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Optimise Your eCommerce Website
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Optimise Your eCommerce Website

5.03.2024

Long-term eCommerce success means optimising customer journeys and experiences before and while users visit your website and purchase your products. Below, we look at increasing traffic, and improving conversion and customer experience, providing you with a pipeline of new and returning customers to make your business thrive.

Increasing Traffic

Generating site visits can be done in a variety of ways, such as word-of-mouth, out-of-home (OOH) and social media advertising, and – most prevalently – clicks from search engines, making search engine optimisation (SEO) crucial. 

SEO Strategy

While a lot of what improves your SEO is kept secret – and the metrics are in constant evolution – there are a few known truths that can be used to your advantage. For example, Google uses a site’s mobile version for both indexing and ranking, meaning that if your site appears poorly on mobile, it won’t perform well. 

To improve your site’s mobile visibility, make sure that your above-the-fold information provides visitors with everything they want to know upfront, and that you use features such as hamburger menus to make mobile navigation more user friendly. Other innovations such as smart speakers can also be factored in when trying to improve your SEO, as people often type differently to how they speak.

In a 2022 uSERP survey, 67.5% of SEO experts stated that they believe backlinks (use of links from one website to another) improve ranking. These should always be relevant, so linking to well-known bodies in relevant spheres, your suppliers, distributors and other partners, and anything else pertinent to your business and clients will help. 

Always embed these, as they should never interrupt the flow of your content. To widen this strategy, ask those you intend to link to to do the same for you, and note that blog content, social media posts and other more casual communications can provide opportunities for backlinks. (Blog posts play a particularly significant role as, according to Hubspot, brand websites with them have an average of 97% more inbound links, boosting SEO performance.)

eCommerce SEO

eCommerce SEO is undertaken when you optimise product and category pages, fix website architecture issues and build links – among other related tasks – in order to improve your search engine ranking and therefore increase organic traffic. This is definitely a good use of time, as according to Wolfgang Digital, in 2020, 33% of both traffic and revenue for eCommerce sites was generated via organic search.

So, how do you find out what your prospective customer base is searching? One great, free resource is Answer Socrates, which enables users to reverse engineer site descriptions, copy, links and more by generating the keywords that are popular within a specific field.

When using this tool, don’t just consider selling your product. It’s also important to note that users will have queries that your products may solve. This knowledge can be useful for title tags and Meta descriptions (more on them later), which can directly address known concerns.

For example, by typing in ‘online shopping’, you can find that people want assurance that your site can be trusted, and to know what your refund policy is and whether they can use a debit card, to name three popular searches. To put customers’ minds at ease, address these concerns on your website: think homepage, FAQ, product pages and wherever else is appropriate in order to remove hesitancy.

Another way this information can be gleaned is via Google image tags. By simply searching ‘currency exchange’ on Google Images, we can discover that people tend to combine this query with words like ‘today’ and ‘airport’. From this, Currenxie knows that positioning itself as speedy (we get your exchanges sorted out instantly in most cases (not just ‘today’)) and noting how much better our rates are than those you’d get at airport exchanges (which is also true), we can improve our SEO and address known concerns.

Before you clog your site up with buzzwords and invite competition from conglomerates though, you should also see if you can find your niche. Low-volume (or long-tail) keywords will be less popular, but far easier to rank for. This balancing act between being too far down what everyone searches for and being too esoteric to be searched for in the first place can seem impossible, but as you know your company and its strengths better than anyone else, we’re sure you can get it right.

Self-Auditing

When conducting an audit of your own website, objectivity can be hard to come by, making fresh perspectives vital. Ask those who are less familiar with your site to navigate it and see what does and doesn’t work, or set up a session during which you invite prospects and clients to go through while you observe. Remember that poor site navigation can lead to users giving up, and users returning to search engines to find alternatives can hinder your ranking.

Another great way to find new ideas is to research competitors’ websites to see how they do things and whether that would work for you. You can combine this with research into their backlinks (by using backlink tools) to see why they perform well on search engine ranking and also link to the relevant sites and merchants they do if applicable.

Once you’ve optimised your site for SEO, it should be pushed up rankings thanks to what’s known as crawlers: computer programs deployed by search engines that automatically scan websites in order to determine their relevance. Crawlers will show interest in your site if page views, backlinks, content and the like evolve.

Following the advice above should make your site easier to find, but what about having it be tempting to visit? After all, if someone does see your site after all that, just to read top-line information and decide it’s not for them, what was all that for?

It’s therefore crucial that your title tag (factored in for Google ranking) and Meta description (not factored in) succinctly and intriguingly tell prospects yours is the solution they’re seeking.

The blue text in the image above (the title tag) lets potential visitors know that Currenxie provides business accounts and enables users to send money quickly. Beneath, the Meta description then informs them that this is done easily and without “expensive bank fees”, as well as how currency can be converted via either the website or mobile phone app, highlighting convenience.

If you feel your title tag or Meta description could do with a revamp, watch the video below to find out how to do this. And remember to make the content brief, enticing and to the point. You know your business and selling points like the back of your hand, but there’s a good chance the reader doesn’t know them at all.


Improving Conversion and Customer Experience

Now that we’ve discussed getting people to your website, it’s time to strategise on getting them to purchase, return and recommend it to others. After all, website traffic is wasted if the site itself doesn’t convert visitors into sales.

You may hope that by this stage, the research portion of your revamp is complete, but in truth it never ends, and you have to remain ahead of the curve. If your items or similar items are sold via a large platform such as Amazon, you should be constantly checking reviews and tailoring to meet common demands. You can also check blog sites such as Reddit. 

Once you have this information, see if you can fit your products and their descriptions to people’s frustrations. So if you sell clothing and people complain that yours or your competitors’ are uncomfortable after a few washes, highlight how yours isn’t, and (maybe via your site’s blog) give suggestions on how to keep fabric soft.

Unsurprisingly, trust is a vital part of typing your credit card details into a website. Building trust can be accomplished by providing a personal touch, so even if someone doesn’t plan to contact someone at your company, having a number, email address and social media links clearly visible can put minds at ease. And if someone does contact you, pay attention to their feedback, as it can be a source of free customer insight. Also, for the sake of assurance, display security certifications such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and use well-known payment gateways.

Another way to improve legitimacy is to create your own app. While this is time consuming, conversion rates on apps are roughly 3x higher than on mobile devices, and, with so much of eCommerce becoming mCommerce, can be a savvy investment.

For apps and websites, the wording and visuals should appeal and echo what you’re selling. Think who your target customers are and what it might take to intrigue them. Also, you want your site to load quickly, so something as simple as using PNG images can help with both conversion and SEO.

Another SEO good-to-know is that removing a popular product can negatively affect your SEO ranking. However, as slow delivery can result in negative reviews and customers shopping elsewhere, don’t remove what’s working, but be sure to tell people what’s going on and suggest alternatives if applicable, as well as providing the option to have you notify them when their preferred items become available.

If availability is limited because your warehouses are overstocked with items you hoped would sell better, why not offer deals? This is also a great way to show customers you’re paying attention, by making recommendations due to the cross-sell relevancy of certain items.

Getting customers over the line (as if there’s not already enough to worry about) can also be frustrating, but not as frustrating as falling at the last hurdle. Firstly, make sure you have clear calls-to-action (CTAs) that stand out due to their language and appearance, possibly in more than one place. You can A/B test these to see which combinations best tempt visitors to follow your ideal path.

Once your CTAs have been followed, make sure checking out is simple and non-invasive. According to Baymard Institute, 23% of people will abandon carts immediately if they’re suddenly asked to create an account at this stage; while Findstack have found that 18% abandon overly complicated checkout pages. So try to get these details beforehand, and if you really want them to create an account later on (which you do), send an email at a later date highlighting the convenience and deals you offer members.

However, according to Forbes, carts are abandoned by 48% of shoppers if they come across additional costs like shipping, taxes and fees, making it the most severe deterrent. So it’s important to be up front about as many of these expenses as possible early on, perhaps by localising your site for different countries and regions.

As demonstrated, getting prospects to and then through your customer journey is an obstacle course with inevitable attrition. Shopping cart abandonment is inevitable: it can be mitigated but not eliminated. 

To keep more of your profits and not deter the 48% that are put off by excessive fees, why not use Currenxie to both expand your prospective customer base by offering more local currencies and lower your exchange rate fees?

For advice on how to get more business at peak times of year, read our article Are You Ready For Holiday Sales?

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