We often receive phone calls from people asking us how to increase sales in their online shop. We typically ask questions related to what their sales goals are, then provide a bit of free advice over the phone, then supply them an email. Then we assist further if they want to proceed.
This morning we’ve decided to jot down even more insights here in this blog article. It might appear long, but there is some worthwhile info in this. We’ll also come back and update this blog article from time to time.
Before you read on, be ABSOLUTELY sure that the below things have been correctly done on your eCommerce shop website. They are the bare essentials to start getting traffic and sales from potential buyers searching Google and Bing. They are by NO MEANS the be-all and end-all of online shop growth activities, but they are the start. Here they are:
- Search Engine Keyword Phrase research. Your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) digital marketing strategies partner will know how to do this activity correctly and will also involve you in the process. There are many activities to do in this process. One of them is ‘learning what your competitors are targeting’. Here is a tutorial that explains some of the methods involved to do this.
All your discovered keyword phrases need to go into an Excel file. They then need to be analysed to determine which ones to target.
- Next, each target keyword phrase needs to be correctly optimised into your website. You will need professional guidance to do this correctly OR pay a professional to do this for you. YOU DO NOT want to do this wrong/ incorrectly; if you do this wrong, Google may penalise your website for being too spammy. YOU DO NOT WANT A PENALTY FROM GOOGLE… they can take a LOT of time and money to resolve…. plus you will lose a LOT of sales in the process (when we say ‘a lot’ we mean tens of thousands of dollars).
- All steps within the YOAST SEO tutorial (click here to view it) need to be followed if your website is set up in WordPress. Similarly too if your website is set up with a different eCommerce engine like Shopify, eCWID, BigCommerce, Magento… or any other website platform or website build method. Below is a video from Yoast that is also worth watching and following. Again, we strongly recommend you ask your SEO professional to either do this job for you or assist you and make sure you are doing all the work correctly (if they offer this as a service… which we do).
- Ask your SEO professional to monitor your organic keyword phrase rankings in: Google.com.au, Google.com (if you sell internationally), other versions of Google if you sell in additional other specific countries, Google mobile, Bing and maybe Yahoo. Your SEO professional uses software to accurately monitor and report on how your website is ranking for each target keyword phrase. They do this using software like MOZ.com, SEMRush, MagesticSEO, ahrefs, Raven Tools (there are also many others). At the time of writing this article, we using MOZ.com and SEMRush. Watch the below video that shows some of the ranking features of MOZ. In most of these software tools, you can also monitor your top online competitor’s rankings for the same target keyword phrases; what a GREAT way to see how your site is performing in search engines vs that of your top competitors!
- Ask your SEO Specialist to demo (show you via a Zoom or Skype call …. or a pre-recorded video) how their monitoring software works and some of the key features; these software tools do WAY more than just keyword phrase monitoring. It is a very good idea to become familiar with what these tools do; they are essential to your online shop’s organic SEO growth.
- Ask your SEO expert to send you organic keyword phrase rank reports every 1, 2 or 4 weeks. You need to know how your website is ranking for each target keyword phrase at any given time. Imagine the drop in sales if your rankings tank from one day to the next and you don’t know about it for 4 weeks… and no one does anything about it.
The above video is a little long. It is still worth a watch though if you want to know specifics. Of course, if you just want results, you don’t need to know the ins-and-outs of all this. Instead just work with a SEO business that knows how to get the best results possible.
Please note: We will create a shorter tutorial soon, showing the MOZ keyword phrase rank monitoring system.
Now that the basics of ‘on-website SEO are done’, you can talk to your SEO expert about:
- Increasing traffic
- Increasing your rankings in Google, Bing and Yahoo for your target keyword phrases.
- How to build website authority online and grow your organic traffic by building an audience, reaching out to influencers, seeking endorsements, content creation, featuring products online, product reviews, legit product unboxings and many other strategies that all help bring more and more traffic to your website so you sell more and more products. This becomes the start of ‘inbound marketing’.
- At the same time, start discussing with your digital marketer about them using their expertise to provide you with a bespoke/tailored Digital Marketing Growth Plan.
Always remember that in online selling, there are processes and procedures that have worked for MANY online shops over the years. THEY have gained huge success! You just need to know how they did what they did, and do the same things! SEO and SEO growth is one of these activities!
Patience is needed. Your online shop is not going to go from less than $10K per month in sales to over $60K (or well over $100K… or more) per month in a matter of days.
Now that the bare-bones basics of SEO is done correctly on your website, it’s time to address the things we have written below:
To increase online retail eCommerce shop sales, some of the aims have to be:
- Gain as many new first time buyers as you can
- Get, gain, and continually work at increasing and maximising the quality traffic to your site each month. If your site only gets 500 or less unique visitors to it per month, it does not get anywhere near the amount of traffic it needs to in order to be a performer site/ yield decent sales and profits. You need to be aiming for thousands of targeted (willing and qualified to buy from you) unique visitors per month. The more the better!
- Know your customers. This is a given… but some businesses have not gone through the process of generating their ‘ideal buyer personas’. Doing this is key. We recommend doing this short free course that HubSpop provide to learn how.
- Add new resources, content, product packages, promotions, special offers, clearance bin deals, subscription models, etc to your site to make it a MUCH more awesome resource and shopping experience; a place to come back to, etc.
- Use digital marketing, digital advertising, inbound marketing, SEO, Google Shopping Network, YouTube ads, Google Display Network, cookies, Facebook pixel, etc to gain awareness about your great products, special offers, promos, marketing campaigns, etc.
- Seasonal marketing is also key. Pre-plan and roll-out excellent seasonal marketing campaigns before Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and the many other holiday periods each year.
- DO NOT overlook the potential of having awesome special offers marketed for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Even in Australia, these sales make BIG dollars/ sales for online retailers who jump on this.
- Lead times: don’t just rely on dropping your prices a few days before a holiday or sales event. Your online shop HAS to be viewed and operated as a serious business for it to be successful. This means you MUST ensure you have adequate lead time to plan, roll-out and market EXCELLENT marketing campaigns well ahead of the holiday date. This will give your market enough time to learn about your campaign, be remarketed to (important) so they show up and buy.
- Competitor monitoring and prices snipering: everyone expects a bargain online! If your prices are not the best they can be and your competitors are selling the same or similar products for less, you won’t get the sales that you want… instead, your competitors will be getting the lions-share of sales, You will miss out.
- BE DIFFERENT: Stand out from the crowd! Make your website and your product offerings unique, different and fun! Never be boring, even in your product description text. No one likes boring. EVERYONE wants to be entertained and informed! People want to be excited, find solutions to their questions (and challenges and any problems they are facing). They also want to be part of a community, connect with others, dream, be inspired and happy. That is why those who entertain via YouTube tend to do really well; they excite and have charisma! Here are 2 quick examples:
A/ Check out how this online shop (Silky Saws) uses YouTube successfully (this is their YouTube Channel). Remember too that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine; I can guarantee your ideal buyers spend time on YouTube.
B/ This online shop (Gold-Diggers) run a live streaming group call every Monday evening. They build community.
- Do what your competitors can’t do, won’t do, can’t be bothered doing and/or don’t know how to do. Strive to always do more, be at the top of your game and innovate. The more you put into your business, the more you will get back. If you stagnate or think an online shop is a ‘set and forget’ activity and “if I build it, they will come” you will never gain online sales success. An online store has to be operated like any other business that gains success. If you do this, and put in the effort, learn the right strategies and have the right digital marketing growth team on your side and invest in growth correctly, you will win!
- The 3 M’s: Monitor, Measure, Modify/ optimise, pivot and improve. This means: collect and read data from Google Analytics, other tracking software you run on your site (you may use Oribi, CrazyEgg, HotJar and others), monitor your competitors, look for new opportunities always. Basically KEEP YOUR website and its products relevant to what your market wants and desires, always!
- Make your website the best in your online marketplace. Make it awesome!
- Focus also on gaining as many repeat customers as you can.
- Do make sure that AfterPay and ZipPay and maybe others are set up on your website.
- Ensure a Cart Abandonment System is set up and configured correctly.. and that it is actually functioning/working (don’t take this for granted… you need to actually test it)
- Make sure your website has trust-worthy signals included within it. This includes but is not limited to a SSL Certificate.
- Make sure your website is correctly security updated regularly. The last thing you want is your site to be broken, not working, not allowing people to complete an online purchase (if the check-out is broken), end up with a virus on their computer because your site was attacked, see your site hacked and completely destroyed, have sensitive data hacked, have orders deleted, etc. etc. ALSO make sure your website is also regularly backed-up… including its database. Preventative measures like this are a MUST!
- Check that all aspects and parts of your online shop function. Check this regularly. Don’t assume. Even make sure your checkout is always working the way it should. Imagine if it broke and you had no idea that no-one could actually make a purchase through your website; imagine all the unhappy customers you would have and the loss in sales.
- Setup rewards systems within your online shop for existing customers. I recommend seeing how HobbyKing operates their website. They have put a lot of time and effort into setting up features so that existing buyers are rewarded when making future purchases.
- Write your 5 year plan! Within it list what your 12 month, 2 year, 3 year and 5 year goals are. Review it regularly and make sure you are on track toward achieving each goal within the timeframe you want. Then once you have achieved them, write another 5 year plan.
If you cover these things (as well as those we have listed below), you will see sales start to ramp up. You can then push from there to get even more sales and start to really grow… and exceed your goals.
The aim should be to also utilise those around you who have invested over $250K since year 2000 into learning and getting very good at digital marketing and digital advertising. Unless you have invested the same amount of money and time over the last 20 years, they know more about how to increase online sales than you do. Utilise their knowledge and skills; ask them to become part of your team. People like us can help your business grow… we also know how to avoid the traps so you ONLY invest in marketing, digital marketing, advertising, digital advertising, social media, etc activities that are going to help your business sales and profit margins increase and grow (and ‘snow ball’) in meaningful ways (so we are not wasting time and money on things that will not).
We imagine you are reading this blog post because part of your aim is to get your business:
- Kicking goals
- Exceeding goals
- Being in a WAY better position after COVID-19 than before it started
Because we can, we have decided to give you additional useful information — please see below (usually there is a fee for this):
Here are some additional dot-point (additional useful information):
- We usually request that all clients who want growth, start by doing the first half of this short free course: https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/inbound-marketing. (This is the same course we mentioned above)
- Identify your goals for the next 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 5 years, etc. Write them all into the digital marketing questionnaire (contact us to ask for this questionnaire). Type them in MS Word.
- Know that the only way to grow is to learn the right things, implement the right things, stick with it, work at it every week, set hrs each week to work on it, align with a good digital marketing and website team (us), be tenacious, don’t give up. The more you put in, the more you will see compounded growth (the snowball effect works amazingly online due to the amount of people you can market to).
- Knowing what the goals are is the first step. Knowing what the gross revenue and profit margin goals are for each 12 months is critically important.
- Identify what measures you are going to take (or have taken) to make your website and products even more appealing to potential buyers during COVID-19 where we know: people are in lockdown and buying more online. Decide on: how awesome you are going to make your specials, special offers, promotions etc.
- ALSO then ask us to create a page for your website that says ‘COVID-19 Update’. Together we will include info on that page that shares what your business is doing to help others during this time. I have a page my site that shares what we are doing https://www.greenvalleydigital.com.au/covid-19-update/
- Decide how you are going to use this time as an opportunity.
- Grab all the buyers from your website and store over the years. Grab all their email addresses and then create a basic excel file with their first name, last name, location and email address (all in separate columns). Send that to your digital marketing team and they import it into your Enewsletter marking system. As you and I know, it is easy to sell to first time happy buyers/ customers.
- Look at your mailing list: decide what special offers you are doing to send to them via the your Enewsletter account.
- Look at how you are going to gain sales form those who don’t complete their online order. Read this document https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-shopping .
- Decide then where your potential customers spend their time online: Google, Bing, Facebook, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Marketplace, LinkedIn, Instagram. There are also others… and other websites. List them ALL…. Including other websites and forums that you know your buyers spend time online using.
- Review your eBay store. Optimise it further. Do an online eBay selling course if needs be. See if you can also sell on Etsy.
- I strongly recommend upskilling and learning the ins and outs of eCommerce selling – how to make the big bucks. There are heaps of articles online to read. Search Google for “how do I maximises sales in my eCommerce site in 2019 and 2020” “how do I grow my eCommerce website during covid-19”
- I recommend doing this course https://storeformula.commercehq.com/ << Learn how to run targeted facebook ads and retargeting. There are some good courses out there. Some not so good. If you want the best, let us know.
- We also recommend doing courses with DigitalMarketer https://www.digitalmarketer.com/ . Also do this course https://www.digitalmarketer.com/lp/launch-plan/
- I also recommend listening to every video by Neil Patel https://www.youtube.com/user/neilvkpatel .
- Research “Google Shopping Network” and then see about setting it up. If you need a hand, let us know
- Research “Google Display Network” and then see about setting it up. If you need a hand, let us know
- Work out budgets and RIO (Return On Investment) projections.
If you don’t have time to learn all this, you can commission an excellent digital marketing team to do all the work for you. They will assemble a plan, order the work from ‘most important’ to least important. They will focus on ‘moving the needle in your business forward’ asap.
With the above activities learned and implemented in your online business, you will see sales gains.
Right now people are buying online. Those selling online who have all the above things done are making GREAT dollars. It’s a numbers game; digital marketing education and implementation leads to B$G sales growth.
Bonus tip: If you have certain products that you know sell really well, also consider doing this course: https://onefunnelaway.com/challenge,
If you want to get lots more people buying other services from you, I also recommend doing this course: https://perfectwebinarsecrets.com/get-it-free
Ideally, your website should be doing at least $50K per month in sales. It really should be doing even more than that. Aim high! 🙂
Feel free to post your comments below.
There are many other additional strategies to aid in increasing online shop sales. If you would like to share some of them in the comments, please also feel free.