Category : Optimisation
Optimising your ecommerce store for the mobile-first index
In March 2018, after a long digital drumroll of anticipation, Google announced that it was rolling out mobile-first indexing. What does this mean for your SEO? In short, if your ecommerce site isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re losing out on a huge source of traffic. Source: Google After much research into the way people are now interacting with search engines, the conclusion is that there has been a marked shift towards mobile. In typical Google fashion, what searchers want, searchers get. So, it was decided that mobile would be a top priority. But how dramatic has this turn towards mobile been? The answer is definitely substantial enough to warrant this new shift in Google’s priorities. According to this Statista report, in 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic comes through mobile channels. While that is indeed significant, it is not the most telling fact about the current state of mobile traffic. What is even more noteworthy is the steady pace with which this form of traffic is increasing. The same Statista study shows a rise from 50.3% the year before, which built on 35.1% in 2015. This is not a trend which is fly-by-night. As you already know, when it comes to eCommerce, the success of your business depends on keeping up with search engine best practices and ranking criteria. These best practices can help you boost your ecommerce search traffic. With this in mind, you simply cannot afford to ignore mobile-first. Before I tell you how to adopt this for your eCommerce store, it’s necessary to explore what mobile-first indexing entails. Let’s dive in. What is mobile-first indexing? In a nutshell, mobile-first indexing refers to a method of search engine ranking that makes use of the mobile version of websites to organize SERP items. Google looks for relevant data to decide how best to answer the questions their searchers are asking. If the army of crawling bots find relevant information on your site, you may be moved up the ranks. In the past, Google rankings were based on desktop versions of websites. With mobile-first, the move is towards crawling and indexing mobile sites, rather than their desktop companions. This means that websites must be responsive and suitable for use on mobile, or mobile versions must have the same comprehensive content as the desktop. If you are breaking into a cold sweat as the realisation dawns that all your SEO efforts have been concentrated on your desktop site, take a deep breath. As Google has said, the move is gradual, and will not happen without notification in the Search Console. If they deem your site ready for the move over to mobile-first indexing, you will receive the following notification: Source: Google It’s important to note at this point that the Mobile-first index is not a separate index. Google continues to only have one index, as it always has. The shift means that the mobile version of websites will be prioritised, rather than being a move towards an additional type of indexing system. But how can you optimise for this change? 3 key steps to mobile optimisation 1. Switch to one responsive website As Littledata recently outlined on this blog, moving to responsive web design can be a very good move. What is this responsive design I speak of? Quite simply, it refers to web design that works well across a range of platforms. It prioritises user experience to ensure that the person interacting with your site is able to navigate it with ease, regardless of which device they use. A major perk of this is that whomever is in charge of the upkeep of your store does not have to monitor two (or more) different versions of your site. They have one site to take care of which will, if intelligently-constructed, work for an optimal user experience. If you do prefer to keep things separate, make sure that you pay attention to the mobile version of your site, rather than it merely acting as a subsidiary of your desktop site. As we will look at in step 3, it’s not a given that your SEO efforts will migrate over to the mobile version without some cognisant intervention on your part. 2. Get speedy Hopefully, page loading speed has already been a major priority when it comes to your SEO efforts. Sales in the eCommerce sphere are highly dependent on being able to keep your shoppers engaged and open for conversion to a sale. If your page does not load quickly enough, your customers will not stick around. Note: Check out these case studies on HubSpot for examples of how the speed of your site can affect your profit margins. When it comes to mobile-first however, page load speed is even more integral to your success. It is most certainly a top priority for Google in terms of how they allocated their ranking positions, and should be for you too. Luckily, there are numerous methods to both test and increase your page load speed: Start by looking at what Google’s very own Search Console has to offer. Through their Webmaster Lab Tools, you’ll quickly be able to see how well your site is performing and whether you need to step up your game. Third party tools such as Think With Google can be excellent accompaniments to other Google Analytics tools when it comes to deciphering how your site is faring. Ensure that your web design is not slowing down your whole operation. If you don’t have the technical knowhow yourself, get a developer to run an audit to see if your server speed, content configuration, or baseline coding is placing any obstacles between your users and an instantly-loading page. [subscribe] 3. Ensure your SEO tactics are still powerful If you have spent a lot of time and energy ensuring that your desktop site is fully ”SEOd”, make sure that your efforts carry over into the mobile iteration of your eCommerce store. Here’s a very brief checklist: Is all that beautiful content you created crawlable in the mobile version of your site? Those titles and descriptions that you put so much effort into? Make sure all your metadata carries over! Is the mobile version of your site verified with Google’s Search Console? Some final tips As an eCommerce shop owner, your concerns are not only getting customers to your site, but ultimately converting them. When it comes to mobile, there are specific trends that CROs are highlighting when it comes to transforming your customers into paying ones. In this comprehensive analysis by Shopify, they take an in-depth look at a study done by inflow on Mobile Conversion Optimization Features used in Best-In-Class Retailers. What is particularly useful in this report is what they refer to as a don’t and a do in terms of what is currently leading to optimal conversion rates for eCommerce business owners. As a parting gift, I’d like to share these two insights with you as ways to bolster your own efforts. In summary: Say no to hero slider images. In-depth research into mobile conversion rates has illustrated that customers are less than moved by them. Usher in the age of the top navigation menu. A relatively unused feature in the eCommerce world, all the data is pointing towards its efficacy in terms of mobile conversion rates. The takeway... Point 1: Don’t panic. Google will notify you if they’re switching you over, and will prioritise sites they deem more ready. Point 2: Start thinking with an on-the-go mindset. Make sure your store’s UX for mobile is as streamlined as possible. Make sure that your SEO efforts have carried over. Point 3: Don’t stop at optimising your mobile site for traffic - optimise for conversions too. Understand what will compel mobile customers to a sale. Good luck! This is a guest post by Charlie Carpenter. He is the co-founder and CEO of Kite. He is a mobile advocate with over ten years of industry experience. After working for large and small agencies for many years, he co-founded Kite; a software solution for print-on-demand, zero inventory merchandise, and personalised photo print goods. As well as an entrepreneur, Charlie is a seasoned product strategist with experience of various types of digital projects which include: Responsive and Adaptive Websites, Mobile & Tablet Apps, Hybrid Apps, Cross Platform App development. You can connect with Charlie on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter.
Average order value benchmarks 2018: how do you compare? (INFOGRAPHIC)
The holiday shopping period has us obsessed with one of our favourite ecommerce metrics: average order value (AOV). How does your site compare? A new infographic breaks down the stats. Increasing average order value usually has a dramatic impact on profits and ROI from marketing spend. It is also a gift that keeps on giving, as optimisation in this area is something that can deliver ongoing results over the long term. What does ‘average’ look like? Well, that’s going to depend on your sector, as well as the level of optimisation maturity reached by your peers. There’s not much point comparing the AOV of a small jewellery site with a large travel website. It doesn’t tell you anything meaningful. It’s more interesting to deep dive into your niche, and the good news is that we have some sector-specific ecommerce benchmarks to share with you, based on data from the 12,000+ ecommerce websites that have connected to the Littledata app. Below is a visualisation to show you some of our numbers (there's much more to explore within the app). Compare your own performance To see your own data alongside the industry averages, simply hook up your Google Analytics account with Littledata, and the app will show you how you’re performing relative to your peers (it’s free to connect). The app will also show you benchmarks for the other key ecommerce metrics, alongside AOV. No doubt you’re also interested in things like conversion rate, checkout completion rate, product list CTR, and so on. Are you benchmarking your ecommerce site in the best sector to help you increase revenue? We use the IBM Watson API and some smart logic to categorise websites automatically, though you’re able to manually override that should you need to do so. For example, you can compare against similar sized SEO-driven websites in your location, or look specifically at retailers in your vertical (eg. health and beauty products by subscription). [subscribe] Underperforming? We’ve got your back... There’s no need for panic if your numbers don’t look as good as your peers, as the Littledata app will recommend specific optimisation ideas via our new Missions feature. You can launch missions to improve your ecommerce performance and increase sales. I'd love to know what you've done to increase average order value. Do leave a comment below if you have tips to share. PS. Feel free to share this infographic, or include it in your own blog posts, as long as you include a link back to this post and our main website (www.littledata.io).
Introducing Missions: actionable ideas to increase online sales
Over the past few months we’ve been working on a new feature for Littledata users. Our new Missions feature is a data-driven recommendation engine for ecommerce optimisation. The Missions concept is simple, yet powerful. First, you connect Google Analytics in order to see how your site is performing relative to the benchmarks in your sector. Then, if you are underperforming in any given area, the app will suggest some specific optimisation missions. Now, you might think that in 2018 the vast majority of ecommerce websites are serious conversion machines, but that’s simply not the case. Most websites remain woefully under-optimised and are leaving way too much money on the table. Checkouts are abandoned, users bounce before pages load, forms are left uncompleted, and so on. This is becoming a big problem, given the competitive landscape in many sectors. Acquiring new customers is increasingly expensive. A surefire way to make your marketing budget go further is to optimise your website, but where should you start? This is precisely where Missions comes into play: you launch individual missions and work your way through the suggested tasks to improve ecommerce performance, metric by metric. Missions: website optimisation made simple We’ve spent a lot of time researching optimisation techniques that have been shown to work for other companies. That’s not to say that they’ll definitely work for you, but proven ideas are usually well worth testing. We now have hundreds of actionable ideas, which have been clustered together into launchable ‘missions’. Missions are aligned to key ecommerce goals, such as increasing average order value, product list CTR, add to cart rate, checkout completion rate and conversion rate. Individual missions cover areas such as persuasion, merchandising, user experience, copywriting, pricing, CTAs, findability and trust. And since Littledata is good at measuring the little data, you’ll be able to see the results of your efforts within the app. Who should use Missions? Missions is for anybody that wants to optimise a website. It can be used by large digital organisations, SMBs and micro businesses. It is particularly useful for agencies with multiple clients, especially where there are recurring optimisation tasks over multiple websites. The ideas in each mission include guidance on who should be involved in implementation. Roles include ecommerce manager, web developer, copywriter, marketing strategist, and UX designer. [subscribe] How to launch a mission Start by connecting Google Analytics, so we can help you measure success and prove ROI. Once connected we’ll run a quick check to make sure your analytics setup is in good shape (the app will suggest fixes, if anything is awry). You can then compare your performance against your peers, to identify areas that are ripe for improvement. We’ll show you this at the top of your dashboard: By drilling down into each of the above categories you’ll be able to see the detail. As an example, let’s look at the main metrics in the ecommerce category. You’ll see your own data alongside ecommerce benchmarks from your sector (based on data from more than 12,000 websites). This makes it easy to compare and contrast performance. It looks like this: In the above example you can see that ‘add to cart rate’ and ‘conversion rate’ are both considerably lower than the norm. Both of these areas are ripe for improvement. Another metric in the ecommerce category is average order value. For this particular sector the average is $28, and while this particular website is doing reasonably well, it isn’t yet a top performer. Increasing AOV is one of the quickest ways of growing revenue, so we can launch the following mission: So, this first mission - ‘Average order value fundamentals’ - will help you to incrementally increase AOV. It includes ideas in areas such as product bundling, cross-sells, up-sells, wishlists, pricing strategies, personalisation, social proof, and so on. Here’s what the mission looks like - note that each tip can be expanded to reveal more information: You can work your way through the mission and implement (or skip) the ideas. Press the ‘mark as complete’ button to start tracking performance. Once you have done that we will start monitoring performance: Reach your goals, faster Missions should generate considerable - and provable - ROI for the SMBs, corporates and agencies that use it. Work your way through the missions to improve the customer experience, and remove the friction from the buying process. The first iteration of Missions is natural next step for Littledata. Our long-term goal is to develop Missions into an AI-driven optimisation engine for ecommerce teams. We hope you’ll join us for the ride. People trust Littledata to audit, fix and automate reporting. They also use our benchmarks to check and compare their performance, relative to their peers. And now, with Missions, digital teams can set about actively increasing ecommerce revenue. We hope that Littledata Missions will help you to fast-track your goals and KPIs. Give Missions a try today and shoot for the moon.
15 Shopify apps to help you increase average order value (AOV)
We recently flagged up 15 proven techniques to help you increase average order value, which is one of the fastest ways of growing ecommerce revenue. Many of Littledata's customers use the Shopify platform, so I thought I'd take a look in the app store to see what's available to help implement some of these techniques. I found dozens of great apps that can be used to quickly test some of our ideas. In doing so you might just increase conversion rates and other key metrics too. Below are 15 of the best ones - click on the screenshots to check them out in more detail. Many of these apps are paid-for, though normally offer free trials, and in any case the monthly cost is low. You should make back your investment and then some. I've focused on the apps that have high review scores. By installing these apps and launching Littledata's optimisation missions you'll be able to quickly improve ecommerce performance. Do let us know how you get on! [subscribe] CartHook CartHook's app allows you to create a customisable one-page checkout, which helps to simplify the user experience and can improve conversion rates. It also allows you to upsell, by showing customers relevant products after they have completed their initial purchase. CartHook also provides you with the option of showing customers a final thank you page. You can also use the app to build custom funnels for each product. Neat. Littledata integrates seamlessly with CartHook's one page checkout so you can track every part of the ecommerce sales flow. Enquire This app allows you to show customers post-purchase surveys, to help gain valuable insight into what made them buy. You can ask customers all kinds of questions. The default is 'How did you hear about us?', but other questions can help you profile your customers, to gather feedback, testimonials, reviews, or to segment email lists. Use the survey data to refine your marketing efforts, in order to attract the right kind of buyers. Plus, I've heard through the grapevine that a Littledata - Enquire integration is coming soon. Stay tuned! Cross Sell As you might have already gathered, this is a comprehensive cross-selling app. Persuading customers to add more products to their cart is a proven way of increasing average order value. With Cross Sell, you simply hand-pick the products you want to attempt to cross-sell with each item. It comes with the “Smart Cart” feature which recommends cross-sells based on the last product that the user added to their cart. The app will also cover you when the ones you select are out of stock, by showing default products. Upsell Bundled Products Here's another app that does what it says on the tin. Use it to create product bundles. Bundling reduces cognitive load and can be incredibly persuasive, especially when discounts are on offer. This app allows you to package up related products so that customers can buy them with one click. You can create unlimited bundles with the same product, to test different ideas. Discounts can be applied as a set price or a percentage (we advise that you do both, but definitely the former). Countdown Cart This is a widely used countdown app, which has been very well rated. It lets you choose from a wide range of themes to suit your store. The app is free, lightweight and installs very quickly. Features include a classic countdown timer, which puts pressure on the shopper to purchase before the clock hits zero. It also makes use of real-time social proof by show shoppers how many people are viewing items, and how many times something has been sold. This can increase the motivation to buy. Enforcing principles of scarcity can lead to an uplift in conversion rates and AOV. Discounted Pricing You can generate more sales by offering discounted pricing at different thresholds. This app allows you to offer shoppers volume discounts, which is a proven technique to increase order values. Show shoppers how bulk buying becomes more cost efficient, and they might just add more items to their cart to qualify for the bigger discounts. The app allows these discount tables to be visible on all devices, and is quick to set up. AfterShip Returns Center Reduce friction between your shoppers and your store by allowing free returns. This helps to encourage higher spending by creating a ‘risk-free’ purchase experience. With the app, customers are able to submit return requests in a few clicks. The best thing is that you don't necessarily need to lose the spend, as you have the option of adding credits to a customer's account (as well as issuing a refund back to their bank account). Wishlist Plus Wishlist Plus allows users to add products to a wishlist without needing to be logged in. It also syncs wishlists across devices. These features help to remove purchase barriers, and when checking out a shopper may be tempted to add products that are sitting in their wishlist, which will increase order value. The app has gained a 4.9 rating on the Shopify App store, and the reviews reference the "excellent customer service" provided by the developers. Rewardify Rewardify allows you to add credit to your customer’s account when they complete certain tasks such as meeting a minimum spend, selecting a specific shipping option or buying certain items. All great ways to increase AOV. Gift Cards, Loyalty & Rewards You can use this app to offer deals such as a free $10 gift card with the purchase of a $100 gift card, or selling $100 cards for $85. Show these kinds of offers to the right people at the right time and you might just increase AOV. The app also allows you to send gift cards to other people, and to use store credit as an upsell tool. Product Reviews Product Reviews is a simple app that provides a platform for social proof - a key psychological phenomenon to keep in mind when trying to increase AOV. It sends review scores to Google to enhance your listings, and you can also determine which reviews to show and hide. Gift Wrap Plus Many shoppers are happy to pay a few extra pounds to have their products gift-wrapped before they arrive. Installing this app allows you to offer that option, and it is one which can definitely increase your AOV. The app allows for extras such as gift messages, and lets you see your best performing gift-wrap styles. Ultimate Sales Boost Here's another app that focused on urgency and scarcity to boost conversion rates and average order value. It has plenty of features to help you improve merchandising, calls to action, and highlight social proof, such as low stock warnings and 'recently sold' alerts. The app is easy to use and configure, which helps to explain its 4.9 star rating. Smart Shipping Bar Use this to promote shipping offers via a bar at the top of the page, which updates as items are added to the cart. It will show customers when they qualify for free shipping. This is excellent for any store that offers free shipping when a minimum order amount has been reached, such as $50. And that's a proven way to increase AOV. Littledata Before optimising your store you must make sure that you have accurate data, in order to measure the results. We've found that almost nine out of ten Shopify stores have a broken analytics setup, so the chances are that you'll need to make some tweaks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE4nzZycVLE#action=share The Littledata Shopify app fixes your tracking automatically. It also provides benchmarks against over 12,000 ecommerce sites, so you can compare your own performance vs your peers, and includes a suite of AI-based reporting. What should you do with all that data? Littledata's new Missions feature recommends specific ideas to help you improve the crucial ecommerce metrics such as AOV, add to cart rate, product list CTR, checkout completion, and conversion rates. Missions provide step-by-step instructions for proven ways to optimise sales and conversions. Work your way through the missions and get ahead of the pack!
Getting started with Universal App Campaigns
With 3.8 million apps available for Android users and 2 million apps in Apple's App Store, it can be tough for an app developer to stand out among the competition. But with Google's Universal App Campaigns (UAC), developers have an opportunity to market their mobile apps with targeting options based on audience demographics and behavior. It all happens automatically -- as long as you set up the campaigns correctly. In this post I take a look at how you can put machine learning to work for you, using the power of Google’s Universal App Campaigns. Campaign set up Getting started with a UAC is relatively easy. The three steps are to identify an audience, ensure conversion tracking is set up correctly, and relevant text, video, and images are available for the campaign. The two major actions for UACs are to find new users who will install the app or those who will perform an action inside the app, such as making an additional purchase. One the UAC is set-up, it is eligible to show on Search, Display, YouTube and the Play Store. The initial setup is straightforward. The advertiser only needs to provide four lines of text with images and with machine learning, Google decides which combination to show to a particular user. Goals When you consider goals for your UAC, the install action is an obvious one regardless of the app category. Targeting options includes people who are likely to install the app or who are likely to install it and perform in app action. It is up to the advertiser to determine what a valuable action looks like and ensure conversion tracking is set up before launching a campaign. In-app actions, or goals, or can be either success actions or proxy actions. With a success action, the app user makes a purchase inside the app, upgrades the service, or signs up for a paid subscription; something that generates revenue. Assuming success actions happen at least ten times a day with users, the system has enough data to identify and target the right audience for your UAC. If volume of success actions is low, there is not enough data for machine learning to make decisions. In that case, the advertiser can identify a proxy action which is a behavior that is likely to lead to success action. An example of this is someone who added payment information to upgrade service but did not follow through with upgrading. Or it could be tracking which of your users share incentives with their network. Advertisers need to think carefully about what a proxy action truly is. When it it is too early in the funnel, it includes people who are less likely to convert and not a good representation of those who will later perform a success action. If a mid funnel behavior is identified as a proxy action, rather the the top of the funnel, it may better represent people who are closer to converting so it is more likely to later result in a success action. [subscribe] Conversions Setting up and collecting conversion data is a crucial piece to success because these campaigns look at past searches, browsing behavior, and other apps used to determine who is most likely to convert. Before launching a UAC, ensure this conversion tracking is set up correctly or your will not be measuring goals that matter. For e-commerce sites, the primary conversion is clearly to drive revenue in the form of an in-app purchase or perhaps subscriptions. With luxury retail, it is especially important to have conversion recording correctly because of the multiple touch points. And Shopify users can use the Littledata reporting app to gain even more insight on the user journey through that platform. Measurement and optimization There are immediate metrics to monitor - app installs and in-app purchase - but there are also long term considerations such as the customer lifetime value (CLV), that should be part of your overall strategic marketing plan. A single user who makes a purchase provides direct revenue. If they refer someone to your app, that is considered indirect revenue. The first number is clear-cut revenue and easy to measure. The second is one that you determine based on your internal data, meaning what type of behavior and interaction with customers generally leads to a sale. The value of both of these actions contribute to the CLV. Lifetime is the length of time they interact with your app. If they install the app and use it to buy things over the course of a year, then stop, their CLV time period is one year. Once you have identified your CLV, use this value to set your target CPA and optimize it based on performance. Decide what you are willing to pay for a success action and what you will pay for a proxy action, knowing that number will likely change over time. As data comes in from your UAC, you can compare the lifetime value of your different customers through segments. Segments help you uncover those customers who purchase every couple months compared to those who only make an initial purchase. Those the make multiple purchases represent segments with a higher value. Drilling into data with segments allows you to see who gives you the best return for your investment. This level of detail helps you identify how much you paid in your UAC for to acquire each type of customer so you can adjust accordingly. Review what you paid initially for the type of users that you bring in and compare that to their lifetime value. Are you investing your budget in a UAC that brings in users that generate recurring revenue? When you bid strategically based on a lifetime value, you are not overly focused on short-term transactions. It is less expensive to keep a customer than to acquire a new one so you want to think in those terms. What next? Decide on UAC goals that make sense for the purpose of your app. What should users do in addition to downloading the app and what behaviors indicate they are getting close to a conversion? Gather assets - text, video, and image - that are enticing for users and ensure conversion tracking is setup properly. Without proper conversion tracking, you miss out on the data you need to determine success. Monitor performance of your campaigns, and if you run an ecommerce site, track a wealth of data with the Littledata app. Think about the CLV and optimize your campaigns to reach the right users rather than any users. Your bottom line is generating revenue so keep that in mind with every UAC. With careful planning and well managed campaigns, your app can stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Increase your ecommerce conversion rate with Google Analytics segments
Are you generating enough site traffic? Are there enough visitors each month that engage with your content and spend time on your site? Those are good things, but the important question is how you are doing with conversions, as that is where the magic happens! For many businesses, there will be slumps where conversions are not where you need them to be and increasing conversions is tougher than bringing in visitors. The reasons for not converting are many, which could include a poorly designed landing page or frustration with a slow page load time. Fortunately, the technical aspects of your site are somewhat clear cut and influence all users to the site. Either it loads quickly or it does not. It responds to mobile devices or does not. But there are principles that are about the groups visitors to a site. What do they search for and can you provide it? How are they different from each other? How are they similar? In short, you need smart segmentation if you want to continue to increase conversions. Here's a quick guide to using segments in Google Analytics. Segments vs personas In this post, we will build on some of the work you have hopefully done to create personas and highlight the value of segments when optimizing for conversions. Personas help you be empathetic to your customers. Visualizing a 35-year old professional female makes it easier to create the right message for her rather than general messages to all women. This is not about stereotypes. Personas help you hypothesize about similarities in how people behave. So how is that different from segments? There is confusion with segments versus personas and you want establish a definition for your team so you all work from the same framework. In the simplest terms, you segment your audience with existing data and create campaigns based on personas. Start with your segments. With Google Analytics, you can use segmentation to group people by identifying criteria such as location. Think of segments as the somewhat objective view of your audience based on raw data. (There is still some subjectivity when deciding the makeup of segments). Personas are very subjective - based more how a person thinks or feels. [subscribe] Get to know your audience with Google Analytics Google Analytics provides a lot of data that helps us understand our segments if we go beyond basic metrics, such as pageviews. Below are a few ways to learn more about your segments with the goal of increasing conversions and adding depth to your personas. Pages per Session: This is a basic metric in Google Analytics but you can go beyond scenarios, such as users visiting two pages compared to those visiting seven pages. Look at which pages they visited. Did they visit the intro offerings (probably a newcomer) or the help section (probably an existing customer)? Did they read the entire section about a topic (more methodical) or buy on the first visit (maybe more impulsive)? Note these are assumptions about motivations but you can develop hypotheses based on behavior. Content Grouping: Content grouping categorizes your site content based on rules created in the Admin section of your Google Analytics account. Once you have these rules, you can view content groups for different scenarios, such as where people are the journey, how they flow through content, how they came into your site (traffic source), and how much time they spent on there. For sites with thousands of pages, this makes it more manageable than viewing individual pages. You can analyze conversions on the categories of your site rather than a specific page. Cohort Analysis: Found in the Audience section of Google Analytics, this is used to examine the behavior and performance of groups of users related by common attributes. It allows you to view a group of visitors based on a shared acquisition date. If you have a drip campaign scheduled for May, you may want a Cohort Date Range of May 1 to May 7 to target people who first visited the site during that time period. You can learn if people who visited on a specific day were more inclined to visit again than other members of that group. User Login: Custom Variables can be fired when users login. That provides additional data for more advanced segments by identifying the behavior of different customer types. Site visitors self-segment when they log into the site to take an action. With Custom Variables, you can see how behavior is different for those who log-in versus those who do not. Bounce Rate: We all get hung up on this metric. People see a site bounce rate of 78% and begin to panic but you need to drill in to see if that matters. Do existing customers and regular visitors bounce from a blog post? That is expected. However, if new people regular bounce from the site, look at the landing pages. There could be a message mismatch with the source that sent them to a particular page. Affinity Segments: Use affinity and in-market segments in Google Analytics to help define your personas. They are broad classifications about users which may be helpful when layered on top of other characteristics. For example, you may discover segments that prefer one content grouping over another. Collect metrics that matter When there is a difference in the conversion rate and user journey among segments, it indicates your identified segments truly represent distinct types of users. Read that again because whether your segments make sense determines whether your data is any good. With the right segments, you can determine which groups to cultivate or which ones to not pursue with limited resources. For example, if one segmented group regularly buys add-ons for product, that might justify allocating more advertising dollars. With target segments identified, you can also look at which marketing effort attracted them to your site. Some of this is obvious. If users in their 30s never respond to a CTA on your site from Facebook, you may not want to pay for ads on that channel or even post to it regularly. So yes, we all care about who converts compared to those who do not. But remember there are stages leading up to a conversion and this Facebook audience could still have a role, so watch where in the process people drop off. And hopefully by now you realize that non-converters are more than just non-converters. View this by segment too to identity what non-converters may have in comment. As data comes in, additional segmenting can be done by on locations, time of conversion, brand search terms versus early stages searches. But do not collect data for the sake of collecting data. Although it is easy to do with the abundance of data available in Google Analytics, it does not guarantee a return for your efforts. Want to know more? Get in touch with Tina’s agency, 360 Internet Strategy, and follow her on LinkedIn.
9 ways to optimise landing pages for conversions
How to drive more traffic to your ecommerce site
Are you following a strategy to increase ecommerce site traffic, or are you shooting in the dark? In this guest post, Courtney McGhee outlines proven ways to get more web visitors. So you’ve created your ecommerce site and you’ve set up your social media profiles. Why isn’t your audience flocking to your site, cash in hand? The truth is, creating your website and social presence is only the first step toward generating traffic. Your strategies on these platforms will ultimately determine the amount of traffic that lands on your pages. You need to invest time, create relationships and sometimes even invest some money if you want to boost your numbers. In this guide, I'll show you proven ways to drive ecommerce site traffic. Step 1: Decide how many daily visitors you need Setting a clear, attainable goal should be the first step if you want to increase your traffic. Marketing strategies can be overwhelming if you don’t first determine what your goal should be. First, decide how much annual revenue you are looking to earn. Let’s look at the example of $350,000. Next, divide your total annual sales by the value of your average order. Let’s say your average order costs $50. This calculation gives you the number of annual orders you will need to reach your sales goal. For our example, that number would be 7000, or about 19 orders each day. Let’s realistically assume that 19 orders per day come from a conversion rate of 2%. That means you will need around 960 daily visitors if you are going to have 19 orders each day. These numbers will show you how much time you need to spend on generating traffic and can help you set attainable and measurable goals. Once you've decided on the amount of traffic you're shooting for, make sure your Google Analytics setup is giving you accurate data about all of your websites (including microsites) and isn't duplicating visitors. You'll also want to set up goals for specific events, such as when a customer adds items to their cart, signs up for your email list or completes a checkout. It's better to set up this tracking early before launching your new strategy--otherwise you won't know whether or not your new strategy worked! [subscribe] Step 2: Start your search engine optimization (SEO) Search engines are (or should be) one of the biggest sources of your traffic. Now, it’s time to milk them for all they’re worth. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be a main focus to drive organic traffic to your site. Whether or not you have just launched your ecommerce store, you should make a habit of reviewing each page and product on your site. To do this, you need to start an SEO audit. Enter your URL on an SEO tool like WooRank, and start an Advanced Review. You can add up to three competitors here to take your SEO up a notch. Add keywords you want to track in the Keyword Tool, and choose the location where you want to focus on. In the keyword tool, you will be able to see the volume and rank for each keyword and how you are doing against your competition. There are plenty of free keyword research tools available if you aren’t sure which ones you should be targeting. Now that you have chosen your keywords to use for optimization efforts, you should make sure you are using them in a consistent and natural way. Using them in your title tags, meta descriptions and body content will help you become more visible to your target audience. To really optimize your keyword strategy, I recommend setting up site-search tracking to see what visitors are searching for on your site and also monitoring how keywords convert on your site by adding Search Console to your Google Analytics account before moving onto the next step. Step 3: Craft your content...carefully Even for an ecommerce site, it is essential to have useful, relevant and authoritative content. Of course, it is critical to have product images, but product descriptions will really help you boost your traffic. With product descriptions, you can weave in the keywords you can easily rank for that can also drive conversions. It’s actually easier to rank higher for long tail, localized keywords that will align with your visitors’ search queries. If you are selling garden supplies and you can rank highly for “planter for tomatoes”, the produce descriptions should use “planter for tomatoes”. Include that phrase in the title, as well. The product images need to be clear and representative of the actual product you are selling. Don’t forget to include the alt text with every image you use. This should go without saying, but don’t use images you downloaded from the internet that aren’t pictures of what you are actually selling. Also, you can create content like product reviews or comparisons of different brands and models that are optimized for “planter for tomatoes”. You can experiment with other types of content on social media, like videos, that can help you rank highly on search results. Videos related to the product that can also be embedded on your site is another easy way to incorporate your keywords in your content. Step 4: Tap into social media influencers In terms of brand engagement, Instagram is one of the best platforms. There is a whopping 25% more engagement on Instagram compared to other social media platforms. Also, studies show that nearly 25% of online shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations. In order to tap into the influencer market, you need to find the people who are willing to feature your products to their many followers. Finding those people, though, is easier said than done. A tool like WEBSTA can help you find the most popular Instagram hashtags and accounts. Once you find the influencer with a substantial amount of followers that aligns with your general category, you can contact him or her and ask for your product to be featured. Step 5: Entice visitors with contests Let’s be honest: everyone loves a good freebie. Does your site have a gift that your customers will find worthwhile? Use your social media profiles, your website and your influencers to get the word out that you are having a contest for free goodies. If your potential customers think your gift is valuable, they will share it with their friends and families. The only con to this strategy is attracting people who are only interested in free stuff. These users will likely never convert to customers, so use this option only when it makes sense for your brand. Step 6: Publish user reviews Search Engine Land noted that 88% of shoppers trust reviews they read online. You can encourage your users to leave reviews on your website and social media accounts. Reviews will help you rank higher in search results, and users are more likely to click on your site/social media pages. User reviews ensure fresh, relevant content - a big plus in Google’s eyes. Here are some more stats from Econsultancy on why user reviews are so valuable: Bad reviews improve conversions by 67% 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a website with user reviews Reviews generate an average boost in sales of 18% Step 7: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising At least 43% of ecommerce traffic, on average, comes from Google search (organic). But, more than a quarter of traffic is coming from Google AdWords, according to Wolfgang Digital. So, it’s important to have both your SEO and PPC set up correctly. As mentioned above, during your keyword research find the keyword your audience uses most, like “tomato planters”. This includes the long tail keywords, too, like “best planters for tomatoes”. Now, run a PPC campaign including both keywords. Primary keywords will generate more traffic, while long tail keywords will drive less traffic but higher conversion rates. To increase conversions even more, you can link your AdWords account to your Analytics account, then use Buyer Personas for specific marketing channels to target those users that are more likely to spend money on your site. So, are you ready for real growth? Bringing traffic to your ecommerce sites all starts with setting a clearly-defined goal. You need to know where your existing traffic is coming from, and optimize all of your platforms for your visitors and search engine bots. Incorporating other strategies, when done correctly, will help you bring more eyes to your site. Contests and PPC advertising are great ways to get your product in front of your target audience. I hope this guide helps take your online store to the next level! Courtney McGhee is on the Marketing Team at WooRank, an SEO audit tool that has helped millions of websites with their SEO efforts. A former journalist in North Carolina, Courtney shifted gears and entered the digital marketing world in Brussels, Belgium.
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