Most people have used the Internet to either buy something or to learn more about a product or service before making a purchase. According to Retailing Today, 81% of shoppers do some type of online research when thinking about making a purchase.
A majority of shoppers (60%) use search engines when beginning their research. This means it is important that your website is well placed on search engine result pages (SERP).
What do they do once they find your site? Here are the top four actions that customers perform online:
Once they get this data, they begin to form an opinion on whether or not they are going to buy the product or service.
To be useful to potential customers, your website should have all the information they will need to make an informed purchase. Once they choose a website to look at, there are a few things that the average shopper looks for. In a study by Econsultancy, 61% of shoppers look at reviews provided by other customers before making their purchase. They may also look for warranty information, prices, or information on specific models. They may also look to see if there are any sales or discounts being offered, along with payment and shipping information. If any of these topics are applicable to your product or service, make sure you provide the needed information.
Speaking of information, it is vital that your shoppers receive the correct data. If the information they receive online is incorrect or misleading, customers will lose trust in your company. Nothing is more frustrating than showing up at a store, only to find the hours online were wrong or, when a purchase arrives, it is not what they expected. An unhappy customer is usually not a returning customer. A dissatisfied customer will tell 10-15 people about what they experienced and, if they post it on social media, that number grows exponentially.
So, what stops people from buying from you online?
(Side note: I once bought a very necessary part for my car online. They only offered delivery through the U.S. Postal Service, even though I offered to pay for overnight shipping. No dice. I had to wait a week for it to arrive while my car sat on a lift at the local mechanic. Needless to say, I won’t be using them again for car parts.)
If a potential customer is going to be doing research online, you need to get them to buy from you. The first thing you should do is make sure that you have SEO working for you. The SEO specialists at Websites to Impress can help you with that, as it is a big undertaking. You need to get your website to the top of the search results, as users are most likely to start at the top of the page and work their way down the list. We’ll analyze your market and target audience and identify the keywords that your customers are using. Those keywords will be used in your product titles and descriptions and your published content will be optimized. You should make sure to take advantage of your social media accounts to amplify your message, also.
Customers come to your site to learn about your products or services, so make sure they get the information they are looking for. Make sure that you have clear and informative product descriptions. The information should be appropriate to your audience: are they trained people with industry knowledge or are they laypeople with limited prior knowledge? Reviews and testimonials are indispensable and you can reward people for providing user reviews. In addition, use clear, quality photographs that are detailed, so the shopper can see what they need to make a decision. It’s also a good idea to have videos available, either on your site or through links to YouTube or Vimeo channels. According to Ascend2, a staggering 87% of businesses report that video increased their marketing effectiveness.
Make sure that your website looks credible and professional. Most people will be hesitant giving their business to a company that has a website that looks like it was thrown together earlier that day or worse, 10 years ago. You take a lot of pride in your brick and mortar store, so make sure your website reflects that pride in ownership. Make sure that your contact information is readily available and you offer excellent support service. A well-handled problem can turn a dissatisfied customer into a return customer. Protect your client’s financial information by providing online security and posting the certificate, so they know that you are a reliable and responsible business.
Websites to Impress is a great resource to help your website generate sales, whether you sell a product or a service. Contact us today to learn how we can optimize your site and help your company become more successful.
Just like when you are trying to get a healthy body, one of the secrets to having a healthy SEO ranking is going organic. The hardest part of this is changing all the previous SEO work that was done in the past. The rules have changed a lot and they did so quickly. In the past, it didn’t matter if your website was easy to use, just as long as it was packed with keywords.
Now it is much more important that a website gives the user what they need. By giving your customer what they are looking for, you will be helping your site move up in the Google rankings. Google is trying to give the end users a positive experience. It doesn’t matter how happy they make advertisers and business owners if no one uses their search engine.
Potential and returning customers should find your site educational and useful. You should be considered The #1 Source for whatever information they are looking for. Content should be informative and blogs should be helpful.
With the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets, Google has tried to make the desktop experience look similar to the mobile one. They have done this by putting more paid search ads at the top and pushing the organic results down the page. Depending on the intent of the user, these paid ads may provide a better experience, giving the user the information that they are looking for. For example, if you are looking to buy a computer, you aren’t going to want to go to a site that teaches you how to build one, you’re going to want a site where you can shop for a computer and possibly buy one.
If you have a brick and mortar store, it’s very important that you get listed in the local results. People that are using their phone to do research are probably out and about and looking for something near them. Searches that end in “…near me” are increasing, so it’s essential that you have your local information set up in the code of your website. People are probably not going to take the time to scroll past the top listings if they are on the move and looking for someone that offers what they are looking for.
By pushing the purely organic results farther down the page, those sites will have fewer click-throughs, so you have to make every visitor count. It is more important than ever that you plan a strategy that integrates paid advertising and organic SEO. Your website needs to appear where your customers can find it easily. You need to make sure your customers can find you when they do a search and, once they get there, they stay on your website. If you are doing pay-per-click, you want to make sure those clicks translate into sales, so the customer needs to be driven to making a purchase or contacting your company.
The behavior of searchers has changed now that more of them are using mobile devices to do their research. Google calls the new driving forces behind potential purchases “micro-moments” . They list them as “want-to-know. want-to-go, want-to-do, and want-to-buy” moments. People are looking for instant answers to their queries and if they can’t find it quickly on your site, they are going to move on. Smartphones and the Internet have given consumers high expectations; in the words of the immortal Freddie Mercury, they “want it all and [they] want it now”. Recent studies show that over 80% of shoppers do online research before making a purchase. Not only does your site have to have the information they are looking for, it has to be readable on a variety of devices, also known as being responsive.
Having a website that quickly and efficiently solves a user’s problem or answers their question is the key to driving traffic through your website. Make sure your website is essential in helping a potential customer with their situation, whether it is just finding your address or store hours or letting them know that they need to hire your company. The whole reason you have a website is to increase business, so make sure your site is doing its part.
When you work with Websites to Impress, our team of SEO specialists will make sure your site is set up for all the changes that are occurring with Google’s search results. Give us a call today and see how you can get the most out of your website.
When it comes to SEO, most business owners aren’t even sure where to start. Understandable for sure. Even those of us who perform SEO tasks are always working to stay on top of what works with today’s search engine algorithms. Methods are always changing, and the way we look at SEO overall changes too. One thing never changes however, and that is step one in SEO: Defining your business goals.
With recent changes in SEO, site performance and design play a major role in how Google, Bing, and Yahoo rank your site. Whether you are re-designing your site or just designing your site, you need to have your goals in mind from the beginning. Those goals can make or break you right from the start. What’s quite amazing about SEO and the most recent Google algorithm updates is that by building a great site and keeping the user in mind your rankings can be affected in a positive way.
Increasing online sales – You want to build a site with user experience in mind at all times. Make sure the site is easy to navigate. Make sure product photos and descriptions present your product in the best way. Use social media to offer specials and drive traffic to your website.
Increasing in store traffic – Consider working on local SEO with your SEO team. Make sure your site provides information on how to find you, and give people an idea what people will find in store when they visit you. Use social media to highlight great experiences that customers have had in your store.
Build your brand – Setup local directories and social media are setup and are consistent across the web. Make sure your print media and business cards. Consistency is key to your brand automatically coming to mind when people think of your business. Positive testimonials from clients should be prominent on your site and across the web.
Become an authority – Blogging is a great way to become an authority. You can’t fake a blog though. Blog about subject material you know like the back of your hand. When you build your website, focus on layout and navigation. Give your visitors a reason to stay with informative content. Make sure your content is memorable and people will share it.
Google Analytics is a free tool from Google we use heavily here at WTI. Google Analytics training preaches setting goals first before starting the process of building your website and SEO. In fact you can actually setup goal in Google Analytics to see if your marketing methods are working. When you work with our SEO team at WTI, we will setup your Analytics report to show you return on investment. See what great design and search engine optimization can do for your goals with the help of Websites to Impress.