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8 Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your eCommerce Site

The world of eCommerce has become increasingly more competitive as customer preferences have entirely changed the digital landscape.

The competitive nature of eCommerce is multifaceted: Not only are you striving to beat your competition, but you’re also fighting to keep your shoppers’ interest. 68% of customers will end up abandoning their shopping carts. The responsibility falls on eCommerce merchants to prevent people from leaving before they check out, while also devising a strategy to win back customers that have abandoned their carts.

So, let’s look into some of the most lethal mistakes eCommerce merchants make, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Not Being Clear About Your Shipping Costs

“Surprise” shipping costs are one of the easiest ways to lose your shoppers and are ranked as the highest source of cart abandonment. When it comes to your website’s availability to convert shoppers through the checkout process, shipping, and any other relevant cost information, must be stated as early on as possible.

Not being clear about your shipping costs will only hurt your conversion rate. Roughly 28% will abandon their shopping cart if they’re surprised with unexpected shipping costs. This means you’re losing one out of every four shoppers on your site just because you weren’t clear about your shipping costs.

Keep in mind how buyers psychologically operate. They consider the product, whether they like how it looks, how will it fit, how much does it cost, and is it worth it. By the time a shopper places an item in their cart, they’ve not only thought of multiple different reasons they should and shouldn’t buy, but they’ve also likely shopped around for alternatives.

Over time, a feeling of fatigue develops. Each new decision doesn’t receive as much thought or merely is more challenging to make. When a new variable comes into play, like a $7.99 shipping cost, many shoppers will either take a break from shopping, because the decision is stressing them out, or will just abandon the search altogether.

This is why it’s imperative to be clear about your shipping policies on every relevant touchpoint—meaning your product pages and even your website header. If you offer free shipping, you’re missing out on the vast potential of attracting shoppers if you’re not advertising it on your site as well.

Paying for shipping is not a novel idea, and shoppers understand that. Sure, if you advertise your shipping costs, you might lose a shopper or two at the beginning of the funnel, but you will ultimately boost your conversion rate since they wouldn’t convert anyway.

2. Not Optimizing for Mobile

Mobile shopping is expected to reach 27% of all online shopping by the end of 2018, yet many merchants have sites that are ill-equipped for mobile shoppers. The numbers behind mobile shopping’s growth are staggering. By the end of 2017, over 2 billion global mobile phone users will have made some form of mobile transaction, up from 1.6 billion this year.

Merchants using platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce don’t have to worry as much about this since many of the templates offered are mobile-responsive. The cause for concern is merchants that are using custom solutions that look great on desktop, but which just don’t cut mobile. This is why it’s important to understand how your store looks on every size screen, and that it is built to be mobile responsive.

Many merchants are aware of and understand the growth of mobile but, for some reason, they just don’t act on it. As mobile continues to grow and shoppers continue to utilize multiple devices to make a purchase, merchants that fail to optimize for mobile will be left in the dust trailing behind mobile-friendly competitors.

3. Not Having Enough Payment Options

Payment options play an obvious role in your checkout process: If a customer can’t give you money, you won’t make a sale. This seems like a somewhat silly reason to lose a customer, especially after you’ve worked so hard to perfect every other detail of your checkout process and marketing efforts.

There is no shortage of different payment options, and the more you have, the higher chance you will have of making the sale. For starters, you can’t go wrong with all major credit cards, PayPal, and Google Wallet. There are even some eCommerce sites that welcome BitCoin and other cryptocurrency payments as well!

An issue that arises from having multiple payment options is that merchants might end up creating several CTAs such as “Checkout with PayPal, Buy with Google Wallet, etc.” Simple design tweaks such as a drop-down menu during the checkout process can offer your users the same flexibility in a seamless and clean manner.

4. Having a Chunky Checkout Process

Shoppers in the digital age have a penchant for instant gratification. This means that once your shoppers have made their decision, they want to flow through your checkout process seamlessly. View each additional step or visual distraction in your checkout process as an obstacle that the buyer has to maneuver around. Any friction means potentially losing a sale, and each bit must be removed wherever appropriate.

Creating a perfect checkout process comes with ruthless experimentation and data analysis. Understanding how your shoppers interact with your checkout process is must-know knowledge for any eCommerce merchant.

Everyone in the eCommerce world is, by default, competing with giants such as Amazon.com, which are capable of spending billions of dollars a year just to test and refine their checkout processes. Merchants who fail to optimize their checkout will end up having their market swept up from under them.

5. Using Manufacturer Product Descriptions

A huge problem that runs rampant in the eCommerce space is that many merchants are using the same product descriptions that come from the manufacturer. This means that thousands of merchants are selling the same products, using the same pictures, with the corresponding descriptions, at likely the same prices.

While this may work for some, it’s no way to build a brand. Product descriptions are your opportunity to let your brand’s voice flow and capture the shopper’s interest and imagination. As more and more merchants realize the importance of having high-quality product descriptions, whether purely for the benefit of ranking higher in search engines or increasing conversion rates, merchants that fail to do so will be forced to compete solely on price on goods that look commoditized.

Additionally, using product descriptions from the manufacturer can create SEO trouble for you down the line. Manufacturer product descriptions will not only give you any SEO points, but they could also get you penalized for using duplicate content.

6. Unclear Value Proposition

Your value proposition is the number-one thing that helps a consumer understand whether or not they should purchase something from you. This is an opportunity to communicate both your product’s value and your brand’s value.

A value proposition is a concise, clear statement that:

  1. Delivers specific benefits in a way that allows shoppers to quantify the value of your product.
  2. Tells your ideal customer why they should purchase something from you and not from your competition.
  3. Explains how your product will solve your shoppers’ problems.

It’s critical that your value proposition is written in a language that is natural to your shoppers. It should feel like an organic extension of the conversation already going on in your shoppers’ heads. It’s tough to stumble into a perfect value proposition voice; however, with some practice and research, it becomes much more attainable.

For example, merchants will often browse and communicate with other people on forums such as Reddit that are specific to their industry. Even if you are interested in your products yourself, assume that there are multiple angles and perspectives that must be accounted for.

7. Using Lackluster Images

A few years ago, using manufacturer images and lackluster product pictures barely passed. Today, merchants are taking every opportunity possible to differentiate themselves and create a more attractive and appealing website for their customers.

Many sites are investing into professional photography and product videos because they work very well. Humans are visual creatures, and they want to see what they are buying. The better your images can capture the essence of your products and answer your shoppers’ questions, the more likely your shoppers will be to make a purchase.

Additionally, shoppers who have a better understanding of what the product looks like and how it functions will be less likely to have a reason to return it in the future. This means that investing in high-quality images will not only boost sales but will decrease the number of returns and logistical headaches you would otherwise have to deal with.

8. Not Using Dynamic Retargeting

Dynamic retargeting is an extremely efficient way to deliver relevant ads to your customers. One of the biggest mistakes eCommerce merchants make is not utilizing retargeting ads—because not doing so simply just leaves too much value on the table.

Retargeting is an ad strategy that allows merchants to target shoppers that were previously on a specific part of your site. For example, if a shopper were looking at your “Nike Elite Socks” product page, a retargeting ad would show up on Facebook, or elsewhere, reminding them of the product.

There are a few big reasons failing to use dynamic retargeting ads could be ruining your eCommerce site:

  1. First of all, not using retargeting ads means all your money and effort spent on raising awareness and customer acquisition goes to waste when a shopper leaves. This keeps your advertising and marketing costs high, which eats into your profit margins.
  2. Online shoppers frequently abandon their searches simply because there are too many distractions online. If a shopper leaves your site, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested; they could still be very engaged with and want to purchase something from you, but the cards are stacked against you regarding attention. Retargeting ads allow merchants to get a second crack at making a sale—and these second chances add up.

Personalization and customization pay off. Retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert than all other types of advertising. They are also 10x more likely to be clicked than any other type of ad.

Final Thoughts

eCommerce will continue to evolve along with customer preferences and digital trends. Merchants that can adjust quickly and keep themselves at the forefront of eCommerce best practices will be able to thrive, instead of trying to survive as each year becomes increasingly more competitive.

Perhaps the most insidious part of these mistakes is that they can be so easy to make if you aren’t careful and regularly benchmarking your site to industry leaders. If you find yourself guilty of making a few of these mistakes view this as an opportunity to prime your site for the future. Keep an eye on your analytics and KPIs to see how they improve as you put the above solutions into action.

 


Ron is the CEO of Visiture and spends his time leading his team of evil geniuses to get more results for his customers. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions.

9 Steps Towards Writing Effective Social Media Content

Effective social media content is good for your brand

Source: Pixabay

When coming up with a content marketing strategy for our brands, one of the most critical components is social media marketing. We create content to sharing it online via social media networks. There are over 3 billion social media users worldwide. With this information, it’s evident to see that creating effective social media content is crucial.

The following are nine strategies that you can employ to achieve this:

1. Concentrate On Your Reader

Your readers ought to be the primary target of your post. Even though most writers tend to focus on a wider audience, there are others that enjoy tailoring content towards a particular person or group of individuals.

Despite the fact that it’s not the only strategy to adopt, writing to one person portrays the desire connect with your readers.

2. Define Your Goals

Goal defining is one of the most important things to do

Source: Pexels

One of the first things to do is goals definition. Typical objectives include promotion of products and client engagement. Once your goals are set, you should remember that everything should point back to them.

Afterwards, think about how you’ll measure them. What will you use to gauge your efforts? Retweets, shares or comments? Everything should be defined in your social media strategy.

3. Choose The Right Social Media Sites

The more sites you pick, the more content you’ll have to create. Therefore it’s prudent for you to do one thing well than doing several things just okay. Ensure that you choose wisely so that you don’t overwork yourself.

As you’re selecting the ideal social media sites, remember that each channel needs different kinds of content.

4. Utilize The Language Your Audience Uses

The language you use should be the same as your audience’s

Source: Pixabay

Copy how they speak and the words that they use. Take a look at who reads your content or comments on your posts. Moreover, also look at their emails and social media updates. You can go ahead and request those that have bought your products to describe them back to you.

5. Repeat What Works

If an article about a particular topic is shared several times or gets a lot of hits, logic states that you create more content for the topic. Give your audience more of what they need.

6. Identify Your Clients’ Social Networks

Choose the network which your audience uses frequently

Source: Pexels

There are a significant number of social networks and channels that people use nowadays. Make sure that you publish and place your content where your clients tend to spend time in. The most common social networks include Facebook and Twitter.

7. Come Up With The Content

It doesn’t take much time and effort to create content. However, you should keep in mind that you’re creating online assets that will continuously provide value for you. For instance, a video published online that demonstrates how to do something will continuously educate your customers.

Blog articles, on the other hand, can be used for creating an online video. So if you are thinking about crowdsourcing content, for example, inviting guest authors to your blog, you may have to set some writing guidelines like the length of articles, images, and subtitles to be used.

8. Optimize Your Content

Content optimization is key

Source: Pixabay

If you imagine that simply writing and publishing is all that you have to do, then you’re mistaken. Your task has only just begun. You have to optimize your content. Some things to consider include:

  • Headline – Always come up with a compelling headline that will make people want to read your content.
  • Structure – Write subtitles that split your content into several segments that will attract your readers to your article.
  • Search – Write articles utilizing keywords that your readers would use to search for you online. Additionally, if you are publishing videos on YouTube, ensure that your content is optimized by coming up with a headline, a description, and keywords.
  • Social – ensure you have social media sharing buttons whenever you have content to share. Try not to make it hard for your audience to share and spread your awesome content.

9. Make Your Content Mobile

Nowadays, PCs and laptops are not the only gadgets that your customers or readers use. With advancements in technology, mobile phones and tablets have become must-have gadgets (there are around 2.4 billion smartphone users worldwide. This number is expected to hit 6.1 billion by 2020). Therefore, ensure that the content you create can be viewed on the various mobile platforms.

Conclusion

The tips discussed will greatly assist you to come up with compelling social media content for your brand. For queries about cause and effect essay outline or essay writing services, you can visit various online sources for assistance.


Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over eight years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.

Mobile SEO Tips to Get Your Business App in Front

With consumers spending increasing amounts of time in front of mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to ensure your mobile business app is easy to find. The amount of time that consumers spend using mobile apps has increased by up to 69 percent in recent years, landing at 5 hours per day on tablets and smartphones in 2017. That increase comes alongside a decrease in web browser traffic.

What does that mean? If you’re using web browser or web search SEO tactics to market your app, chances are that it’s getting lost. Your consumers aren’t searching Google on their desktop to find your app, they’re using the App Store or Play Store. If you want your business app to compete, it’s vital that you take an app-specific approach to SEO.

Know How Mobile App Rankings Work

Before you can rank, you need to understand how app rankings work with the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Each of these app stores has over 1 million apps each, with an astonishing 66% sitting at zero ratings. So how do you help your app rise above the rest?

Both Apple and Google tend to be tight-lipped about their ranking algorithms, but Moz has determined that both app stores take into account the following:

Keyword density on the landing page
● Daily download and installation growth trends
● App usage, including retention, engagement, and churn/uninstall rates
● Growth and volume of ratings
● Average rating

That information narrows your focus and gives you some specific metrics to work on. So what’s next?

On-Metadata vs. Off-Metadata ASO

All of your target metrics fall into two categories: on-metadata and off-metadata ASO, or app store optimization. On-metadata includes the factors that you can control, such as keyword density on your landing page. Off-metadata includes factors that are often out of control or at least aren’t directly within your control, such as app usage and ratings.

Tackle On-Metadata ASO

Because on-metadata is entirely within your control, it’s your first stop when it comes to optimizing your mobile SEO strategy. Here’s where you should focus your energy, in this order:

App title. Include a concise description of what your app does and use keywords. “Cloud” doesn’t tell consumers anything about what your app is, while “Cloud – On-the-go Mobile Storage Solutions” is keyword-oriented AND descriptive.
Description. Short and sweet, the description should be just a couple of sentences describing what your app does for the consumer, including your feature set and strategic keyword use.
Keyword fields. Both of the popular app stores include a character-limited field where you can list keywords you want to rank for, but be careful and focus on relevancy and search volume so you’re setting yourself up for ranking success.
Icon. Consumers make snap judgments based on visual branding, so focus on iconography that’s simple, brand-heavy, and conveys your app’s functionality.
Screenshots. Your screenshots are the most important promotional graphics you have, so use them wisely to convey the story of your app. Pair screenshots and text to give viewers a reason to hit the “download” button.

Monitor Off-Metadata ASO

Off-metadata ASO can be tricky because it’s not within your control, but at the very least, you should always keep an eye on ratings, reviews, and link-building opportunities. Encourage users to submit positive ratings and reviews, which will increase your conversion rate in the long term and help maximize your overall downloads.

For link-building, your strategy should be much the same as with typical web SEO. Write and submit guest articles or blogs that strategically link back to your app page, or encourage reviewers to check out your app and share their thoughts.

Measure Success, and Repeat

You’ve done everything that’s in your power to maximize on-metadata ASO and keep a handle on off-metadata ASO, so what’s next? Just like with web SEO, the work never really ends. Now it’s time to monitor your search rankings and the top app charts in your particular category, as well as your ratings, reviews, and downloads.

Now that you’ve completed an SEO/ASO audit cycle, have you accomplished growth in every area? And more importantly, have you met any goals that you set for your app’s success? If not, start the process all over again, fine-tuning your SEO and ASO strategy until your app is where it needs to be. It may take a few cycles to get your app presence where it needs to be, but with the right attention to on-metadata and off-metadata ASO, you’ll get there.

 


nick rojas

Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for start-ups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.

4 Strategies Every Marketing Leader should be Using in 2017

marketing-leaders-2017
The very face of marketing is changing consistently, even more so in today’s world. You have to stay on top of the latest trends and topics so that you can compete – because if you aren’t, then you are falling behind. In fact, you should dedicate at least a few hours every week to reading over marketing materials and new ideas. If you put it off until the end of a quarter or a specific day of every month, you will quickly fall behind.

marketing-strategy

For 2017, try some of these marketing strategies:

1) Get Influencers Involved

Influencers are the best source of traffic in the marketing world today. To use them effectively, you have to find someone that aligns themselves with your ideas and has a following that could use your product. For example, sure a big-name basketball star might have a lot of followers, but you don’t want to use him to market a make-up brand. Or just because a comedian has a lot of followers on your targeted audience, some of their humor might turn off customers that you already have. You have to be able to weigh the pros and cons of using an influencer.
Note that it can get pricey to use these influencers as well. The best way is to strike up a deal that works for both parties.

2) Remember That People Have Short Attention Spans

People aren’t going to sit through a twenty-minute video explaining what it is your product does. Sure, those videos have a space, and you should continue to make them. However, you should also make shorter, bite-size pieces of information that people can watch or read in under a minute. You just need to give them enough to whet their appetites for more.
Much of what you push forward in your marketing campaigns needs to be about the people with short attention spans. They will.

3) Focus on Mobile Users

Most importantly, you have to think about your mobile audience. People aren’t performing searches on their desktop computer or their laptop computers anymore. Instead, they are using their phones and Siri to get all of their information. Do some research on the top movers and shakers in your field and find out how their website looks on a mobile device – then look at yours. How do they compare?

Make sure that your text is easily readable on phones, your images aren’t cut-off, and when someone scrolls down your website, they aren’t accidentally touching things with their thumbs. Other things to think about include load times, randomly playing videos, information boxes, and navigation.

4) Get Better Social Media Teams

Social media is one of the most profitable marketing tools companies have today, and they don’t use it correctly. Look at all of the tips above and then look at your social media strategy – does it fall in line? If your target audience is under the age of 35, especially if they are in the age range between 15-30, you have to have your social media skills mastered, and they can tell the difference when you don’t.

social-concept-internet

Is It Time to Hire a Social Media Manager?

Hire people who know how to talk to other people online, who know the terms and the ways those platforms operate. It’s important to have someone who understands hashtags, SnapChat, gifs, and especially Memes because they are going to be thrown at you a lot. If you don’t understand them, you can become a laughingstock pretty quickly. If you don’t have the time to understand the current language of social media, maybe it’s time to hire someone that does.

Overall, a little extra attention to your digital marketing strategy will make a huge change in your profitability. You will find that it can even change the outlook on your business. Make sure to read up and reach out to people who can help you with all of the strategies listed above. Remember that there is nothing too bad about having a boring campaign, but a lot can go wrong if you try a new marketing campaign without knowing what you are doing. If you need help building a new marketing campaign that will meet your targeted audience, consider reaching out to Media-Shark.


tomTom Blake is a digital marketing guru at Media Shark digital agency, and all round entrepreneur. Running his own businesses since the age of 20 he’s work has seen him travel the world living in various countries. Now heading up Media Shark in the sunny Gold Coast of Australia. He’s passion lies in helping people with online marketing and providing technical SEO and digital strategies with one goal ROI.