The start of a new year leads to all of the standard business evaluations. Normally the top of this list is how can I make more money in the upcoming year? Most businesses can get someone to buy a product or service from a website once, but the question is, will they do it again? Here are five tips you can use to optimize and hopefully help your website have a better 2012.
1. Improve your SEO - Search Engine Optimization is a complex order for most people, but here are a couple of things you can do right now to help your SEO. First, make sure you have a Google Webmaster Tools account and are checking it often for errors and new keywords you can be using. It is free, so there is no reason not to set one up.
Also, you want to do some keyword research. Dive into Google Analytics and look for keyword phrases that send traffic, but that you may have never targeted before. This not only has the possibility of bringing new customers, but return customers will often use the same terms.
Lastly, if you are new to SEO go through this checklist and see what parts you may have left out.
2. Offer something extra with every order -This doesn’t have to be a free product or something that is expensive, it could be as simple as an email that is personal and thanks your customer for ordering from you. However, if you wanted to give something away you could possibly use this example. Let's say you sell gardening supplies online. Offer a free bag of seeds with every order. This is a cheap addition that will get people to connect better with your brand. Bonus points if you have the seed packages customized with your company’s information. Doing something small like this can really help your customers to think about you when they need the same product again.
3. Evaluate your call to action - Make sure your call to action is precise and is helping the customer understand what they should do next. "Lose 50 Pounds in Three Weeks." "Clean Your House in Record Time." These are all call-to-action headlines that push the customer to want to find out more about how they can achieve what the headline says. Always remember that this is all about them, not you. How is your product going to help them? How can you make the order sweeter and help them to want to make the purchase?
4. Upgrade your shopping cart - If you're selling actual products on your site, the shopping cart helps to tally and keep track of everything the customer is buying. They can go to the cart page and back as often as they wish to check how much they've spent and to see what they still need to buy from you. Making the shopping cart bigger and easier to see can remind the customer that they have something in it and possibly help increase conversions on your site.
5. Provide a money-back guarantee and follow through quickly - This is often a hard thing to focus on if you are a small business, but taking steps to improve your returns process can help to make a big difference with your customers. If you can turn a refund around as quickly as you filled the order in the first place, rest assured the customer will want to come back. Nothing builds trust between a buyer and a seller than the confidence that both sides will come through in a pinch.
There are just a few tips that can help you grow your business in 2012, if you have others make sure to leave them in the comments.