Turn Your Website Traffic Into Sales 0
If you’ve recently launched an online store, then you understand how exciting it is when you see your store receive online traffic. Unfortunately, many online stores and websites fail to turn this website traffic into the ultimate marker of success -- sales.
As frustrating as that is, it’s nothing compared to the uphill battle you face when diagnosing your website traffic concerns and lack of results. Most business owners feel they’re doing everything right with their online store, yet are discouraged the moment they see it amount to nothing.
At Consultants In-A-Box, we understand the potential behind every online store and website on the internet. While they won’t all find success, we have the tools, resources, and expertise to help you make the most of your website and increase sales.
Why Your Website Traffic Isn’t Making the Purchase
To ensure every online store owner is met with a rewarding experience, we’re going to go over some of the most prominent reasons why your website might be successful at getting traffic, but not so successful at finishing the sale.
While we go through the reasons, it’s important you look at your website from a buyer’s point of view. Avoiding biased opinions is the only way to get a clear diagnosis of what’s truly wrong with your website.
Let’s get started!
1. Complex Website Navigation
Your website’s navigation menus play an essential role in the customer’s experience when visiting your online store. The purpose behind the menu is to act as a shortcut to the pages the customer is most interested in -- such as the home page, shop, about, contact, and checkout pages.
Simplicity is key when it comes to your navigation menus, whether they are found at the top of the page or bottom of the page. As a general rule of thumb, keep the most important pages in the header menu and the secondary pages in the footer menu.
When designing your website, it’s always a good idea to draw inspiration from some of the more successful online stores out there. Offering easy filter options and multiple product pages to display different collections.
Outside of the home and shop pages, you’ll want to feature other pages in your website navigation. These pages might not directly contribute to a sale, but there’s opportunity all over your website. Let’s take a look at some of the other pages you should build and display in your online store:
- Contact Page - customers are bound to have questions about your product or service, so it’s always important to make it as easy as possible to reach out to you.
- About Page - especially in today’s climate, customers are extremely cautious about who they purchase products from. Having a detailed, uplifting, and motivational about page helps build customer loyalty.
- FAQ Page - when you find yourself receiving the same questions over and over again from different customers, it’s time to create a page full of frequently asked questions.
In addition to those three key pages, you might also want to add shortcuts to other information about your company, products, or services. For example, online stores that sell clothing should consider displaying a size chart in their menu. Likewise, a page that explains shipping costs is key when exchanging goods.
2. Neglecting the Footer Menu
Like we mentioned above, you’ll have two major opportunities to utilize menus on your website -- the header area and footer area. Determining which pages to feature on which menu is key to providing an effective and easy-to-navigate menu.
The footer menu is neglected often among business owners, despite many shoppers relying on the footer menu for additional information about the company. While most footer areas provide quick links to additional pages, other footer areas can contain contact information and information.
You should have your site checked for broken links often to ensure your website traffic doesn’t run into any issues when visiting your online store.
3. Unattractive Visuals & Poor Images
Your website’s home page is the most important page when attracting online traffic. It can be the reason your visitors browse your site ready and willing to spend money or it can be the reason visitors leave the second they enter the site.
When creating a successful, engaging, and attractive home page, every single visual located on the page becomes important. They need to not only match your brand and tell your brand’s store but also appeal to your target audience and the people you’re supposed to be selling to.
The home page is often what the customer will remember you by, so making sure it’s equipped with a quality and professional logo, consistent colors, attractive fonts, high-quality images, and easy-to-read text is essential.
Even if you don’t have the bandwidth or budget to have a professional make your logo, there is a wide range of tools like Canva and Hatchful that can help. These tools make it easy to build other visual elements throughout your site, while also maintaining the same color scheme.
Outside of the home page, visuals are just as important. For example, ensuring you have high-quality and professional product photos will play an important role in the selling process. There are tools like Burst, Remove.bg, and various other photo editing software.
Even on the About Us page, high-quality photos of your team help your online store look that much more professional.
4. Inefficient or Lack of Call-to-Actions
The navigation menu does a lot to guide the customer through your online store, but that’s not the only form of guidance they’ll need. Call-to-actions can be placed anywhere on your store, including the sidebar, in the middle of a page, in the form of a button, as a clickable link, or even a clickable photo.
One of the most important places to put a call-to-action is right on the banner of the site. This is generally located below the navigation menu and is used as a sort of a ‘Welcome’ to your site. It also serves as an intro for other pages.
Whether you’re using a still banner or a slider, you’ll be able to further direct customers to important collections, products, services, and pages located throughout your website. For example, you can have a large image with a button and text next to it that takes them to the shop.
Another excellent way to showcase a call-to-action is with a pop-up banner or announcement banner on the top or bottom of the site. Using bright colors will grab the visitor’s attention, but you’ll also want to keep it out of the way to avoid frustrating the visitor. You can use these banners to showcase any deals or discounts you currently have.
5. Inconsistent Message, Tone, & Voice
Just like images play an important role in attracting more sales, the copy and text you place on your website are just as important. It not only represents your brand’s message, tone, and voice, but it also helps persuade your online traffic to purchase your products.
When building out text content on your site, it’s important to avoid long paragraphs and long sentences. It makes it difficult for the visitor to read and cause them to lose interest quickly. Most home pages should limit the amount of copy and focus on visuals and call-to-action.
Instead, keep the more detailed text and longer text for the other pages throughout the site -- like your About page. You should still make it easy to read, but this is where you can go into depth about what it is you do and why you do it.
You should also constantly keep a buyer persona in mind when creating the copy to your online store -- especially product descriptions. The buyer persona represents your target audience and is who your text needs to be tailored to satisfy.
They often say a website that speaks to everyone is a website that speaks to no one. You know better than anyone who generally buys your products and who they’re designed for, now showcase it with the message, tone, and voice you share on your website.
6. Incompatibility With Mobile Devices
One of the most common mistakes business owners make when developing their website is not paying enough attention to how responsive your website is. If your website isn’t compatible or doesn’t look right on a mobile device, you’ll instantly lose a majority of your potential.
Since most online traffic and website traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s imperative to test your site on a mobile device before launching it. If possible, test it on as many different devices and as many different screen sizes as possible. Ideally, it should look functional and impressive on them all.
If you don’t have access to the devices, use the ‘Inspect’ tool by right-clicking on a website page. It allows you to view your website in a variety of different sizes.
7. Failure to Build Trust
Many business owners are likely wondering how it’s possible to build trust with customers when you haven’t made a lot of -- or any -- sales yet. While customers can’t rely on the feedback of other customers, it doesn’t mean you can’t attract buyers and build trust.
If you’re trying to build customer trust with a limited track record, we have some tips for you:
- Live Chat. Offering a live chat service when visitors enter your site is one of the most inviting features you can add to your site. It’ll automatically greet online traffic and can be connected to your Facebook Messenger account for easy access. You’ll even have the ability to form automated messages for when you’re away or asleep.
- Social Media. Being active on social media is an excellent way to connect with your visitors and extend your customer service to them. Do your research and figure out what social media platforms your target audience uses the most and start interacting with followers. You can then cross-promote your website and social media to increase the number of quality visitors to your site.
- Post Content. Whether you’re posting content to your site or social media, you need to show visitors what makes your business unique. Run contests, do giveaways, free samples, and much more. If you’re struggling to find people to interact with, start small and give your product to family and friends to review and promote.
If there’s one thing your business has over these big-box retailers, it’s the ability to build personal relationships with your customers. Everything your brand does has the potential to either increase or decrease customer trust, but you have the control to decide which one.
8. Shopping Cart Behavior
If you’ve gone through the layout and design of your website and are positive you’ve been following all the best practices with an online store, it’s time to start digging into data and analytics.
You’re probably cringing just at the thought of the word ‘analytics,’ but fear not because Shopify and other website-building platforms make it extremely easy to track these things -- as easy as checking your social media feed.
There are two major ways to track shopping cart behavior in customers -- tracking the percentage of visitors that add a product to their cart and tracking the number of visitors that abandon a cart with items in it.
If you’ve noticed the issue is with visitors not adding products to their cart, you may need to offer more photos of the product, making the ‘Add to Cart’ button easier to see, double-check that the button works, and making the page easier to navigate.
If you’ve noticed the issue is with users abandoning their cart with items in it, then you’ll likely need to consider making the purchase process easier, adding more payment options for the customer, make sure you’re more clear about shipping prices, or make sure the cart page is formatted correctly.
You can also send emails to customers that abandon their carts to remind them you’re still ready to assist them with their purchase. Sometimes the visitor just forgot or got busy with something else, so a reminder is all they need.
When creating these emails, make them as personalized as possible to make the customer feel welcomed. If possible, offer them a discount for finishing their purchase to incentivize them to come back.
9. Inadequate Pricing & Lack of Payment Options
Customers come with unique needs and your online store needs to accommodate these needs if you want to maintain their loyalty. One of the things that might be standing in your way is not having the necessary payment options available for them to purchase anything.
As a general rule of thumb, you should offer any payment option that’s popular these days. Debit cards, credit cards, checks, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, there are so many options available and customers are likely going to use all of them.
At the end of the day, it’s about making the checkout process as simple and convenient as possible for your website traffic.
If it’s not the payment option, then it’s the price. If your customers are leaving the website without placing items in the cart, you could have overpriced products. If they’re leaving the website after placing items in the cart, you could have overpriced shipping.
To help incentivize customers to make that first purchase with you, consider offering a discount code or promotion for first-time buyers. This could help spark more sales at your online store.
10. Ineffective Marketing Tactics
When someone visits your website, are you getting any information from them before they leave the site -- such as email or phone number? If not, you need to start doing this immediately so you can effectively remarket your website to previous visitors.
The great thing about this is you can change the marketing message based on the visitor’s previous behavior on your site. If they abandoned the cart, you can have a personalized message waiting for them. If they left after checking out the men’s category of clothes, send them a discount on men’s clothes.
Retargeting old visitors is one of the easiest forms of marketing once you build an email list and maintain relationships with customers. Eventually, you’ll have a growing list of subscribers that you know are interested in your products and services. Of course, this means high-quality visitors and higher conversion rates.
11. Visitor Behavior
Much like how we were tracking behavior with the shopping cart, tracking the behavior of your online traffic throughout the rest of your website can tell you a lot regarding why you’re not seeing the type of sales you expect.
One amazing tool to utilize when looking at visitor behavior is Hotjar (or Lucky Orange). This tool lets you watch a recorded session of a random user, that way you can see how they navigate the site and where they got lost.
Tools like Hotjar also show you “heat maps” that show in detail where visitors are clicking the most around your site and where they’re deciding to leave the site.
In addition to that, Shopify has tools that allow you to manage the different searches being performed on your site. When you can understand what visitors are searching for, you’ll have a better understanding of what customers need when visiting your site. You can then use this data to determine your main menu and other call-to-actions.
Need Help Turning Online Traffic Into Sales?
Getting traffic is difficult, but turning that traffic into a sale is where business owners and online stores truly get tested. By ensuring you’re following the best practices when designing, developing, and maintaining your online store, you can start to gain traction in the eCommerce community.
If you’ve followed our advice above and still aren’t converting leads, there might be a deeper issue that needs to be resolved -- such as selling to the wrong audience, poor customer service, not enough presence online, and much more.
When you’re ready to start diagnosing the issues with your online store and finding real-time, quality solutions tailored for your business, contact the professionals at Consultants In-A-Box today.
Accurate Accounting Can Boost Your Business’ Value Here’s Why 0
Learning how to determine the value of a business requires taking several different factors into consideration. One of the most important factors to the value of a business is the accuracy of its accounting procedures.
Without accurate accounting, your business won’t hold any appeal to outside people -- whether it be potential employees, current employees, customers, clients, or even investors. It makes it difficult to feel confident with your business’ success when learning how to value a small business.
Since accounting affects every aspect of your business, you need to ensure you have the proper accounting tools, resources, and principles available to your business. It helps ensure accuracy and puts your business in a healthy position moving forward.
If you’re wondering how accurate accounting can affect your business value, we have nine reasons to give you. We’ll discuss them each in more detail below.
1. Improved Marketing Forecasts
Owning a business comes with a wide range of expenses, but none can get out of hand quite like marketing costs. Before launching a campaign, you have to know your business is prepared for everything that comes after.
You’ll need cash flow, employee time (which costs money), and a campaign idea that’s built to work. That’s a lot to ask, but accurate accounting allows you to take any guesswork when launching a campaign.
With improved revenue forecasts, accurate cash flow statements, and expected expense reports, you can perfect the art of planning and budgeting when it comes to your marketing strategy. You’ll feel confident when launching your campaign and will have more time to focus on things that matter.
2. Sustained Financial Success
Imagine setting out on a journey to a destination without a map or GPS to guide you there. You might run into small successes here and there when you come across a sign that helps you out, but it won’t be a sustained and effective way of getting to that destination.
Accurate accounting is your GPS when determining how to value a small business. You have goals and expectations for your business -- everyone does -- and accurate accounting is what helps guide you there.
It breaks down your current financial status, creates forecasts for the future, keeps a tab on your budget, income, revenue, expenses, and everything else you can think of. It helps you plan, prepare, and overcome anything your business encounters.
3. Quality & Efficiency At Its Finest
There are going to be times when your business is presented an investment opportunity -- either outside the company or within the company. Some of these investment opportunities are going to be hard to say No to and others might even be a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, making smart, quality, and efficient decisions when it comes to investments requires accurate accounting. Even the ones that seem like a no-brainer aren’t always the best decision when looking at your business’ current standing.
With accurate accounting, you’ll know when the best time to invest in new equipment is or whether you have the funds to afford to hire more employees to improve efficiency.
4. Employee Satisfaction
Speaking of hiring employees, accurate accounting can help you take better control of your human resources. Looking for employees when you’re in a tough spot leads to rushed hires and quick turnover. Looking for employees when things are working in your favor, however, can give you the time to find the right candidate.
Accurate accounting also helps you know when to hire when to lay people off, and when it’s time to grow your business. Just like business growth makes an owner happy, it makes the employees happy. It means better benefits, better wages, and a better work environment.
The different departments in your business work together like the different organs in the human body. When one department is underperforming, it directly affects the rest of the departments. This is no different when it comes to the accounting and human resources departments.
5. Preventing the Risk of Fraudulent Acts
Accurate accounting and seamless reporting when it comes to your current financial status help keep you better in-tune with the money coming in and out of your business every single day. You’ll know your expected expenses beforehand and will be able to better compare those expenses to what’s really being charged.
This level of non-stop management becomes extremely easy with the right accounting software and helps prevent fraud throughout your company. You’ll be able to spot fraudulent acts as they occur and detect unwanted changes in real-time.
Catching these acts before they truly start to damage your business inside-and-out is essential to limiting the amount of damage they can do. You’ll save the rest of your employees, clients, and customers from a sticky situation, as well.
6. Managing Business Costs
Any business is going to experience a wide amount of costs, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. There are fixed costs and variable costs, all of which need to be accounted for in real-time to effectively control your business’ costs.
Let’s say you need to cut costs in your business. Without accurate accounting, you might start cutting costs in places that shouldn’t or don’t need to be cut -- whether that be letting go employees or saying goodbye to certain products.
At the same time, you’ll be avoiding the key areas where you’re spending too much and can afford to cut costs. It’s a vicious cycle that could be prevented with the right accounting tools, resources, techniques, and assistance.
7. Improved Security Where It Counts
Accurate accounting today requires an efficient software platform that gives businesses everything they need when managing their bookkeeping. Of course, this software also presents a level of security that spreadsheets, handwritten documents, and Microsoft Word simply can’t provide.
Anything handwritten can easily be lost, anything on a USB is prone to be damaged or unreadable, and anything on the internet can be hacked. That’s why you need secure software tailored to meet your business’ needs to help you stay safe when managing your company’s accounting.
8. Financial Management
Poor financial management can quickly deteriorate your business value and it’s something that won’t go unnoticed by your customers, clients, and employees. They’ll see the warning signs and it’ll start to affect the success your business is supposed to see on a daily basis.
On the other hand, good financial management and accurate accounting have the opposite effect on your business value. Customers will feel comfortable investing in your business and employees will want to work there.
9. Building & Maintaining Relationships
As a business, you have several people you need to satisfy on a daily basis. You have employees that want to know their job is safe. You have vendors that want to know their invoices will be paid. You have customers that want to know you aren’t going to close randomly.
Building these relationships is difficult, which makes it even more tragic when those relationships are destroyed. With accurate accounting, you can effectively maintain these relationships and keep your business in good standing with the community you’re surrounded by.
If you’re learning how to determine the value of a business and are starting to realize how important accurate accounting is to the process, we can help. We have the necessary tools, resources, and expertise to help you take control of your accounting procedures and center it all under one roof.
Contact Consultants In-A-Box today to discuss more how we can meet your accounting needs.