Elements of Engaging Social Media Content
Social media has emerged as a more reliable way to filter casual visitors from probable customers. This has prompted many people to analyze social media role. Consequently, social media management has evolved to fine tune the system. Social media usually entails uploading of content which may be in the form of script, sound, images, or videos or it may also be a combination of one or more of these forms.
But how do you create content that could drive traffic and provoke engagement? How do you create something that would sell like hotcakes in the market known as the World Wide Web? How would you stand out in the world where millions of information is being shared every second of every hour? Here are some tips for creating such content.
When it comes to the content on social media, the word “engaging” becomes crucial. This is because nobody would be happy with high bounce rates on their pages. High bounce rates imply that visitor opened the page but did not read the content or left after reading a few lines. That can’t be rewarding for the blog owner or website. Obviously, the responsibility to keep the visitor engaged is on content. If the content is boring, or not presented in the right way, chances are that the visitor would look for alternate sites effectively making the business or individual lose a prospective client.
There is a myth that if a business enterprise is looking at selling any product, it needs to upload details only about the product on social media. Usually, relevance may imply swift business. But that does not mean that all the content on social media should be about the brand or the product. Social media is about bringing like-minded people together. It is also about establishing a trust between users. If a user of the social media website has faith on another member, chances are high that he or she would socialize with that person and be influenced by his or her opinion about a product or service. Instead of relying upon opinions of unknown people in reviews available on websites, people may be more inclined to listen to their friends, and get more authentic suggestions.
There should be no false promises or over-selling the product or services. Nothing sends away a visitor on social media site than a marketing pitch by an overly enthusiastic person. That does not mean that the content cannot be presented there with facts. All truths need to be told or at least, the ones that the visitor may be interested initially need to be told. However, a concentrated version may be read and forgotten but a few relevant points may stick in the mind.
Create engaging and highly shared content on social media sites.
Title is the first thing that catches a person’s attention. For this reason, the title of the content should be real eye catcher. Likewise, using some graphics in the content can also help to make the content engrossing and leave an imprint on the mind of the visitor. This will prompt the visitor to recall the image and look for relevant information if the requirement is not immediate.
Create Content that Touches Emotions
This is especially true when the social media content is aimed at forming a group with similar inclinations. If a chord is touched in the hearts and minds of targeted crowd, others will be drawn in too.
Quality of Content Appeals
People are not looking for something that they cannot understand. At times, they may actually be put off by grammar errors and presentation errors. For this reason, content should be of a quality that a person reading it understands. It should be simple too since many people who arrive on the page may not be very familiar with complex words.
Write on Hot Topics
Hot topics are discussed and debated on social media sites. They shed light on the way people think and how a particular person thinks. For this reason, it is easy to analyze whether the person in question is rational or inclined to be dogmatic. Identifying such characteristics of the person is crucial when looking for a candidate suitable for any job.
Organizing the Content
What this means is organizing the content in a particular sequence so that it makes sense. An example of this would be the way Wikipedia is organized. The highlighted words take people to the link where relevant information can be read. The person can then return to the main page, and resume reading. Organizing content in this way helps in understanding the content.
The words used by the person using the social media shed light on the interests of the individual. This can be of great help for advertisers. For example, a person asks about insurance on social media. It implies that the person is interested in insurance and so also those who come to that page to reply. Such people can be shown insurance products on the content or their pages so that they may be more inclined to check up the available deals. This is the reason keywords play a crucial role in almost all online marketing initiatives and they are important even in social media management.
E-mail Marketing Helps
The person arriving at the site may have doubts relating to the content available or may need additional clarification. If the email address or contact address is not provided, then the person may lose interest and not return to the website or page. But if it is possible for the person to send an email from the website or blog, it would be easier to convert the visitor into a client. In addition, such person can also become part of email marketing initiatives and become a returning client.
Internet has several websites, blogs, pages, and advertisements. Though traditional methods of advertising help, they are expensive in comparison to what social media management can do. Traditional way was more like throwing a fishing hook and waiting patiently for some fish to take the bait. Social media, on the other hand, is like throwing a net and capturing many fishes at one go. This novel method relies heavily on content. It is necessary to create a blend of such content so that it is not restricted to business aspects only. Thanks to the internet that there is a lot of social awareness also. By forming groups of like-minded people and motivating them towards something, it creates a domino effect in other spheres as well. It is this power that businesses are looking to capture with captivating content.
Writing a blog post is not an easy task. It takes several hours of writing and editing until you come up with something worth reading. After you have run through your post several times, corrected all the grammatical mistakes you can find, then it’s time to publish your post on the internet, but there’s that weird feeling inside you that says “not yet”, a perfectionist inside you telling you that there’s more that you can do to your blog post to make it even more amazing.
Now, normally I’m against perfectionism. I don’t like the idea of spending hours upon hours doing cosmetical changes, but there are things that you can do to make your blog post stand out and it’s definitely worth spending time on that.
So, I want to share with you 9 tips to write a better blog post.
What You Will Learn:
- How to write a headline that forces people to click
- Why one image per post is not enough
- How to format your blog post so, it’s easier to read
- How reduce your bounce rate, increase page views and time on site all with one strategy
Improve Your Headline
Headline is the most important part of a blog post. It seems logical to spend more time on writing a good headline, but what usually happens is you get an idea for a blog post, you write whatever headline came to mind, you then write the blog post and click publish without thinking too much about it.
Chances are that the first idea you got isn’t that good. Also, sometimes you have one idea for the blog post, but once you start writing you drift to a different topic and in the end the headline doesn’t even match the blog post.
If you have a poor headline you won’t attract nearly as many readers as you could have. If you write a confusing headline the people that you manage to attract won’t be interested to read what you have written. And in the end what’s the point of writing a blog post if it doesn’t get read?
So, how do you write a great headline?
- Make sure the headline fits the content.
- Simple headlines like “How to do X” or “10 tips to help you with X” work fine.
- Learn from the best. Check out a site called Upworthy.com. What they focus on is so, called “click bait” headlines. They are extremely compelling and once you read the headline you are hooked and want to find out what it’s all about.
- Now, if you are creating content that’s meant to provide information, then headlines like these won’t be a good fit for you because there’s nothing shocking about 9 tips to write a better blog post, but you can apply some of their techniques anyways.
- Use your mind and think for several minutes, what would be a good headline for this post. You should come up with several headlines and pick the one that you like most.
Use More Images
Chances are that you are using some images in your posts. Gone are the days of plain and boring blocks of text. Yet, you are probably not using enough images if you only add one image at the top, then you need to step up your game.
Why images are important:
- Images help to better understand the content
- Images are a resting point for the eyes and help to easier scan through the content
- Content with more images gets shared more
- These days all of the social media sites are about visual content
So, start using more images, graphs, memes, etc.
Bold, underline, italic. I have heard some rumors that these buttons help with SEO, but I think it’s BS. Why you should be using them is again for a better user experience.
You don’t want your blog post to look like a big block of text. You want to use BUI to highlight certain parts, to make the text easier to read and to be easier for the eyes.
A big mistake is highlighting random words or phrases. You want to highlight strategically. Think of it like this, if you removed all the text and only leave what’s bolded you should get an idea of what is the blog post about.
Now, you don’t want to overdue it. If there’s nothing worth highlighting in a paragraph, then don’t. Also, there isn’t a big difference for what you use bold, underline or italics. I prefer using bold most of the time because it stands out the most.
I think I should have titled this blog post “how to make sure your blog post doesn’t look like a big block of text”. Well, anyways big paragraphs are the main factor that contributes to that. If you don’t implement anything else, but this then your blog posts will be so much easier to read.
The golden rule is: don’t have more than 2-3 sentences per paragraph. Simple, but effective.
Add Links To Your Other Content
Having links to other content on your blog or to relevant articles on the web can provide many different benefits.
Firstly, it provides more depth to your article. For example, you are explaining an advanced topic of SEO that involves using Google Analytics. Now, maybe some of your readers haven’t set-up Google Analytics, but you have explained how to do that in a previous blog post.
So, instead of rewriting what you already have explained, you just link to it so, that people who need to read it could quickly access it.
Secondly, by doing this you are driving traffic to your old blog posts, which increases the engagement on your site.
Thirdly, having links in the content reduces the bounce rate of the page, which helps with SEO.
So, put links to relevant content throughout your blog post, if you mention a website, or a person don’t be afraid to link to it.
Pro Tip: Set up the links that they would open the pages in new tabs so, readers won’t lose your article.
Use Lists and Bullets
If you can, always try to insert lists and/or bullets into your blog posts. The benefits are pretty much the same as already mentioned. It sticks out. It’s easier to read. Gives a place for the eyes to rest.
Quoting an authoritative person in your niche and linking to him can bring a lot of benefits. It gives more authority to your content and makes your arguments more compelling.
Also, it’s a good outreach strategy. If you quote someone in your post and then shoot him a message that he was featured, the person is very likely to share the blog post to his following and drive traffic back to you.
Headings are as important to readability as it is to SEO.
Headings help to breakdown your blog post into small easy to read pieces. A good heading is like a headline that hooks the reader to continue on and it also tells the reader what he is going to read next.
Headings also help with on site SEO. You should include different keywords you want to rank for in your headings. From an SEO standpoint it’s recommended to use all the heading tags from H1 to H6, but depending on your blog’s theme it can screw up the readability. Normally I only use H1 to H3 tags.
Barely no one includes videos in their blog posts these days. Sure, not all the time you can find a complimentary video, but you should at least try.
Video is the first thing that’s being looked at on a page and it greatly increases the time on site. People enjoy watching quality videos and embedding them in your content can be another outreach opportunity. Once you publish the blog post let the video author know that you used his video and he might share the post.
Now, if you can’t find a video that relates to your topic, you can shoot one yourself, just sharing the same info that you have on the blog post can work. By having two different formats of your content, you will appeal to a bigger audience.
Wrapping It Up
There is a ton of things that you can do to your blog post before publishing, but don’t get carried away and spend hours on small little tweaks. I would recommend creating a cheat sheet to list out the main things you need to check before you publish your post.
What other tweaks you do to your content, that most of the bloggers forget? Let me know in the comments below.
The compelling power of content and social media channels can help widening your customer base drastically. But starting ahead without any sort of experience or knowledge could stand like a challenge.
It’s quite essential that you have in-depth knowledge about the basics of social media marketing.
Whether you want to enhance quality of your online entry points or increasing their numbers, coping up with these 10 laws will help you to lay a firm foundation to cater your customer base, your brand and most importantly you business’s objective:
The Law of Listening:
The success mantra of content and social media marketing lies more in listening than talking. Read through the content that your target audience post and actively interact in the discussions to know what’s important as per their perspective. This is the best way to create compelling content and initiate conversations to add value instead of clutter in their lives.
The Law of Focussing:
It’s better to have a specialisation or niche rather than being the jack-of-all-trades. It is always preferable to design a highly focused strategy for content and social media marketing over a broad strategy that attempts to cater everything to everyone because a sharp strategy helps to build a strong brand image, taking you closer to the success.
The Law of being Qualitative:
Quality dominates quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 connections online that actually read your content and share the same with their connections than having 10,000 connections that become extinct after connecting with your brand once.
The Law of being Patient:
You cannot expect the success from your content and social media marketing strategy overnight. It is possible to catch the lightening in the bottle, but you need to stay committed for a long period of time to attain good results.
The Law of Intensifying:
Growing in the online world calls for compounding. You should publish impressive and informative content so to build a large group of quality followers who will further share your content with their audiences over Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and other social networks.
More you will share and discuss your content; you tend to open new gates towards the search engines such as Google to locate it in the keyword searches. These gates will grow into hundreds and thousands of potential ways for people to reach you online.
The Law of being Influential:
Invest some time in identifying the most influencing groups in your market who accommodates the quality crowd and are interested in the products and services you are offering. Get in touch with such people and work on building quality relationships.
If you can manage to get an authoritative, engaging source on their radars through your informative content, they might share your posts with their own audiences that can put you as well as your business affront huge group of new audience.
The Law of delivering Value:
If you will continuously shout loud to promote your products and services on the social media, people might stop visiting your site. Make every effort to add value to your conversation. Don’t always rush for conversions and focus more on creating interesting content while establishing strengthening bond with the most influential groups. After some time, those influencers will become a powerful medium to expand your business through word-of-mouth marketing.
The Law of Acknowledging:
It is not at all sensible to ignore a person who can reach you in person, be sure to attend them online. Establishing relationships is one of the most significant steps towards the success of social media marketing, so acknowledge every single person who is reaching to you.
The Law of being Accessible:
Don’t disappear once you are done with publishing your content. You should be always available for your audience. Availability here implies that you need to maintain consistency in publishing quality content and interacting with them. Online followers are impulsive in nature and they won’t think twice before replacing you if you are not available since few weeks or months of time.
The Law of Reciprocity:
If you don’t have time to talk about or share other people’s content on your site, you can’t expect the same from others as well. So, take out some time for social media to share and discuss the content that others have published.
Abiding by these laws will help you get success with content and social media marketing and meet your business goals in a specific period of time.
Site Speed Affecting Conversions? 3 Ways To Increase Your Site Speed
In real life, speed literally kills. There is nowhere where humans are advised to drive fast in order to reach their destination on time.
When we come to blogs and websites, speed is everything. The faster your site, the better. So, what exactly do we mean by site speed, how fast is fast enough and why should you even care?
Glad you asked.
This post will look at how to increase your site speed for better conversions. Let me give you a quick glance into what you should expect out of this post.
- The meaning of site speed
- How fast your site should be
- Tools to use to know your site speed
- Ways of increasing your site speed
Let’s get started:
What Site Speed Means
Your site speed is basically the rate at which your site opens.
Simply put, it is the time taken for a page to open in your website. Take for example, the rate at which your homepage opens. It could be 10 seconds or 1 second.
From our example, the website that loads in 1 second has faster site speed than the one which loads in 10 seconds.
So, is any speed good enough for your website?
How Fast Should Your Site Be?
Fact is, speed is a killer (catch my drift) and gives you conversions. But, how fast is fast enough?
In a study, Strangeloop tested load times for top 2,000 retail websites and discovered that websites keep getting bigger as years progress and the average site took
A different report seemed to concur with the concept that websites are getting slower as years progress, due to a number of reasons.
So, are these speeds okay for business?
What is the ideal Page load time?
According to Jakob Nielsen, your site visitors can handle load time of up to 10 seconds.
If your website is within this range, then you feel glad that an expert said this. But, allow me to burst your bubble.
It has been showed that internet users have faulty perception of time. As a matter of fact, an average internet user will perceive a page to be 15% slower.
It gets worse:
When they recount their experiences to others, this same group of people will faultily recall that your page was 35% slower than it actually was.
You don’t want this working against you especially when you decided to relax at the 10 second mark.
Statistically, here is what has been shown to be your site visitors’ preference (they don’t care whether the site is heavy or not. You just need to be fast):
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
- 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes 3 seconds or more to load.
- At peak traffic times, more than 75% of online consumers left for a competitor’s site rather than suffer delays.
- 8% of people cite slow loading pages as a key reason for abandoning their purchase.
Well, we understand that it is sometimes hard to hit the tolerable 2-second or below mark. Thankfully, there are ways of increasing your visitor tolerance level and improve UX.
I’ll mention just one general rule
Add feedback, for example a progress bar. This can push the tolerable waiting time by 38 seconds.
So, now that you know the importance of speed for conversions, how do you tell if your speed meets this threshold?
Tools To Analyze Site Speed
There are several tools that you can use to analyze site speed. The choice is fully dependent on you.
I will discuss three of these:
Pingdom is used to test the load time of a page, analyze the page and find bottlenecks that could be causing a slowdown.
Here is how it looks:
There is a section where you need to include your webpage URL in order to test it.
The page also has a guidance section where you are briefed on what specific icons mean during the process. Here is a small illustration.
Here is how the site works:
You can examine all parts of a webpage including file sizes, load time, CSS files and HTML among other features. The tool allows you to sort and filter this list how you wish in order to identify performance bottlenecks.
You will also get performance-related statistics that will give you the general overview of your website.
You can also see how your website conforms to best practices from Google Page Speed. Additionally, you will get tips on how to improve your site speed.
You can also trace your performance history by saving all your tests and monitoring them subsequently to monitor your progress.
Lastly, the tool allows you to test your site speed from multiple locations. E.g from the United States or Europe. It also gives you the ability to share these results.
Google PageSpeed Insights
As seen, Google PageSpeed Insights is also easy to use. All you need to do is provide your webpage URL and click ‘analyze’, then wait for results.
Generally, the tool works by analyzing your site speed and suggesting methods of increasing site speed.
The insights tool will specifically measure how you can improve performance on time to above-the-fold-load and time to full page load.
Let’s see how the tool responds to you:
The image below shows you how the pagespeed insights tool rates your site giving a priority indicator.
This is a free tool that analyzes your speed and like the other tools, gives you suggestions on how to improve your site speed.
This is simple to use just like the other tools we have discussed. All you need to do is copy and paste your link to the blank box and click ‘analyze’
The key features include page speed and Yslow results, different analysis options, report history and page load details including size, time and number of requests.
This is how your results on GTmetrix should look like:
Now that you know what page speed is and how to find out your exact speed, how do you now increase it to get better conversions?
How to Increase Site Speed For Better Conversions
One: Remove Incompatible Plugins And Apps From Your Website
Sometimes, the need to have a complex website by design in order to improve its attractiveness causes us to include elements in our website that slows our websites down.
Take Flash for example:
While we understand that videos are an easier and better way of presenting your information in a convincing manner, filling your web page with flash and videos could potentially lower conversions by increasing the page load time.
Take the case of the Red Ox Restaurant.
The business decided to include fancy animations on their homepage which significantly reduced the site speed.
The site now fully loaded after 15 seconds. Clearly, as explained above, very few people would be patient enough to wait for the page to load. This means lower conversion rates.
A different study showed removing flash increased conversion rate by 88%.
Here is what happened.
In an effort to benchmark and see what their competitor’s were doing to stay afloat in the business, SuperOffice compared their site speed with SalesForce, Zoho and Sugar CRM.
After the test, the business discovered that the competitor sites were loading in just over two seconds, whereas SuperOffice took 12.8 seconds to load.
It was discovered that SuperOffice pages were loading slower due to flash. This was removed and the test repeated, this time with one website without flash and three with flash embedded in them.
This second video test revealed that the page load speed with flash took 11 seconds and the page load without flash took only 2.7 seconds.
We could say that removing flash could potentially reduce your page load time by an incredible 10 seconds!
This did not stop there:
The business wanted to see the effect on conversions.
The fact that their site speed had increased meant that there was better user experience. Was this reflecting on conversion rates?
Yes, it did.
After making the change to a no-flash website, the business decided to monitor conversion after 5 days, comparing the results with conversion rates 5 days prior to the removal of flash.
These were the results:
One, Conversion rate increased from 0.36% to 0.67%, increasing by 88%.
Two, goal completions increased by 78%, from 19 to 34.
Two: Reduce The Number Of Adverts
When I hear adverts, my mind registers affiliate marketing.
Of course, this is another way of making money on your website. There are businesses that make money by displaying ads on their websites.
In terms of business, the more ads you display, the more revenue you collect.
But there is a problem.
Ads slow down a website. This means that if your site is full of adverts and a user does not have the patience to wait for the page to fully load. You will lose the revenue all together because no one would wait to click.
So, here is what you do if you must have adverts.
This is an obvious advice. Limit the number of adverts you have in a webpage to reduce the amount of data that your user’s browser has to download.
#2: Reduce The File Sizes
If you have to directly deal with advertisers, you will realize that they send files sizes according to their liking. It is upon you to optimize.
This means that you need to set a file size limit when you send them the spec sheet. (usually, a 40 KB limit)
#3: Kill Off Slow Networks
Finding an ad network is sometimes not easy because some networks sometimes don’t work well with yours.
We are also advised to use multiple ad networks in order to maximize on ad revenue. Unfortunately, multiple ad networks slow down your site speed. You therefore need to kill off the slow networks.
Here is how Wade Shepard did it.
Every time Wade added a new element to his blog, for example an ad program, he had to check the effect of this new addition on his site speed and determine whether this was a worthwhile addition.
One day, he received a page load time warning on his ad sense dashboard. After running a site speed test, he was shocked to find out that his page took 8.82 seconds to load.
A closer look at the details provided by the test, he discovered that ad scripts were what were slowing down his page.
Wade had to find out the exact cause of this major site slow down. He found out that there were slow networks running at the backend of the website. He even went ahead to know what sites were serving this content to his site.
He was able to root out the slow networks and after removing them, site speed went back to 2.5 seconds.
Three: Stop Sharing Webhosts
We agree that sharing webhosts is one of the cheapest ways of finding hosting services online.
This one attractive advantage comes with a major disadvantage. Shared webhosts cause you to risk a slower website.
Before I tell you why, here is a small question for you to ponder.
Would you rather save on hosting charges and risk a slower site and reduced conversions or pay for quality hosting and reap in terms of high site speed, increased conversion rates and higher profits?
So, here are two ways showing how shared web hosts slow down your site.
- When one website within the server experiences high traffic, your site will automatically slow down.
- When the server suffers and issue and crashes, all the servers within it will stop working.
You need to learn how to find the best web host for your business. Let me show you a few factors to consider.
Know your hosting needs: For example, do you need special software and how big do you want your website traffic to be.
Server reliability: You obviously need a 24/7 server and stable networks with at least 99.5% uptime score.
Server upgrade options: If you expect your site to grow in maybe one or two years, you need a server that will allow you to upgrade and handle the expanding traffic.
Site backup: You need to have a way to recover your data in case your website crashes.[/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Increasing site speed sure has an effect on your conversion rate. While we have showed you what to do in order to increase your site speed, you also need to understand the importance of running site metrics in order to monitor your conversion rates.
The Truconversion conversion loss calculator and conversion funnel tools will sure help you track your conversion rates alongside pinpointing where you are losing sales in the conversion pipeline. Make sure that you try it today in case you haven’t.
As always, remember to share this article in all your social networking platforms and also share your views, comments and suggestions on other ways you can improve your site speed, in the comments section below.
Having free organic search traffic is still one of the best ways to get visitors to your site.
Ranking in Google has become harder, however. Google continuously updates its algorithm. Each update comes with several websites seeing their traffic numbers tank. The tactics you may be implementing today may get you penalized tomorrow. Therefore, you need to find a sustainable strategy that can stand the test of time and shield you from Google’s algorithm updates.
Here are some simple strategies you can employ right away to build an SEO optimized blog:
Build a Solid Foundation
You need to use the best practices when creating your site.
Best practices are called best practices because they predictably deliver desired results almost every time they are used. By finding out what works then religiously implementing it, you are guaranteed to see dramatic growth in your search traffic.
Building a site that is optimized for SEO begins with choosing the right platform. WordPress is clearly the best choice as it is easy to install and configure and is also SEO friendly.
You also need to choose the right domain name for your business. Your domain name should be professional and easy to remember. Another important issue to pay attention to is the hosting provider. Your choice of hosting can influence your uptime and load speeds; two factors that can determine where you rank in the search engines.
Pay Attention to On-Page SEO
Most marketers, when executing SEO campaigns, focus their energies on off-page SEO while neglecting on-page SEO. You need to understand that without on-page SEO, all off-page SEO efforts are in vain.
On-page SEO helps you communicate to the search engines what your page is all about. When it is clear which keywords your page is targeting, Google will reward you with appearances in its SERPs for relevant searches.
The fundamental component of SEO is keyword usage.How you use keywords on your page communicates the subject matter being written about.
You can ensure optimal keyword usage by:
Starting your titles with keywords: it is not enough that you include your keyword in your title, you should strive to have it towards the beginning of the title. This ensures that the search engines assign enough weight to its importance and relevance to the content on the page.
Include keyword in the first paragraph or first 100 words: introducing your keyword earlier in the article makes the topic of your post clear to the search engines.
Use LSI keywords: LSI keywords are words closely related to your primary keyword. When you use LSI keywords, you make it easier for the search engines to gauge the relevancy of your content to the searches made by a user as well as the quality and depth of your post.
Write Quality Blog Posts
Quality writing will attract and keep readers. You will not be able to rank for long in Google if your content fails the quality test.
Google gauges how helpful your content is through user experience metrics like bounce rates and time-on-page. A poorly written and poorly designed page will have horribly high bounce rates, and Google will quickly figure out that your page is no good.
Besides the words on your page, you need to pay attention to the layout and general design of the page. People skim the online content. Your page layout should aid fast skimming.
You do this by:
- Using headers and sub-headers.
- Using bullets and lists.
- Having short paragraphs.
- Bolding sections of your content.
- Having lots of white space.
- Using images to break up the text.
Have Effective Calls to Action
You want to turn cold search traffic to leads and raving fans. You do this by having them take some particular action on your site such as joining an email list. A call to action is one of the most important components of your page.
There is a good and bad way to go about setting up calls to action on a page. To get it right, you need first to clarify the goal of the call to action. It could invite a visitor to download something, add a product to a cart, share a piece of content on social media, leave a comment, register for a free trial or even sign up for an account.
The things to pay attention to include the color and sizes of buttons, information passed and the language used. Size affects how a button interacts with the content around it. Go for simple and clear language on your calls to action. It should be clearly understood from the word go what action you want the reader to take.
When you build a blog optimized for search results right from day one, you give yourself a chance to win the SEO game.
If you’ve been at this for some time and are just starting to take SEO seriously, do not worry. You can make much progress quickly if you know what to focus on and what to ignore. The points in this article cover the fundamentals to get you started building a blog that is well optimized for search results.
I love rhetorics, and to me, shopping cart abandonment is like a person calling off his marriage on the day of the marriage. Imagine the mental state of his partner.
Cart abandonment puts shopping sites on the receiving end of a similar experience. Adding punchy headlines and improving the web form design are all quick-fixes. The permanent solution is to design an effective checkout process, so the customer retention rate increases and the rate of abandonment shoots down.
Identifying the challenges
First, marketers need to understand the severity of the problem. The abandonment rate is not 5% or 10%, it’s a staggering 67.75%. I deliberately made it bold, just to describe how big is the challenge.
And if that doesn’t frighten you enough, then here’s another shocker; the cumulative volume of abandoned merchandise is worth $4 trillion. The stat figures here indicate how difficult it is for a marketer to build an effective checkout process that facilitates conversion.
But difficult is one thing and impossible is another. It’s difficult undoubtedly, but it’s not impossible. To build the best checkout, first you need to understand the key reasons behind cart abandonment.
The reasons” alignment
The RRP principle advises us to withhold the price until a customer steps forward in the sales funnel. It has some benefits, but on the downsides, the customer’s reaction to the fine print remains unknown. The result of this is customers abandoning the cart due to a shipping cost that they least expected.
Issues with payment security can also be a reason, but not as impactful as the first one. The unimpressive design of site layout and the form section is yet another reason. Such design may confuse visitors, causing them to abandon the checkout process. Not having promo code may be an issue too.
Mandatory account registration is a big reason. Registration steps are long and tedious, more so, not all users feel comfortable sharing personal details. The strategies to build the best checkout process acknowledge the bottlenecks, stem from the reasons above and aim to solve them.
Here are some of those strategies:
Improving the design
It takes less than a second for a visitor to form an opinion about the checkout page. The problem is even one second is not enough to go through all the design elements. Besides, CSS files may not completely load and the visitor may form a negative impression about the page.
Many e-commerce sites (Nearly 24%) require the shoppers to open an account, which makes the checkout process lengthier and the usability guidelines are also not always followed by them.
These are all checkout page design bottlenecks. To overcome these bottlenecks, designers need to adopt the strategies below:
#Checkout progress indicator:
Cutting down on checkout steps is not always possible. A checkout progress indicator on the top of the site like the one below can give shoppers a definitive idea of how many steps are yet to complete:
Customers may feel a bit relieved after every step knowing they are moving closer to the final step.
Live chat assistance:
During the steps, customers may need help. Live chat support should always be available to them.
Save to cart option:
Due to something that needs urgent attention, a customer might have to leave the checkout process. The “save to cart” option allows him to complete the checkout later sometimes.
It should be optional and not compulsory.
The presence of a return policy assures customers that they could return the product if they feel so.
The buttons should be prominent and have color contrast, so that customers notice them.
Allow customers to view past and present order details. Allow them to write reviews too.
Studies have found that design issues account for more than 40% of usability issues and are causing the e-commerce segment to lose as much as $1 billion each year.
Product optimization challenges
Promotional claims often fly in the face of evidence. The online consumer review sites are here to supply evidence. According to statistical data,88% customers trust online reviews, 85% consumers read reviews before they purchase and more than 65% of them read as many as 6 reviews.
Make sure the product can stand up to the claims that you are making about it, and there’s no gap between the actual product experience and the ones that you claim to offer. Other solutions include:
Product photography is not optional, though many e-commerce brands think it is. Good product photography aids in marketing. An ordinary product, captured by a professional’s lenses doesn’t look ordinary.
A site’s loading time shape the product viewing experience. If the site takes too long to load, users will probably abandon it and turn to one of its competitor sites.
This is the era of 3D and customers want to view a product from all angles. By dispensing a 360° view of the product, a brand can optimize the product experience.
Stats indicate that more than 90% customers use video for running their campaigns and over 80% of them believe the use of video brings positive impact on their campaigns. The benefit of product video is the engagement is product-centric; users are driven to the product.
Customers want to know your inventory status. Show them what you have. The following is an example of availability indicator:
As you can see in the image above, all the available items and the online items are shown to customers during the checkout process.
The checkout process brings excellent cross-selling opportunities. Recommend customers other products and show them the recommendations in a detailed and listed manner. Here’s an example of this:
Listing recommendations increases the selling opportunities.
What if a customer is searching for a product that’s not currently available? Allow back order. Tell the customer that he can order it. As soon as you have it delivered, it’ll be shipped. A back order request must be drafted in a very careful and humble manner.
Product optimization is perhaps the most important among all strategies. Other strategies are:
Payment optimization checklist
The popularity of promo codes is steadily on the rise. The strategic use of discount is a core element in the psychology of pricing. Promo codes lure consumers with discounts and increase customer footfall.
Customers are so taken with promo codes that 57% of them don’t shop from brands that don’t offer promo codes. Payment security is a concern for customers of all types. They carefully examine whether the checkout page is “HTTPS” enabled. Almost 60% consumers abandon the cart if their preferred mode of payment is not available, and 40% trust retailers that offer multiple payment methods.
The powerful payment optimization strategies include:
Offering promo code is not easy for online shops. At the same time, not offering it may result in losing potential customers. Discount deals can offset the unavailability of promo codes.
Several payment options:
Having more than one payment option indicates earning customer’s trust and easing the payment process for them.
No hidden fees:
Nothing maligns a brand’s image more than hidden fees. This holds true for all kinds of brands, not just online retailers. Eliminating hidden fees benefits customers and helps the brand appear trustworthy.
Customers are worried about possible security breach. Make sure the site is TLS verified and recognizes virtual cards. Follow the latest security guidelines to assure customers that your payment system is fully secured.
The checkout process can never improve if shipping is not optimized. Shipping time and charges are what customers consider important. More than 50% customers will select a new retailer if the shipping charge is high.
24% customers feel the product should be delivered on the day of purchase. Most importantly, over 80% customers feel they’d shop more if no charges are associated with shipping.
An optimized shipping experience can be a leverage for building the best checkout process. Here are some tips to optimize shipping:
Reveal the tentative shipping date. Customers don’t want to wait for the product with their fingers crossed. Give them a definitive shipping date and positively deliver the product on that date.
Different dates for different regions:
It’s not possible for an online shop to offer a product to an overseas customer on the date of buying, unless the shop operates globally. Hence, install a cutting edge PoS system to calculate the delivery time depending on geographical regions.
All customers should be provided with tracking numbers so they can later check the status of their orders.
For mid-size brands, it’s difficult to offer free shipping. They can put some terms and conditions. Don’t keep any of those terms hidden. Reveal them when the customer is in the middle of the checkout.
Customer feedback surveys can improve conversion. But customers don’t prefer this much. How about conducting surveys only to repeat visitors? Not bad as an idea.
The tips shared here are unique, in a sense that no online shop has applied all of them yet. Would yours be the first one? Let us know in the comment section.
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