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Posted 12 July 2019

7 Steps To Quickly Optimize Your Landing Pages

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When it comes to optimizing landing pages, there’s one piece of the puzzle that usually leads to the biggest wins for our clients.

It isn’t the color of the buttons or using the keywords in the headline.

It also isn’t the length of the page or the background image we use.

What actually moves the needle the most is optimizing landing pages using the insights we have gathered from performing conversion research.

This is something which we do as a Marketing Agency prior to optimizing any landing page.

Once we apply what we have found during our research stage, we’ll usually see the biggest lifts in conversion rates.

Conversion Research

Conversion research usually takes two different forms. The first being Quantitative analysis, where we are using analytics data to see if we can spot any anomalies.

But Quantitative analysis can’t always be performed on all landing pages. It requires a minimum volume of traffic and conversions to make statistically significant decisions.

Our second reach stage is Qualitative analysis.

This where we are a lot more user-centric with our research to try to find out what customers want and what’s holding them back.

We’re doing things like usability tests, watching user recordings and interviewing customers.

I have some expert advice when it comes to your conversion research.

Wait for it….

Qualitative analysis is where you will find the biggest opportunities for your landing pages.

That’s right, I said it.

By finding out what barriers are preventing your customers from purchasing, you can address these pain points on your landing pages to try and convert more users into customers.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through how to quickly optimize your own landing pages using mostly qualitative analysis to uncover opportunities.

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this article :

  1. Perform a Relevancy Test
  2. Watch User Recordings
  3. Usability Testing
  4. Interview Your Sales Team
  5. Interview Your Customers
  6. Form Optimization
  7. Analyze Google Analytics Data

Let’s get started.

1.Perform a Relevancy Test (aka The Blue Running Shoes Test)

There’s nothing more annoying than arriving on a website after clicking on a link from a search engine, that takes you to a page that’s completely unrelated to what you were expecting.

This doesn’t apply to just you and I either, the rest of the world actually feels the same too.

What we’re talking about here is relevancy. How relevant is the landing page to what the user was expecting when they arrive?

The more relevant you can make a landing page to what the user is looking for, the higher the probability you will have turning that user into a customer.

To perform a relevancy test, you will need two pieces of equipment – yourself and your computer.

Next, you need to take your ads that receive the most amount of traffic (image, video or text) and map out the landing page that each of them is sent to.

*If you don’t use paid ads, you can simply use your organic links and map them out to your landing pages.

Then you need to work your way through each one and have a look at how relevant you think the landing page is to the ad the user is seeing.

At DUBUB Marketing Agency, we call this the ‘Blue Running Shoes Test’.

Apart from being a cool name, we use this as an early indicator when evaluating landing pages.

Let’s say a user searches for ‘blue running shoes’ on their search engine. 

For a user to be confident that they have arrived on a potential website to purchase from, that page needs to be primarily focused on blue running shoes. 

The user shouldn’t have to filter anything, click deeper into the site or sort anything whatsoever. They should arrive on that page and think “Hey, these guys literally only sell blue running shoes!!!”.

If you can nail the blue running shoes test, you’re in great shape for the user hanging around.

Doing this effectively won’t just help your landing page optimization, but also your PPC management too. Higher conversion rates usually lead to much lower cost per conversions.

Here’s some relevancy examples (Good and Bad)

Example 1 : Bad

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As you will be able to see, the ad is advertising CRM Software for Enterprises. So in the user’s mind before clicking the ad, they’re expecting to see a landing page related to Enterprise CRM.

Instead, they are sent to a landing page which is discussing CRM applications.

Example 2 : Bad

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This time, we expect to see a landing page related to ‘Sales Management Software’ but instead users are being sent to a landing page where the copy is tailored around CRM software to help with sales.

Again, there’s a message mismatch. A user is expecting one thing and seeing something different.

Example 3 : Good

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Hooray!

We have a user expecting to see flight deals to Australia and that’s exactly what they are getting. The landing page is completely relevant to what the user is expecting.

Example 4 : Good

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MailChimp knocked this one out of the park.

The image on the landing page is the same one used in the banner and the messaging is nearly identical from the ad to the landing page.

There’s no doubt that this page is relevant to what the user is expecting.

2. Watch User Recordings

Next up we have user recordings. If you don’t know already, this is when the sessions of users are recorded whilst they use your website.

These recordings can then be viewed to assist with conversion optimization.

It might sound a bit weird at first, but it’s an awesome tool to have in your artillery.

The main benefit of using this is that you can find out where users are running into issues whilst using your landing pages or website.

For instance, we may find from our Google Analytics reports (discussed in a minute) that users on mobile devices have a high abandonment rate.

What we can do is view recordings of user sessions segmented by mobiles devices. From here we can look for any patterns or common issues that users are facing.

Or we may find from watching the videos that there’s a form issue we didn’t know about, we can then jump straight into our landing page code and fix it. We should then see an instant lift in our conversion rate.

Hotjar is a great tool to start with when it comes to starting out with user recordings. They also have a free trial so you can “dip your toe in” without needing to spend any money.

It’s super effective. Well known UK retailer Matalan, saw a huge 900% ROI when implementing after implementing it.

3. Usability Testing

Usability testing is the big brother to user recordings.

The concept is similar as we’re observing users whilst they are using our landing pages. 

However, this time we are asking the participants to perform specific tasks.

Doing this lets us measure if they can complete the tasks successfully or whether they run into difficulty.

The biggest insights here is that the test participants will speak out loud whilst they are doing the test.

They’ll let you know what they are expecting to happen, when they run into difficulty, what they like and what they dislike etc.

Testers are usually recruited from the platform so you don’t have to worry about that. Once you set up your test you can specify your tasks that you want the user to do.

Here’s some example questions :

  • Find product x and complete a purchase.
  • Book an appointment for next Tuesday at 3 pm.
  • Search for ‘home insurance’ on Google and request quotes from two other companies.

One point to make here is to try and not be too subjective. Don’t ask the user if they like your website, because it’s not going to provide you with anything actionable.

Instead, try to find common usability issues that may be causing people to abandon your landing page.

There’s plenty of tools to help you with Usability Testing, here’s just a few:

We had an instance at DUBUB Marketing Agency not so long ago where we couldn’t quite get the spike in their conversion rate that we would normally want to see.

After performing an initial round of usability testing, nothing was indicating that there were any issues.

So we did another round. But this time we asked the participants to compare 3 other companies that sold the same service.

We found that when looking for this particular type of service, users wanted much more information as it was quite complex.

We addressed these findings, tested a long-form landing page with much more content and we were able to see almost a 20% lift with the new version.

4. Interview Your Sales Team

Now is when things are going to get really interesting. I bet you didn’t think that interviewing your sales team was going to help you increase your conversion rate?

Well, it will.

As I’ve mentioned already, a huge part of optimizing landing pages is addressing the common objections or barriers for your customers.

Why?

If we can address their pain-points on our landing pages, then this should lead to persuading more users to complete the desired action.

The reason we want you to interview your sales team is because they are constantly speaking to your customers.

So they will know the common objections that they have.

It’s straight from the horse’s mouth.

Here are some example questions that you can use:

  1. What are the top 3-5 objections from potential customers?
  2. What do you answer to persuade users to buy?
  3. Are there any particular areas of (insert service or product) that people don’t understand? What aspects of (insert service or product) do people like the most and the least?

Next, we use these insights and try to incorporate them into our landing page. 

Some may be no-brainers that you can go ahead and implement straight away. Whilst others may need some planning (more on this shortly).

5. Interview Your Customers

So we’ve talked to our sales team. Now we’re going to talk to our existing customers. People that have actually parted with money and purchased what it is your selling.

The reason we want to do this is to find out two things:

  1. The reasons why they decided to buy from you.
  2. The reasons why they nearly didn’t buy from you.

By finding out why users buy from you, you will find out what’s matters the most to your customers.

These are the people the exact people that you want to persuade more of, so it makes sense to find out what they want.

Once we know this, we can use this to draw more emphasis to the most important aspects.

Additionally, we also want to know the reasons why customers nearly didn’t buy.

If we find out why people nearly went elsewhere, we can hopefully address this and lower the number of users who are abandoning the landing page for the same reason.

When we do this for clients, we sometimes run into difficulty getting responses from customers to our survey. Usually, an incentive works well, like a $20 Amazon voucher or a month’s free use of your product.

6. Form Optimization

Now we’re going to move into Quantitative research techniques.

If your landing page is using a form to collect leads then you can use form analytics to collect data to find potential improvements that can be made to them.

We can see data points like :

  • The number of drop-offs from a specific field
  • The amount of time spent in each field
  • Common fields causing validation issues

And it works. Capital One managed to increase their form completions by 24% over a 3 month period by implementing form analytics and optimization.

Form optimization can be done using Google Analytics but we like to use a tool called Formismo as it’s so easy to set up and it comes with a range of powerful reports.

7. Analyze Google Analytics Data

Finally, we have the grandfather of Quantitative Data and that is Google Analytics (GA).

GA contains a wealth of data that can be used to optimize your landing pages.

Knowing where to start can be a bit daunting if you don’t know what you are doing. Don’t worry though, there’s some actionable tips coming right up!

Our primary aim here is to find potential issues with the landing page that may be causing users to abandon the page.

First of all, you want to create a new user segment for users who have arrived on the landing page you’re working on and apply it to your data.

Once that’s set up, we can start taking a look at the reports. Here are some of the best ones to start with :

1) Conversion Rate By Device – (Audience -> Mobile -> Overview)

Here you should see data for Desktop, Mobile, and Tablet as well as the conversion rates.

Don’t be too worried if you see a difference between mobile and desktop of up to 30%. Any more than that and you really we want to be taking a closer look for cross-device issues.

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Mobile isn’t looking good at all here, we’re going to need to take a closer look at that.

2) Conversion Rate By Device Browsers (Audience -> Mobile -> Overview)

What we would like to find out here is if there any particular browsers causing cross-browser issues on different devices.

By doing this, we can quickly see if there’s anything that needs our attention.

In the same Device report used above, we want to add the secondary dimension of ‘Browser’ and see if anything jumps out at us.

If it does, we can go to the specific browser report to dig a little deeper (Audience -> Technology -> Browser & OS)

Here are some more extremely insightful reports you should take a look at :

3.) Conversion Rate By Operating System (Audience -> Technology -> Browser & OS – Then change primary dimension to Operating System).

4.) Conversion Rate By Screen Resolution (Audience -> Technology -> Browser & OS – Then change primary dimension to Screen Resolution).

5.) Conversion Rate By Age (Audience -> Demographics -> Age).

6.) Conversion Rate By Gender (Audience -> Demographics -> Gender).

7.) Conversion Rate By Location (Audience -> Geo -> Location).

If you work your way through the above reports you can start to document your findings and spend time investigating them more. You may also find opportunities to optimize your marketing campaigns based on what you find too!

One thing to remember when you’re working with GA is that you don’t want to make business decisions using data that isn’t accurate.

You will always want to make sure that you have a reasonable volume of visits and conversions before you start making any conclusions.

Next Steps

I wouldn’t suggest that you just go ahead and implement everything you’ve found immediately on your landing pages, unless you know for certain that it’s going to lift your conversions (i.e. a bug fix).

The next steps once you have done all of your research is to document it (we like to use excel) and then prioritize each finding based on its potential impact on your conversion rate.

Work your way through each insight systematically and if your traffic allows for it, start running some a/b tests.

Summary

Hopefully, by know you understand the wealth of insights that you can collect by performing conversion research.

We’re moving away from just guessing what to do to increase your conversion rate towards an experimentation mindset. Where instead of guessing, we are using real-life data to optimize.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments!

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Posted 9 July 2019

Website Creation Fundamentals That Small Business Owners Often Neglect

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It’s becoming hard to ignore the fact that websites present small businesses with enormous benefits.

As people become more connected to the digital world, the brick and mortar store isn’t the only option anymore. Creating a website is more effective and trackable in terms of opportunities and results.

In a 2018 survey, 92% of small businesses said that they will have a website ready by 2020.

Luckily, creating a website has never been easier. Even if you don’t have coding or design skills, there are many services, tools, and guides available at your disposal. There’s really no excuse not to have one.

Unfortunately, it can still be intimidating. Many small business owners don’t have tech backgrounds, and there are a lot of mistakes to make.

This article will dive into key components that small business owners sometimes overlook when creating their websites and focus on the four areas you need to get right.

Shopping Cart

Selling goods without having a proper ecommerce component is like cooking a cheesecake on a stovetop: it might get the job done, but it wouldn’t be nearly as delicious as something baked in an oven.

Take, for instance, this website for adhesive products…

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The site looks pretty easy on the eyes. It even has the trendy parallax scrolling effect and an HTML5 video background to boot. But when you go further down the site to view their catalog, you’ll see that the only option you’d get is to either download the pricing in a spreadsheet format or view photos and descriptions of specific offerings.

Instead, why not showcase all your products and product numbers, but add “call us for pricing” CTA’s on the title or description of an item?

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There are also websites where there will be no CTA buttons at all on product pages.

You’d still buy these items anyway if you like them or need them enough. But you would probably think twice about it, and the conversion rate would be seriously low. Manual ordering can be too tasking and inconvenient for some consumers in these modern times.

If you own a business and you’re trying to sell your items online, you’d want to give the customer the full experience; you’d want to give them options even if they don’t intend to purchase right away.

Contact Info

Maybe you offer just two or three items; or maybe you’re selling a service instead of tangible products.

In these cases, putting up a shopping cart may not be appropriate. In this case, it’s important for your customers to be able to reach you instantly.

Make your business number prominent on your website, or create a contact form that’s suitable for your target audience.

Some small business owners would even go as far as adding a click-to-call button that will prompt customers for their numbers, connect them to a phone service, and make the phone service ring their number.

Here are a couple examples:

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When you click on the buttons, you’ll be able to call the company’s number but won’t be charged for the call because it will be shouldered by the called party. Think of it as if you’re placing a toll-free call, but instead of a desk phone, you’re using your browser.

About Page

Often, the creation of your website’s About Page is an after-thought – thrown together from the website’s theme with few changes.

On the internet, establishing trust is the name of the game.

To truly make a good and lasting impression among potential customers, you need to make sure that you can convey your values and passions through this page right away.

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Charm your way into your audience’s hearts by highlighting how you started, or by defining what problems do you want solved. Answer questions like, “What makes my brand stand out?” or “What’s in it for them?” Give your customers the confidence that you are a real person, and that you continuously strive to provide them with only the best products or services.

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About pages can trigger emotions that can inspire website visitors to support your small business. Don’t succumb to the practice of filling it with jargon commonly seen on some sites – like the one you see above – that although sounds smart, sounds somewhat impersonal.

Mobile-Friendliness

Moz has noticed how Google is dedicating a lot of its efforts towards “evangelizing and forcing a change of mindset from desktop to mobile.” If you’re a business owner, you should expect that visitors will be using different devices to visit your site.

Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that your website is designed to be accessible on any screen size. Don’t be part of the alarming statistic that says only 30% of small business websites are mobile-friendly.

To get started in making your website mobile-friendly, you should first determine the possible format for the mobile version you plan to make.

Check out the approaches you can use below:

  • M.dot. The first-generation mobile approach in which users who visit a website using their mobile device automatically get redirected to the mobile version. The advantage is that you can create one quickly because you’re pretty much just creating a no-frills version of your main website with less content and less navigation. However, because they’re treated as a separate entity from your website (with a different URL), you also have to maintain them separately. M.dot is the least recommended option nowadays.
  • Adaptive. The Adaptive approach uses multiple page layouts then chooses what to display depending on the size or width of your screen. Adaptive design snaps your content into a defined environment or layout. Responsive. It uses CSS media queries to adjust the content according to screen size, so the display will be fluid and smooth. Because all content is delivered using just one URL, SEO and social sharing is easier to improve.
  • Progressive. Supports app-like features like the home screen and an offline mode (among others) to enhance the user’s experience. It’s faster when compared to the other approaches, too.

People are more likely to stay longer if they see that you’ve placed a premium on usability or user experience. When you get them to stay longer on your site, you get a bigger chance of convincing them to purchase something from you.

In Conclusion

While creating a website for your small business might be easier today due to the wide availability of tools and services that you can get for cheap (or even free, in some), this doesn’t mean that you should neglect the fundamentals that make a website fit with your business goals.

As customers’ attention spans get shorter, it will be harder for you to convince them to make a purchase. You don’t have to get it right the first time, though. Don’t be scared to adjust and just keep working on making your message clear. Carefully constructing various elements on your website will pay off, and it will make you stand out from the rest.

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Posted 27 June 2019

5 Effective & Creative Contact Pages

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What makes an effective contact page? How can I be creative when making a contact page and form? Why should I care about creativity for something so simple?

Your contact page is a crucial way of connecting you to future and existing customers. When it comes to your contact page, the design, form, and UX may need as much thought as your site’s homepage.

That might sound crazy considering how much information is on the homepage, but let me explain:

The message you send on this page needs to be clear and easy to use.

A well-designed contact page should include:

  • Contact form
  • Phone number (and fax number)
  • A Google Map embed with your location
  • Online chat, especially for ecommerce stores and SaaS websites
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Here are 5 of our favorite effective and creative contact pages:


1. Yummygum.com

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Yummygum.com takes a creative approach to their contact page. They avoid the typical ‘fill out our contact form’ jargon and instead showcase their personality with ‘let’s talk’ and ‘we’re here’. They also give you different options for requesting a meeting:

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You can select the coffee option to grab a cup of joe and a casual conversation about a project or idea.

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Or if you select the project option, you can send Yummyuum more info on a new project.

Important notes to take away:

1. Showcase your personality – Yummygum’s personality and light-hearted nature comes through in their contact form. By using ‘let’s talk’ instead of ‘fill out our form’, you already feel at ease communicating with them.

2. Guide users down the path – Yummygum narrows down why someone would need to contact them using a funny list of choices. This tactic can be used on any website, including a dental practice website, legal practice site, or local retail store.

When creating your choices, think of WHY someone is contacting you. Give them the options first with a simple multiple choice list so they are less likely to feel overwhelmed filling out fields while still giving you and your team the information you need.


2. Coca-Cola.com

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Coca Cola gets straight to the point on their contact page. It’s 2019 and more and more people would rather “chat” or “text” for an answer than send a traditional email.

Call someone? Not millennials! (I must admit that I am technically a millennial as I fall right at the start of the group. However, I consider myself an 80’s kid so I will still call you and will also enjoy the chat feature.)

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Important notes to take away:

1. Mobile-friendly experience – Coca Cola considered the mobile experience when creating their contact page. Now, anyone who visits their contact page will see/experience the same thing, just maybe in a different layout or format.

2.Multiple contact methods – The chat feature may not work for you, but including a form, a phone number, an email, or another contact method can increase the chances of someone getting in touch with you. Options are good!

3. Use FAQs – Give the customer a link to your FAQs (you do have a FAQ page, right?). They may find what they’re looking for faster if it has been answered (and if you put it in that FAQ page that I know you have).

4. Creating a user experience – Now, I must admit that I would take Pepsi over Coke (unless it’s Cherry Coke of course), but when we’re talking about creating EFFECTIVE contact pages, Coke wins over Pepsi.

Hands down. Debate is over!

Pepsi introduced all their brands on their contact page resulting in an overwhelming experience. Even after you selected the product you want to discuss, they immediately force you to “search” for your answer by TYPING a question!

Coca Cola, you have a great user experience +2 points to you!


3. erminandoaliaj.com

Less is more. You’ve heard the phrase before so now we’ll see what that looks like on your contact page!

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Important notes to take away:

1. Simple, clean forms – Simple and clean forms VERY clearly lets the user know where they are on the form and what to do.

2. “Less is more” – Keep your site menu clean. I would not recommend your menu wrap around your content for most companies. This site belongs to a photographer and this is their take on a contact page and that is ok.


4. BrandAffair.ro

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This contact page uses a clean, block layout to separate what is most important for their customers. We recommend that you do not make your customers search around for the information, so consider the space on your page and what you feel is important to share.

Do you want them to know where you are located? Do you prefer they call you?

Important notes to take away:

1. Use color – Color can help break up sections on a page and draw attention to what is most important.

2. Layout – A consistent layout of text will creates a natural flow for the eye and guide users directly where you want them to be.


5. HubSpot.com

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HubSpot uses their contact page to guide users to the right department. If you have two departments that handle customer requests, like sales for new customers and support for existing customers, it can be tricky to use one contact page for all.

By directing users to the right department, you’re ensuring a positive experience for users and your staff.

Important notes to take away:

1. Think about the customer journey. Make the customer’s journey easier by guiding them down the right path from the very start.


Before We Go!

1. Always Consider Mobile

Many of your customers could be using the mobile version of your site so make sure that the mobile experience is top notch!

Consider using Modal Forms as they can utilize the screen space when they are needed without taking up prime real estate when they aren’t needed.

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These work well on the desktop version, too!

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2. Always Consider the “Thank You” Screen

Keep the user on your site with a simple “Thank You” message that CLEARLY conveys the message was sent successfully can make all the difference. Test your form to make sure the thank you message displays and makes sense.

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Don’t Ignore Your Contact Pages

Something happened (could be good or bad) to your customer in order for them to get to your contact page. It could be that they love what they see and want more information or that they’re upset and coming to you for help.

In most cases, your contact form should only ask for the essential information: Name, Email, Message. Sure you can ask for a phone number, but not everyone is willing to share that information until they trust you and your company.

So, use these examples to build the best, most effective and creative contact pages that match your brand while making it easy and clear for users to contact you! Good luck!

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Posted 26 June 2019

Why Isn’t Anyone Buying On My Ecommerce Website?

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The goal of an ecommerce website should be simple: to have customers buy your product or service online.

If your website has solid traffic coming in but you don’t see very many visitors purchasing, the following items may help you determine the reasons why people aren’t buying from your ecommerce website.

Products are Hard to Find

Ideally, for an ecommerce website, the product categories should be listed in the main navigation menu so they are front and center. They should be sorted into logical groups by how a customer would use a product or by the product type. For example, a clothing store’s site would be grouped into men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes, and then subdivided into items such as tops, pants, shoes, and more. For a food store, the options could be displayed by size, flavors, or occasion.

If your products are not listed in your main navigation or under a “Product” or “Shop” section, how are your users supposed to know you sell items on your website?

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Having your ecommerce section under a separate URL, such as shop.url.com or store.url.com, which looks different from the rest of your website, can also be a deterrent for customers.

Hard to Understand Navigation

Your website’s navigation menu should contain terms that every user can understand. It shouldn’t include your corporate jargon or acronyms that a customer wouldn’t understand. For example, while “design your own” and “custom” may be two very different categories for your company, those terms are interchangeable to the average user.

Your menu also shouldn’t include your internal product or style name – unless you’re a nationally recognized product like Air Jordan Sneakers – because a new user probably won’t recognize what it is. For example, a trampoline park may refer their tickets as a “flight pass”, but new users would probably be looking for a simpler term of “tickets” or “reservations.”

In another example, a sock ecommerce site should include their products in the menu based on the activity the end user would wear the socks for – hiking, running, basketball, or tennis – versus sock product names. Unless a user has purchased in the past, they won’t understand what an “OAQU” or “84N” or “XDXW” sock is.

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A well-sorted, non-confusing navigation.

Forcing Customers to Create an Account

Forcing your customers to create an account is the #1 conversion killer.

If a customer is required to create an account to place an order, it might be a reason why they are not buying from your site. See how your direct competitors handle needing an account – probably a number of them offer guest checkout options, therefore you should too.

Many customers buy gifts on sites they don’t frequent themselves, such as for a wedding gift or baby shower. That gift-giving customer may have no intention of shopping on your website again. Forcing that person to create an account before they order the gift will make it less likely for them to want to finish that transaction.

Some other customers might get frustrated trying to remember yet another set of usernames and passwords. Some may have concerns about the site storing their personal information and credit card number. Other customers may have concerns that creating an account will sign them up for your email newsletter, and they don’t want any more messages cluttering up their inbox.

When you do ask your customer to create an account, be sure to share with them the benefit of doing so, such as being able to check on the status of their order or to get discounts on future orders.

Product Page Issues

If you have good traffic to your website and an easy to use navigation, customers should be flocking to your product pages. A bad user experience once the customer visits those pages can be another reason they decide not to purchase on your website.

Here are some product page issues that can result in people not buying from your ecommerce website:

  • No checkout button on product pages – Once a customer has added an item to their cart, it should be very easy for them to navigate to the checkout if they are done shopping.
  • Product options unclear – If there is more than one size, color, or flavor available of your product, it should be easy for the user to select these options.
  • No quantity field – If your customer wants to buy more than one of your product, they should be able to do so on the product page. Some websites are set up so you can only purchase one of an item at a time, forcing users who want to buy more than one to have to revisit the product page repeatedly – a bad user experience.
  • No product image – If the item you are selling is a tangible item, you should show a picture of the product. Not having an image of something where looks matter, such as clothing, housewares, or decorations, will deter customers from purchasing from you.
  • Missing breadcrumb navigation – When a customer is searching through categories, a breadcrumb navigation makes it easy for them to go back and return to the main category pages. If this navigation is missing, the customer may find they have to go back to the main menu and re-click through all the subcategories to get to the section they want – not an ideal user experience.

Pop-ups

Pop-ups can be a great way for you to advertise deals to customers, share new products, and get more newsletter subscribers. But for a lot of customers, pop-ups can be an annoyance and make them less happy with your website.

If you do choose to have pop-ups on your site, be sure there is an obvious way to close the pop-up without having to fill out the form. If they can’t figure out how to close out the pop-up, users might leave your site altogether.

Why Isn't Anyone Buying On My Ecommerce Website? 31

Shipping Rate is too High

If your shipping rate is too high, it could be another reason customers are visiting but not purchasing on your website.

Ideally on an ecommerce website, the shipping rate for lightweight items within the US should be just a few dollars. This is especially true if your exact product or a very similar product is for sale on Amazon.com, whereby Prime members can get the item in just two days for no shipping cost. If you’re selling a product that weighs less than a pound and cost less than $100, a shipping rate over $5 would be considered unreasonable by a lot of consumers.

Real life example: A few years ago, on the burtsbees.com website, a customer could purchase an individual lip balm for $2.99. To get that item shipped to them, it would cost $5.00. Or they could purchase that exact same item on Amazon for the same $2.99, add it the other items they were already buying, and pay no shipping fee. Or they could pick up that same lip balm the next time they were out at WalMart, Target, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, CVS, and other retailers. Which option do you think most customers chose to do?

It’s also recommended to offer a discounted shipping rate after a certain price point is met. Many websites have free shipping once you purchase $25, $35, or $50 worth of their product.

Especially pay attention to your competition here. It’s not uncommon for users to look around your site, add items to their cart with every intent to buy, and then abandon the cart if your shipping rate is too high. And then most likely they’ll go to Amazon or your competitor who has a lower shipping rate and purchase very similar items from them.

Shipping Takes too Long

Similar to the point above, if the shipping time on your site takes too long, you may be losing customers. It should be clear to your customers not only the shipping time to their location but also how long your processing time is. There’s a number of times I personally bought an item for an event based on the shipping time of two days but didn’t realize there was a three-day processing time prior to my item shipping and the item did not arrive for my event and I was disappointed.

Again, Amazon Prime members can get items shipped to them within two days for free (starting to see a trend here?). Or with the new Prime Pantry, in certain cities, they can get items delivered to them in just two hours. So, if a customer visiting your website needs an item for this weekend and it’s a Tuesday, know that if your shipping and processing time are not fast enough, that customer may not end up purchasing through you.

It’s understandable if you don’t have the infrastructure or your third-party logistics aren’t set up to be able to ship items quicker or to send them out of your location faster, but know that that may be an item affecting sales on your ecommerce website.

Your Site is not Secure

Users may not be willing to enter their credit card information on your website if your URL does not begin with HTTPS.

Per our blog about HTTPS security, “Communications over HTTPS are encrypted between the client and the server so eavesdroppers don’t listen in, no one tampers with the data, and your website data isn’t forged.”

If your website does not have HTTPS security, when a user first visits your page, they may get a security error which includes the text “not recommended” about continuing to your website – which really doesn’t look good. Many users will stop at this point and not go through to your website at all. If they do continue to your website, they will probably be less confident to buy items on your site.

Why Isn't Anyone Buying On My Ecommerce Website? 32

If your ecommerce website doesn’t have an HTTPS url, reach out to our support team to get the security certificate installed.

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Posted 25 June 2019

The Importance Of Updating Your Website Regularly

The Importance Of Updating Your Website Regularly 33

Your business is important to you, and you’d like it to be important to your clients too. A boring and hard to navigate website can scare clients away before they even know what you are about. You want to be sure that you put your best foot forward when seeking out new clients, and keeping your website up to date is one of the most important things you can do for this.

The top three things to focus on when updating your website are:

  1. Updating Your Website Security
  2. Keep Your Content Fresh
  3. Updating Your Website Design
The Importance Of Updating Your Website Regularly 34

Updating Your Website’s Security

In our present day and age, security should be one of the top priorities for businesses both large and small. We hear all too often about large companies that get hacked, compromising information such as credit card or social security numbers of their clients. This leads to a lack of trust and also hurts the business – clients may choose to go to their competitors in fear that their information might be compromised again.

Choose a Secure Website Platform

One of the top reasons websites get hacked is because of the vulnerability in the framework and platform on which their website is built. Wordpress is not only one of the easiest platforms to use, but it is one of the most secure sites for your business to be built on.

New releases come out every few months for WordPress, and the software is easy to update to the latest version. There are security features built into practically every new release of WordPress. They spot the vulnerabilities and improve their software before the issues affect your website. Websites that stay on older versions of WordPress are more likely to get hacked, as hackers can find out what WordPress version your website is on and worm their way in through backdoor portals.

Choose a Company That Understands Website Security

Be sure that the company you choose to build and/or host your website holds the security of your website in high regard. Your security should be their top priority. Even when using a secure website platform, the backend configuration of your website can play a key role in the security of your website. A poor backend configuration can lead to security breaches.

It’s important for your website hosting company to be aware of possible security issues and have a plan in place to protect your site against them. Ask your hosting firm how often they update the version of WordPress your site is on or the plugins within it – the best firms offer a plan where they will update them on a quarterly basis to ensure your site is secured often. See how often they backup all the data on your website. Ideally, they will do so daily, so if there is a breach or an issue that takes your website down, they can quickly restore to the working version from the previous day.

Keep Your Website Content Fresh

Keeping your website’s content updated can help your business in a number of ways.

Better Content Gives You More Traffic

Keeping the content up to date on your site helps build trust between you and your customers. Most likely, customers rely on your site for useful information on whatever market you are in.

Updated information also helps build domain authority. Domain authority, briefly explained, is how much of an authority on a particular subject your website is. For example, Wikipedia.org has one of the highest Domain authorities out there, because it’s content is always well researched, reviewed by editors, and you’re not distracted with unsightly or unrelated ads. Google holds this in high regard when trying to match search inquiries with useful and relevant information.

Have you ever visited a website that’s copyright is 2014 and the latest blog post is years old as well? Does it make you wonder if they’re still in business, or if they still service your area? Having outdated content on your site, mentioning things like an old location of your business or not-modern technology, can be perceived by your potential customers that your business doesn’t keep up with the latest trends. Anytime a customer reads content on your site that makes them go “wait, I don’t understand that” or “wait, that’s not right”, you’re hurting your credibility.

Keyword Content Strategy

Another place to update your website is your keywords. Having pages on your website that speak about a specific topic is only useful if the keyword(s) are mentioned. For example, if your company provides A/C Repair, then you should have a page on your website dedicated to A/C Repair. Businesses can also use city-specific pages to help them get found in particular city markets, such as Montreal, Raleigh, Durham, or Cary, NC.

It’s important to keep the keywords on your website fresh as well as the content. Perhaps you’ve expanded into another city in the past few years, or are selling a new product or service. If you don’t update your keyword focus, you’ll continue to get traffic for your first city and service, but not for your new ones.

Updating Your Website’s Design

Many businesses focus only on content and internet marketing but fail to address the design and navigation of their website. Some of the things to avoid on your website include difficult navigation, colors that are either too boring or far too obnoxious, and unnecessarily long customer contact forms. All of these things can lead to a website that steers customers away even if your content is top notch.

Mobile-Friendly Web Design

60% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, and Tablets. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly and easy to view on a smaller screen, you could be missing out on over half of your potential customers. It’s that simple!

Keep the Target Market in Mind

A website’s design should focus around the needs of the target customer. This means providing easily accessible, engaging content that the ideal customer within your target market will find useful. It also means that the website is ultimately focused around converting those visitors into customers. Your target market may change over time as you expand your business, hire new employees, or invest in new tools, so be sure you’re adapting the content of your website accordingly.

In Summary

Our country and lives are driven around having the latest and greatest. We like for things to be new, refreshing and up to date. If this is how our culture is driven, why should your website be out of date and stale?

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