5 Ways To Squeeze More Cash Out Of Your eCommerce Website

by 7 10/13/2011

You have your shopping cart up and running, you’ve uploaded all your products and the website is finally starting to hum along nicely. Orders are coming in.

But chances are, your e-commerce website can generate even more revenue.

Here are five ways to make it happen.

1) Site speed

In late 2010, Google announced that it would start to take the load time of your site into consideration when ranking your site in the overall organic search results.  Which makes sense – Google wants to deliver a great experience to its shopper.  And no one wants to wait for a website to load.

Along with announcing this change, Google also launched Page Speed Online.  This great tool analyzes your page and lets you know what things you can do to decrease the overall load time.  Use this tool on your home page, various product pages and even your “About,” “Contact Us” and other static pages.

Tweak your site with the suggested changes and watch your site scoot like a cop to a doughnut shop.

2) Button text & color

You think your product pages look great, but do your customers?  Are they confused about what to do next?  Is your “Add to Cart” button hot pink while the rest of your buttons are blue?

It’s time for some old fashioned A/B testing.

Find your call-to-action buttons on your product page and work on a few different colors that still match your overall site design.  Put one up for a small period of time and see if your conversions increase.  If they don’t, try a different color.

If you notice that there’s no real increase in conversions because of the color, try modifying the text.  Change “Add to Cart” to “Add to Shopping Cart” or “Add to Basket.”  Simple changes like this may boost your profits.

3) Move Those Products Up

Any SEO professional will tell you how much the search engines love text.  More text usually means more opportunity for your site to rank well.  But more text can also scare away a potential buyer.

This problem is particularly prevalent on category pages.  You want to explain the category, stick in a few keywords and tell the customer why you have the best widgets.

But be careful.  Too much text and the customer may give up.  If they can’t see a few products above the fold, they may give up and hit the dreaded Back button.

Strike a balance with the amount of text on your page so that your first few products show up above the fold.

If you’re running an analytics program, see what the most popular screen resolution is for your site visitors and check that against FoldTester to see just how many people are actually seeing products with the various resolutions.  If a majority aren’t seeing at least a row of products, shorten up that category explanation!

4) Start a How-To Blog

Ranking for keywords on a product page can be tough since you’ve only got a small amount of real estate available for your product description.  You’ve got to be concise, explain the product and benefits and be done.  But with a blog, the possibilities are truly endless.

A simple “How To” blog (depending, of course, on your industry) could be your ticket to conversion heaven.

When you blog about how to fix that leaky faucet, you’ve solved a problem for someone. Solving a problem for a visitor gives you an immediate advantage – especially if you’re the one selling the faucet repair kit.  Write a post on how to fix it, perhaps with play-by-play pictures or a video, and an Oh, by the way, we sell the repair kit mentioned in this article.

5) Remove useless boxes

Many shopping cart designs come pre-packaged with extra boxes, plugins and widgets that aren’t needed for your shopping cart to function.  These boxes simply slow down the overall load time and in many cases are just in the way.

Take a promo code box, for instance.  If you aren’t interested in offering promo codes any time soon, remove that code from your checkout file.  It’s wasted real estate and makes people wonder if they could be getting a better deal.  Sale killed.

I’d also recommend removing the “similar products” box from your checkout process.  Once they’ve started down that path, you don’t want to give them any reason to escape from it.  Remove the distractions and get them straight into the payment gateway.  Similar product boxes may be fine on product pages, but they don’t belong in the checkout line.

These five tips will get you well on your way to better conversions.

The key is to test it out and let your market vote with their wallets.

Who knows?  You may discover that your market loves your hot pink buttons and your blog about leaky faucets.

Image courtesy of mamaloco

About 

Will Hanke is St. Louis’ top independent SEO professional. His business, aptly named “WhereIsMyBusiness.com”, helps small and medium sized businesses reach the top of search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

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7 COMMENTS

Dali Burgado

Great stuff, Will. I appreciate all the nice white space and the nicely formatted text/copy here! :)

Yours,
#FellowConversionGeek
Dali

October 13, 2011 Reply

Demian Farnworth

So helpful Will! Can’t tell you how many clients don’t think about squeezing more out of their ecommerce sites…it’s like a few tweaks and you could get 10% more money isn’t an incentive, right?

October 13, 2011 Reply

    Russ Henneberry

    It’s true Demian, most people think about growing by generating more traffic rather than optimizing the traffic they already have.

    October 13, 2011 Reply

    Will Hanke

    Demian, more money always works as an incentive for me!

    October 14, 2011 Reply

Allie

I like this blog post. It covers things that may seem to be obvious, but often go forgotten.

If I could change anything it would be the title.
I don’t think the theory here is relevant exclusively to eCommerce websites. With some “tweeking,” I think any website that can generate a conversion could benefit

October 13, 2011 Reply

    Russ Henneberry

    I agree Allie — these concepts don’t apply exclusively to eCommerce websites.

    October 14, 2011 Reply


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