Whether it’s a new start up, small, mid-size or an entrepreneur business, the one thing that we find common among them is – they all aim to make the most for their investments. Considering the fact that online market is growing by leaps and bounds, no business wants to keep this opportunity untouched.
So what do you think, how to increase online business? I am sure your answer would be, by increasing traffic to your website. (Correct?) I agree to it, but what are the ways to increase traffic? There are many ways, like Search Engine Optimization, Paid Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, and many more…
I am sure all of them are touched base by lots of writers already, so today I am going to give you 5 sure-fire ways to double your online business without putting the double efforts. Yes, you read it right. I am talking about increasing business, not just traffic.
Of course, I am not kidding! Read on and check out these 5 ground-breaking methods, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!
Method 1: Improve CTR Ratio from SERPs
Every small business aims at spotting at the first position in Google SERPs. But should it really be your main goal? Of course not! Rather, your ultimate goal should be to get more clicks, which in turn bring more leads, subscriptions or sales.
Think twice if it is really the highest ranking in SERPs that gets the highest clicks? Not always, at least. It is not the Google but the users who decide where to click on the page, means there are doubtlessly chances that position #2 gets more clicks than position #1. Really, I am not joking.
Unfortunately, many (not all though), including the SEOs and businesses, have become so obsessed with the positions in SERPs that we neglect the next part of the equation, the CTR (Click Through Rate). We invest months and months in generating backlinks to shift from lower position to the upper position, for example from #2 to #1, in SERPs.
Though the below heat map says that #1 gets more traffic than #2, but I personally believe it depends on the website’s snippet (mostly Title & Meta Description) shown on SERPs. So I seriously think that you should rather focus on writing appealing Rich Snippet (Title & Meta Description) which will show-up in SERPs as your short advertisement. This will motivate user to click on your website, instead of your previous ones. This will increase number of clicks, though there is no increase in position.
Rich Snippet – The Easiest, Most Effective and Most Efficient Solution to Increase Your CTR
“Rich snippets are designed to summarize the content of a page in a way that makes it even easier for users to understand what the page is about in our search results”, according to GWT Rich Snippets Guidelines
Rich snippet is also called rich markup or micro data. Below are some examples of a rich snippet:
Which listing are you going to click from below?
Here are the tips to create a perfect rich markup that Google shows with your position in the SERPs:
- Write such meaningful, appealing and most relevant a title that it incorporates the targeted keyword in a meaningful manner (don’t stuff the keywords for God’s sake please).
- Try to show the best benefit you can offer to customers in your Title/ Meta Description (like the one shown by SnapDeal.com in the above screenshot).
- If you are targeting a specific location, don’t forget to add ‘location+keyword’ combination in your Meta description tag.
- Incorporate micro data like reviews, rating, authorship, etc. in your snippet which give an added advantage. To learn more on micro data, visit the post How to Get More Clicks with Low Rankings
Method 2: Increase Website Usability and Trustworthiness
Have you ever wondered why majority of visitors to your website are not buying from you?
Let’s assume that, you are getting 30,000 hits a month, but your sales conversion rate is only 1%. Now what if you want to double your sales? Do you need to put double efforts in generating double traffic? Nope, instead you can just increase the usability and trustworthiness of your website and boost conversion ratio with the same traffic. This will help users to easily navigate around your website, clearly see product/service features and get motivated to buy your product/service.
Regardless of your website’s search engine ranking and number of visitors you’re getting, if your website doesn’t give user-friendliness and trustworthiness feel to your visitors, then it will not bring business (unless you’re not just dependent on number of visitors for advertisements).
Don’t you think it’s a bit easy to increase the usability of website, as compared to increase the number of visitors? I bet, it is!
Below are tips to improve your website usability & trustworthiness:
- Web users don’t prefer to read much. So, make sure your web page content is skimmable, easy-to-understand, concise and meaningful.
- Make effective use of colors, typography and white spacing.
- Make the right set-off of images, videos, audios, links and text.
- Use call-to-action buttons at the appropriate places in the website.
- Make sure that your website doesn’t take longer to load. According to a survey, most of the users leave the page if it takes more seconds to load.
- Keep your language such simple that your targeted audience can understand easily.
- Site-map is a must, as the users and search engine spiders prefer them to navigate around.
- Include About us, Terms & Conditions, Disclaimer and Contact us (with address and phone number) pages to gain higher credibility.
- Please do not forget to keep secure website symbol (SSL). This helps increase the trustworthiness of your website.
- It is not difficult at all to get testimonials from the clients who love your products. When you publish testimonials on your website, you are asserting that you are offering valuable products/services and your existing customers appreciate your service.
- Keep your website’s navigation system as simple as possible.
Method 3: Get involved in UGC
The importance of UGC (User Generated Content) for web based businesses has grown at a tremendous pace in the last few years. The funda of UGC is simple, give an amazing platform to the users and let them participate to generate content on your website. This will not only help you generate high quality content for free, but also to market them well. Each user will market his/her generated content to their circles and at large, for better ROI of their efforts.
As an SEO consultant, if you are not leveraging from the user generated content, you’re really missing on a treasure trove of SEO benefits that will always keep you ahead of the competition.
The user generated content in discussion needs to be relevant, useful and engaging. But the million dollar question is, “How will you get the users to write content for you?”
Here are the 5 simplest and most effective ways of getting the user generated content, that too for Free:
i. Guest Blogging
Usually, to maintain your blog and to keep it up-to-date you are required to hire a professional content writer. But what if the writers come to you and say, “Hey! I want to write a post on your blog for free!” I am sure you’ll be excited. That’s the funda of Guest Posting.
You simply need to market that you accept guest blogs on your websites. You may use blogging sites like ‘My Blog Guest’ and ‘Blogger Link Up’ to find the copywriters who are more than happy to write guest posts for your website for free.
It may sound difficult to find a good writer who can jot down a quality blog-post for your website for free, but it is actually not. You simply need to publish your blog-post guidelines and requirements, and just sit back to watch the chain of responses from a number of copywriters.
While walking through the World Wide Web, you will realize that even the top most popular websites like the New York Times, SEOmoz and Huffington Post allows guest posts. In one of his recent posts, Neil Patel, co-founder of 2 internet companies – Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, reveals that allowing guest blogging on their websites has improved cash flow in their business.
You simply need to review, approve and publish a post from a guest author on your blog, as thereafter the author himself will promote his post in his business and social media network; means your website visitors will grow without making any additional efforts on your part. But of course, you need to feature social media buttons at the end of every blog, so that the readers can share it on popular social websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
Don’t forget to incorporate a blog commenting section on your blog-page. Allow your readers to give their feedback to the writers of the respective posts. A brilliant post may never find it difficult to get user comments, which in turn results in business sales opportunities.
ii. Customer Reviews
Allow customers to write reviews for your products and services. This will not only help you gain original, fresh and unique content for your web pages, but will also enhance the buying experience of customers. The two iconic online shopping markets, Amazon and eBay, have already been leveraging upon this strategy from quite a while now.
iii. Run Content Based Contests
‘Write your i10 story and get a chance to shine with Shahrukh Khan’ – this is a punch line of one of the TV commercial ad of Hyundai Company exclusively targeting the Indian market sector. In this ad, one of the most popular Bollywood (Indian film industry) actors, Shahrukh Khan, requests the users to write a script for their next Hyundai i10 car experience in a TV commercial in 2013.
Check out these links to view video of the 2 consecutive versions of this ad:
Though you’re a small business, you can implement such innovative marketing concepts. Hold online content contests for your brand and declare attractive prizes for the winners. Not only you will get UGC, but this concept will also increase the popularity of your brand and boost your sales.
Who knows this might give you another innovative way of marketing your business!
iv. Expert Endorsements
If your product is really worth talking about, why don’t you let the trusted experts in your industry review and endorse them. You might have heard of media endorsements and celebrity endorsements; these are two powerful business marketing and branding strategies. You can also use the same concept to bring more business to your website.
You may get endorsements from a business partner, a guest blogger, like minded firms, a journalist, or an industry expert. You will find many sites over the internet that are more than happy to review your products. ‘Before You Buy Show’ from ‘Twit.tv’ is one of the best examples of such review based websites.
Publish the endorsements in one or the other ways (audio, video, text) on your website. This scalable approach will gain higher exposure, better credibility amongst the followers of the endorser and will drive more sales opportunities.
v. Talk to Achievers
Undoubtedly, trusted leader conversation can empower the brands. If you want to tap from the incredible market reputation of an achiever in your industry, request them that you want to take an interview to learn more about their persona and want to share the secrets behind their success to others in the community.
Preparing a few simple questions to ask surely won’t take much of your time and efforts. Publish your discussion with an expert on your site as well as on your social media pages. Customers just love to read such conversation! And most importantly, it will create a buzz of your brand in the market driving you many new potential customers.
Note:There are many other ways to get user generated content like starting forums, conducting surveys, Facebook poll, etc. But, I have accommodated only the effort-free and most efficient methods according to me (personally).
Method 4: Enhanced Customer Support
Consumers are focusing more on customer service today than ever before. Excellent pre-purchase and post-purchase customer support will speak in volume for your products/services.
- A good option is that you can incorporate a live chat application in your website. So, your customers can reach to you any time easily.
- Click to call feature is also one of the option you can give your customers so they can directly call on your number, without getting any charges on their part.
- Integrating an online contact / quote form is a must for a website.
- When a customer clicks on the buy button, it is a great idea to show the ‘Thanks’ message first before pushing them directly on the payment page.
- You may also set an auto-respond email, which will shoot immediately as you receive a quote request / order from a user to their entered email address. Make sure that you revert back to that user within 2 working days (that’s the standard turn-around time).
Thinking of these small things may make a huge difference in your market reputation and ultimately in sales.
Method 5: Special Offers
It is a psychological tendency of consumers from the birth of the mankind that they buy from what’s on the sale, than from what they need! Seasonal discounts and promotional offers are one of the oldest marketing strategies that still continue to deliver the same impact on consumers, as years before. Offer exclusive discount, give coupon code, and launch seasonal sale on your e-store.
Highlight your special offers such that they can be easily seen by the visitors. If you have social media pages, you may let your friends and prospects know about the special offers given by your company. This approach is a great way to make people buy your products. It will help you spread word about your products without making much efforts.
Following these 5 easy-go ways can certainly increase your online business sales to few folds!
Do you have any other idea that doesn’t demand much change in your existing efforts and yet double the business? Please do share them in the comment part – I’ll be happy to discuss them with you.
Good Luck with your SALES!