencer will increase the conversion rate of your online shop.
9. Become part of the community related to your area
It’s impossible to become an influencer on your own. That’s why you should try to frequent active forums, Facebook groups, and establish a network of professionals connected to your area. Taking part in events, writing guest posts on other relevant blogs and sites and sharing your knowledge are other useful things you can do.
10. Share on social media
The main role of social media is to share content. Considering that they’re continually present in most people’s lives, if you aren’t at least on Facebook it’s a recipe for disaster. But, before promoting your online shop, make sure you share content. This will help your page or profile gain more followers, as well as help build a community around the products you offer. Just like on Google, the first step is to be discovered, and conversions come next.
Have a look at 16 steps to set up Analytics for your ecommerce
11. Build relationships on social media
An important part of networking is the use of social media. In addition to sharing content – which should always be your priority – try to participate by following people, commenting on their publications, and offering mutual help. Always remember that you need to both give and take, not just ask for favours.
12. Find the right social media sites
Social media sites are vital to your strategy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be active on all of them. Whilst Facebook and Instagram are the most advisable in a general sense, some businesses might find their public through other platforms. If you work with a predominantly young demographic, for example, Snapchat might be your best option.
13. Optimize your site for mobile devices
The vast majority of people now access the web and buy from ecommerce businesses through their mobiles. This means that your blog and online shop should be responsive and able to adapt to any screen it’s accessed from. Google also ranks sites that are optimised for mobile devices more highly.
14. Facebook Shopping
As well as posting and sharing, Facebook also lets you sell your products through an ecommerce system within the social network itself. Instagram is also working on an unofficial sales platform. We recommend that you use these platforms in partnership with your virtual shop, rather than trying to sell through them exclusively.
15. Dedication and time
Don’t delegate the task of looking after your social media or, at the very least, contract a professional who specialises in the area. Increasing your visitors in this way is a task that requires dedication and commitment. You need to be updating your pages regularly and interacting with followers. Dedicate a part of your day to maintaining your pages and profiles.
16. Find potential followers
A tip for gaining more followers for your social media profiles, and so increasing your number of visitors and conversion rate, is looking for potential followers on your competitors’ sites. Try and follow them on social media and interact with them, so that they find out about your business and have access to your content.
17. Use Ads
Paying for advertisements is a complex issue, as we’re talking about investing in order to gain visitors. Depending on your business, you are probably at a disadvantage compared to big companies, as the cost of advertising is high, but there are a few tricks which mean you can pay less and get better positioning.
18. Restrict your advertisements to certain times of day
One way of deciding what your strategy for creating Google advertisements is to find out what time your visitors are most active. If you’re in an area that deals directly with other businesses, the ideal thing to do is programme an advert to appear during the working day. Entertainment products, on the other hand, should be scheduled to appear at lunch or after work, amongst other possibilities.
19. Restrict to certain locations
This strategy consists of limiting the appearance of your adverts depending on location. You can decide this depending on your delivery area, in the case of physical objects, or depending on the type of public you want to reach. It’s not a great idea, for example, to advertise cowboy hats in urban centres like Rio de Janeiro, New York or Paris.
20. Restrict to certain devices
Do you remember us mentioning optimisation for mobile devices? One of the reasons we recommend this is that you can also according to the device that your potential customer is on. You can limit your adverts to only appear on certain types of device that a potential client is using. For example, if you work with iPhone accessories, it would be a good tactic to only have the advert appearing on smartphones in order to keep the advertisement costs down and be more likely to grab people’s attention.
21. Use landing pages for conversions
Landing pages are the first pages that your visitor sees when they click on a link to your site in a search engine or ad. This is where you need to concentrate on getting your conversion rate up. To create a great landing page for your virtual shop, check out the tips below.
22. A fast and uncluttered landing page
A few tips are vital for having a successful landing page. The first is speed, as the page needs to load instantly. If a visitor is kept waiting it might make them give up on your content or products. The second is keeping it uncluttered, which is linked to the last tip. Your landing page design should be clean, clear and easy to read, so that the visitor understands the point of it.
23. Compatibility and calls to action
One of the things you should focus on when creating your landing page is its compatibility with the search terms. If someone is searching “buy iPhone case”, your landing page needs to be related to this, even if it’s not the only thing you sell. Just as the page needs to be clean, it also needs to have a call to action. When they click on the link or ad, the client has already gone through the ‘discover’ step, that is, they’re already interested in your product. That’s why a clear and well-positioned call to action on the page is essential for conversion.
24. Give an impression of trustworthiness through your product pages
First-time visitors are still working out if your online shop is trustworthy. One way of showing you can be trusted is through offering clear and well-written product descriptions. A page which simply shows you products with no description or details about them might mean a potential client doesn’t trust your site.
25. Create a sense of urgency
This can be a doubled-edged sword, as creating a sense of urgency in your consumer should be done in such a way that it doesn’t scare them off, but also doesn’t let them think about it for long. Strategies like lightning sales, or providing a precise arrival date for the product if they buy it immediately are good ways of doing this.
26. Make your buttons attention-grabbing
The call to action on your product page is, basically, the purchase button. That’s why you need to carefully consider how these buttons will appear. You can try out different wording, like “buy now” or “add to trolley”, as well as playing around with the positioning and the colour of the button.
27. Carry out constant tests and evaluations
You can never be 100% sure that a method will work out, and some can fail completely. That’s why you should constantly carry out tests on your product pages. In this way, you can identify what is working for your business and what isn’t working so well. A tip we always give is getting an outsider to test your site and report back about what they thought of the experience.
28. Use your customer service channels to increase conversions
Your customer service channels don’t need to be used purely for problem solving. Emails and online chats can also be used to get visitors to sign up to your newsletter (ideal for email marketing) as well as closing sales and turning visitors into clients. Tools like a proactive chat invite, that Jivochat offers, can significantly increase your conversion rate, and should be used wherever possible.
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What strategies are you using to increase visits to your virtual shop and improve your conversion rate?
There are a plethora of strategies and ways to improve your online shop, and we’ve only gone into a few of them here, just to get you kick started. Using an online chat system like Jivochat, as we mentioned in the last point on the list, could be a great way of doing it, especially if it’s combined with excellent customer service. To improve your customer service, why not check out our post on how a great experience can turn into a sale, and have a look at the plans and features we offer here at JivoChat.