Notes from Australia

How I doubled my conversions in one month

My Wedding Decor turned seven months old on November 23.

In the last month, advice from three sources — a wedding directory business development manager, a retailer on the Shopify forum, and an insightful blog post — helped me increase my revenue by 71 percent, and nearly doubled conversions from 0.26 percent to 0.48 percent from the full month of October 2015 to the first three weeks of November.

The business development manager suggested I add “About Us” and “Contact Us” tabs to the main navigation bar of my home page.

I thought providing two tabs — “Shop” and “Hire Now” — plus my phone number, would speed my visitors’ shopping process and they would simply scroll to my About Us and Contact Us pages on the footer if they wanted more information. Seeing these links at the top now saves them time and gives them immediate confidence to proceed.

She also suggested I add products to my Instagram account — which I established in August but had not yet uploaded with images — and then start following on Instagram wedding planners, stylists, bloggers and retailers. My Instagram followers have grown much faster than my Pinterest ones. But visits to my website from Instagram record as direct traffic in Google Analytics so it’s hard to tell where customers have come from.

The online retailer on the Shopify forum suggested I replace the four home page slider images — which rotated between deep-etched images of the decor belonging to the Glamour, Handmade, Retro and Rustic wedding theme categories — with one representative hero image.

She said the slider images made my home page too busy and cluttered, and there was too much to concentrate on. I had thought I needed to show my product range so visitors would think there were at least one or two items that might suit them. I permanently replaced these slider images two weeks ago with an elegant close-up of my gold metal Love sculpture sign and updated the image on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

She also suggested I delete the row for the three latest blog post excerpts, which ran horizontally above the footer, and the three featured buttons to my newsletter, hire page, and ebook.

By removing the blog post excerpts and the buttons, my home page is shorter to scroll, allowing visitors to fully concentrate on my products. My blog posts are now found via the “Blog” link in the footer, and in promoted Facebook posts. There is now a sign-up box for the newsletter in the footer.

I suspect, however, that the biggest single impact to encourage visitors to buy from my website has been an 18-month-old blog post on HubSpot by Simon Sinek, titled “Start With Why.” Knowing your “why” — that is, your core purpose — tightens your focus and helps you attract customers whose values resonate with your own.

Until early November, my home page headline was a rational, logical, and perfunctory “what” statement: “Personalized, unique & unusual wedding decorations for Australian couples.” I chose that text based on what I had imagined couples would search on Google for — thus making it good for search engine optimization, presumably. Well, maybe it was good for SEO, but it was not necessarily good for sales. This simply stated the type of products I offered but not the emotional basis — the “why” — which helps couples feel a connection with my company’s values.

I launched My Wedding Decor simply because so many wedding decor companies offer items that are very “bride-y” but have no relevance to a decor theme, personality, or style. They are quite clearly centered on the wedding day itself, but fail to have any meaning beyond that date. Moreover, most couples want sentimental mementos from one of the most important days of their lives and they want something that fits with their decorating style. In short, I realized my “why” was to sell and hire wedding decor that I would want in my own home.

Knowing my “why” has made a huge difference in sales, my business focus, and opportunities. It has already had the unexpected benefit of making me more confident in pitching to large suppliers that see my offering as unique.

Have you changed your company’s pitch from a “what” to a “why”?

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