My Website Isn't Generating Any Sales - What am I Doing Wrong? HELP!
So, you’ve gone through the effort of building an online storefront, and you’ve now proudly got your products displayed and you’re just waiting for the stampede to begin. But for some reason, things just aren’t happening this way - what’s the deal? I think, as you may have figured out, there is a lot more to marketing your site than just putting it up and hoping people will find you and buy stuff. It takes more than a e-commerce website and products to make for a successful online store. Here are a few things that you need to do to make sure you have the basics covered.
Search Engines and Shopping Feeds
People will buy from you but they have to find you first. If I’ve learned anything from my e-commerce experience it’s that people will buy. However if they can’t find you your efforts are in vain. Your site needs to be optimized for key words or phrases your prospective customers would use to find your site and products. You need to submit your products to Google Merchant Center (formerly Google Base) and other shopping feeds. It will take some work to get strong results from these feeds, but it’s worth every effort and you will be glad you did.
Who is your target market?
What kinds of people will find the most value in what you’re selling? How are you going to reach them? You need to have a really good idea about who it is that you’re trying to reach. Dig in, find out who they are, what they like, how they search the web and reach out to them.
Emphasize the strengths and value of your products.
What’s unique about your products? Tell your visitors with strong product descriptions and multiple images. If you don’t tell them once they find you - who will? Your competition would be more than happy to answer their questions. Good product descriptions accomplishes a couple things - it provides keyword info to search engines so they know how to index your stuff and it also tells any prospective buyer what the product is, and what it's used for. One small image with just a product title won’t get it done. This is where you can learn from eBay sellers and their approach: strong, keyword-dense product descriptions, and lots of pictures. eBay is a great way to learn e-commerce in general as a lot of the practices there translate out to what any other e-commerce site should do. Give people good reasons to buy your stuff.
Google Analytics and Visitor Trends
Use your Google Analytics research to tell you how your site is doing. You will learn a ton about the traffic patterns visitors use on your site and will tell you what’s popular, and what’s not.
Make it Easy to do Business
Give your visitors multiple payment options on checkout. If it’s hard to check out you’ll end up with an abandoned cart problem. Paypal has a variety of options that you can use on your site, as does Google checkout. Visitors want to feel safe and secure and these big name payment processing providers can go a long way in helping make people feel safe. Remember - make it as EASY as possible for visitors to do business with you.
Ultimately it’s all about establishing your credibility online and doing a good job of setting yourself up for success. These things will help you enormously if you’ll take the time to do things right.
Have other ideas that have worked for you? Let me know in the comments below.
image by Sybren A. Stüvel