These days, setting up an online storefront is easier, less expensive and more valuable than ever as more and more people get comfortable shopping online. Setting up an online storefront is a great way to start a business or grow sales by extending the reach of your current business. Whether you are opening your shop online for the first time or have already started down the path, you can boost your online sales through 10 techniques that are helping today’s online businesses succeed. Any or all of these strategies can be incorporated to help drive more people to your site and make it more attractive to potential customers.
Search terms are crucial. Even your most frequent and loyal customers are likely to find your site by search. Having relevant keywords in your page titles, product titles and links can make all the difference when trying to drive customers to your site. For those with established sites, don’t forget that keeping your keywords current and relevant is an ongoing project. Check your Web logs regularly to see what visitors search for on your site, and name pages and products appropriately.
A common mistake is using the same page title for every page on the site, for example, “Jane’s Camera Shop”. People typically do not search for your company’s name when they look for a product they’d like to purchase. Give each page title a distinct name, like “Jane’s Camera Shop – Macro Lenses,” and do the same for every product.
Also, make sure the text embedded in a link (the anchor text) matches user search terms. For example, a link that says, “view lilac scented candle,” is more descriptive of your product than, “click here for larger image”; and because it contains a descriptive keyword, it will more likely show up in search results.
Adding as much relevant content as you can to your site improves your customers’ experience and the positioning of your site on the search engines. They critical word here is relevant. Content that isn’t related to your products can work against you, as it confuses the potential customers and gives search bots the impression that you’re trying to trick them.
One way to add relevant content to your site is to add descriptive paragraphs about each of your products next to your photos. Use as much detail as you feel is necessary, and be sure to use the terms people are most likely to enter when searching.
Another way to improve your content might be to write a company backgrounder to let people know who you are, where you are located and how you got started with your online business. People often look for a personal touch online. Telling your customers about you and your business will make them more comfortable buying from someone they don’t know.
Ease of use is another key element to a great web store. Be sure that people can find everything they are looking for on your site. Make it easy to find your customer service number (or e-mail address), your return policy and an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. These are great ways to make buyers more comfortable doing business with you, while adding relevant content to your site.
Lastly, if you offer some sort of promotion, such as 20 percent off two or more products or free shipping when you spend $50, make sure it is mentioned on every page. The more people are reminded of this, the more likely they will be to make use of it.
Next week’s installment will include tips on customer testimonials, offering multiple payment options and diversifying sales channels.