If your small business enterprise relies on your ability to maintain an online presence (most small businesses do), then maybe it’s time to focus on the important things to draw interested people in, engage customers and increase online sales – like your website, blog and social media portals. You need to continuously add high-quality content in order to keep feeding readers new information, make navigation simple so they won’t lose interest on your site due to long load times and other issues, and ensure that there will be a call-to-action button/phrase that will nudge customers to buy – and buy more, all the time.
Below are the 10 best tips to increase online sales performance on your website:
1. Simplify your Home Page
Normally, your instinct will tell you to lay out the vast array of products or services on your homepage all at once, in hopes that customers will buy, buy, buy; however, this proves a critical mistake in marketing strategies, as this actually causes disinterest among buyers. The cynical side of people who see your website as something that only floods them with spam and sales will force them to think that you are dishonest and only looking to make money off them. So, instead of winning new customers over time, you may end up alienating them from your business altogether!
Experts now agree that the best way to draw customers to your business is to feed them slowly with subtle, yet important, information. Minimalism is the new trend in 2017 and, unless you’re a news website, then you’ll want to have a homepage with a minimalist theme. Just take a look at some of these websites that made great use of minimalism:
- Beatbox Academy
- The London Loom
- Lytton Living
- The Proun Series
- Leen Heyne
- The Outpost
- Velvet Hammer
- Elbphilharmonie Slow & Motion
- Nua Bikes
There’s barely any information on their homepages, at all, and the image placement is less ubiquitous and more specified. Even I was intrigued by each, and clicked through the sites to find out more about their products and services. Now that’s how you captivate your audience!
2. Identify Key Conversion Pages and Add Video to Them
Some experts argue that our educational systems today are counterproductive and contradictory to our natural learning abilities harnessed by billions of years of evolution. For one, they contest the idea of learning through reading textbooks and other materials, because the experience makes it boring for first-time learners like small children. In fact, if the ancients had it their way, we would still be using symbols instead of the alphabet. Scientists found that our brains process visual information at around 60,000 times faster than reading text, therefore, we need to teach people via visual means, rather than imposing on them to read.
You see, ancient symbols and hieroglyphs on a Sumerian stone tablet convey more information than, say, an 80-page book. The same is true for video presentations, which is why it’s very important to include a video tour about your business on your homepage. I had to make the correlation regarding our learning process because I wanted you to understand that being unique is okay, but it’s better to adhere to our natural instincts and follow where evolution has brought us. The best websites that feature video presentations about their businesses include GoPro, Vine and blur – and now, they’re not only very successful, but also have high average website traffic.
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3. Develop an Email Marketing Campaign Strategy
Internet companies reported a 23%-42% increase in sales when they used email marketing. Around 40%–60% of new visitors return to a site and become a regular visitor after they’ve received email newsletters. Companies are also very happy to note that their free offer downloads (which are mostly digital books) cost them almost nothing, and yet they get customers by the hundreds each day because of it! If you can come up with creative ways to collect your website visitor’s email details, then you can easily launch email marketing campaigns to boost sales and other metrics on your site.
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4. Use Testimonials, Accreditations, Associations, and Case Studies to Build Trust
Reputation is everything even on the internet, which is the reason why you have to prove to your audience that you have a genuine business with products or services that will benefit them. It doesn’t take a genius to understand the need for proof but, even so, showing the proof to your subscribers can be difficult, especially if face-to-face contact limited or even non-existent. You can build your reputation and gain customer trust in three ways:
- Perform case studies on your products or services.
- Get accreditation from government and private agencies.
- Showcase customer testimonials about your business.
Create a special section on your website or include a summary on your homepage for customer testimonials, or images of your products, services or offices. It would be good if you also had an outstanding review from Better Business Bureau (BBB), Glassdoor and similar sites.
5. Create Content That Targets Key Market Segments
Just about any digital marketing expert out there is aware that content is king. Poor content gets poor responses, while great content makes your website the best in the block. Instead of simply generalizing your web content, try to write content specific to certain market segments, especially if your company has business transactions overarching in those areas. For instance, you sell photocopier machines and you want to reach out to customers who use them directly or indirectly, then you write about how paper is made, how it is used (include a section where it is used by copiers), college project thesis, book printing, etc. That way, you’ll attract more visitors than just sticking to your products alone.
6. Incorporate Upselling
Another way to boost your profits is to upsell and, since your business is online, then your upselling is done via texts, images, audio, video or other media types. It’s also automated and does not require 24/7 manpower, plus you can guide your customers to proactively offer them your products or services to ensure that purchases will be consistent. According to expert marketers, upselling works twenty times more than cross-selling, except that we usually see more of the latter than the former. By their estimates, it wouldn’t be far from the realm of possibility for a company that incorporates upselling to have a 34% increase in sales than those who do not. Find creative ways to implement upselling tricks on your website.
7. Make Your Value Proposition Clear and Concise When You Setup Landing Pages
Landing pages are another way to broadcast information about your website across multiple channels and get you much-needed sales that create value for your business. Before you can get those people to buy from you, however, you must first convince them that your business is worth their time and money. You need to put a clear and concise value proposition on your landing page in order for them to click on the link that will redirect them to your website and see your products/services.
According to ConversionXL, in order for your landing page to get leads and increase online sales, your value proposition must:
- Show the customer how your product can solve their problems.
- Clearly define how your product can benefit them in specific ways.
- Explain to the customers why buying from you also has added benefits than with a competitor.
8. Install Live Chat
A live chat customer support feature on your website has vast benefits for both your business and your customers. It can help increase online sales, leads for your email marketing campaign and help answer customer’s queries in real time besides the FAQ section of your site. A live chat could also be used for upselling or directing customers to new promotions that will make them repeat customers and they’ll not only buy more frequently from you, but they will buy in larger volumes than before. It also makes your website more reliable, because people know that they can get instant customer service when they need it.
9. Address Objections
Objections can be seen on the comments section of your blog, as email feedback from your customers, or in discussion forums and social media sites. If your product is not what you described or your services didn’t deliver the benefits that a customer was expecting, then you can be sure that you’ll be a hot topic on many places across the web. You need to put out the fires first before you can update your strategy, or you’ll lose big time. Negative feedback can cause damage to your business amounting in millions or billions, which is the opposite of what you want when you’re working towards increasing sales.
Respond to negative customer feedback with refunds, exchanges, or offer freebies, if necessary, to appease disgruntled customers. Get onto the boards where they are discussing your poor products or services and attempt to explain what happened and whether or not you have resolved the issue. Explain how you are managing your business operations and what steps you are taking to ensure that these issues will not arise again. Ensure customer satisfaction 100% of the time.
10. Perform A/B testing
A/B testing is nothing more than testing with two different versions of your website. It can also go a lot further, too, although I prefer to call it “tweaking” more than A/B testing as, with the latter, you only make a few changes to the already accepted web design. By simply changing your header image, headline or title of your site, or the text, text color, background color, images and the design of your call-to-action button, you can increase sales significantly! Changing the website’s theme is also very appealing to your customers as it signifies new changes and will make them think instinctively that you’re active and making regular offers. Do A/B testing every six to twelve months to excite your customers and watch your profits grow annually!