What is bounce rate? And what might it uncover, that could be losing you sales?
10 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, does it? Yet it’s surprising just how many things you can do in such a short space of time. What’s perhaps more surprising is the amount of time it takes someone to decide what they think about your website. First impressions count. How does your website perform on a first date?
If your business uses email marketing, sends direct mail or makes sales calls, some things you might do today will no longer be allowed. Time is running out. The new GDPR legislation comes into force on 25th May 2018.
It’s exhibition season. Are you showing off to new customers? Deciding to exhibit is one thing. Making people notice you is another. How do you make them stop?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that selling online is a completely different kettle of fish. The truth is, although it may be a different type of kettle, the fish are pretty much the same.
In our last few posts, we’ve been exploring how getting the most out of selling online still shares a lot of practices and philosophies with the good old fashioned brick and mortar commerce we’re all familiar with. Up until now, we’ve discussed:
Part 1: Merchandising your online store
A guide that explains the similarities between a good, classic retail display and showcasing your products online. Containing examples of online merchandising done well, top tips for photography and descriptions, advice on reviews, and more.
There are lots of indicators in the real world that help signal trust and credibility to a customer. This article explains what we can do to send out the same reassuring signals online.
User experience is of key importance, whether here in the real world around us or online. We discuss 5 website specific UI/UX tips to help you get some quick wins on the board that will help improve your customers’ user experience.
All of the above are, of course, incredibly important areas to consider when setting out on establishing your online stall. But the fact remains, however convincing your website is, however wonderful your web shop is, it will end up a fantastical flop if no one knows about it.
In the final part of this series on generating online sales, we look at how we can attract customers and keep them coming back.
Part 4 (that’s this one): Attracting customers
A beautiful, well-stocked shop means little if there isn’t the footfall passing through it. And even then, a store needs enticing reasons to bring people off the street, through the doors and buying up its goods.
A website is no different.
However, rather than targeting passers by on the street, we’re looking for destination shoppers when we sell online.
A destination shoppers is a customer that thinks of your store first when they need to buy something. This means they give you their support and sales consistently – it’s what we should aim to as a business.
Driving these kinds of customers to your site will fall into two broad categories: online and offline marketing.
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 strategies – if you want to get the most ‘bang for your buck’. This kind of multi-channel approach has been proven to work, time and time again. Even giant superstores like Tesco choose to mix up their marketing activity in order to maximise their overall return on investment.
But you don’t need a supermarket budget to have a successful marketing campaign. You just need a keen eye on who your customer really is, and a little dose of creativity.
Now, let’s look at some ways you can start promoting…
Everybody wants to be number one on Google. Being in the number one spot increases the likelihood of traffic to our site and in turn increases the likelihood of sales and enquiries. However, the reality of achieving this is far from simple. It requires a large ongoing budget and significant resource and sometimes that’s only just to get on the first page.
Nonetheless, 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.
Though Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a complex and ever changing concept, to boil it down to its basics: it’s all about relevance and authority.
Relevance, or ‘on-page SEO’ as its known, is about whether search engines can find information on your site that is relevant to the user’s search term.
So, for example, if someone were to search looking for ‘plumbers near me’, your page about artisanal cupcakes is never going to be relevant to their search query and so Google isn’t going to show someone your page. If your page is made to be relevant for plumbing in the local area, however, then you’ve got a far better chance of being shown to a user. This is because a search engine thinks that you might be useful in answering or providing information about a user’s search query.
Authority is the other key aspect of SEO. It’s what’s known as ‘off-page SEO’ and refers to how much search engines trust your website which then helps to determine where they decide your website will rank.
An easy to understand element of what makes up the authority of a site would be its age, for example. If a domain has been around for years and years with a great track record then it’s probably going to rank higher than a site that only popped up a couple of hours ago. It’s all about appearing trust worthy to a search engine.
The rules for both on-page and off-page SEO are varied and complex. They change regularly according to the search engine and its algorithms so it can be confusing to anyone starting out on their optimising journey.
For those brave enough to leap in, here are some easy initial ways you can start optimising:
- 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.
You can, of course, talk to us about how you can make your site more relevant too. We’re your friendly, local SEO experts and we’re here to make SEO transparent, simple and accessible to all our clients.
Paid search (PPC)
Those adverts you see at the top of Google search results are paid-for adverts. They are a great and effective way of driving traffic to your website instantly but, unsurprisingly, they do come at a cost.
It works by allowing companies to bid on a ad placement for a specific keyword related to their business, if they get it then they will appear as an ad and pay for any clicks through on their ad.
For example, if a business were to get a bid on ‘PPC software’ at £3 per click then they would have to pay £3 every time a user clicks on one of their PPC software ads. This might sound like a costly strategy but if each click generated £300 in sales then they’d be getting a hefty return on investment.
Increasingly Google Adwords campaigns have been used to push traffic to transactional websites and local searches. They’re an effective way to drive sales quickly as they can be up and running relatively fast and only focus on specified keywords that your customers are currently looking for online. They’re also easily measured and tracked so you can understand your return on investment a lot better than with other channels like organic SEO.
As a Google Partner, we are an approved agency that can help tailor and manage these PPC advertising campaigns for you.
We can advise you on budget, advertise content and advise you on the best possible approach to ensure that your business gets found by customers when they search online.
As mentioned early, 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.
Regardless of how much you decide to spend, we would advise the following things when embarking on a PPC campaign:
- Research the market’s keyword demand to learn which to target.
- Use long-tail keywords as though they may produce less traffic, they can convert better.
- Measure your success by seeing which ads get clicked and which don’t. Through this, you’ll see where to invest.
Book in a for a free consultation with Nettl today to learn more.
An effective way to re-market to your customers is via email marketing. Sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time, in the right places can work real marketing magic.
Email marketing helps you connect with your client base, promote your brand, and increase sales. You can do a lot of things with emails, whether it’s selling products, sharing some brand news, or improving your cart abandonment rate.
And it works! A 2015 study by the DMA found that for every $1 spent, an email has an average $38 return on investment.
It’s important to send a combination of both general and focused emails if you want to see this kind of return, however, as clients will respond differently to both strategies. The way it looks, what you say and a clear call to action all will impact on a campaigns’ success so it’s important to get it right.
The starting point of any promotion – in any industry – is how well you collect and maintain your client data. 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. You’ll see your highest ROI when you build and maintain an engaged subscriber list made up of people who want to receive your messages.
Here at Nettl, we are experts in designing e-shots for maximum impact and then reporting back on their effectiveness. These are our top tips on how to undertake a successful email marketing campaign:
- Offer something of perceived value, like vouchers or ebooks, in exchange for email.
- Ensure that your email marketing is something that is 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 with us today to learn more about how you can maximise your return using email marketing campaigns.
Another popular hotspot for attracting new visitors to your site 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.
Think of a blog as an open virtual door, it lets customers know that you’re open, active and ready to engage with them. Once they’re inside, good quality blog content can help them review you as a trusted and valuable resource which means they’ll be more likely to buy from you and keep coming back.
This only works, however, when your blog posts have something called ‘a call-to-action’. A call-to-action is something like encouraging them to download a guide, encouraging them to book a demo, or directing them to a product page. It’s these that will help turn blog readers into leads.
Other tips to keep a customers engaged with your blog:
- Keep blog posts going out at consistent, regular intervals, so visitors can know when to expect new content.
- To quote Master Yoda, ‘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 to your business compared to no blog at all.
- Remember to 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, and the leads will generate themselves.
Speak to us about our monthly concierge services that can publish fresh regular ongoing content onto your blog, and keep everything up to date.
Print and direct mail
Even with the emergence and popularity 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. And it helps keep you on their minds too.
A study conducted in Canada proved that consumers could remember brands easier and more effectively after they had been exposed to print marketing. They had two test groups: one group was shown a digital advertisement and the other group were shown a print version.
The results were impressive. The brand recall was 70% higher among those given the print piece compared to digital.
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.
At Nettl, we offer a varied range of printed products meaning that we have something for everyone. We can help plan, design and print your campaign.
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.
Engage with social media
To win on the web, you have to be there whenever your consumer needs you. You have to listen to the things they like and to react to the things they don’t.
Previously, businesses would have to conduct research in order to get this kind of information, which was both costly and laborious. Now, with the help of social media, business owners can get real and direct customer feedback instantaneously. The benefit here is that not only are you receiving valuable insights from your customers, you are also strengthening your brand credibility and loyalty through positive consumer feedback.
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.
Not only that but social media marketing provides you with the possibility of reaching a greater target audience. Online campaigns allow you the opportunity to get in front of customers on both a local and global front, at a relatively low cost.
So what are the routes to high level engagement for your business?
Being present on social media channels is the first step. Different platforms can aid in different marketing goals.
Facebook helps you show off the good things you do. Instagram helps you showcase products and services. Twitter helps you listen to your target demographic, answer questions and join relevant conversations.
Which you choose to focus on is up to you but regardless of platform, here are three things you should do if you want to boost your online engagement:
- 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 at Nettl is about helping you to engage. For more information on social media management, arrange an appointment with us today.
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.
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!
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:
- 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
- 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.
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.
“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.
- Asking your customers
- Seeing what questions you receive from the website
- Checking user flow in analytics
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.