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7 Tweaks to Improve Website and eCommerce Conversion Rates

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When it comes to tracking e-commerce success, there are plenty of metrics to monitor at all times. From new user traffic and bounce rate to time on page and cart abandonment, each metric can give a clear picture of a store’s health.

However, there’s no greater measurement by which to analyze your success than the holy grail of metrics—your conversion rate. Regardless of how good a job you’re doing in the other areas of your store, if your conversion rate isn’t solid, neither is your business.

These seven tweaks will help you improve your conversion rate.

Lead generation strategy flat isometric vector concept. Marketing process of conversion rate optimization and generating business leads.

  1. Improving Site Speed

It’s well documented that users expect sites to load quickly. In fact, a page that takes longer than three seconds to load is usually abandoned, and 79 percent of shoppers who experience site performance issues say they won’t return. If your site is slow, or worse, you experience excessive downtime, you might have a sub-par hosting provider. If your hosting is fine, consider making your CSS, HTML and images more efficient through image compression and coding best practices.

  1. Make Your Product Images Stellar

In addition to making sure all your store images are compressed and easy to load, they need to come as close as possible to replicating the brick-and-mortar experience. That means high-resolution photos, optimal white space, multiple product angles, zoomed in and zoomed out, and more. If you sell clothes, make up or accessories, then it’s wise to have models of varying complexions and skin colors wearing your products so all shoppers can get a sense of how the product will look on them. This will help reduce costly return rates, which can account for as much as one-third of all orders.

When it comes to creating the best images and using product placement correctly, you are going to find a ton of resources online. We recommend following these photography tips from Oberlo, as they show the many different ways to make product images pop and look professional on any site — thus increasing conversions and sales.

  1. Refresh Your Product Descriptions

Hopefully you’re not copying the product manufacturer descriptions at this point in the game. But even if you have your own product copy, does it provide everything a shopper would want to know? As with images, the goal is to replicate the in-store experience as much as possible.

When someone’s looking at a hiking backpack in an outdoor equipment store, they can feel its fabric, see how big it is, open all the pockets to gauge storage space, and etc. Your product descriptions should provide all of these details and more through language that speaks to your customer base. Don’t worry about getting too salesy; make your copy personal to your brand, but otherwise get out of the way and let the product info do the talking. You should have top-level summarized descriptions as well as more in-depth info, and both should be formatted for easy scanning. It might seem like a pain to overhaul all your descriptions, but solid product content will do wonders for your site.

  1. Optimize Your CTA Buttons

As much as we’d like to think we’re above psychological statistics, we’re not. The varying effectiveness of different call-to-action buttons is one example. Size, shape, color, descriptives and position on page all contribute to conversion rate efficacy. But in general, you want a CTA button color that stands out without clashing with the rest of the page.

Same thing with placement; any CTA should jump out at users above other page elements. As far as CTA language, it’s called a call-to-action for a reason: you want to use wording that incites your users to take action. Finally, the size of your buttons should correlate to the CTA’s importance. A button that’s inciting a buying action should naturally be larger than a button that offers more information to a user.

If you’re short on graphic design help and already operating on a hosted e-commerce platform, there’s probably an easy way to change your CTA buttons.

  1. Nix Your Shipping & Offer Discounts

If your cart abandonment rate is really high, one reason could be shipping costs. From a personal standpoint, I can confidently say that any site that adds shipping once I get to the cart checkout means guaranteed abandonment. Nobody’s particularly interested in paying for shipping these days thanks to Amazon and every customer is looking for a deal. In fact, merchants that offer discount codes are eight times more likely to make a sale. The discount doesn’t have to be margin-destroying, either. For most shoppers, the psychology of a good deal is too hard to pass up. You can also use any of these tools to track and improve shopping cart/checkout conversions as well.

  1. Re-Evaluate Your Branding

Branding is important from a customer awareness perspective as it builds rapport and trust. If your conversions aren’t where you want them, it’s worthwhile to take a long hard look at your branding efforts, especially your logo. Does your logo look polished, endearing or authoritative? Or is it more along the lines of sloppy, confusing or forgettable? According to Crazy Egg, mascots or heros are great ways to make a visual impact on your customers and drive them to action. If you have no idea where to start, get your creative juices flowing with a free logo maker.

  1. Display Trust Badges

If you’re finding both your overall bounce rate and cart abandonment numbers to be high, something is causing customers to get out of dodge. Several factors could be at play, but it likely boils down to a lack of trust. Displaying trust badges on your site is a subtle but direct way of telling customers, “don’t worry, we’re legitimate.”

You don’t need to go crazy adding a bunch of site badges to your store but displaying something showing your site employs SSL (secure sockets layer) security is a must. Business accreditation badges, such as from the Better Business Bureau can also be effective in gaining customer trust. Some badges are more common than others though, so make sure you’re showing badges that customers recognize and respect.

As an e-store owner, you’ll never be done optimizing your site for conversions. This is because optimization best practices will change as time goes on. Further, if you’re consistently doing proper A/B testing, you’re never done tweaking things.

These seven tweaks will absolutely improve your conversion rate. But rather than looking at it as a toil, think of it more like a science experiment in which you slowly get closer to the answer.

After all, ecommerce is the realm for the optimists and dreamers.

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As an active entrepreneur and blogger, my topics of discussion are mainly on business strategy, tech startups and motivating others to succeed. You can read up on my latest content at BlogReign.com.

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4 Blogging Lessons Learned in Bali

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I have spent over a year collectively on the Island of the Gods.

Bali is a special place.

This popular island in Indonesia teaches you 4 clear blogging success lessons too.

Let’s dive in guys.

1: Expect the Unexpected

During a house sit at a huge villa in Jimbaran I:

  • faced down and helped slay a spitting cobra
  • dealt with a chicken killing dog
  • lost 2 of the pets (1 to cancer and 1 to likely thievery)

This list could go on forever. From this sit alone.

Bali is a fun, fascinating and sometimes wild place. Like most developing places; you never know what waits around the corner.

I am writing this guest post because the security certificate expired on my blog. I had no idea this would happen right now. Completely unexpected. But being a blogger for 10 years I know to expect the unexpected.

When my developer wakes up he addresses it and we move forward. Until then I am at peace with my blog being down. No worries. Part of the blogging game.

Expect the unexpected with your blog guys. It will happen.

2: Learn to Celebrate Everything

Balinese are an appreciative people who celebrate everything.

Staff at the villa in Jimbaran regularly took off for ceremonies, celebrating everything from cell phones, to papayas, to motorbikes.

Even cremation ceremonies are lavish, eye-popping celebrations of life and death.

Appreciate it all with your blog. Wins, losses, and all in between. Celebrating it all makes you appreciative of the internet lifestyle.

I celebrated big wins and tough losses because all these experiences made me I am the blogger I am today.

3: Step Away from the Herd to Be Heard and Seen

Kuta is a tourist trap. Ubud town center can be a bit too much.

But the rice fields well outside of Ubud and the Bukit region of the island are authentic, colorful, peaceful gems.

My wife Kelli and I stand out from many other bloggers because we tend to stay in more remote areas of the island. Even in the popular fishing village of Jimbaran we did a house sit in off the grid farm country and rented a place up in the hills, away from the heavily touristed bay. Our experiences are authentic; not many tourists in Kuta facing down spitting cobras.

Blog in your voice. Tell your story. Be genuine. Blog from the heart.

Step away from the blogging herd. All success lies well away from the herd of bloggers in your niche who tend to follow each other like blogging sheeple, blogging in 3rd person voice and never sharing authentic experiences.

4: The Best Experiences Happen Outside of Your Comfort Zone

We rented a villa in the rice fields outside of Ubud once.

We had to ride a motorbike 5 minutes into the rice fields to reach the villa.

Save 1 other human living on the other side of the compound no people existed for miles around.

The experience was amazing. Once in a lifetime deal. But we had to get used to snakes slithering inside of the house, using an open air bathroom as huge fruit bats flew over your head at 2 AM and roaches, mosquitoes and other insects regularly shacking up inside of the crib.

I would never trade in this amazingly fun, freeing and brilliant experience but of course I felt terrified at times. Definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

A bit before 10 PM on a Wednesday night I’d be comfortable in bed. But since my site is down for a bit now I nudge myself outside of my comfort zone to write this blog post. All part and parcel with being a full time blogger who renders generous service for his readers.

All of my biggest blogging wins occurred because I went the extra mile; even if doing so felt highly uncomfortable.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Your greatest blogging success occurs well outside of your comfort zone.

What blogging lessons have you learned recently?

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Top 5 Most Competitive Niches for Bloggers

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Finding the perfect niche is like a unicorn for many bloggers. The right mix of passion and competitiveness can be found in the most surprising places and isn’t always clear until you’re already well on your way. But the good news is that the harder you look, the closer you get — which is a cliche, but surprisingly true in this case. So before you give up on your dream of creating content about knitting dog pajamas or anthropomorphized helicopters, start by having a look at what niches are the most competitive at the moment.

Most blogs earn their money through affiliation. The good thing about affiliation is that it doesn’t require you to focus on one particular brand, unlike sponsorships. You’re free to place links in your content or not. And to write whatever you like about the brand in question. Money is earned through reader engagement, not through passive exposure.

Travel

Of course, the most coveted and stereotypical blogging dream niche is travel. Who would turn down reviewing hotels in the Caribbean or exciting jungle safaris? Only a few bloggers get to do this, however, but there are still a lot of sub-niches that are easy to get into and earn well in. Local guides and localized content is a great way to find perfect fits for valuable affiliation links and you can even make direct content advertising if you ask. The future is definitely localized.

Gambling

Making content about gambling is often as much about search engine optimization as affiliation links. This has made reviews and guides extremely competitive, but creating content only for SEO purposes can be a little monotonous. More localized information in a specific niche like mobile gambling makes mobile-casino.ca a perfect example of how to stay competitive without losing quality.

Health & Fitness

For ethically minded bloggers, this niche can be a minefield. Health and fitness bloggers can benefit from having a blog of their own in many ways — such as keeping themselves healthy and fit, while also inspiring others in the process. This niche market is also filled with misinformation, dangerous recommendations and straight up lies. Are you the one to finally inform readers about the one true way to stay healthy or get fit? Joking aside, whether you’re a zealot or a skeptic, there are affiliation networks for you. Just include a source or two, please.

Lifestyle

Including this niche might be cheating. It can cover so much — but that doesn’t mean that your blog should. Specialised content that you’re both passionate and informed about can be very valuable for direct ads. Everyone has some kind of lifestyle niche they’re focused on, whether it be simple admin improvement or urban hiking. Find out if readers are interested in the topic, either directly or related, before you go all in, though.

Blogging

With how competitive blogging is, blogs that explain how to succeed are more popular than ever. You’re reading one right now and you could write your own very easily. You don’t have to be the best or the most insightful to write an inspiring blog about blogging — it’s more useful than you think to write down what works and what doesn’t in your own humble experience. You can be an expert in learning.

Have you noticed any commonalities yet? If you look hard enough in any niche, you’ll learn enough to create content with a fresh and exciting take. And that’s the current trend for being competitive: Being both subjective and informed; localized and aware of international trends.

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Do You Really Know Your Readers?

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See the featured image up top guys?

I know readers dig my eBook. Said readers dig my paperback too.

Enter this featured image. I use similar images frequently on Blogging From Paradise. Smart way to appeal to my audience.

But during lean years I did not know my readers because I:

  • did not listen to my readers
  • did not ask my readers questions
  • did not spot my reader’s pain points
  • did not read my reader’s comments carefully
  • did not spot patterns among my readers

Eventually I woke up. Easy to see this now. But back in the day I had a hellish time owning the fact that I did not know my readers.

Reader Red Flags

You do not know your readers if:

  • traffic stalls or disappears
  • blogging profits stall or disappear
  • engagement dies on your blog
  • nobody seems to reach out to you on social media

These are a few red flags guys. Own the flags. Honestly. Owning your mistakes is one quick way to turn things around, to free yourself of this common blogging error.

Do You Know Your Readers?

I mean; do you really know your blog readers? Be genuine before you answer the question.

I know my readers incredibly well now because every blog post, video or podcast I create meets their needs. No guess work, no writing and publishing because I want to write and publish a post and certainly no off topic posting here, on Blogging From Paradise or any place where I guest post.

The other day one of my blogging buddies endorsed my paperback with a YouTube review. In addition to feeling grateful I tuned into one other idea; his endorsement, emails from other book customers and smiling selfies from other book customers alerted me to the fact that my readers are beginning to buy my paperback too, in addition to my eBook. I published a post linking to my paperback and explaining how my book solves pressing blogging problems after spotting this pattern.

I know my readers better and better each passing day because I listen to my readers more closely each passing day. As everything expands with my blogging campaign I find it easier and easier to help folks, to come up with blog post ideas and to know my content hits the mark because blogging with my readers in mind has been the simplest way to connect with these folks.

Your blog is for you and your readers. Never forget this fact. Never forget that if you write just for yourself you are publishing a cyber diary. No need for anyone to read a blog if the blog does not solve their problems.

Knowing your readers genuinely requires you to be:

  • compassionate
  • empathetic
  • heart-centered
  • loving
  • caring
  • observant
  • present

Listen to the latest podcast interview I did with Alonzo Pichardo on his Sound Cloud channel:

He has invited me to chat on his highly popular channel – with over 300,000 listens between only 8 episodes.

Alonzo is a master at spotting the most pressing issues of his audience. My readers also suffer from problems related to these topics. Naturally, as he shares and builds his impressive tribe and as I build my tribe, we have well over a quarter of a million listens between only 8 podcast episodes.

If you get to really know your readers and patiently hit the mark with your content, over years, 10 listens becomes 100 listens, then 100 becomes 1000, then 1000 becomes 10,000 listens, then 10,000 becomes 100,000 listens, and upward from there.

Develop an intimate bond with your readers guys. Poll them. Email them, asking how you can help them.

Much of your blogging success rests on knowing clearly what your reader wants so you can serve it up to them.

Listen. Ask. Observe.

Prosper.

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