Online sales are on the rise and e-commerce is expected to grow at a much faster rate than offline retail. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that more and more businesses are working hard to build a strong online presence that often includes opening an e-shop.
Important as online stores are, there’s still a lot of misconception about what factors improve the odds for online success.
Take website speed for instance. Though many online marketers believe it is somewhat important for their businesses, they are unaware of the extent it impacts websites.
The gurus of web hosting reviews at the Hosting Tribunal created the fact-packed infographic below to show the latest stats about how page loading time affects online stores.
Meanwhile let’s bust some misconceptions related to speed and e-shops.
For starters, did you know that slow page load time negatively affects your total page views and bounce rate?
Research shows that for every second delay in page loading, you will have 11% fewer page views. Additionally, the bounce rate probability rises sharply with every small increase in page load time.
For instance, sites with load times of 5 seconds have the bounce rate probability of 90%. For sites with load times of 10 seconds, this figure is 123%. So, a 5-second delay in page loading causes bounce rate to increase by a whopping 33%.
But that’s not all. Majority of viewers who choose to stay for longer periods of time on slow online stores are likely to be unhappy with their site experience and as a result never shop there again.
52% of online shoppers rank site speed as an important loyalty factor and 64% of them will take their business elsewhere if their on-site experience is below-par.
A slow web page also means a high cart abandonment rate, which measures the number of people who add an item to their shopping carts but leave without completing the transaction.
All in all, slow page loading affects your online store in many ways. So what are you waiting for? Take a look at the graphic below and apply corrective measures immediately if your site is slow and sluggish.
Colors are everywhere! It’s hard to imagine a world without color, and even harder to measure their impact in our everyday lives. However, the impact is undeniable, and blogging, web design, branding, marketing, and sales are not immune to it. It is well known that colors have an effect on human moods and emotions, which in turn affect decisions and behavior. This effect is the fascinating subject of color psychology and understanding it can be an incredibly useful asset when optimizing your blog.
DesignAdvisor has researched this topic and put together an informative infographic on 40 facts about the psychology of color. If you’re looking for ways to boost your blog, it’s well worth considering the color psychology factor. Here are three questions and answer to help you explore this topic and assess how it’s affecting your blog design.
What messages are associated with different color?
First of all, let’s consider the underlying meanings and messages behind the most frequently used colors:
· GREEN: Just like grass and trees in nature, the color green gives a message of growth and health. Green is a calm and soothing color with an element of freshness. It works well in the household, finance, agriculture, technology, and energy sectors among others.
· BLUE: Blue tends to be a firm favorite across the board. Its message is one of peace and tranquillity, and it symbolizes security, trust, reliability, and productivity.
· RED: The color of passion and excitement, red has been proven to increase the observer’s heart rate in some cases! Red conveys a bold and lively message which can also give a sense of urgency and speed.
· YELLOW: Bright and cheerful like the sun, yellow is an energetic color which speaks of competence and intelligence. It can even arouse hunger pangs making yellow an ideal color for food outlets and catering businesses.
· ORANGE: Another warm and energetic color, orange sends a message of confidence, enthusiasm, and ambition. It is popular with technology and healthcare brands.
· PURPLE: The color of royalty, purple symbolizes wealth, power, authority and sophistication. It is often used in the health and beauty industry, for anti-aging products, as well as in finance and various other industries.
· PINK: This attractive color’s message is one of warmth, sensitivity, sincerity, respect, and sophistication. It also gives the sense of possibilities.
· BROWN: Brown is a solid and earthy color. It works well if you want to convey a message of ruggedness and durability.
· BLACK: Black is a classic – ever elegant and sophisticated, often giving the message of wealth and luxury as well as carrying the weight of power and authority.
· WHITE: White is the ultimate symbol of purity and perfection, and it also gives a fresh and clean look. It works wonderfully as an accent color.
Do my color choices align with my blog’s intended message?
Now that you know the ideas and feelings commonly associated with each color ask yourself how your blog’s color scheme matches up. Have you chosen shades that correspond to your blog’s themes and messages you’re trying to convey? Perhaps your chosen colors have been sending a contradictory message all along. Now might be a great time to rethink your blog design with color psychology in mind. Perhaps after reading this far, you feel convinced that you have chosen the right colors, but for some reason, your readership response is not as high as you would like it to be. If this is the case, here is a bonus question for you to consider.
What color is my CTA button?
Who would have thought that the color of your call to action button can make a huge difference to the number of clicks you are likely to get? Indeed, case studies have confirmed that simply changing the color of the button can cause a marked improvement. Whether you are asking your readers to subscribe to a newsletter, sign up for an ebook or perform another desired action, it’s all about visibility and standing out on the page. The colors which work best for a CTA button are usually orange, red, yellow or green. So what color is yours?
For more information on color psychology in branding and digital marketing, check out the infographic below!
If you haven’t heard, conversion rates are a big deal. Fail to optimize them and you’ll miss out on golden opportunities. But what do you need to know about conversion rates, and what methods can you use to boost them? Let’s take a more detailed look.
They’re not just for e-commerce
As evidenced by the featured image, conversion is often considered a topic for e-commerce marketers to obsess over while they toy with their UX designs, but it’s more than that. It’s important for every business with an online presence of some kind, with very few exceptions. Just imagine how many companies there are that genuinely neither need nor want anything significant in return for the resources and entertainment they provide: a handful, maybe?
Whether you sell products, market a service, or seek to collect data, the everyday operation of your business relies upon the visitors to your website doing what you want them to do: choosing, knowingly or unknowingly, to help you out in some way. Fail to inspire the level of action you need, and your website will sink.
What counts as a conversion is up to you
The reason this can get tricky for non-ecommerce sites is that it isn’t always obvious what exactly should be considered a conversion. With a product purchase, it’s simple: when someone places an order, that’s a conversion. But what about with a promotional site for a service? Does someone sending an email query count as a conversion? What about someone calling you directly? Is that more or less significant?
It all comes down to the likelihood of any given conversion leading to a more classic conversion (i.e. the contribution of money). The most sensible way to approach conversions for a non-ecommerce site is to have a tier of connected conversions, with each one assigned a different value.
If someone reaches out to you in some way, that can be a conversion — once money exchanges hands, that can be a more valuable conversion. It’s better than only considering the profitable exchanges as conversions because it highlights the difference between those stages.
These days, marketing campaigns can be very broad, supporting more traditional forms of promotion with social media activity (typically Facebook ads or Instagram marketing) to create more varied traffic streams. If you’re getting plenty of email, phone call or social media conversions but not ever winning any new business, that will suggest that there’s some problem with your follow-up procedure.
They need more than superficial changes
When it comes to product pages, landing pages, and even checkouts, you’ll find plenty of people talking in great detail about how minor alterations can make huge differences. For instance, you changing the color of a primary CTA from blue to orange might raise the conversion rate by 2%, and a comparably-minor change a font size might have a similar effect.
This is entirely true, of course: minor changes can make major differences. But the problem with getting too hung up on this truth is that it can limit your ability to improve by getting you stuck in a cycle of simple A/B testing. One month you change the CTA color to good effect, but the rates go down the next, so you tweak the image style, and so on. You get into a habit of making mostly-arbitrary changes to see what will happen.
And while you’re spending all that time on those speculative tweaks, you’re missing out on other issues that would take much longer to address but might prove even more effective if you did. If you’re simply using a site as a short-term digital asset, as website flippers do, then it won’t be worth your time to get so in-depth — but if you’re sticking with a website for the long haul, you will eventually need to ramp up your analysis to make a difference.
It’s entirely understandable that this happens. If you’re casting a critical eye over a site and you come up with two ideas, one being to radically overhaul the payment system and another being to pad out the product tiles slightly, you’re likely going to do the latter first because it’s much easier. Just make sure that you go deeper than that and look for broader ways to improve.
The best way of measuring conversion rates is by setting up goals & filters within your Google Analytics account. Here is an awesome video that will show you step by step how to set up your own goals within Google Analytics by David over at The PPC Machine. He’s graciously allowed me to embed it below:
They can ruin otherwise-excellent sites
Frustratingly, it’s perfectly possible for a site to have a highly effective marketing funnel right up to the point of conversion, only to drop the ball and see all that hard-earned traffic slip away. It’s such a waste, especially since the flaws responsible for the damage are sometimes remarkably simple and cost-effective to address.
As such, a catch-all solution to your website woes is to find ways to improve your conversion rates. Until you’re entirely sure that you’ve polished all the conversion-relevant elements of your site to a mirror shine, they fully warrant a lot of close attention.
Let’s recap what we’ve looked at here:
Conversion rates are vitally important for all websites, not just ecommerce stores.
You get to decide what metrics they track.
They require in-depth analysis to optimize.
If you get them wrong, they can undermine great sites.
My suggestion for an ongoing conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy is to combine basic A/B testing on all the small elements you can easily adjust (colors, sizes, ordering, etc.) with more detailed reviews of specific functions. Those improvements (both small and big) will add up, leading to better rates — and thus better business.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
While huge corporations can afford to spend a lot of money testing out different marketing strategies, small businesses do not always have that option due to a much more limited budget. That is why they usually need to stick to proven marketing methods which have the best ROI.
The Benefits Of Email Marketing
One such method is email marketing. It is a cost-effective way to reach a large number of customers and has the added benefit of enabling you to track the marketing campaign results easily.
Another great benefit of using email marketing is that you can target specific audiences with specially designed and personalized content. This improves the chances of the email being opened and read because it will reach people who are more likely to be interested in the products and services that your company is offering.
Email marketing also brings dozens of other benefits, all of which are listed in the infographic below provided by 99firms.com.
Know What You Want
Before you start creating an email marketing campaign, you need to define your goals. What is that you are hoping to achieve from the campaign?
Sales conversions – It goes without saying that every business wants to improve conversions. Luckily, there are many metrics that you can use to see how well your email marketing is affecting them.
Website traffic – Bringing as many people as you can to your website can only be a good thing. Not only will this raise awareness of your brand, but it will also improve its ranks on search engines. You can see how effective your emails are by taking a look at the click-through rates.
Increase revenue – Another common email marketing goal is to increase revenue. When recipients start to become customers, you can declare your email marketing campaign as successful.
Once you know why you want to use email marketing, you should segment your email lists into relevant groups. That way, you can send specially designed content to certain groups of people. If you do otherwise, i.e., send the same email to all the addresses you have, your campaign will fail.
When it comes to the future of e-commerce, nothing is set in stone. Its hard to believe, what with the rise of online shopping, that many e-commerce businesses are still in the early stages of development and are yet to fully find their feet in such a busy marketplace. Others are adopting eCommerce to the fullest and offering all sorts of benefits such as same day shipping and delivery of subscription boxes to their customers. Here’s a great post The 51 Best Subscription Boxes from ThrifyCrates.com
It is for this reason that many retailers may find the predictions for trends to come in the e-commerce industry pretty futuristic, such as drone delivery or payments made with digital currencies. As a smaller business, if you can’t compete with some of the market giants out there like Amazon, you should instead focus on the things that are more achievable in the short term.
Ecommerce customer service automation is now almost commonplace with online retailers. People are used to heading online and having a chatbot pop up in the corner of the screen asking if you need any assistance.
In general, online retailers will be paying particular attention to the customer service element of their businesses, as currently this is what has been lacking from online shopping. Many people still prefer shopping in brick and mortar stores as they have constant access to a member of staff to help them with their purchasing decisions.
To encourage people to head online, this should also be achievable digitally, without the need for businesses to hire many members of staff to handle queries. Already in 2017, AI has been able to handle 45% of customer questions using live chat, and as this technology continues to develop, this number is set to grow.
Technological developments will also be the cause of more trends, such as the use of cryptocurrencies, most commonly the Bitcoin. Although digital currencies have been around for a while now, it is only more recently that they have started to be considered as a payment method for online stores. It is looking likely that this will become more commonplace in the years to come.
For more information of future trends to look out for, take a look at the infographic below which was created by industry experts.
Fall is fast approaching and for me, that always signals, fresh starts and new beginnings more than the New Year ever could. I guess it’s all the time preparing for new school years that it just seems like the time to put your best foot forward and get to work.
You clean up from Summer fun and get ready for folders and binders, shoes & clothes. I still love opening up a new notebook and imagining the stories and ideas among the lines and white space. New stories to tell, old ones to share, and limitless possibilities for the future.
It’s also time to take stock of how you’ve spent the last year and where you want to improve in the coming new year. As you’re doing that, it’s also a terrific time to figure out how you want your website to grow as well. A great way to do this is by checking your stats & making a plan.
You have a few golden nuggets buried deep in the bowels of your WordPress site that haven’t seen the light of day since Elvis was alive. Okay, maybe not THAT long, but you get my meaning. Maybe you wrote them when you first started out or you’ve figured out another way that the information can be presented or maybe you can solve a different problem altogether.
Well, I’m going to show you how to make those golden nuggets shine with the promise of new life! The first thing you’re going to do is go to your plugin tab on your dashboard and hit “Add new” in the search bar type in “Revisionize” make sure that it is compatible with the theme you are currently running and hit install. You’ll be prompted to activate and then you’re set to go!
After you have installed the plugin you want to go to JetPak back on your dashboard. Go to “Site Stats”. Scroll halfway down and to the right, you will see “top posts & pages” click on summaries and then “all time”. This will give you a list of every post that has been published along with the page views for each individual post.
If you don’t have JetPack or even if you do, you probably have Google Analytics. To check your highest ranking posts there you sign in to your GA account (it’s the same credentials as your Gmail account). Scroll down the page until you see: What pages do your users visit? Here you can check your most popular posts.
First, go to your top ten posts and make a note of them. When you’ve done that then scroll to the bottom of the list and see which posts were the least performing. They are the ones that you want to work on first. Go into each post and update any changes that have occurred. Things like:
technology that has changed
a recipe that could be made healthier
an image that is old and dated
tips that could be added to
Once you have the post ready hit updateand then right above the publish button you will now see a button that saysrevisionize. You’re going to want to click on that. Now, you can either publish it or schedule it for a date in the future. It’s like a brand new post now.
The way revisionize works is that it automatically creates a 301 redirect so that anytime someone clicks on an old link it will automatically take them to the new post. So, if say you had a pin on Pinterest for the original post and someone clicks on it, they will end up right on your brand new post!
I love this plugin and it’s made a huge difference in my page views on my older site TDAC. I did this with the 10 posts that have the least page views. I also went to the top ten and made any changes that I could. Freshened them up.
After, I’ve done that I use my social media scheduling tool SENDIBLE and TAILWIND APP to schedule all of my social media posts for three months at a time. I let the scheduling tool pick the best times and WAH-LAH I am done!
* This post contains affiliate links. I will save a small amount off of my monthly CoSchedule fees if you purchase from the link above.