27 Oct 2017

Five ways to get more traffic to your eCommerce website

Achieving the number one spot on Google is the Holy Grail for anyone with an e-commerce website. It’s a coveted spot because it gets your business right in front of potential customers who are looking for the product or service you offer.  People search online because it saves them time and if your site is buried on the second or third page of results, it’s unlikely anyone will click on it.

 

But getting onto the first page takes a combination of SEO savvy and some kind of marketing budget. Beyond setting up AdWords and exchanging links there are some simple things you can do to boost your rankings. In this article, we’ll show you five steps you can take to help your website make the grade, without a whole lot of SEO jargon. These tips are most suitable for e-commerce websites, so let’s get started.

 

  1. Leverage user-generated content to build trust

 

Include features on your site that allow your customers to rank and review your products. Not only will this provide with valuable feedback that you can use to improve your offerings, but it will help build trust with your customers. Research has shown that people are more likely to buy from a website that includes customer reviews.

 

Reviews can increase page rankings by increasing the popularity of your site. This means more users visit it and spend time looking at more than one page.

 

  1. Create original product descriptions

 

If you’re stocking common products that may be found on several sites, it’s easy to use the description provided by the manufacturer. But Google isn’t fond of duplicate information. If it comes across two or more pages on your site with the same content it will only index one page.

 

If your inventory isn’t massive, invest some time or employ a copywriter to come up with fresh product descriptions. Google, just like people enjoys fresh content and it will help your rankings.

 

  1. Elevate your product categories

 

After the home page, category pages are the most important part of an e-commerce website. They provide essential information for users and search engines alike. Make you category products more than just a boring list of products. Include information that will help buyers decide what to purchase.

 

Like product descriptions, avoid generic terms and come up with something fresh, unique and SEO-friendly that helps your visitors.

 

  1. Provide an internal search function

 

If you have a large number of products listed on your site, it makes sense to include a search function to make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Add filters, such as colours, sizes or price ranges so customers can drill down into the results to find what they want quickly.

An internal search engine makes it easier for people and search engines to navigate your site.

 

  1. Optimise your visual content

 

Using high-quality images and videos are important to customers. Because they aren’t in a store where they can interact with the product, clear images can help convince them to make a purchase. But don’t rely on large files that will only slow your site down because they take too long to load.

 

Strike a balance between image quality and speed. Otherwise, customers will get bored waiting for an image to load and may leave your site.

 

For many e-commerce websites, achieving the top spot on Google appears to be the ultimate sign of success. However, what’s more important is whether your site is bringing in qualified leads that convert into sales. The tips we’ve mentioned above will do this and as a result, you’ll also see an improvement in your rankings.

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28 Jul 2017

Could playing a board game make you better at business?

Normally, playing games at the office would get you a written warning. But what if getting your employees to sit down and play a board game could actually improve your bottom line? Vantagepoint is that game.

Last week, our team had the opportunity to play the game and discovered just how much fun learning about business can be. We were fortunate enough to have Mark Williams, one of the creators of the game, as our facilitator.

Vantagepoint the Business Board Game

Vantagepoint is a board game that simulates starting and running a business. It’s best played with nine people, divided into groups of three. Each team starts by choosing a name for their business and deciding whether to start off as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company.

Then it’s a case of rolling the dice and making your way around the board. The blocks you land on determine what happens to your company. For example, you may land on a Sales Opportunity or a Lucky Break and win the chance to improve your cash flow. But real business is rarely smooth sailing and you could lose out on a lucky break if your business doesn’t meet the requirements.

If you make it around the board, you’ll land on the Month End block which follows much the same routine as a normal business would. There are orders to cash in, salaries to pay and the tax man has to get his cut too!

The aim of the game

The game doesn’t have to end, but when you finally decide to stop playing, determining the winner comes down to who has the most profitable business. It’s not simply a case of counting out all your money; you’ll need to follow proper procedure for closing down a business. That means you’ll have to pay back any loans, pay your staff and calculate your net assets.

It’s clear from the start that the aim of the game is to increase sales. This is what keeps the cash flow going and it’s an important lesson for any business owner or entrepreneur to learn early on in the game of business.

What your business can learn from playing Vantagepoint

You’d be amazed how much your employees could learn about business from playing Vantagepoint. To start with, you’ll learn about the pros and cons of different company structures. You’ll learn the difference between a Sales Order and a Sales Pipeline, and why you shouldn’t count your money until it’s in the bank!

Apart from learning about business, you’ll learn more about your colleagues, and how they think. You might even start to appreciate all the challenges your boss faces every month! It’s almost impossible to think of another board game that teaches you so much about business, people and life.

Ready to roll the dice?

Vantagepoint is ideal for team building because it requires communication and team work. It also offers you the ideal opportunity to teach your staff about the complexities of running a business. Before you can start playing, you’ll need to have a session with one of Vantagepoint’s accredited facilitators.  For more information, email info@vantagepoint.co.za or visit www.vantagepoint.co.za

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14 Jul 2017

What makes people leave a website?

When last did you check the bounce rate for your website? If you don’t know what that means, it’s the percentage of people who only view one page of your site before clicking away. It’s easy enough to work out what’s putting your visitors off. And it’s just as easy to fix this by making the necessary changes to reduce your bounce rate.

 

Give you website an audit by asking the following questions:

 

1.Is the navigation simple and logical?

A website that’s hard to navigate will leave your visitors confused and frustrated.  These are some of the features of websites with bad navigation:

 

  • Main navigation links are scattered around the site or buried in text.
  • Link text is unclear and hard to understand.
  • Visual elements don’t tell the user where they are or what action to take.

The Fix:

Think of your navigation as a map that new visitors can use to explore your website without getting lost. Keep you main menu down to a few tabs and use sub-menus to organise your pages logically. Put your menu in an obvious place (right at the top of the page, for example), and be consistent by keeping it in the same place on every page.

Of course you can try something different with your layout, but don’t sacrifice good navigation for the sake of appearances.

 

2.Does your website look cluttered?

If you have too many flashy elements competing for your visitor’s attention, you’re bound to put them off. The faster your visitors can find the information they’re looking for, the more inclined they’ll be to spend time on your site. If you’re doing any of these things, you might have a problem:

 

  • Plastering ads all on every available inch of white space.
  • Using pop-ups that cover your content and annoy your visitors.
  • Wasting valuable space on unnecessary content.

The Fix:

Place ads on your site discreetly in the appropriate place. Use white space around elements to draw attention to the content you want to promote. Make sure only the most essential content has a prominent position on your pages.

 

3.How well is your content structured?

Think about the journey you want potential customers to take on your site. After landing on a particular page, what action do you want them to take that will (hopefully) lead to a sale? If your content is structured like this, you’ll keep losing out on potential sales:

 

  • Spreading content across different pages when it should appear on the same page.
  • Forgetting to include content that explains the purpose of the page.
  • You don’t add a Call to Action (CTA) so the customer knows what to do next.

 

The Fix:

Start by grouping content together in a way that makes sense. Give your customers all the necessary information they’ll need up front and save them from searching for it. Use headings and sub-headings with keywords so that visitors who skim your content can quickly find what they’re looking for. Add CTA’s to encourage users to take the next step in the buyer journey.

 

4.Do your force users to register before they can view your content?

 

Even if your website is designed to collect leads, you shouldn’t force users to sign up before they can access your content. If they’re not at that stage in their journey where they’re ready to commit, you’ll only put them off and could miss out on a sale.

 

The Fix:

Stop using pop-ups that block your content and won’t allow a user to proceed until they’ve signed up. Google isn’t fond of these pop-ups either and it hurt your ranking. If you do want your visitors to supply you with their details, keep your form as simple and possible.

 

5.Is your website easy on the eyes?

 

Although it’s possible for anyone to make a website these days, it doesn’t hurt to get advice from a professional graphic designer. The colours, typography and layout of your website can make or break your success online. If you’re using the wrong colours, or fonts that are hard to read, you’re doing your business a disservice.

 

The Fix:

If your budget allows for it, get a designer on board. If you really can’t afford it, spend some time learning about website design from free resources online. You can start with our blog on the Ingredients of a Successful Website.

And when you do have the budget, get a designer in to give your website a refresh and a bit of polish.

 

6.When last did you add new content to your website?

 

Updating your site with fresh content on a regular basis will reassure visitors that you’re still in business and make Google happy.

 

The Fix:

A great way to add new content to your site is by blogging on a regular basis. But, you must be prepared to keep it up. It won’t do your business any good if you let months go by between posts. Spend some time brainstorming ideas and then set up a schedule—and stick to it!

 

Follow these fixes and the end result will be a website that your visitors enjoy using. If you need some assistance or would prefer to have a professional work on your website, give Web Changes a call. We do free website audits and would be happy to give you advice on your web design and digital marketing.

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