Attracting customers – 6 marketing channels to help drive web traffic

You’d be forgiven for thinking that selling online is a different kettle of fish. Truth is, although it may be a different kettle, the fish are pretty much the same.

We’ve been exploring how getting the most out of selling online shares an awful lot of practices and philosophies with good old fashioned bricks and mortar commerce. Up ’til now, we’ve discussed:

Part 1

Merchandising your online store

A guide that explains the similarities between a good retail display and showcasing your swag online.

Part 2

Building credibility and establishing trust online

There are lots of indicators in the real world in regards to trust. This article explains what we can do to send out the same reassuring signals online.

Part 3

Focusing on user experience to increase customers and conversions

User experience originates from the real world around us but here are 5 website specific UI/UX tips to help you get some quick wins on the board.


All of the above are incredibly important areas to consider when setting out your online stall. But the fact remains, however convincing your website is… however wonderful your web shop is… it will be a fantastical flop – if no one knows about it.

Part 4 (That’s this one)

Attracting customers

A beautiful shop means little if there isn’t the footfall. And even then, a store needs enticing reasons to bring people off the street and through the doors.
A website is no different. But rather than targeting passers by, we’re looking for destination shoppers.
Driving customers to your site falls into two broad categories, online and offline marketing. Targeted promotion of your products, services or website via online marketing can bring fantastic results.
But just like the high street shops and out of town superstores, your promotional efforts should include a mix of many different activities, both online and offline to get the most ‘bang for your buck’.  Even giant superstores like Tesco need to mix up their activity to maximise overall return. But you don’t need a supermarket budget, just a keen eye on who you’re customer really is, and a little creativity.
Let’s look at some ways you can start promoting.
dials to indicate optimisation seo ppc cro

Optimise (SEO)

Everybody wants to be number one on Google. The reality is, it requires a large ongoing budget and significant resource.

Laying the foundations for a search engine friendly site should be your starting point if you’re serious about the future rankings of your website. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is complex and ever changing. Put very simply, it’s about relevance and authority.

Relevance, or on-page SEO, is all about whether search engines can find information on your site that is relevant to the user’s search term. Authority, or off-page SEO, is how much search engines trust your website and determines where you rank.

The rules for both are varied and complex. They change regularly according to the search engine and its algorithms. You can start by making your site relevant to what your audience is searching for.

  • Optimise your site’s content in a structured way.
  • Help search engines identify the relevance of your pages.
  • Identify keywords based on search volume.
  • Balance keyword targeting with usability and user experience.

Talk to us about how you can make your site more relevant.

cars for driving traffic to website

Paid search (PPC)

The adverts you see at the top of Google search results are paid-for adverts. They are a way of driving traffic to your website instantly.

Increasingly for transactional websites and local searches, Google Adwords campaigns are used to push traffic. Google Adwords focus on specified keywords that your customers are currently looking for online. As a Google Partner, we are an approved agency that help tailor and manage these online advertising campaigns for you.

We can advise you on budget, advert content and the best approach to ensuring your business gets found by customers.

With pay-per-click advertising, you only pay when someone clicks on your advert and visits your website. How much you budget daily, weekly, or monthly is up to you.

  • Research the market’s keyword demand to learn which to target.
  • Long-tail keywords may produce less traffic but they can convert better.
  • Measure your success. By seeing which ads get clicked and which don’t, you’ll see where to invest.

Book in a for a free consultation to learn more.

responsive websites for ipad, tablet, mobile

Email marketing

The right message, to the right person, at the right time and in the right place across all devices.

An effective way to re-market to your customers is via email marketing. It’s important to send a combination of both general and focused emails as clients respond differently to both. The way it looks, what you say and a clear call to action all will impact on a campaigns’ success.

However, the starting point of any promotion, in any industry, is how well you collect and maintain your client data. If your ultimate goal is for clients to contact you then this needs to be the focus of your website journey. Collecting data in the right way is as important as receiving the enquiry itself. This information allows you to re-market to your clients in a targeted way.

We are experts in designing e-shots for maximum impact and then reporting back on their effectiveness.

  • Offer something of perceived value, like vouchers or ebooks, in exchange for email.
  • Email marketing is something that should be done regularly.
  • Use with other forms of online and offline marketing to maximise return.
  • Use campaign specific landing pages on your website to test their effectiveness.

Book in a for a free consultation to learn more.

blog website maintenance, design and content marketing

Blog

Another popular hotspot for visitors are blogs or latest news sections.

Google likes fresh, new, relevant content, but so do real people! Sure, a lively blog will help your search engine rankings but it will also indicate that you’re open, active and on top of your game.

Blogs are great for attracting new visitors and increasing email subscriptions, helping to build that database of potential suitors.

Frequent updates will encourage users to come back for more, it can help position you as an expert in your field, and it will create the confidence that leads to web enquiries.

  • Keep blog posts going out at consistent, regular intervals, so visitors can know when to expect new content.
  • Do or do not – there is no try. A blog feature on your website, with no news in the last 6 months looks terrible and could actually be detrimental compared to none at all.
  • Give before asking to receive. It’s ok to use a blog post to promote your products and services. But don’t always be selling. Provide plenty of valuable, useful content, for free.

Speak to us about our monthly concierge services that can publish fresh regular ongoing content onto your blog, and keep everything up to date.

paper aeroplanes to show direct mail print marketing

Print and direct mail

With the emergence of different online media for promoting your business, offline marketing still offers some of the best return on your investment.

Mail shots, handouts and magazine inserts are just some of the ways offline marketing can get in front of your customers. We offer a varied range of printed products meaning that we have something for everyone. We can help plan, design and print your campaign.

Your online marketing will not be as effective if it is not backed up by offline marketing.

At the end of a client meeting, a networking event or a presentation, you can’t leave your website behind. You need to leave a lasting positive impression using tactile printed collateral such as business cards, leaflets, hand-outs, company brochures and folders.

We have lots of ideas and experience on how to use print to promote your business and drive traffic to your website. Let’s talk.

coffee social

Engage with social media

To win in web, you have to be there whenever your consumer needs you, to listen to the things they like and to react to the things they don’t.

It’s all about the ‘micro-moments’. Potential customers will need to engage with your business across lots of different channels and devices before taking the next step. You need to be ready to connect with them in whatever medium they want to communicate.

Engaging can build lifelong customers. So what are the routes to engagement for your business?

Being present on social media channels is the first step. Facebook helps you show off the good things you do, Twitter helps you listen to your target demographic, answer questions and join relevant conversations.

  • Start building brand advocates with likeable and shareable content.
  • Pick up the phone and talk to your clients or engage with them at networking events.
  • Regularly write and publish blog articles.

Everything we do is about helping you to engage. For more information on social media management, arrange an appointment.

 

Get Busy with Exhibitions and Events

We all need to be where our customers are. That’s online and offline. It’s at exhibitions and events. It’s selling via ecommerce and persuading, face-to-face. Peak season is coming. Get ready to get busy.

Outdoor Display Ideas Look Book

Are you planning any outdoor events this summer? Get maximum exposure for your brand with low-cost outdoor displays. Our 52-page Outdoor Display Ideas Look Book has loads of ideas for this year’s summer season. Get your free copy now!

5 User Experience Ecommerce Tips to Increase Customers and Conversions

What is User Experience and why should I care?

UI/UX has become a bit of a buzzword online lately. But user experience doesn’t apply solely to online. Far from it, UI/UX originates from the real world around us.

UX stands for User Experience, another term for customer experience really. Only ‘user’ is broader, as ‘customer’ implies the user has bought something (or is at least there to browse/buy).

“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.

It is everything! When making a purchase from a bricks and mortar store, it’s:

  • Advertising
  • How easy it was to find the store
  • Traffic and parking
  • The shop
  • Friendly, helpful staff
  • Product range
  • How easy it was to find what you wanted
  • Pricing
  • Product advice
  • Queues at the checkout
  • Whether the box fits in the car
  • How easy the product was to assemble
  • How easy the product was to use
  • Aftersales service

We could go on.

In that sense, it’s a lot like branding. Some people think a brand is just a logo. But it’s much more than that.

happy customer smiley face after good user experience online

Redefining online sales

In 1999, Zappos founder Tony Hsieh tackled the seemingly impossible – selling shoes online. After all, 20 years ago the preference was to try shoes on for size. Who is going to buy them online?

But now Zappos are one of the largest online shoe retailers in the world. How? By providing an etail experience that rivalled the traditional retail experience. They already had some advantages:

  • A far larger range of footwear then your average store.
  • The convenience shopping from home brings vs going into town.

By defining a whole new level of customer service (the stories of just how far they will go to make a customer happy are legendary), and offering a remarkable approach to returns (unlimited free delivery AND returns), they really changed the game.

So there’s a big difference between ‘User Experience’ as a whole and improving someone’s experience while on your website. Having said that, it’s a fundamental part that’s increasingly becoming one of the most important parts of the cycle.

So here is some website advice to help you get some quick UX wins on the board.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy

Everyone will tell you the site needs to be simple, and easy to use. That’s a given.

But this becomes even more important when your customer is using their phone. Mobile commerce now accounts for 36% of UK retail sales.  And more people than ever are making bookings and reservations while on the go.

So the first thing to address when tackling ‘is it easy to use?’ is the mobile experience.

If the text is too small to read, the buttons and links too fiddly to click, then this needs to be fixed. If you have to pinch and zoom to find your way around then count yourself out.

A responsive website will reflow and resize the content so your happy shopper can thumb through the steps. No hassle, fuss or bother.

website design sketching framework uiux

“Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

It should be easy to find what you’re looking for. That applies whether it’s the product you pine for or the data you desire.

Just like a good SEO strategy, your user experience journey starts by focusing on the needs of the user.

Giving the customers what they want is a pretty good idea in business, full stop. But how do you know what they want from your website? You can start in four very simple ways.

  1. Asking your customers
  2. Seeing what questions you receive from the website
  3. Checking user flow in analytics
  4. Studying search data with search analytics report

Combining this knowledge will give you great insights into user intent.

  • Why are people visiting your website?
  • What are they hoping to find?
  • What are they looking to do?

This will not only enable you to deliver the right kind of content, but will also help you map out the journey through the website. ‘Findability’ isn’t just a search box, it’s about guided exploration.

Like VIP guests arriving on a Hawaiian island, visitors should be gently guided so that they can flow seamlessly through each phase. Flower necklaces, effortless check in, let us take your bags, there’s the watersports guy, cocktails at the bar.

viewing ecommerce website on laptop, trusted payment gateways, credit card

Ecommerce experience tips

Following on from findability, almost equally as important in terms of ecommerce is getting customers over the line. Here are five easy ecommerce tips to help improve this aspect of the online customer experience.

1. Transparent Delivery Charges

When you’re in the supermarket with a basket of groceries, you don’t tend to pop it down on the floor and walk out. That would be a bit bonkers. But people do this online. All the time.

And the #1 reason for cart abandonment? Adding extra costs at checkout.
Be as transparent about your delivery charges as possible. If you offer free delivery over £xx then place this message site wide in a prominent position.

Getting this right will encourage people to actually spend more with you, rather than dropping their basket. Learn more about how to set out your online store.

2. Click & Collect

Customers like to know an item is in stock before leaving home. They also don’t like to wait (or pay) for delivery. This explains why Click & Collect has become so popular.

Across all major retailers, over half are already offering Click & Collect, with many more planning to add it this year.

According to Internet Retailing magazine, more than 60% of Click & Collect shoppers go on to purchase further products during item collection.

3. Wishlist

Life’s not always black and white. The reason someone might remove an item from their basket could be down to a number of things. Often, it’s not a cold hearted change of mind, but instead it’s just not the right time.

By offering the ability to save the item, or add to wishlist, you provide an alternative that’s mutually beneficial.

You make it easier for the customer to return and buy the item at a later date. (This is also an acceptable reason to ask that they make an account). You also create a more casual browsing experience as wishlists subconsciously require less commitment than an ‘add to basket’ action.

4. Easy checkout

As well as appearing credible, it’s essential to make it as easy as possible for your customers to complete their purchase.

Forcing people to fill in boxes with their details in order to buy something is a major conversion killer. Reminiscent of those 80’s department stores that required you to have an account before buying from them. Remember them? No? Exactly!

So one of the most significant improvements you can make is to allow customers to checkout without requiring an account. You can always give them the option to create an account afterwards.

5. Thank you, come again

After the payment has been processed, you should redirect your customers to a page thanking them for their purchase. But don’t stop there, improve the customer experience by providing helpful links such as

  • What happens next
  • Create an account
  • Track my order
  • Product recommendations

Or make the most of this opportunity to interact with an engaged customer:

  • Make it easy for them to share their recent purchase on social media
  • Ask them to review their experience
  • Encourage newsletter signup or competition entry
  • Offer a limited time voucher on their next purchase

The best websites are never finished

They are living, growing things that need to be continually reviewed, updated and improved. Ask about how our concierge packages can help you to define the ultimate user experiences for your customers.

Find your nearest studio.

Nettl of Liverpool: July’s Featured Product: Opuleaf Luxury Foiled Showcards NEW!

printed invitations

Foiled stamped flyers create a striking impression – stand out and strengthen your brand credibility.

Nettl.com of Liverpool incorporating printing.com take a thick 400gsm board, apply an ultra smooth luxury matt laminate finish and top it off with metallic gold or silver foil highlights. If you want to make an amazing impression and to stand out with something really special, then our Opuleaf Luxe Foiled Showcards are for you. Contact us today for your free samples.

 

GET OUT

Local businesses across the country are fighting back against the internet by providing customer experiences that simply cannot be delivered online. Stand out from the crowd and GET OUT there today.

Let’s take this outside

Let office staff get more sunlight to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin D.

The Times recently reported that 91% of indoor workers had insufficient levels. The authors of the study involving 53,000 people suggested sunshine breaks during the working day would help address the issue.

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones but that’s not all. There’s also a common belief that getting outdoors is beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Ever felt fed up of being stuck indoors? Health experts coined the term ‘nature deficit disorder’ to describe the negative emotions caused by not spending enough time in the great outdoors.

On the flip side, when we do get to enjoy some time outside, feel-good neurons fire our brain that give us little rewards. This reduces stress and helps productivity, focus and creativity.

So what can you do about it?

man outside on phone drinking coffee

• Breakout

Outdoor breaks aren’t just for smokers. Encourage staff to use their breaks to get some fresh air. No need to stay put by the percolator. Make drinks to go.

• Dine al fresco

No dinner at the desks please. Create a welcoming and social space for co-workers to catch up over quinoa.

• Work al fresco

Laptops don’t belong on desks. It makes them sad. Set them free. Help them realise their full potential. Shady spots help tackle glare. Sorting the social schedule? Grab a couple of markers and a big sheet of paper and take it outside.

• Meet me outside

Make the boardroom table the picnic table. Take the meetings out of ‘the box’ to get more blue sky thinking. Breakout areas on the lawn are way better for brainstorming than the same four walls.

How can we help?

branded parasol umbrella and deckchair outside

Encourage workers to spend more time outside by creating the right environment. Check out our range of outdoor furniture by speaking to your local partner, downloading the fabric guide or finding ideas in the Summer Look Book.

You can customise the design with your logo, colours or images to help boost your brand and stay looking sharp.

Combine any mix of deckchairs, bean bags, tables, gazebos, flags and parasols to help stay safe when shade is needed.

Get started by talking to your local partner.

Get Picked

Be a great big brand strawberry. We’re all in business to attract attention and get picked. Right? The trick is making sure it’s us that customers want to pick. Find out how to get picked.

What happened to Printing.com?

Nettl of Liverpool

On a regular basis here at Nettl of Liverpool, we’re still occasionally asked “what happened to Printing.com?” When you think about it, that’s kind of like asking “Where did Nettl of Liverpool come from?” Well, we’ll tell you!

nettl of Liverpool studio image

Our business originally started in Liverpool under the aforementioned name of Printing.com, which was back in 2005 and as a two-person operation. At that time, our business focused solely on printing and design, providing professional material with an emphasis on high quality and eye-catching imagery for businesses of all sizes and sectors.

Based on Dale Street, one of the busiest streets within Liverpool’s business district, Printing.com quickly became a success, and was one of the more recognisable offices that people would see travelling in and out of the city centre over the next few years. However, as the world of technology changed with the growing importance of the internet, we had to change too, and so our evolution entered a key stage in 2015.

That year, we changed our name to Nettl, incorporating the Printing.com title since print and design remained a key part of our business strategy. However, these services were joined by website design and web development, ensuring that we could cater to the many SMEs in and around the region who require a first-class functional website at an affordable price. This would also lend itself into similar web options such as ecommerce and online booking. This was a crucial time for us, as it allowed us to expand beyond our previous reach, as well as encountering new, exciting opportunities.

In February 2016, we added another service in the form of exhibition design, in particular fabric exhibition stands, which allows ambitious companies to make a bigger impact at networking events and business conferences. The increased range of services necessitated the growth of our team of experts, which now includes Peter (managing director), Thomas, Emma and Stephanie. We have now been around for twelve years, remaining at our prominent office on Dale Street, and it’s been a remarkable journey thus far.

So, for those who still ask us “What happened to Printing.com?”, the answer is: we evolved, and we became the larger, busier and more prominent Nettl. We still offer print and design, but we offer many other equally-vital services for businesses too. And whilst it’s been a great ride so far, we’re even more excited about what the future brings, as we look towards the next step in the evolution of Nettl!

E-commerce online trust cheatsheet

Last month we explored Merchandising your online store. Important tips to help create the retail space and showcase your swag.

Specifically, we looked at how successful ecommerce websites have taken principles from the high street, and applied them online.

But alas, it’s not always enough to just have a pretty shop with amazing images and decadent descriptions. That helps. But there’s typically only 3 reasons why someone won’t buy.

  • They don’t need it right now
  • They can’t afford it right now
  • Or they don’t trust you.

Today, we’re going to deal with the last point.

<< Skip article and go straight to the cheat sheet>>

Real shop vs web shop

There are lots of indicators in the real world in regards to trust. When you visit a shop, you can see what the place is like. Would you feel different if the luxury watch shop you’re about to visit is a garage at the back of a semi?

You get to meet sales assistants in a real store. If they are friendly and helpful then that alone can help to build trust. But you’ll also feel more confident about making a purchase if you believe you can pop back in, should you get any issues.

What’s more, unless you’re particularly important or your shopping habits are rather niche, chances are you will probably notice other people shopping at the same time as you. It’s human nature to find this reassuring.

But is it really all that different online?

It’s certainly a lot trickier to see this kind of stuff in cyberspace but there is still plenty we can do to send out the same reassuring signals.

1. Appearance

webshop appearance, image of run down shop

Luxury watches. All enquiries, round the back

Perception is reality and appearance is everything. You’ll have felt the almost subliminal vibes you get when you approach a shop that’s not quite up to scratch. Hmm, on second thoughts…

The same instincts apply online. An unprofessional design leads to users bouncing right off your homepage in seconds. In fact, studies show users only need 50 milliseconds (that’s just 0.05 seconds) to form an opinion on your website. If they don’t get the right vibes in those split seconds, they’ll be jumping ship, sharpish.

Quality design doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, it might cost more than getting your neighbour’s son’s mate at the rugby club to knock something together. But as the famous saying goes. “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Red Adair.

What works on the high street:

Decent area, good signage, nice shop

What works online:

Quality branding, professional design, looks good across multiple screen sizes

 

2. Maintenance

oranges to reflect fresh content

Fresh new relevant content. Great for Google, and your customers

You walk up to a cake shop, intending to have a conversation about a pug shaped 60th birthday cake for granny. But there’s something not quite right. There’s rubbish outside and the windows need cleaning. The cakes on display in the window are halloween themed. It’s March.

Inside there are boxes everywhere, empty shelves and faded posters on the wall. The shop owner has popped out. But that’s ok, you can read last November’s copy of Cosmo while you wait. Eek.

You’ll want to avoid this uncertainty online. Regularly maintaining the site and adding fresh content makes our online shop look open and ship shape.

What works on the high street:

Someone available, clean and tidy environment, up-to-date products / literature

What works online:

Up-to-date slides on homepage, fresh content on blog, regular audits to fix any broken links

3. Availability

lady on the phone demonstrating webshop availability

There’s nothing quite as reassuring as being able to pick up the phone and speak to someone

Ever walked into a shop where there’s a little bell on the counter? ‘Ring for assistance’. No problem. Ding. Nothing. Polite wait because we’re British. Ding, ding. Nothing. There doesn’t appear to be anyone here. Hello??

Sounds a bit off-putting, right. So, on your website, make sure there are ample ways to get in touch. That could be as simple as a prominent phone number, social media links, or live chat.

Live chat can be an incredibly powerful way to convert online browsers into buyers. Just make sure you’ve the resources to power it. Be present, respond quickly. Like Yoda says “Do, or do not. There is no try”.

What works on the high street:

Attentive, friendly but unobtrusive sales assistants

What works online:

UK based landline, responsive social media, active live chat

4. Security

helmet metaphor. Security, trust, protection

Protect your particulars with good online security measures

In the real world, you expect a level of security in a store. Similarly online, you expect a website to be safe. Clearly that means no nasty pop ups or malware. It’s important to keep your website up-to-date to stamp out vulnerabilities.

But more commonly we’re talking about keeping your data safe. That’s personal details and credit card information. Having an SSL certificate installed on your site ensures you keep sensitive data safe. It also stops Google Chrome telling people your site is insecure, which can happen if you do not have SSL. Use recognised payment gateways to gain people’s trust. Talk to us about SSL, we can help.

What works on the high street:

Modern equipment, real people, accept major credit cards

What works online:

SSL, trusted payment gateways, keeping the site up-to-date, privacy policy

5. Social proof

sheep metaphor to demonstrate power of online testimonials and reviews

Customers like to follow the crowd

People don’t like making buying decisions. It can stress them out.

So it comes as no surprise that we often prefer to delegate the due diligence to someone else. That’s why we’ll ask our friends and neighbours where they got theirs from.

Sometimes all it takes is a little recommendation from an existing customer and we’re happy to go with the flow.

What works on the high street:

Word of mouth, seeing other shoppers

What works online:

Testimonials, reviews, Trustpilot

6. Assurances

online ecommerce assurances and guarantees

Nothing like a good old fashioned guarantee or free trial

Despite a rapid growth in confidence when ordering online, some people just prefer the natural assurances associated with visiting the high street. If you aren’t 100% happy with a product, the perception (although not always accurate) is that you can just take it back.

That’s usually easier to do with a shop purchase compared to online. To mitigate this, you may want to offer some assurances like free returns or a money back guarantee.

Depending on what you sell, distance selling regulations may mean you need to give consumers 14 days to change their mind anyway. But go over and above the minimum requirements to make a feature of your customer service and reduce any perception of risk. A hassle free returns process can alleviate potential worries and supercharge your online sales.

Use logos from awards, accreditations and organisations you belong to, to help boost your legitimacy with third party endorsements.

What works on the high street:

Being able to take something back

What works online:

Free returns, money back guarantee, accreditations

SUMMARY:

Here’s your cheat sheet to building trust and credibility on your online e-commerce store:

  • Quality branding
  • Professional design
  • Looks good on desktop screens, tablets and phones
  • Up-to-date slides on homepage
  • Fresh content on blog
  • Regular audits to fix any broken links
  • UK based landline
  • Responsive social media
  • Active live chat
  • SSL
  • Trusted payment gateways
  • Using the latest version of software
  • Privacy policy
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Trustpilot
  • Clear policies
  • Accreditations
  • Free returns
  • Money back guarantee