Monday, 29 April 2013
‘If you like this you’ll love that’, how many times have you heard that? Now it’s the norm when you’re looking at a product online to be offered several others. But how much thought has gone into what appears on the page will determine if you’re likely to increase the basket size by enticing your customer to buy more.
Large online businesses use recommendation systems to increase their shopping baskets by between 10 and 30%, matchmaking customers’ attributes such as previous browsing history and historical purchases to find other ‘likeminded’ products. However if you’re not in the market for one of those the easier way is to use the upselling, or ‘related products’ tools that come with most platforms. It’s too easy to overlook these with the amount of work that managing a website brings, or not not even realise that they’re there.
When choosing products for upselling, don’t imaging for a moment that random products will work. Spend a little time looking at what customers who bought a specific product have also bought from you in the past.
Look at the product they did purchase from you, if they went for one style or type, and focus in on that, recommending other items of the same genre or accessories to go with. Don’t be tempted to offer them something entirely different. It is so much less likely to be successful.
Choose products that will work with what has been put in that shopping basket. If it’s a dress they’ve bought from you then consider offering the shoes, bag and jewellery that will style in well to create a complete look.
Make an offer if a customer purchases a set – maybe a discount for two products along the same lines or more, or ‘buy one get another for half price’ (or 15% off, or whatever discount you choose).
Show what other customers have bought who have bought that product – again this needs to be based on what will really go with the purchase and with what has been bought as an add on historically.
Upselling is intuitive marketing whatever size business you run and can reap £££££ in extra business. Use the upselling tools at your disposal, and your own knowledge of your customer and your products to get the message across that there are benefits for your customers by using your experience, or taking advantage of your offers, in adding to their shopping baskets.
For a little extra work, upselling is a technique all businesses should be taking advantage of.
Saturday, 13 April 2013
Your CMS, or Content Management System, is the ‘back end’ of your website, as opposed to the ‘front end’ that your visitors see. You probably already knew all of that but just in case……….
It’s essential that you have control of your CMS and don’t have to go to your developer to ask them for every content and image change and creation of new pages, however, there’s a huge risk also that, having created a website you love in conjunction with designers/developers you may change, or allow others to change, the look and feel you’ve striven so hard for (and probably paid thousands for). And end up with something that does not have the personality you wanted.
Learn Your Own Way Round
No matter how busy you are doing the day job – buying, merchandising your products – you, the website owner, and if you don’t employ someone specific in-house, need to take some time to learn your way around your CMS – how to add or change metadata, where to input descriptions and upload new products, where to add new images and image alt tags. Don’t expect your developer to do everything for you, this will cost you yet more thousands.
Once you’re in control, and that’s what this is about, then you can decide who you want to allow to update your site and make sure they know their way around as well. You can farm the main tasks out to leave you the time do do what you really want to do, or you can do it all yourself - at least now you have the choice.
Know your SEO and Maintain Editorial Control
There are two aspects of this which are of vital importance, the first is to know what you’re doing with regards to SEO and make sure that you don’t stuff your site with spammy keywords, or create pages that aren’t optimised, or write title tags that Google won’t like, (which may send you packing in the rankings) and the second is to maintain editorial control to ensure that you don’t lose the personality of your site by allowing just anyone to update content.
Editing is Easier than Writing
If you don’t like writing, or you don’t have anyone on your staff who can write good copy in your chosen style then find someone who can do it for you. Editing is much easier than writing, and writing optimised copy requires specialist knowledge.
The Customer Should Be the Only Focus
Make sure above all that everything you do in controlling your CMS and its editorial content, whether you do it all yourself or allow other, keeps your specific customer in mind. Whatever you do don’t leave your CMS in the hands of your developer – they will not have your customer clearly focused in their head whilst having moved on from your site.
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Wednesday, 10 April 2013
As with everything online this has pros and cons. Use LinkedIn properly and it will work endlessly on your behalf. Set up your profile half-heartedly and it can work against you, as you can either appear to not know what you’re doing in this online world, seem unprofessional, or look as if you just can’t be bothered, in which case why should people bother to connect to you?
1. Get your picture up there. If you don’t have a picture on LinkedIn people will wonder why? We place so much importance on how a person appears that to not have a picture will stop people inviting you to connect. Make sure that your picture is not a daft Facebook-friendly ‘hi family and friends’ pic, but something that although it doesn’t have to be you in a suit, looks intelligent, friendly and approachable.
Forget thinking ‘I’m not photogenic’, ‘I hate all pictures of me’ and put one up there.
2. Complete your headline area properly and make it look interesting. Use short phrases, preferably keyword researched. Don’t let it look sparse. You’re there for a reason, to tell people about you, so do.
3. Write a summary about who you are and what you’ve done and again make it interesting. Two paragraphs preferably. This doesn’t have to take long, and if you’re not sure about what you’ve written get someone else to read it through, but make sure that your summary area is completed.
Next you want to turn to your work experience. Don’t just include a headline and dates. Fill it out. Check back each month and see if there’s anything new to add. More about this later.
Monday, 8 April 2013
We all make typos. There’ll probably be one somewhere in this post, however there is one typo (and yes I just spotted it in a Tweet) that is so obvious but appears so frequently that I had to write about it……….. again.
‘You’re’ and ‘your’ have totally different meanings. You may think they look the same, but when someone is reading something you have written and you have used the wrong one it will, to many, stand out a mile.
’You’re’ means ‘you are’. - for example ‘you’re totally wrong’, ‘you’re about to miss your train’.
’Your’ means appertaining to you – for example ‘your coat’, ‘your tickets’ etc
This is one to concentrate on as, as I said, it stands out a mile. Personally I think the days when typos in blog posts and tweets etc were accepted (if they ever were) are long gone. Those who read and edit and think and write decent English will do far better than those who don’t bother.
It is impossible to get it right all of the time. However slowing down will help and we do everything online far too fast these days, at least I know I do.
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
On some levels SEO can be complicated, but the groundwork is simple, and you can choose to have the work done by someone else, or do it yourself, but the most basic part of optimisation should be well known by all – that of making sure your title tags work correctly, as without this you are limiting the possiblity of being found in Search – or you’ll be paying another fortune for Adwords, thinking it’s the only option.
There are many aspects to simple SEO – and for those who are currently talking to a developer or considering a new website design, make sure that you will have control over the meta data (your title tags and descriptions) that go into the back end of your website. Too often I find that developers set up new sites without considering the ongoing keyword research and writing of meta data that will need to be carried out and making it easy for the client to have access and update. Or they’re looking for extra work after the site is completed – please don’t get me on that one.
If you have not yet tackled your on-site SEO and you’re not sure how, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions to ask your developer and a few simple tips.
Back to what your Title Tags say about you. Well written title tags make sense to browser and search engine alike. They need to be relevant, unique and readable, and they will contain no more than two, most probably one, well researched keyword or phrases.
It’s easy to spot well optimised websites from the basic title tag construction which should follow through from categories to sub categories to products and other landing pages. Well written title tags say that you understand the basics of SEO (and what Google, putting the rest aside for a moment, is looking for). Title tags that are not well constructed indicate a lack of understanding of their importance. But listen up…
A website without well written title tags is like a closed door. It will not be found in Search without large amounts of money being spent on advertising. And then it will not be found in natural Search, which is free. And most likely, if you don’t have well written title tags you won’t have optimised the rest of your website. There’s a simple hierarchy to SEO. Start with your title tags first and then work through the rest and you’ll start to see results.