If you’re like most e-commerce retailers, you could be getting tons of traffic to your site but not as many sales as you’d like. You might be wondering on how to better optimise your e-commerce site… ?

Conversions are a key metric regardless of the type of product you sell. When you increase your conversion rate, your business will generate high revenue and experience a huge increase in profits.

One of the great things about conversion rate optimisation is, once you know where to look, a few tweaks often have significant results. So the big question is where do you focus your attention? Luckily, there are answers.

In this post, you’ll learn how to optimise in your e-commerce site to get more customers, increase sales and reduce abandoned cart rates.

But first, what exactly are conversions, conversion rate, and conversion rate optimisation?

Essentially, a conversion is when someone lands on your website, looks through your catalog, adds an item to the shopping cart and makes a purchase. This could also be newsletter signup, downloading a buyer’s guide or even using a coupon.

A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who actually buy products from your site. On the other hand, conversion rate optimisation is when you improve the effectiveness of your site to generate more sales from the visitors you already have.

With that in mind, let’s look at the ways you can get more people to make an actual purchase on your e-commerce site.

How to Optimise Your E-commerce Site Using Keywords

How to optimize your e-commerce site using keywords
Keyword research

The first step is to make sure that your products are easy to find in search engine results pages (SERPs). To identify the keywords you want to rank for, consider ranking difficulty and search volume.

Use keyword tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and Unamo SEO to analyse the competition. Leverage on using long tail keywords since they have a higher conversion rate. In addition, there is lesser competition when you target long tail keywords because they aim for niche demographics instead of mass audiences.

Remember to include user-friendly product URLs that are short. Write unique metadata for your product pages. Also, insert the keywords and descriptive ALT tags on your product images.

Optimise High Impact Pages

These pages include the category, product, and the landing page. The landing page is the first area your visitors see when they go to your e-commerce site. Your goal here is to make a great first impression.

One way to do this is to test out different types of popular products on the homepage then examine the items that receive the most clicks. This will help you know the products that resonate best with web visitors.

Start by optimising the product pages, create unique product descriptions that include colours, size, and key features. Ensure that the description identifies with the problem that the product solves for the potential customer. Incorporate customer reviews to boost site engagement metrics.

Furthermore, show notifications for the out of stock products. Use the ‘email me when the stock is back’ message. Set up rich snippets to increase your click-through rates.

High-resolution images may not be enough to increase conversions. Try out additional image options such as using videos to illustrate how a product works. Take product images a step further by including the ability to rotate and zoom to allow customers to interact with your products.

To optimise the categories section, highlight your most viewed items and top products in each category. Similarly, link products that share a common theme to related categories. For instance, if you have winter boots, try to include a link for winter jackets or gloves as well.

Optimise the User Experience

How to optimize your e-commerce site using user experience

If your web visitors can’t easily find what they need on your e-commerce site, they won’t make a purchase. Instead, they’ll quickly leave your site and head over to a competitor’s site. This is why user experience (UX) is the foundation of your website.

One of the important aspects is navigation. It’s frustrating for buyers if products don’t appear where they should.

This is why you have to optimise your site’s navigational elements such as menu categories as well as search functionality. You could also test the variations of menu headers and assess how much traffic each new category receives.

Consequently, use breadcrumbs based on search history and product hierarchy to make it easy for users to move between categories and products.

Page load speed is another key UX issue. A slow loading site kills conversion. 47% of customers expect websites to load in less than two seconds. 40% will leave a page that takes more than three seconds.

Refine the Shopping Experience

It’s crucial to ensure a positive customer experience to boost conversions and brand loyalty. One way to do this is by offering live chat. The best time to address an issue for your customers is right when it happens. Live chat comes in handy if you receive a lot of help requests.

How to optimize you e-commerce site using great shopping experience
Photographer: rawpixel | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: rawpixel | Source: Unsplash

Secondly, you should optimise your pricing to help you sell more. Use side by side product comparisons to your advantage. Increase prominent calls-to-action (CTAs) to get people to buy your products and make it visible.

Use flash sales to create urgency and trigger fear of missing out to urge customers to buy your products. For instance, you could display stock levels, highlight a sale within a sale or use a countdown timer.

Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest issues for online retailers. A study by Salecycle reveals that the average rate of cart abandonment stands at 74% .

To reduce shopping cart abandonment, keep the checkout process simple. Offer a guest checkout that doesn’t force buyers to create a profile with loads of required information details to fill out.

You could also opt to display a progress bar on top of the checkout page that lets customers see how far they are in the buying process.

Ensure that purchasing stays top of mind for your web visitors by making your cart visible. Use a cart icon on the header bar from every page on your e-commerce site to urge them to buy your products.

Some customers are more concerned about identity theft and this is why they may not make a purchase. Ensure you have an SSL security certificate installed.

Feature security policies and icons on checkout pages to make customers feel safer to include their credit card information. Offer multiple payment options to your customers such as PayPal, credit cards, debit cards or mobile payment solutions.

You should know by now that people hate cost surprises when they are ready to checkout. Maybe offer free shipping or subsidise that amount and let your customers know upfront about any extra costs they might incur before making a purchase.

Another strategy to reduce cart abandonment is by sending abandoned cart emails to recover a sale. You could use the email to show the items left in the cart or offer a coupon as an incentive to make them buy.

Optimise for Mobile

How to optimize your e-commerce site using mobile

According to Google, mobile searches have overtaken desktop search. This goes to show how vital it is to use a responsive website design- a design with the ability to accommodate any screen size.

Therefore, strive to optimise page titles and product descriptions for mobile search. Identify the search terms that mobile visitors use and integrate these words into your pages. Also, optimise for voice search because 50% of mobile users utilise this function.

Over To You…

“You can’t just open a website and expect people to flood in. If you really want to succeed you have to create traffic.” – Joel Anderson, CEO, Walmart

Optimising your website to improve CRO is a move in the right direction that will help your business get better leads and boost your profit margins.

Once you provide an outstanding shopping experience, you’ll be able to convert your site traffic at a higher percentage.

What strategy are you currently working on to improve your conversion rates? Share with us your initiatives and experience in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

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