I have been getting so much enjoyment out of speaking with the creative businesses that subscribe to my newsletter lately! We have been having some real conversations, and one of the things we’ve been discussing lately has been conversion rate – the simple math that tells you what the heck you can expect when you get traffic to your online store.
A sweet reader read through my explanation of how conversion rate works and what it means to you, and replied,
Thank you!!! This is EXACTLY what I have been scratching my head about lately and trying to muddle my way through and not even know where to start. Thank you so much for bringing this into the Aeolidia stable.
I’ve been a huge fan of your blog and tips for yonks and there is not an agency that even compares to what you offer.
Just the tips in this email alone 100% clarified what I should be looking at (and I discovered it was something I was ignoring because I was scared of facing it, my conversion rates!).
In my email I offered to anyone to take a look at their stats and get back to them with a personalized plan of what they should do. I had a LOT of email conversations that week. But I found that my answer was nearly the same for everybody. So I’m sharing it with you!
What to do before you begin trying to increase sales on your site
First, make sure that what you’re working to promote is something that is going to sell well. Think of it this way. If Oprah was going to feature your site in six months, what would you do to prepare? If you knew for sure that a billion people were going to click over and start looking around, what would you want them to see? This is what I would want to feel confident about if my Shopify site was about to get a ton of traffic:
1) Is the product remarkable?
Am I selling something that is easy to sell, once people see it? Does my product sell itself? Do people clamor to buy it and rush to share it with their friends? If my product wasn’t a hot seller to my target customer, I wouldn’t want Oprah to mention it, and I certainly wouldn’t want to spend all my time struggling to try to sell it.
If your business does really well with wholesale accounts, in your own brick and mortar, on Etsy, or at in-person events, congratulations! You’re ready to go, and by the way, you should probably just hire us to take care of everything for you. Since your product sells well in other venues, you know if you use the right strategy online, you will get plenty of sales in your own shop.
2) Does the website convert?
If all of Oprah’s fans are going to hit my website, I want it to have a high conversion rate. If I can convert 5% of a billion people, I’ve got it made. 0.05% of a billion people… well that’s still 50,000 people. But you see what I mean.
Your website should immediately answer the question, “what is it, and why would I want it?”
If I was going to spend time and/or money marketing my site, I’d want to be sure I was getting the best results I could. Here are some ways you can improve website conversion yourself. Please get in touch with us if you’d like a custom site that will convert your target customers to sales.
Okay, so you have a killer product and an effective website? But no one is really shopping?
What to do if your business is awesome but you don’t get enough traffic to your site
With an Etsy shop, a brick and mortar shop, or even a trade show or craft fair booth, you can just kind of exist, and people will walk in because they’re passing by. Then you can show them how awesome your products are and make a sale! On your own Shopify (or other ecommerce) site, no one is going to just pass by and notice you. You need to go out and find them yourself.
Marketing and promoting your business is a huge part of having a successful online retail business. You can do this yourself, hire someone in-house to do it, or hire a marketing agency to devise and implement a strategy for you.
Promoting your Shopify store
If the marketing budget is tight, it’s all stuff you can do yourself. It’s a lot of work, and you’ll need to really throw yourself into it to see results. I would pick ONE method to start with, and do the very best you can with it.
I would start with something that’s already showing signs of working for you, and putting all of your effort into that at first. Google and Pinterest search results are important, but can be slow and hard to tell at first if it’s working. Social media and influencer marketing is more immediate, but not as long lasting. Make sure you’re working to get other people to mention you, rather than talking to your own small group all the time.
Include a dash of newsletter in your strategy at all times, because you should never neglect your email list – these are the people who love you best! You don’t want them to forget that they signed up when you finally get around to emailing them.
If you focus on social media, pick ONE platform to be the best at. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Once one social media channel is working well, you can add another. You won’t get anywhere if you try to get everywhere right away.
The quickest way to grow is to have influencer accounts with your target followers as their audience share your shop with a strong call to action.
Paying to promote social media posts
Plan to either spend some money or send some product to influencers as payment for showing off your goods. For a benchmark, our marketing team spends between $150-$250 USD per month on advertising for each of our clients that they work with. You might choose to invest in Facebook ads, Instagram promotions or features on influencer accounts, promoted pins on Pinterest, or Google AdWords.
You don’t want to do this haphazardly when you’re paying, so be very diligent that the audience you will be reaching is engaged and is interested in your type of product. Make sure photos and text promoting your product are the kind that have produced sales for you in the past.
If you do any type of advertising, you’ll want to read up on what makes an effective ad on that platform. I’ve heard of a lot of people paying for ads that do nothing for them because they didn’t have a strong call to action, the audience they chose wasn’t a good fit, or all kinds of other mysterious reasons promoted posts on social media flop.
Research, test, and evaluate
When you run ads, you want to evaluate how they did and if they were worth it. If ads are cutting way into your profits without creating enough volume to offset it, something needs to change in your strategy.
Wherever you plan to focus your efforts, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, or elsewhere, go check out what your competitors are doing that seems to be working. Not to copy exactly what they’re doing, but to get a feel for what your shared audience responds well to.
Chat with others (possibly in our awesome Facebook group for product-based businesses) about what works for them.
The bottom line?
Show up every day. Provide value. Interact with the right people. Figure out what works. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Get your Targeted Traffic workbook
Want to get started figuring out how to do this yourself? Grab our workbook to research and pin down what you know about where your best customers are hanging out. It explains traffic-generating concepts in more detail, and you can use the included tips to make a plan to get high-quality, high-converting traffic to your website.
Click the photo or button below to nab it:
Shipshape Collective Freebie
Learn who your target customer is, and find out how to attract them online.