Your website is a marketing tool and now that the basics are in place, it is important to leverage all that it can do. Review the information on the site and make sure it accurately represents what you do.
Your website is an ongoing representation of your business and as you grow and change, your website should too. Google likes new information. A static site does not attain great search position. We have built your website with a CMS (content management system) so you have the ability to change basic content.
We can provide instruction or if you don’t have time, we can do it for you.
Google can take 4 days to 4 weeks to index your site. If we have installed Google Analytics and Search console, it will be faster. Organic search traffic is critical for growing your website and business. In fact, it’s the source of over half of all site traffic, on average, as compared to just 5% from social media. We can help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Maintain your Website. It is critical to the longevity & security of your website to update themes, plugins, check back ups and security on a very regular basis. We highly recommend that you have a qualified website designer check the site regularly. Maintenance package are available or just shoot us an email.
Indexing is Google’s way of gathering and processing all the data from web pages during its crawl around the web. Frequent indexing improves your search results. Blog once a month. Adding new information to your site in relation to your business industry, product, or service shows expertise and credibility. Regular blogging is key!
Use social media to push people back to your website. Utilize channels that are appropriate for your audience. Not sure? Ask us! Have a clear social media strategy to complement your web strategy. One does not work well without the other. Be prepared to pay for some social media boosts/ads and analyze the results.
Utilize Video in your digital marketing. It can be used on your social media and website to increase engagement. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video.
Marketing strategy is critical. Dont just “spray and pray”, it is costly and does not yield results. Determine whether you are focusing on inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or a combination of both. Build a strategy calendar where each channel is identified with topics and goals. Remember to Attract, Engage, Convert,and Delight.
Converting website visitors into customers is the goal of e-commerce, but getting there isn’t always easy. In fact, studies estimate the average e-commerce conversion rate is just 2-3%. Follow this simple checklist to optimize your e-commerce website experience, and turn more of your existing website traffic into sales.
1. Attention-grabbing photos (and video, too)
Photography needs to do the job of making the shopper feel like they can (almost) touch your product. And the more photos, the better. Include multiple angles of the product standing alone, with people using it, and a shot of the packaging. A short video is great for showing how a product moves, works or how it should be installed.
2. Powerful product descriptions
Your product copy should be hard-working. Use a mix of action words and sensory words to paint a clear picture of specific product features and benefits. This is also the place to have a little fun if that fits with your brand voice. And don’t forget to spell check your text.
3. A clear call to action (CTA)
If you don’t ask a customer to buy from you, chances are they won’t. An effective CTA is short and clear, such as Add to Cart or Checkout, and they work best on coloured buttons. Your Checkout button is like a cash register, so don’t make shoppers look for how to give you their money.
4. Reviews and testimonials
Product reviews are powerful persuasion tools. A good review can answer a nagging question in the consumer’s mind and give them the confidence to buy from your business. Testimonials, although more effort to obtain because they require outreach, are worthwhile, detailed accounts of the customer experience with your product or service. If you’re able to get media or industry experts to review your products, these are worth featuring prominently.
5. Free shipping
With free shipping the norm these days, it’s easy to assume that it’s the only way to go. And while free shipping can increase conversion rates on e-commerce websites, it can seriously eat into your profit margin. Shipping carriers can increase their prices, too, further cutting your profits. Many merchants choose to increase product prices to maintain the same margin, but there is another approach. Free shipping minimums are a great compromise that incentivizes customers to increase their order value while offsetting your shipping costs.
6. Sales, deals, promo codes, and coupons
Satisfy the deal hunter in everyone by offering special promotions and discounts. A designated Sale section on your website navigation clearly tells shoppers where to go for the best savings. Ramp up the sense of urgency by using time-limited coupon codes or bundling high-demand products with sellout potential.
7. A straightforward return policy
Offering a reasonable return policy is an important part of your e-commerce business strategy. If your policy is too generous, it may be abused. If it’s not flexible enough, customers may choose to buy elsewhere. Post your policy and clearly outline terms for returns, refunds, and exchanges to give shoppers the confidence to place their trust in your business. Ensure returns are handled professionally, and you’ll continue to build customer loyalty for future purchases.
Thinking about selling Virtual Products? Sales have been increasing with the onset of Covid 19 as businesses scramble to keep offering their services in safe and socially distanced ways.
Many have turned to selling digital downloads. Whether it be a lesson/class, informational talks, entertainment show, training course etc. For many of us with WordPress websites, the obvious choice is to add on to the website we have. This is good for SEO and relatively straight forward. WooCommerce is a wonderful platform to offer physical and digital products.
Things to consider before selling a virtual product;
Who owns the content? This is important, you need to make a statement prior to purchase. Is the customer buying the content outright or the right to view the content. This is an important distinction.
What is the cost of your virtual product? This will be affected by the question above. Pricing is your choice but if they own the content outright it should cost much more.
How long will you grant access to the product and how many downloads can they have? I recently set one up and we gave the purchaser 3 views over 20 days.
What are your terms and conditions? This is where you outline the ownership of the content and what you are allowed to do with it. For example; if you create a course can someone resell it? Can they post to social? Share with their friends? Make sure to include a section on what to do if you dont receive the download link.
It is hard to enforce these things, however you must state whether it is allowed or not. List the allowed and prohibited usages in the terms and conditions and have it so people must acknowledge the Terms when they check out.
In order for digital downloads to work automatically the payment processor (ie. PayPal) must return an Instant Payment Notification (IPN) This triggers the software to send the email with the digital download link to the customer.
How will you market it?
This is huge. Please do not assume people will find it on your website on their own. You need to announce it, introduce the concept, explain the advantages and play the number. If you look at average conversion rates for e-commerce you need 1000 site visitors to get 10 sales. This number will changed if you have a following who is engaged and eager.
Tips for selling virtual products:
Newsletter to your existing customers (Warm Market)
Purchase incentive- Buy my course and get a 1 hour one on one zoom meeting.
Post to social
Boost a post on social (this will help give you better visibility)
Make sure to create benefit focused ads- put yourself in someone elses’ shoes, why do they need what you’re selling?
Try A/B testing on posts to determine what graphics and copy work best.
Cheap web hosting is just that, cheap and probably you will get what you pay for. Slow, outdated, and hard to index. Why spend the money on a great site if it’s not going to function properly?
But why do I need to pay more for hosting?
We have noticed that as Premium WordPress themes increase their functionality and convenience for the user. They are also using more resources on the server side. If you pair that with e-commerce and custom database work and plugins, standard shared hosting will not cut it.
People sometimes buy web hosting for five years because of the awesome discount. Keep in mind, you need to make sure the server you are using can grow with you and the company will be supporting the server resources. We still run into many hosts running deprecated PHP versions and you need to switch servers to get the newer versions.
We also caution of buying hosting because it is unlimited. That is really a misnomer because the unlimited is shared between all server users and if it’s over crowded will still have not enough resources. There is always a limit.
How to buy web hosting?
A highly functional and traveled website will require resources that just are not available in a overcrowded server environment. Ask your experienced web designer the best option for hosting, make sure you can expand resources and don’t need to migrate to do it.
Remember the hosting server is the gas in the engine of your website. The site can’t work without the gas.
When considering who to host with, you need the input of your web developer as they know the resources you need. It is not a one size fits all solution. Choosing from a top host lists is not always the answer.
“Great hosting boils down to the 3 S’s: speed, support and security,” said Adam Berry, digital director at Wingard Creative. Nasdaq’s Simon Ball, head of digital media services at Nasdaq Corporate Solutions, said scalability is also critical. “You need the ability to rapidly scale your website as your target audience grows and the resiliency to handle sudden bursts of high traffic,” said Ball.
Decide how much hand holding you need- what is customer service like.
Estimate the amount of traffic you expect (be honest)
Ask about server types
Be wary of unlimited offers
Make sure to avoid lock-in- your website should be portable
Make you you own your own domain and keep the contact info up to date
Recently there has been much conversation about free or do it yourself vs. hiring an website professional to develop your site. It can be so confusing.
If you are a very small business, just starting out, you need to analyse your start up costs with the $ of sales. Do not overbuy your first website, in that case it may be prudent to do it yourself or have a one pager for credibility until you have enough sales to support your marketing. Often in a start up, the website we create first is not what you will need in 12 months.
The definition of a website professional is being morphed and changed by the “new people” on the scene. We recently ran across a company that is specializing in “Wix” sites and calling themselves a web designer. Same with Shopify, WordPress.com, square… While excellent platforms, they do have limitations and you are completely tied to their platform. You will not have the ability to develop custom functions or add programming if required.Often people are frustrated with the level of customization available these platforms.
If you are looking for a new website, redesign or developer, it is harder than ever to compare pricing and skill sets.
Here are 10 tips;
There is a large difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org When developing a corporate site, you will be quite limited on wordpress.com because you can not add custom coding, there is no sftp protocal and it is a multisite environment. There is no option to add your own premium theme and custom plugins.
A business web site should be done in a quality hosting environment using http2, php 7.2 + and an ssl certificate.
Your web designer should be familiar with inbound marketing, content creation, e – newsletters, lead pages, Google Analytics and search console.
Graphics are extremely important and a well rounded web designer will be experienced with graphics, photo editing and resizing. The designer will develop a colour pallet using your logo and /or industry and carry the branding forward into the website.
SEO is one of the most important considerations and the web site should be developed with this in mind. We always develop using WordPress.org on a independant hosting space using a top level domain. Keyword and competition research is critical.
Your designer should include a back up protocol and security software. These days we are even recommending Securi for monitoring, malware scanning, firewall and uptime.
Talk to your web designer about the marketing approach, they should be very familiar with content layout, marketing language, user experience and conversion techniques.
Each web designer has a toolbox of skills and that should be extensive. The more experience the better. If an agency, ask who the developer actually is, if outsourced, it could be an issue later when you need changes.
Interview the web designer, you need to develop a relationship, as your site will be around for 2-3 years and then you probably need to change it up. The website will need regular maintenance and you can be trained on the content management
In case of site crash, what is the response time. Do they know how to fix it? Technical ability is important as we know, anything can be hacked. Proactive is always better.