If you’re a recent entrant into the world of online entrepreneurship, you’re probably already learned one very important lesson: Selling products online isn’t nearly as easy as companies like Shopify make it seem. E-commerce isn’t such a difficult world once you get the hang of it, but there’s a long road from making your first few sales to earning enough money consistently that you’re finally able to make running your website your full-time job.
This article is going to help you get through that difficult middle stage by providing some actionable advice that can help your online business begin generating more revenue right away. There are two ways to increase your website’s revenue. The first way is by generating more traffic, and the second way is by earning more money from the traffic your site already generates. The second part of that equation is the one that you control most directly, and it’s the one that we’ll be focusing on in this article.
Implement these ideas right now, and your website will begin generating more revenue immediately. It really is that simple.
Optimize Your Website’s Design for Mobile Phones
You’re probably already very aware of the fact that your website needs to look great if you want people to buy from you. You know that based on common sense, and you also know it from your personal experience as a consumer. It’s likely, though, that you use a computer rather than a mobile device when you work on your site. As good as today’s smartphones are, it’s still much more efficient to create content on a computer.
However, the fact that you do most of your work on your computer may cause you to lose sight of the fact that most potential customers who view your site will do so on smartphones. Make sure that your website looks great on small screens; you’ll lose many sales if your website doesn’t look as good on phones as it does on your computer.
Focus on Product and Category Page SEO
The top way to make the most possible money from your website’s existing traffic is by making sure that most of your visitors land on high-converting pages. The pages on your website with the highest probability of conversion are your product and category pages, so you need to do everything possible to ensure that those pages rank highly on Google. Make sure that the search engine optimisation of your commercial content is as perfect as it can be. There’s no reason to bother with any other aspect of your website until you’re certain that you’ve done everything possible to make those pages rank well. If you’re not sure what your product pages should look like, use a top-ranking site like Simply ELiquid as an example.
Make Your Product Pages Look Great
One you’re certain that your product pages look as good to Google as possible, the next step is to examine those pages with a critical eye from the user’s point of view. Do your product pages look nice? Do they have an attractive layout and readable typography? Are the text descriptions laid out for easy skimming? Is the text legible on small screens? Do your product pages have high-quality original photography, or are you populating those pages with stock photos? Original pictures can really help a product page stand out if the majority of your competitors are using stock photos.
Keep Your Visitors Clicking
It’s rare for a user to visit a site through Google’s search results, land on a product page and then buy that product immediately. It’s much more common for a user to browse a few pages before buying. If your users want to browse, you should encourage that by linking to related products on your product pages. If the user decides not to buy the product he or she is currently viewing, you should be ready to present that person with suggested alternatives.
Many e-commerce content management systems can recommend related products automatically, but it might be wise for you to curate some of the recommendations yourself. Your recommendations are likely to be more accurate than the recommendations that a computer generates just by looking for matching keywords.
Use Your Blog as a Sales Funnel
If you’ve been running an e-commerce site for a while, you probably have a blog. Just about every e-commerce site has a blog. If you’ve spent any time reading about online marketing, you’ve probably learned the reason for that: It’s much easier to get a high ranking on Google for informational content than it is to rank high for commercial content because many of your competitors aren’t trying to rank for non-commercial terms.
The problem, though, is that informational content tends to perform poorly from a revenue generation standpoint because most of the people searching for that type of content aren’t interested in buying products right now. The trick is that you need to start thinking of your blog as a sales funnel by identifying – or writing – posts that are geared more toward revenue generation.
If you go to almost any website about investing, for example, every blog post is going to have links to pages advertising that site’s stock picks. On your site, a blog post listing the best products of the year within a certain category can perform a similar function. When people visit other blog posts on your site, do your best to put those people through your sales funnel by encouraging them to read the product roundup. Don’t be afraid to use click-bait headlines to encourage people to view that content.
Try an Exit Intent Popup
When you shop for products online, you’ve probably noticed that many of the world’s e-commerce websites are now using exit intent popups. An exit intent popup can trigger after a user has been on a page for several seconds, or it can trigger when the user moves the mouse pointer in such a way as to close the browser tab. Usually, the popup offers a coupon code if the user is willing to provide their email address or complete the purchase immediately.
The trick to using an exit intent popup is that you want to make sure that the triggering conditions are absolutely right. If the popup is configured incorrectly and appears immediately upon loading the page, for instance, it’ll cover the page’s main content before the user even has a chance to look at it. The user will close the popup, ignoring it completely. You want the user to see your site before the popup appears.
The other thing to consider is that, if most of your prospective customers see the exit intent popup, you’ll essentially end up giving a discount to almost every first-time buyer. On the other hand, you might consider the cost worthwhile if that’s what it takes to acquire a new customer. Just make sure that, if you’re paying to acquire new customers, you’re doing everything possible after the sale to keep those people engaged and encourage repeat business.