“I’ve got my mind on my money & money on my mind” – we all know Snoop Dogg has money on his mind. Equally, for most of you when setting up an online store, the main motivator is making yourself some extra cash. We know it can be disheartening if your business is not doing as well as you expected – so we’ve compiled a few little tips for you to consider.
1. Plan and Set Realistic Targets
Before you start building your web-store, it is important to devise a strategy and set yourself REALISTIC targets.
Set yourself a long-term objective (500 sales by the end of the year). Break these down into manageable daily, weekly and monthly targets (10 sales by the end of the week). This can help to monitor the success and provides you with a clear direction for your business.
2. Attach an appropriate domain to your site
This seems like a given, right?! There are stores who haven’t and it’s been proven to affect sales. 92% of freewebstore sales come from those with a domain name attached. Attaching a domain name adds credibility to your online store and increases the trust of the visitor. Additionally, it’s important that you choose a suitable domain name, that’s not too wordy or inappropriate, however unintentional it may have been.
You can set up a domain name directly from your control panel > marketing > domain name.
3.Your web-store needs to be visually appealing and easy to navigate
93% of consumers judge the website aesthetics above anything else.
First impressions count! If your web-store is unappealing to your audience and difficult to navigate, then it’s likely to increase the bounce rate – that’s one less consumer who may have been willing to spend! So…
- Keep categories clear and use a different color for your background!
- Use logical navigation layouts – don’t have your links the same color as your background color.
- Blurry, oversized images make your website look unprofessional. Use the correct dimensions. If possible, use unique images.
- Keep your content fresh. Returning customers may think you’re not offering anything different if you have the same rolling image after 40 days. Add a blog and update weekly!
Although I’m pretty sure this is ‘intentionally bad’ – it’s still a big no, no. Don’t install too many widgets, don’t have too many contrasting colours, don’t make it too cluttered and make the navigation tabs clear and easy to read – it’s painful on the eyes!
4. Don’t give up after a few days! SEO can take a while to kick in
You’ve got a plan in place, made a cool looking website, however, you’ve not made as many sales as you’d expected. Fear not, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau once stated, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet”.
93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a cost effective way of getting new customers to visit your store. However, the lucrative rewards from SEO (branding, an increase in website traffic etc.) can take a while to come forth. The Google spiders (don’t worry, you can’t see them :p) have become more sophisticated, with Google favouring websites that deliver what people actually want to see; natural wording and not keyword after keyword.
Freewebstore does plenty of automatic SEO to help all of their businesses (such as mobile-optimized sites). Here are some tips for you to improve your SEO ranking:
- Content – make sure your content is filled with relevant information about your products. Longer, interesting articles seem to perform better by increasing dwell time. It’s important to do this in a manner that is easy to read for the user – small sentences, bullet points etc. Meta Tags are also important, although not as influential as they once were.
- Use your own images – Unique pictures will help your website stand out.
- Social Media – Install social media links on your website. Having a solid presence and delivering appropriate content on Facebook, twitter etc. will boost your SEO. 76% of marketers use social media to increase their SEO presence!
- Fix those broken links!! This not only improves your SEO ranking but also reduces the amount of hair your customers pull out after clicking on a dead link!
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO then check out this helpful video.
5. Get to know your audience through analytics
Visitors will leave a trail of information behind every time they access your site. Use it to your advantage. Get to know your audience through analytics.
Some of the key benefits of analytics are:
- Help measure and track the progress of your business.
- Provides you with information on where your visitors are located, so you can focus your marketing on those areas.
- Understand the demographics: Which age range of your users have the higher conversion rates? Target those users with appropriate content.
- View the pages with the highest, bounce rates. These pages spell trouble – it’s likely that changes are needed!
Last but not least…
6. Interact with your customers
Let your customers know you’re there, that you exist. Answer their Facebook messages, tweet them, and respond to their e-mails and blog comments. You can respond with a personalised message. This helps with customer retention and shows that the customer is valued and important. Fantastic customer service and a great product = success.
Remember that customer retention is as important as customer acquisition, if not more so. It’s easier to convert sales from current customers than it is new customers – so don’t forget about existing customers!
Hopefully, this has helped you out a little bit and allows you to get the most out of your freewebstore hosted web-store – and set you on the path to entrepreneurial success! Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Happy selling 🙂