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7 Tweaks to Improve Website and eCommerce Conversion Rates

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When it comes to tracking e-commerce success, there are plenty of metrics to monitor at all times. From new user traffic and bounce rate to time on page and cart abandonment, each metric can give a clear picture of a store’s health.

However, there’s no greater measurement by which to analyze your success than the holy grail of metrics—your conversion rate. Regardless of how good a job you’re doing in the other areas of your store, if your conversion rate isn’t solid, neither is your business.

These seven tweaks will help you improve your conversion rate.

Lead generation strategy flat isometric vector concept. Marketing process of conversion rate optimization and generating business leads.

  1. Improving Site Speed

It’s well documented that users expect sites to load quickly. In fact, a page that takes longer than three seconds to load is usually abandoned, and 79 percent of shoppers who experience site performance issues say they won’t return. If your site is slow, or worse, you experience excessive downtime, you might have a sub-par hosting provider. If your hosting is fine, consider making your CSS, HTML and images more efficient through image compression and coding best practices.

  1. Make Your Product Images Stellar

In addition to making sure all your store images are compressed and easy to load, they need to come as close as possible to replicating the brick-and-mortar experience. That means high-resolution photos, optimal white space, multiple product angles, zoomed in and zoomed out, and more. If you sell clothes, make up or accessories, then it’s wise to have models of varying complexions and skin colors wearing your products so all shoppers can get a sense of how the product will look on them. This will help reduce costly return rates, which can account for as much as one-third of all orders.

When it comes to creating the best images and using product placement correctly, you are going to find a ton of resources online. We recommend following these photography tips from Oberlo, as they show the many different ways to make product images pop and look professional on any site — thus increasing conversions and sales.

  1. Refresh Your Product Descriptions

Hopefully you’re not copying the product manufacturer descriptions at this point in the game. But even if you have your own product copy, does it provide everything a shopper would want to know? As with images, the goal is to replicate the in-store experience as much as possible.

When someone’s looking at a hiking backpack in an outdoor equipment store, they can feel its fabric, see how big it is, open all the pockets to gauge storage space, and etc. Your product descriptions should provide all of these details and more through language that speaks to your customer base. Don’t worry about getting too salesy; make your copy personal to your brand, but otherwise get out of the way and let the product info do the talking. You should have top-level summarized descriptions as well as more in-depth info, and both should be formatted for easy scanning. It might seem like a pain to overhaul all your descriptions, but solid product content will do wonders for your site.

  1. Optimize Your CTA Buttons

As much as we’d like to think we’re above psychological statistics, we’re not. The varying effectiveness of different call-to-action buttons is one example. Size, shape, color, descriptives and position on page all contribute to conversion rate efficacy. But in general, you want a CTA button color that stands out without clashing with the rest of the page.

Same thing with placement; any CTA should jump out at users above other page elements. As far as CTA language, it’s called a call-to-action for a reason: you want to use wording that incites your users to take action. Finally, the size of your buttons should correlate to the CTA’s importance. A button that’s inciting a buying action should naturally be larger than a button that offers more information to a user.

If you’re short on graphic design help and already operating on a hosted e-commerce platform, there’s probably an easy way to change your CTA buttons.

  1. Nix Your Shipping & Offer Discounts

If your cart abandonment rate is really high, one reason could be shipping costs. From a personal standpoint, I can confidently say that any site that adds shipping once I get to the cart checkout means guaranteed abandonment. Nobody’s particularly interested in paying for shipping these days thanks to Amazon and every customer is looking for a deal. In fact, merchants that offer discount codes are eight times more likely to make a sale. The discount doesn’t have to be margin-destroying, either. For most shoppers, the psychology of a good deal is too hard to pass up. You can also use any of these tools to track and improve shopping cart/checkout conversions as well.

  1. Re-Evaluate Your Branding

Branding is important from a customer awareness perspective as it builds rapport and trust. If your conversions aren’t where you want them, it’s worthwhile to take a long hard look at your branding efforts, especially your logo. Does your logo look polished, endearing or authoritative? Or is it more along the lines of sloppy, confusing or forgettable? According to Crazy Egg, mascots or heros are great ways to make a visual impact on your customers and drive them to action. If you have no idea where to start, get your creative juices flowing with a free logo maker.

  1. Display Trust Badges

If you’re finding both your overall bounce rate and cart abandonment numbers to be high, something is causing customers to get out of dodge. Several factors could be at play, but it likely boils down to a lack of trust. Displaying trust badges on your site is a subtle but direct way of telling customers, “don’t worry, we’re legitimate.”

You don’t need to go crazy adding a bunch of site badges to your store but displaying something showing your site employs SSL (secure sockets layer) security is a must. Business accreditation badges, such as from the Better Business Bureau can also be effective in gaining customer trust. Some badges are more common than others though, so make sure you’re showing badges that customers recognize and respect.

As an e-store owner, you’ll never be done optimizing your site for conversions. This is because optimization best practices will change as time goes on. Further, if you’re consistently doing proper A/B testing, you’re never done tweaking things.

These seven tweaks will absolutely improve your conversion rate. But rather than looking at it as a toil, think of it more like a science experiment in which you slowly get closer to the answer.

After all, ecommerce is the realm for the optimists and dreamers.

As an active entrepreneur and blogger, my topics of discussion are mainly on business strategy, tech startups and motivating others to succeed. You can read up on my latest content at BlogReign.com.

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How About Helping Versus Pitching Top Bloggers?

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I often get pitched guest post ideas from bloggers I do not know. Although I appreciate the offer I never take up these folks on their offer because I do not know them, their brand or anything they do. No way do I have the time to actually research the individual; I am a busy bee. Another email bites the dust. I either ignore the email or note guest posting closed long ago on my blog, then include a link to one of my eBooks, like this branding eBook.

Who guest posts on my blog?  People who generously helped me, asked for nothing, expected nothing and relaxed. Relaxing is key. Bloggers who help me from a chill vibe often befriend me if they practice writing to hone their blogging skills. From there, opportunities multiply fast.  Sweet backlinks on top blogs often flow your way. Traffic and profits increases slowly, steadily expand over time. Blogging buddies supply you with blog post ideas through their questions and problems.  Everything grows because you helped top bloggers versus pitching them aka asking them for help. Even if you pitch a valuable guest post idea, the guest post idea serves no value unless you publish the guest post on a trusted, authority blog boasting a huge, loyal readership. Pitches seem worthless until content and links actually appear on top blogs, going live and public, for the world to see.

I often advise helping bloggers freely for months before considering any ask or pitch. Most times, blogging buddies invite you to guest post on their blogs. Blogging success flows to generous people because you get what you give. This is one of the advantages of blogging. Give freely, relax, trust in the process and receive easily.  Place your needs to the side. Take care of your fellow blogger. Help them out via a retweet, Facebook Share or perhaps by promoting the blogger on your blog. Nobody needs to struggle blogging. Nobody needs to spend 4 hours daily sending blind pitches to blogging strangers. How about this? Spend those 4 hours patiently, persistently and generously helping people in your blogging niche. Help fellow bloggers to earn their trust. Assist fellow bloggers to befriend fellow bloggers. The split second you earn the trust of any blogger, you plant seeds for a beautiful, thriving, warm friendship. Gaining the trust of fellow bloggers inspires traffic and profits to flow to you. Forget the concept of pitching. I pitched 2 people during my 6 years of running Blogging From Paradise. One blogger pitch served as an experiment with an established, pro blogger and the other pitch served as the direct way to guest post for a 2 million member blogging community.

My 13,500 plus backlinks on Blogging From Paradise flowed to me after I pitched only 2 souls. Imagine that for a second. Observe the raw power of making friends, helping people, expecting nothing and being generous. Capitalize on the passive element of befriending bloggers through generous service. Tonight I will spend 90 minutes walking around my neighborhood. During that hour and a half, my blogging buddies will promote my blog and spread my word. Ditto for my 8 hours of sleep tonight; my blogging buddies grow my traffic and profits around the clock, adding an immensely powerful, passive element to my blogging campaign.

Being generous has some serious perks.

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Should You Blog About Everything?

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blog about everything

Blog about everything? I know this idea may be on your mind. Newbie bloggers especially ponder the idea.

I know blogging about anything on your mind seems like a good idea to new or even struggling bloggers. Maybe you gain mojo because you post daily, blogging about anything popping up in your dome. But this is a bad idea. Nobody should blog about any and every topic for the clear reason that nobody follows a specific blogger based on the blogger’s random thoughts, save world famous celebrities who built up a big following through some other niche.

Imagine a movie star begins blogging. Movie stars boast tens of millions of fans around the globe. Anything the star does, people hang on their every word, right? Imagine the icon publishing posts on a wide range of topics interesting to them. People read because of the star, not because of the wide range of broad topics. But imagine being a new blogger with zero followers. No movie stars read this post. Readers head for the hills the moment you change topics because no jack of all trades bloggers build credibility. Who has the time, energy and focus to be an expert in 5, 10 or 20 niches? No one does.

Blog About Everything?

Humans specialize. Doctors and lawyers do one thing and do it well because where attention and energy goes, grows. Imagine if your doctor delivered mail and picked up garbage professionally, too, working 2 jobs in addition to their medical practice. Would you trust her doctor skills? No. Of course not. People trust specialists because specialists devote all professional time and energy to one venture. Generalists? Nobody trusts someone who tries to master 2 or 5 or 10 skills simultaneously because thousands of other people master 1 skill, in these areas. We follow specialists and trust specialists. Generalists fade away.

If you want to blog about everything just ponder the specialist versus generalist point. Blogging about everything is trying to be a generalist. Nobody trusts you. Even though blogging about everything seems easy, seamless and almost effortless, people stop following your blog on each topic change. Imagine blogging about puppies one day. People who love puppies find your post, read it, enjoy it and follow your blog. Tomorrow, you publish about Chinese food. Puppy readers – who followed you for puppy content – skip the post…..most stop following your blog because puppy fans want only puppy-themed content. You just lost readers, for good.

Change Topics Lose Readers

Visualize the following day; you publish about relationships. Everybody stops following your blog. Perhaps a few relationships-focused folks read the post. But you lose trust the moment you shift topics again. Ultimately, who builds a large, targeted, loyal following, blogging about relationships? Relationships bloggers who blog about relationships 100% of the time. Specialists devote all blogging energy to mastering one topic, spending thousands of hours covering the topic, become skilled and trusted in the niche, build credibility and become successful. All multi topic bloggers blogging about everything fade away and vanish.

The world makes room for specialists. Generalists? Nope.

Specialize

Pick one blogging topic. Blog about one thing. Focus on one discipline. Be a specialist, not a generalist, to be a leading blogger in your nice. Face your fear of releasing multiple passions to make room for a single passion. I know you fear letting go. I did too before creating Blogging From Paradise.

blog about everything

Google

Google loves specialists too. Google turns its cyber nose down at generalists. I scanned a popular blogging key phrase a few moments ago. Guess what? I rarely note SEO but tidying up one blog post with some details for optimizing helped me reach page one on the search engine. Why? I specialize in the blogging tips niche. Apparently. Google interpreted through its complex algorithms that I published thousands of valuable blog posts on a single topic 100% of the time, virtually. Google traffic rocks. Impress the search engine gods by gaining search trust. Specialize. Stick to one blogging topic. Never blog about everything.

Conclusion

Let go the urge to blog about anything that comes to mind. New bloggers need release this notion to build the foundation for a successful blogging career. Specialize by picking one niche you love blogging about. Be a specialist, not a generalist, to succeed with your blogging campaign.

eBook

Do you want to be a pro blogger who circles the globe? Buy my eBook:

How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging

 

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Avoid this Blogging Wake Up Call to Enjoy the Journey

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Blogging need not be a lesson in harsh wake up calls. You can and will largely enjoy the journey by knowing this: success finds generous bloggers. Let that idea firmly impress onto your mind. Be with it. Allow the idea to worm its way into your consciousness until being generous becomes part of your being. Helping people for free boosts your skills and increases your exposure. Skilled bloggers with massive exposure become successful.

But one wake up call seems to find most bloggers who refuse to learn this lesson. Bloggers need to struggle, fail and suffer because they try to get money and traffic by focusing solely on receiving methods, versus giving generously of their time and talents. Imagine this scenario; a blogger writes and publishes one blog post weekly. Cool. But the blogger sits around and does nothing else blogging-wise for the remainder of the week. Hmmmm…this is not being generous, guys. This is being stingy. Bad move. At week’s end, the blogger did not make a penny of profits. Panicking, the blogger immediately analyzes their various income streams. How can they maximize profits through the streams? What is wrong with their income streams? Did they pick the right streams? Or did they pick the wrong streams? What gives?

Struggling bloggers then spend 2, 3 or 5 hours analyzing their income streams, focusing all of their attention and energy on the GETTING aspect of their blogging campaign. Terrible idea. Why? The reason why you struggle to get is because you refuse to give generously of your time, energy and talents. The income streams? Nope; not a problem. Your lack of generosity is the problem. The wake up call is most bloggers focus heavily on getting when struggling to drive traffic and profits when they should be focused heavily on giving generously. Giving generously leads to greater blogging profits. Instead of writing and publishing one blog post weekly, how about writing and publishing 2-3 posts weekly, weaving some stories into your blog posts?  How about you spend 4-8 hours daily generously reading blog posts, commenting genuinely on blog posts, promoting other bloggers and yes, promoting yourself, too?

Put in the giving time to make getting easier and easier. No need to slam into the cold, hard wake up call of focusing selfishly inward, trying to pin your struggles on inanimate, lifeless income streams. You have a giving problem, buddy. Time to be generous. Time to step it up. Write a guest post daily or perhaps, every 2-3 days. Go ahead. Do it. Begin video marketing. Build bonds with bloggers. Help them out. Practice writing. Gain invites to guest post on blogs from your niche. Blogging becomes more fun, more enjoyable and flat out easier if you put in the time, generously helping folks.

Focus heavily on giving. Your star will shine if you generously serve people. On the contrary, blogging and life become so much harder if you obsess over your income streams, analyzing, over analyzing, focusing, wasting precious time and energy on getting, when you should be giving more freely. Blogging feels more fun, too, when you focus heavily on giving, because we were designed to give, to be generous and to serve folks. Doesn’t it feel amazing to help people? Of course, it does. Enjoy the blogging journey and avoid this painful wake up call….plus….you get to sleep in, hehehe 😉

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