Know what I hate thinking about? Websites. Know what I used to build? Websites.
I get a bit snooty when I view websites. NOT that mine is amazing and winning prizes, but I’m overall okay with how it runs (would like to get a new layout up some time but that’s another story). You know who also gets snooty when viewing websites? Customers.
I think that one of my favorite websites is sephora.com. Not only for the products, but for the actual site. I find it robust and simplistic at the same time. It’s very clean and relatively easy to navigate, considering their huge inventory.
Customers are shopping at Sephoras site and your site, too. How do you compete with a conglomerate when you’re a sole proprietor with a WordPress? Here’s some thoughts:
How are customers getting to your website? Where are they ending up? Is there a product lots of people are going to? What is drawing them in?
More importantly…where are they falling off? For every 1,000 customers, how many sales are you averaging? 10? 0? This is why analytics is so very important: it helps you to take a hard look at your website and see what is working and what isn’t.
On my website, I get a LOT of hits for “lavender” from the search engines. I have pictures of lavender in my product detail pages and I use lavender as an SEO keyword. People coming to my site for “lavender” does NOT result in the same sales as, say, someone searching “handmade soap nyc.”
So, for me, I should take a hard look at improving conversion for “lavender”, either by really promoting the lavender in products that have it OR, realizing that “lavender” is not a valuable keyword, and deleting it from my SEO.
2. Beyond decent images
This…this is the tough love part, guys. If you run a product-based website…you just cannot half-ass images. Your pics tell a story about the product and leave the customer with easier decisions to make.
Here is an old soap I used to make, using my “pulp comic” aesthetic. I took this picture:
Okay picture, white background. A little bleached out but you can see the soap and the label.
Here’s when I had a professional take pictures (that professional, by the way, being Daniel Iemola, who is super talented):
Without getting too pretentious about it, look at how much more of a story that picture tells. It ties in with my “pulp comic” aesthetic, and the soap is clearly displayed. It makes a pretty uninteresting bar of soap look really visually interesting.
I’ll go in to more topics on the next post, but for now hook yourself up with Google Analytics and take some tough looks at your product imagery.